15 Celebrities That Threw Tantrums On Set And Almost Got Fired
Everyone loves watching videos of people freaking out in public. It’s just one of those things that’s amazing to witness as long as you’re not the one getting yelled at. While everyone has days where they’re feeling ‘off’ or are acting rude to strangers, celebrities need to avoid those days as much as possible. After all, they’re one public breakdown away from ruining their entire careers — just ask Mel Gibson. To be honest, it’s surprised that there aren’t more celebrity fits on the sets of movies.
Making a movie is hard work. The hours are long, the job is stressful, and you can find yourself stuck in remote areas of the world for months at a time. Things can get heated on set, but everyone tries their best to remain level headed. Often times, when there is a clash on set, it’s a sign that the movie is going to turn out horribly. After all, if the actors and directors don’t agree creatively, how does the audience know that the right choices are being made?
By reading through this list, you’ll see how even the most respected, down to Earth actors can lose it on set every now and then. That’s not to say they’re bad people, they just couldn’t control their emotions. Then again, some of these fits are absolutely ridiculous. When is it ever acceptable to tell your boss that you’re going to kill them with your bare hands?
15. Christian Bale — ‘Out Of Order Beyond Belief’
Christian Bale had, quite possibly, the biggest (and most public) breakdown while filming Terminator Salvation. It all happened when the director of photography, Shane Hurlbut, made the mistake of walking behind the camera while in Bale’s eye-line. Bale was distracted by Hurlbut’s movement and ended up fumbling over his lines during a take. Frustrated, Bale went on a rant screaming at crew members and saying that he would never work with Shane Hurlbut ever again.
Normally, these outbursts remain private but one of the crew members recorded Bale’s rant and leaked it to the media. Shortly after, Bale went on a Los Angeles radio station to apologize for his foul-mouthed tirade. Bale said, “I was out of order beyond belief. I make no excuses for it. There is nobody who has heard that tape who has been hit harder than me. The one thing that disturbs me so much is that I’ve heard a lot of people saying that I seem to think I’m better than anybody else. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I am a lucky man.” Bale also went on to say that just a few hours after his rant, him and Hurlbut had made amends.
14. David O. Russell — ‘Remember Your Lines For Once’
David O. Russell is a highly respected director in Hollywood like Joy, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, and of course, Three Kings. Three Kings is praised as one of the best war movies to come out of the 1990s. It was nominated for multiple Oscars and holds a 94 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, David O. Russell is notorious for getting into arguments with the actors in his movies.
For example, when filming Three Kings, David O. Russell got into an argument with some of the extras on set for continuously messing up takes. George Clooney, who was already frustrated by the entire production, yelled at the director and essentially said to aim his frustration at Clooney, instead. In his exact words, Clooney said “I told you, if you’re going to pick on somebody, pick on me.” David O. Russel responded by turning to Clooney and yelling “Why don’t you just remember your lines for once?” The two then grabbed each other and were tussling before crew members stepped in and pulled them apart.
13. Gene Hackman — ‘Pull Up Your Pants And Act Like A Man’
The Royal Tenenbaums was Wes Anderson’s big break into Hollywood. Though he had directed two movies before, The Royal Tenenbaums was the movie that really tested him as a director and as a person. He was given a star-studded cast that included Bill Murray, Ben Stiller, Danny Glover, and unfortunately, Gene Hackman, who had no interest in being involved in the production. He was begged by his agent to take the role, despite Hackman only receiving a fraction of his normal pay rate.
According to reports, Hackman was nearly impossible to work with and put Anderson through hell. He verbally abused the young director so much that other actors would step in to defend Anderson from the verbal onslaught that he was receiving. Hackman called Anderson every foul name in the book, and even said that Anderson needed to “pull up his pants and act like a man.” In later interviews, Anderson and Gwenyth Paltrow admitted that they were terrified of Hackman while on set.
12. Marilyn Monroe — ‘It Was Like Kissing…’
Since her death, Marilyn Monroe’s status has become larger than anyone could have ever imagined. But, let’s be honest, she’s not really deserving of her fame. Yes, she is an absolutely gorgeous actress who starred in so many major movies, but she was also someone who struggled to deal with their problems. And, if reports are to believe, she was also an absolute nightmare to work with on set.
After leaving the movie business for a few years, Marilyn Monroe decided to make her comeback with the movie Some Like It Hot. By this point in her career, Monroe was a household name and had grown tired of always playing a blonde bimbo on the big screen. But that’s who her character was in Some Like It Hot. She was so displeased with her role that she was frequently late, ruined scenes, and was a difficult person to be around. Her co-star, Tony Curtis said that when he kissed her it was like kissing Hitler. She was such a monster on the set that she wasn’t invited to the wrap party when production ended!
