7 Movie Scenes So Extreme They Made Actors Quit

The immense effort that goes into making even a terrible film is undeniable, and when it comes to big-budget, ambitious Hollywood fare, often things simply get too extreme for the cast to handle.

In the case of these 7 movies, an actor simply had enough with their working conditions, be it an aggressive co-star, a dictatorial director who doesn’t know when to yell “cut!”, getting caught in the cross-fire between warring cast members or failing to cope with a ridiculous makeup process.

While most of these performers were eventually convinced to return and finish their roles, largely for the sake of their careers and the huge cost of breaking a contract, each nevertheless took a stand and quit their respective movies, even if only temporarily.

In a time where film sets are being monitored more closely than ever for abusive and unreasonable conditions, it’s safe to say that these actors seemed well within their rights to tell the director to take a hike…

7. Carl Weathers Stormed Off Set After Dolph Lundgren Hit Him For Real – Rocky IV


We all know that Rocky IV’s iconic battle between Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) and Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) concludes with Creed dying in the ring, but during shooting for the scene, things got a little too close for comfort for Weathers.

While sparring, Lundgren got a little too into the role of the Russian destroyer and ended up hurling his co-star across the ring, prompting Weathers to walk off the set, call his agent and declare that he was quitting the movie.

Production was shuttered for four days while writer-director-star Sylvester Stallone attempted to coax Weathers to return, which he eventually did after Lundgren agreed to cool his method acting down a tad.

6. Emma Watson Was Uncomfortable Around Channing Tatum In A Thong – This Is The End

Columbia Pictures

Emma Watson has a memorable cameo in the brilliantly meta comedy This Is the End, briefly appearing as herself during the apocalypse and promptly stealing the gang’s wares after she picks up on a “rapey vibe.”

However, Watson’s role was originally intended to be somewhat larger, but the actress reportedly departed the movie early after expressing discomfort with a scene in which Channing Tatum cameos wearing only a thong.

set report from an extra states that Watson left the film after being overwhelmed by the raunchiness of Tatum’s performance, and though he didn’t name Watson specifically, James Franco himself has recounted an extremely similar story with an unnamed actress in the film.

5. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio Rage-Quit On James Cameron – The Abyss


By all accounts, production on James Cameron’s sci-fi classic The Abyss was absolute hell, as is true of pretty much every Cameron movie.

Star Ed Harris almost drowned filming one scene, ended up punching Cameron as a result and even had an emotional breakdown on his way home from the set, but he forged ahead regardless.

His co-star Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio wasn’t quite so eager to put up with the director’s crap, though, and lost it with Cameron while shooting the famous scene where Harris’ character administers CPR to her, desperately slapping her across the face repeatedly while screaming “Fight!”

The famously perfectionist Cameron ordered countless takes of the scene, and it became too much for Mastrantonio when the camera malfunctioned half-way through a take. Soaking wet and fed up of being slapped and screamed at, the actress walked off the set while yelling at Cameron, “We are not animals!”

Because Mastrantonio (temporarily) refused to return, the shots focused on Harris’ face are largely composed of the actor shouting at thin air, though given the brilliance of his performance in the scene, you’d never know it.

The actress was eventually convinced to return to the set, of course, and despite the hellish production, the result is one of the most ambitious and unforgettable sci-fi films ever made.

4. Four Native American Actors Walked Amid Racism Accusations – The Ridiculous 6


Adam Sandler’s straight-to-Netflix western comedy The Ridiculous 6 came under intense scrutiny months before its release, when it was revealed that four Native American day-players walked off the movie after becoming upset with its insensitive, even racist, portrayal of Apache culture, alongside its generally sexist attitude towards women.

Sure, nobody expects much taste or decency out of an Adam Sandler comedy, but even so, anyone who’s seen the final movie can appreciate it reaches for the lowest-hanging, most offensive comedic fruit every single time.

Granted, there were almost 150 native extras who weren’t offended enough to leave, but even so, the walk-out resulted in worldwide headlines long before the movie even hit streaming. Not that it had any effect at all on the movie’s popularity.

3. Jim Carrey Couldn’t Handle The Insane Makeup Process – How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Universal Pictures

Jim Carrey’s epic transformation into The Grinch may have won legendary makeup artist Rick Baker an Oscar, but it was absolute hell for the comedy legend.

Carrey recounted in recent years that the first day took 8.5 hours to apply all the makeup, which made him feel “buried alive”. The stress of it all prompted him to kick a hole through the wall of his trailer and tell director Ron Howard was he was quitting the film.

Howard quickly enlisted the help of his producer Brian Grazer, who hired a CIA operative specialising in torture training to shepherd Carrey through the emotionally draining makeup process.

It worked, with Carrey eventually agreeing to return to set. He went on to don the Grinch makeup approximately 100 times during the shoot, which he credits primarily to the CIA operative suggesting he chain-smoke as much as possible while wearing the suit (with a very long cigarette holder to prevent the suit’s yak fur from setting ablaze, of course).

2. Melanie Griffith Feared Lions Might Eat Her (And She Was Almost Right) – Roar

Drafthouse Films

This infamous Tippi Hedren-starring 1981 exploitation film revolves around a family being attacked by a fleet of animals in their secluded jungle home, and is often given the dubious credit of the most dangerous film shoot in history.

Production took 11 years in total, with over 70 cast and crew members being injured by the live and often untrained animals on set.

Notably, Hedren received a fractured leg and scalp wounds, director Noel Marshall contracted gangrene from his own injuries, cinematographer Jan de Bont was almost scalped by a lion and required 220 stitches, and assistant director Doron Kauper had his throat bitten open. And that’s just the beginning.

It ultimately became too much for Hedren’s daughter Melanie Griffith, who also played her daughter in the movie. She quit the film after witnessing two lions fighting, telling her mother, “I don’t want to come out of this with half a face.”

Griffith was eventually coaxed back to the production, however, and her fears very nearly came to pass, as she was mauled by a lion while shooting a scene.

The lion only left the actress alone after her brother John leapt on the floor to distract the animal, and Griffith ended up requiring 50 stitches and plastic surgery after initial fears she might lose an eye.

Clearly, Mel should’ve trusted her prior instincts.

1. Rob Morrow Got Fed Up Of All The Production Drama – The Island Of Dr. Moreau

New Line Cinema

While the majority of these stories at least resulted in the actors eventually being sweet-talked into returning to the set, that wasn’t the case with Rob Morrow, who was hired to play the part of U.N. agent Edward Douglas in John Frankenheimer’s notoriously doomed 1996 sci-fi horror The Island of Dr. Moreau.

On just the second day of shooting, Morrow had become fed up with the inclement weather conditions and a set dominated by squabbles between original director Richard Stanley, co-stars Val Kilmer and Marlon Brando, and twitchy studio executives. In tears, Morrow called New Line chairman Bob Shaye and begged to be let go from the film, which Shaye agreed to.

David Thewlis was quickly picked to replace him, though not before Stanley himself was fired on the third day of shooting by New Line execs, and the legendary Frankenheimer replaced him at great expense.

Given the film’s critical and commercial failure, Morrow probably made the right choice, if only for his sanity. All things considered, this is certainly a case of a movie’s insane production being far more interesting and entertaining than the film it actually produced.


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