Actors can be a fickle group of people at times. Everyone has heard stories about how a famous actor has acted like a diva by forcing some bizarre clauses into their contracts or behaving like a child on set. Yet, the truth is that many filmmakers have to put up with this kind of thing all the time in order to keep their biggest stars happy. They might even go out of their way to make crazy concessions just to ensure that an actor gets on with their job.
After all, when it comes to big franchises and blockbuster movies, it is essential that movie studios have big names attached. They have huge pulling power around the world and are often associated with particular brands in a way that makes it impossible to make a movie without them. It isn’t like a director can simply fire someone who has played the main character for several films, especially when an entire franchise has been built up around them.
This has given actors enormous power and some of them take advantage of it to an insane degree. Let’s just hope you’re never working on set when they decide they need some special treatment before doing their job… talk about a headache.
Let The Actor Smoke Weed And Communicate Through Post-It Notes
Photo: New Line Cinema
Patton Oswalt spilled the beans about the behavior of Wesley Snipes on the set of Blade: Trinity in an interview with A.V. Club. According to the comedian-turned-actor, Snipes was basically allowed to smoke weed all day in his trailer and would only appear on set when close-up shots were needed.
Oswalt also explained how he would stay in character as Blade throughout production and ended up only communicating with the director through post-it notes after they had a heated confrontation. Snipes was seemingly allowed to get away with this as the producers couldn’t exactly fire Blade when his name is in the title of the film.
Having A Private Train And Being Able To Buy The Characters Clothes
Photo: 01 Distribution
Sharon Stone has garnered a reputation for being difficult to work with over the last two decades. Yet, stories describing her on-set antics and demands still seem to surprise many when they make it into the press. In one such instance, Stone was working on an Italian film with Pupi Avati and Antonio Avati.
The brothers described how they had to hire a private luxury train to pick her up and how she would phone her agent back in the US to fix problems rather than communicate directly with them. Perhaps the biggest concession they made was to give the actress a production credit card so she could go out and buy all the clothes her character would wear throughout the movie.
Changing An Entire Set Design
Photo: Gary Graver
There are plenty of weird stories about Gary Busey but the craziest of all might be from his time on the set of Quigley. The actor refused to perform for a scene that took place in heaven because he felt that the set was designed all wrong.
Apparently, Busey had been in a near-death experience and had visited heaven before being brought back to life. He felt this gave him a unique insight into how heaven really looked and he effectively forced the production crew to redesign the entire set before he would do his job – delaying the movie by several days. Curtis Armstrong even explained how he had gotten in a fight with another actor about the look heaven should have.
Having Lines Fed Through An Earpiece So They Don’t Have To Learn The Script
A legal dispute between Johnny Depp and his former management group led to a number of interesting facts becoming public knowledge. Chief amongst them was the claim that the actor didn’t even bother to learn his lines for Pirates of the Caribbean. Instead, he relies on a sound engineer to read his dialogue directly into an earpiece so that he can simply repeat them on set.
The court papers revealed that the sound engineer was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars over several years as he was kept on-call full-time so that the actor would never have to memorize any of the script.
Banning All Boston Celtics Sports Memorabilia On Set
Photo: Warner Bros.
Although Jack Nicholson wanted to work with Martin Scorsese, the actor didn’t feel like the role in The Departed was interesting enough to play. The veteran director made a few concessions for Nicholson to get him on board, which included making him a much more evil villain.
He also allowed the actor to come up with some depraved ideas for the movie, including snorting cocaine from a prostitute’s bottom, in order to ensure that the character appealed to him. Scorsese even allowed Nicholson to ban all Boston Celtics memorabilia from set as he is a huge fan of the LA Lakers.
Three Bedroom Deluxe Suites On Location
Photo: Warner Bros.
Arnold Schwarzenegger long ago became one of the most in-demand actors in Hollywood, and when it came to negotiating his contract for Terminator 3, he was able to strike a hard bargain. As well as his astronomical pay, he made numerous demands as part of a 33-page contract. These included a three-bedroom deluxe suite at whatever location he was shooting at, a team of full-time bodyguards, a trailer stocked with gym equipment at all times, and a limousine that was on-call 24 hours a day.
Pre-Approval Over Cast And Crew
Photo: Warner Bros.
The bizarre concessions made for Arnold Schwarzenegger on Terminator 3 didn’t stop at his demands for on-set luxury, either. The Austrian-born muscleman was also given a surprising amount of control over the film. This basically amounted to him having pre-approval over much of the cast and crew.
