While it may seem like a wonderful thing to be a famous person, it can’t be easy being in the public eye all the time, especially if you are under any kind of duress. Whether suffering from mental illness, a traumatic brain injury or simply in need of some down time, celebrities often find their personal issues and episodes exposed for the entire world to see, and in turn, critique. Which—let’s just be honest here—is enough to drive even the sanest person a little wonky, even under the best circumstances. Whether that means a trip to a mental health facility or simply losing it on the paparazzi seems to make little difference to the public—we can be pretty quick to label a celebrity ‘crazy’ before looking into the details, when the truth is that celebrities, like everyone else, are susceptible to life-changing events which can serve to alter their personalities—and the pressure of being in the public eye is something that surely doesn’t help. Although we’re fairly sure that Mel Gibson doesn’t have any excuse for his antics. Like ever.
Here are some of the celebrities that have seemed a little off to us.
10. Faye Dunaway
We wouldn’t say that Faye Dunaway is crazy so much as she just doesn’t take any guff. Consider the time that she allegedly threw a cup of…um…liquid into director Roman Polanski’s face after he didn’t allow her a bathroom break while filming a scene for Chinatown (in her defense, being locked in a car when you have to pee is pretty much unbearable). While the actress has definitely earned her stripes, it is interesting to note her rigidity and lack of patience with interviewers—meaning that she’s been known to give the boot to anyone who doesn’t stick to the script. See her Tweet on May 12, 2014:
“Answering one question per day. Make them great and keep it #Classy. The moment someone asks something inappropriate or rude I will stop.”
9. Mariah Carey
While there’s no doubt that Mariah Carey is a serious singing talent, the beautiful songstress has undoubtedly faced some difficulties over the past decade. After being hospitalized for exhaustion in 2001 following a very public striptease on Carson Daly’s TRL, the New York native’s stability and anger was called into question. Honestly, when you’re the number one female artist of all time, it’s no wonder that she needed a little rest and relaxation—having more number one hits than Elvis Presley is not an easy feat.
8. Gary Busey
It’s that darned smile that gives Gary Busey away. The Point Break actor was enjoying a relatively successful career before he endured a motorbike accident in 1989—without wearing a helmet. The result? His skull was spilt open, and left him with a traumatic brain injury, which also resulted in stricter helmet laws for the state of California. His acting career didn’t seem to suffer, but Busey went on to become addicted to cocaine (which led to an eventual overdose—he has since stayed away from the drug), even going so far as to sniff it off of his dog following an accidental spill. The good news? He seems to be doing a lot better now, although his injury has undoubtedly left him to be very unpredictable.
7. Nicolas Cage
Let’s just start off with the fact that the eccentric star has set it up so that his remains are laid to rest in a nine-foot pyramid that he had custom built in a New Orleans cemetery. Or that he collects rare dinosaur skulls—he actually got into a bidding war with fellow actor Leonardo DiCaprio over one particular piece that ended up costing him $276,000. Or that the Leaving Las Vegas actor actually owns the skull of a sabre-tooth tiger. Either way, we guess that when you’re Nicolas Cage, you don’t sweat the small stuff. Like being married three times, or naming your son after Superman. Or naming yourself after Marvel’s Luke Cage. Whatever works.
6. Naomi Campbell
Let’s just start with how randomly hitting people and throwing objects at people’s heads isn’t normal behaviour (she launched a cell phone at her former assistant’s head). Or how throwing a tantrum (one that resulted in an arrest, while the supermodel spat at people while calling them lovely profanities) on a plane simply because your bags didn’t make the flight is pretty much something that a poorly behaved twelve year old would do. Supermodel or not, Campbell’s behaviour is a little off the beaten path, and makes us wonder if all is right in the veteran supermodel’s world.
5. Britney Spears
Britney Spears went from being a teen idol to giving herself a buzz cut in a hair salon after a stylist refused. The pop star has been through a slew of very public issues, one with ex Kevin Federline—following the spilt, the singer refused to hand over her children (she locked herself, along with her children, in a room), resulting in a voluntary stint at a psychiatric ward. The star, who was once named Forbes’ “The World’s Most Powerful Celebrity,” has since recovered, and has staged a successful comeback. Currently working out of Las Vegas, Spears has openly declared that while an album may be in the works, her role as a mother is her top priority. Good for you, Britney.
4. Lindsay Lohan
Well, here’s to no surprises: Lindsay Lohan went from Disney’s darling to a story that parents tell their children at night as a cautionary tale. The Mean Girls star morphed from a sweet young girl of considerable talent into a troubled actress, openly battling issues with substance abuse while hopping in and out of rehab facilities. Sadly, the paparazzi did little to provide the troubled New York native with any privacy, and every single one of her episodes was well documented by the media, leaving her little room to recoup. Perhaps it was all too much too fast for The Parent Trap star?
3. Amanda Bynes
Remember that sweet girl from Nickelodeon’s The Amanda Show? Well, she retired from acting and decided to start wearing outlandish wigs and took up shouting profanities on Twitter (unfortunately, she’s big on calling fellow celebrities ‘ugly’). If you’re wondering what could have possibly happened to the former child star (who has a DUI and two hit-and-runs under her belt) you’re not alone. While her tweets and odd behaviour have captured the media’s attention, the majority of us failed to acknowledge the symptoms of what has been confirmed (by Bynes herself) to be mental illness—which is a serious issue, and definitely not any easier to deal with when the entire world is watching.
2. Charlie Sheen
This really shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who lives in present day America. After losing what was, at the time, the highest paid gig in television ($1.2 million an episode), the former star of Two and a Half Men went on a televised rampage, claiming that he was both a warlock and had tiger blood. Unfortunately, Charlie Sheen’s very public struggle with substance abuse seemed to garner more attention than ever before, allowing him to capitalize on his downfall. We guess we can just call that “bi-winning.”
1. Mel Gibson
It’s hard to tell if Mel Gibson is a lunatic or just a jerk. While he enjoyed a considerable amount of success early on in his career, his comments about Jewish people (blaming them for all the wars in the world during a DUI arrest in 2006), gays and lesbians and about, well, every race other than Caucasian, were inexcusable, not to mention out of left field. And while most of his statements are really just too graphic to mention here, it’s also worth examining how poorly he treated his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, and mother of his child, following their break-up—let’s just say general comments included the words “pig in heat.” Lunatic or not, the Passion of the Christ star is just plain old mean.