11. Nicolas Cage — Trashing His Trailers
Nicolas Cage has become somewhat of a meme these days, but he was once a respected actor. To some extent, he still is a respect actor — it’s just that people think he’s a really weird guy. However, if you had asked someone what they thought of him thirty years ago, they would probably tell you that he was an immensely talented man with a very short temper.
In his own words, Cage said that his anger as a young actor should have landed him in jail. In recent interviews, Cage revealed that he would destroy his trailers on set, insult anyone around him, and trash his hotel rooms. Cage felt that this was the best way for him to get into his characters, who were often villains in movies. In the years following his destructive tendencies, Cage said that he regretted his behavior on set and was lucky that he didn’t end up behind bars. He also said that Richard Gere was the one to convince him to change his behavior and to act more like a professional.
10. Chevy Chase — The Diva That Ruined Community
Any fan of the show Community will tell you that Chevy Chase single-handedly destroyed the show. While he’s a great comedic acting talent, Chase was nothing but a miserable succubus during production. To start, Chase would berate cast and crew members while on set and tell them that he hated the show and say things like how he thought it was the least funny show he’s ever seen. Furthermore, Chase had been arguing with the show runner, Dan Harmon, since production began.
Their feud peaked when Harmon leaked a very profane voicemail that Chevy left him. The voicemail brought to light what was really happening with Chevy Chase behind the scenes of Community. After the message was leaked, people began to look into Chase’s background and found that this wasn’t the first time his co-workers hated him. In fact, Chase was hated by just about everyone he worked with on Saturday Night Live and even fought with Bill Murray backstage during a taping.
9. Megan Fox — Complained About Having To Visit The Pyramids
To anyone who was a fan of the Transformers movies starring Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, the behind this behind the scenes drama shouldn’t come as a surprise. Back when Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was being filmed, there were many reports coming out saying that Megan Fox was being a nuisance on set. These claims were mostly unverified until Fox said that Michael Bay “was like Hitler” on set. That’s when some of the crew members that worked with her wrote a letter to the press, outlining what a nightmare Megan Fox was to work with.
According to the letter, Fox bailed on a dinner prepared by the Royal Prince of Jordan, but that’s not even the worst part. Production was halted in Egypt for a day due to unforeseen circumstances. Michael Bay thought it would be fun to take the cast and crew to see the Pyramids of Giza, and Megan Fox responded to the news by saying ““I can’t believe Michael is forcing us to go to the pyramids!”
Fox was replaced by another actress in the third Transformers movie, probably due to her behavior. When reflecting on that time in her life, Fox said that it was a definite low point. Her beef with Michael Bay is in the past, though, as she starred in his two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies.
8. Tom Hardy — Got Knocked Out By Shia LaBeouf
Tom Hardy is seen as a very talented actor whereas Shia LaBeouf is somewhat of a crazy diva as of lately. When the two were working on Lawless back in 2012, there were rumors that the actors had gotten into a fight. The movie studio tried to hush these rumors, but the director came out and said that the two did in fact get into a physical altercation. However, he added that the details of the altercation were exaggerated by the press. As the story goes, the two actors got into a fight and LaBeouf allegedly knocked out Tom Hardy. Even tough guy Tom Hardy said that LaBeouf knocked him out, though many people believe that he said it sarcastically to poke fun at the very idea that LaBeouf was capable of such a thing.
Though we all love Tom Hardy, he might actually be difficult to work with. According to reports, Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron couldn’t stand to be around each other while on the set of Mad Max: Fury Road. One of the cast members said that this wasn’t because they didn’t like each other, but it was because they were stuck in a desert together for six months.
7. Dustin Hoffman — Wouldn’t Stop Yelling At The Director
Recently, Dustin Hoffman has been at the center of some very serious assault allegations. While on a panel promoting his new movie, Hoffman was confronted by John Oliver, who was supposed to be moderating the Q&A. Oliver berated Hoffman about the accusations and while his intentions were good, Oliver ended up looking worse than the guy he was accusing of sexual assault. Then again, Hoffman has been accused multiple times through his career — but we’ll save that for another article!
Back in the 1980s, Hoffman starred in the critically acclaimed movie, Tootsie. Though Hoffman was praised for his performance on screen, he was also criticized for his behavior off screen. For example, Hoffman would regularly have shouting matches with the director Sydney Pollack over minor disagreements. Hoffman said that he doesn’t normally yell at people, but when he does it’s only because they yell at him.
6. Russell Crowe — ‘With My Bare Hands’
Gladiator was an instant classic. It won five Oscars and it was nominated for countless others. The movie stars Russell Crowe, who, as it turns out, was pretty miserable to work with. For example, Crowe refused to say his iconic line “And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next” because he thought it was a bad line. Eventually, he was persuaded to say it and after he did, he told the director “It was terrible, but I’m the greatest actor in the world and I can make even that sound good.” Yikes!