Schwarzenegger was able to choose not only who the director and his co-stars were but also decide on his hair and makeup crew, the drivers on set, the publicist for the movie, and even the cook responsible for preparing meals for the principle cast.
Allowing Two Actors To Never Appear Together In A Scene
Eagled-eyed Game of Thrones fans might have noticed that Bronn and Cersei never appear together in any scenes. This is despite the fact that Bronn has worked extensively for both of her brothers and should be in constant contact with her to some degree. The truth behind this is that the producers know to keep the pair apart at all costs.
According to a show source, the pair used to date but are no longer on speaking terms. This has required that the writers make sure that the two don’t have to share any scenes.
Being Fed By The Crew
Method actors are well known for staying in character throughout filming but Daniel Day Lewis has probably taken it too far on at least one occasion. While shooting the movie My Left Foot, he would stay in his character’s wheelchair all day while on set. This meant that members of the crew had to wheel him around the studio and to his trailer.
Those working on set also had to feed him as he was playing the role of someone with severe cerebral palsy who was unable to do it himself. No one put a stop to these antics as they did not want to ruin his performance.
Bankrolling A Totally Different Movie To Get Them On Board
Photo: Columbia Pictures
Ghostbusters star Bill Murray only agreed to take part in the first movie if the studio financially backed his adaptation of the novel The Razor’s Edge. The chairman for Columbia Pictures at the time, Frank Price, revealed that the only way of getting Murray to sign up for the project would be for him to provide the budget for this other movie to be made first.
What made the deal even stranger, however, was that there was not any real guarantee that the actor would actually appear in Ghostbusters as no official agreement was ever made.
Re-Recording Every Line Of Dialogue
Photo: DreamWorks Pictures
When Mike Myers was shown a rough cut of the first Shrek movie he decided that he should change his accent and re-record every single line of dialogue. Considering he had already finished his recording and that a significant amount of scenes had already been animated, this was a big request for the filmmakers as it would mean a bump in the budget to re-do all that work.
Myers was able to convince them that a Scottish accent would work better with the character and studio boss Jeffrey Katzenberg eventually agreed. The move ended up costing Dreamworks an additional $5 million.
Getting The Character Killed Off
Harrison Ford has revealed several times that he tried to convince George Lucas to kill of Han Solo as far back as Return of the Jedi. Yet, it seemed he may have gotten his wish to have the character die as part of his negotiations for returning to the franchise with the new sequel trilogy.
Disney executives may well have agreed to have Solo cut out of future movies in return for getting Ford on board for the first sequel. There are even rumors that executives may have even agreed to make a new Indiana Jones film to ensure the actor signed on.
Getting A Personal Lightsaber
Ever since the first Star Wars film was released, fans have known that the bad guys in the galaxy far, far away get red lightsabers while the heroic Jedi could choose between blue and green. That all changed with the release of Attack of the Clones when Mace Windu is seen fighting with a purple lightsaber.
This change in color scheme was not the choice of director George Lucas but rather a concession made for actor Samuel L. Jackson as he had insisted he should stand out in battle scenes with his own unique lightsaber. Lucas eventually agreed to keep the veteran star happy.
Leisure Time To Play Golf Twice A Week
Photo: New Line Cinema
Plenty of people love to play golf during their downtime and Samuel L. Jackson can count himself among that particular group. In fact, his love for the relaxing sport is so great that he insists on having a clause in all of his movie contracts that means he gets to play golf at least twice a week while shooting a film.
“They have to let me play at least twice a week,” Jackson said in an interview with CNN. “Generally they either move me onto a golf course or I join a club so I can play there.”
Letting Them Off With Wearing Their Superhero Suit
Photo: Paramount Pictures
Ever since the first Iron Man film was released, Robert Downey Jr. no longer wears the infamous armor anymore. According to Animation Director Marc Chu, the suit is just too cumbersome and uncomfortable for the actor. When he realized that most of the work could be done with CGI he decided to go down that route. Now, for the majority of time when Iron Man is on screen, the suit is added in post-production or is being worn by a stunt double.
Letting Them Skip Wearing Makeup
Photo: 20th Century Fox
The makeup process for Jennifer Lawrence for her role as Mystique in the X-Men series was pretty rough. The actress claimed that she would have to spend up to eight hours having the paint applied to her body before filming on the first movie, a schedule that was cut to just three hours in the sequel. However, the filmmakers have made a few concessions for the actor in the latest film as Lawrence was given the opportunity to wear a full body suit so she would be more comfortable throughout filming.