However, the worse thing that Russell Crowe did during Gladiator involves a phone call he made. At 3 a.m., Crowe called the movie’s producer, Branko Lustig, and said he was going to kill him with his bare hands. Crowe made the call after discovering that Lustig refused to pay some of the assistants on the movie what Crowe thought was a fair wage. Lustig was so shook up by the phone call that after Crowe hung up, he immediately tried to quit production!
5. Julia Roberts — “Tinkerhell”
Filming in front of a green screen can be an absolute nightmare for some actors. Ian McKellen, for example, started to cry while filming The Hobbit because he was so depressed that he was being forced to act in front of a green screen by himself. Julia Roberts experienced a similar feeling of loneliness when she was working on Steven Spielberg’s movie, Hook.
Apparently, a number of factors in Roberts’ life caused her to be somewhat of a nightmare on set. She had just gone through a rough breakup and was bummed out that she had to film the majority of her lines alone in front of a green screen. This lead her to act out off camera and she was just a miserable person to be around. Roberts, who played Tinkerbell, was often referred to as “Tinkerhell” by some of her co-workers. When asked if he would ever work with Roberts again, Spielberg confidently said no. Roberts, on the other hand, says that a lot of the rumors about her are not true. “Hand to God: not a thing I read about that was truthful and it really hurt my feelings. Because not only did it make me sound mean, but it was a situation where people who knew the truth talked about it in a way that wasn’t untruthful.”
4. Tom Cruise And Rob Lowe — ‘We Beat Each Other’
The Outsiders is the movie that launched the careers of Tom Cruise and Rob Lowe. Though they have vastly different careers now, they were once co-stars in a movie about troubled teenage boys from low-income families. The movie is a little corny by today’s standards, but it’s still worth watching for anyone who wants to see some of the biggest stars from the 1980s in one movie together.
There’s one particular scene in The Outsiders where Rob Lowe punches Tom Cruise. When filming, Lowe accidentally hit Cruise for real, and apparently Cruise retaliated with such force that the two immediately starting to fight each other. Rob Lowe recalled the event in an interview and said, “We all beat the living s***t out of one another. We really did. I got one clean shot on Tom, and Tom is such a competitive lunatic — which is what I love about him — but the next thing you know he’s ready to kill me.” The two were quickly pulled apart and production continued onward.
3. Bill Murray — Picked Arguments With Lucy Liu
Bill Murray is loved by everyone on the internet, and to be honest, I don’t really know why. As someone who isn’t a fan, the mythology of Murray is too ridiculous to be true. For example, people often cite a story where Murray went into a bar and just jumped behind the counter and started serving everyone tequila. That’s hilarious for everyone except the bar owner. And if you look at what Murray’s former co-stars are saying about him, it’s never good.
For example, when filming Charlie’s Angels, Murray had quite a massive feud with Lucy Liu. According to reports, the two would have non-stop arguments with each other. Here’s how Murray said one argument started, “We began rehearsing this scene, and I asked, ‘Lucy, how can you want to say these lines? These are so crazy.’ She got furious with me because she thought that it was a personal assault, but the reality is that she hated these lines as much as I did. But for twenty minutes there, we went to our separate corners and threw hand-grenades and sky rockets at each other.”
2. Bill O’Reilly — We’ll Do It Live
Bill O’Reilly is more than likely only going to be remembered because of his massive breakdown on television. Though he isn’t on the air anymore due to some allegations of sexual assault, his relentless rant will go down in history as the biggest news goof of all time. And if someone from from his show hadn’t leaked it, the Internet would have no idea it even happened.
While taping his show Inside Edition, O’Reilly became frustrated with the teleprompter. It was having some issue and it was making it difficult for him to do his job. He stopped reading it altogether and began yelling at someone off screen. As his frustration grows, O’Reilly screams “We’ll do it live! Do it live! I’ll write it and we’ll do it live!” The Internet isn’t a very forgiving place, and the very brief clip instantly became a meme around the world that is still used to this day. The only thing that would have made this clip better is if O’Reilly actually stumbled like this live on TV!
1. Bette Davis And Joan Crawford — Childish Feud On And Off Set
Bette Davis and Joan Crawford had a rivalry that can only be described as childish. Where the rivalry began is unknown, but it probably stems from the fact that the two stars were always competing against each other for movie roles. But, when both were cast as the stars of Whatever Happened To Baby Jane they took their rivalry to the next level.
To start, Joan Crawford was married to the CEO of Pepsi during production, so Bette Davis insisted on having a Coca Cola machine in her dressing room. Later, when Bette had to drag Joan across the floor as part of a scene, Joan filled her pockets with rocks to make it harder for Bette. When Bette was nominated for an Oscar and Joan wasn’t, Joan insisted on presenting the award for Best Director. Furthermore, she called up all of her actor friends to say that she could collect the award on their behalf should they choose to stay home. As it turns out, Bette didn’t win the Oscar that year, Anne Bancraft did, but she wasn’t at the ceremony so Joan went on stage to collect the award!