If you’ve got a favorite show (or shows), or a movie that you’ve been looking forward to seeing, it can be disappointing when you learn that the star of the project has been fired. This is particularly disheartening if you have a crush on the actor or actress, or if you simply admire his/her work. While there are many reasons that an actor or actress may no longer be working on a show or movie, some of them are completely ridiculous and could have been avoided.
Perhaps it’s not a rumor that people in Hollywood have egos and strange demands that can sometimes lead them to make rash decisions. Maybe it’s true that producers decide they want to work with an actor, and then they change their minds for no apparent reason, leaving the actor and his/her fans bewildered. There are also times when an actor will commit some minor act (on or off set) that is blown out of proportion and costs the actor his/her job. Whatever the motive, it’s easy to see that sometimes people in Hollywood are fired for strange and silly reasons, just like “regular” people. Here are 14 instances you may not know about.
14. Diva Emma
Recently, WWE star Diva Emma walked out of Walmart with an iPad case she didn’t pay for. The case was a little over $20. After Diva Emma got a plea deal the WWE decided that she wasn’t a good match for the organization, since petty theft is usually not a good look in the workplace. Never mind that the WWE consists largely of people who make their living smashing chairs over their colleagues’ heads, so it’s not likely that Emma would be ruining the brand’s reputation. Shortly after the incident, the WWE rehired Emma. The organization did, however, state that they will take “appropriate punitive action for her violation of the law.” Hopefully, by now they’ve figured out that the situation wasn’t that serious to begin with.
13. James Purefoy
Dashing dramatic actor, James Purefoy is perhaps best known for his work on The Following. He was also supposed to star in the movie V for Vendetta. According to a rumor, he was fired from the project because he didn’t want to wear a mask. Maybe Purefoy didn’t want to hide his handsome face and piercing eyes. Perhaps he wasn’t a fan of Guy Fawkes, and didn’t want to wear a mask of his likeness.
12. Megan Fox
When Megan Fox was overheard saying that Transformers director Michael Bay was “like Hitler,” she lost her job in the third instalment of the movie series. Sure, he could have pulled her to the side and reprimanded her for making such an insensitive remark. However, it seems that maybe completely firing her from the movie would send the message to other actors that they’d better watch their mouths.
11. Stuart Townsend
Viggo Mortensen is the actor who plays Aragorn in the Lord of The Rings trilogy, but the role originally belonged to Stuart Townsend. Townsend spent 8 weeks learning sword fighting in order to be memorable in the role, but before the first day of filming, he was abruptly fired from the movie. Apparently, Stuart Townsend looked too young for the role of Aragorn. This is still baffling to Lord of The Rings buffs. After all, both actors look youthful, and the studio shouldn’t have let Townsend train for the role if his place in the movie wasn’t set in stone.
There was a time when Madonna was a struggling dancer who just wanted to make it big in the music business. It was during this time that she got a job at Dunkin’ Donuts. Her first day on the job, she accidentally squirted jelly on a customer while filling the doughnuts. Apparently, her first day was also her last day. We think the popular restaurant chain was too extreme with their reprimanding of Madonna. The company could have just offered the customer a free doughnut. However, maybe this was part of the path Madonna needed to take to become the Queen of Pop.
9. Richard Gere
There was a time when silver fox Richard Gere and Italian tough guy Sylvester Stallone, were hired to work on a movie together. The Lords of Flatbush was the name of the movie, and the two actors weren’t well known in Hollywood yet. Unfortunately, they had some personality clashes. According to a rumor, during a lunch break on set, Gere got mustard on Stallone’s pants when they were both eating in Stallone’s car. As a result, the Rocky star elbowed Gere in the face before kicking him out of the vehicle. This is far from an appropriate response for a simple mistake, so we’re guessing that the two were feuding way before the lunch incident. Sylvester Stallone then gave the movie director an ultimatum, stating that either he would leave or Richard had to go. As a result, Gere was fired.
8. Eddie Vedder
Eddie Vedder will always be known as the lead singer of Pearl Jam. However, he may not have this legendary status if he wasn’t fired from his job as a security guard. Apparently, it’s not a good idea to play your guitar while on duty, but Vedder was obviously not aware of this. Or, maybe he just didn’t care and thought that an at-work jam session would help him pass the time. Maybe he was trying to make the people in the area feel safer. Okay, so we have to admit that a guitar solo probably isn’t appropriate when you’re on the job, and your job is not that of a guitar player. However, a simple warning to not play guitar while at work could have sufficed.
7. Lucille Ball
The red-headed comedy legend will always be remembered for her uncanny knack for getting into trouble in the most hilarious ways. However, before Lucille Ball hit it big in television, she had a job at an ice cream parlor. She was fired from her job because she couldn’t seem to remember to put the bananas on the banana splits. While she could have probably been given at least one more chance to get it right, it’s obvious that she wasn’t meant to work there for long, anyway. Clearly, she was dreaming of being an actress so much that she couldn’t even complete the most basic of ice cream-related tasks.
6. Ryan Gosling
If you’re a fan of Ryan Gosling’s boyish good looks and chiseled physique, you probably can’t imagine why someone would fire Gosling from a movie. However, the Canadian hunk was let go from a movie because he gained weight. For Gosling’s role in The Lovely Bones, he decided to put on 60 pounds because he thought it would make him appear more mature. However, the director disagreed with his choice, and he was fired from the movie. Mark Wahlberg took his place. The lesson in this is that your looks are very important as an actor. So, it’s a bad idea to change your appearance without checking with the director first. Still, Gosling could have just lost the weight and played the role.
5. Steve Perry
Steve Perry used to be the lead singer of the band Journey. However, when he broke his hip in the 1990s, the band replaced him with a singer from a Journey cover band! This happened just before the band was about to go on tour, so it’s understandable that they had to do something quickly so they wouldn’t have to cancel performances. Perry reportedly didn’t make many public appearances after this. Maybe he was hurt that his band members would permanently kick him out of the group, just for having a broken hip. After all, that is kind of harsh.
4. Walt Disney
The man whose entire entertainment empire developed from an animated mouse with a squeaky voice was once jobless. Disney actually worked for a newspaper before his name became synonymous with some of the greatest children’s movies and shows in the world. While at the paper, he was let go because his superiors didn’t think he was creative enough. It’s a good thing he didn’t listen, otherwise you may not have some of your most pleasant childhood memories, such as watching the magic of Cinderella, the love story of Beauty and The Beast, or the hilarity of newer movies like Frozen.
3. Christian Bale
Christian Bale is a British actor who is kind of known for going on psychotic tirades while on movie sets. He was hired to play Patrick Bateman in the movie American Psycho. The hit movie chronicled an up-and-coming Wall Street worker in the 1980s with a psychopathic, murderous alter ego. After he landed the role, Bale was fired, and no one really knew why. Leonardo DiCaprio was hired in Christian Bale’s place, but DiCaprio had to back out of the role due to the success of Titanic. So, that left the role for the lead in American Psycho open again. Ewan McGregor was then offered the role, but he declined. Since the studio was out of choices, they decided to rehire Bale, and this is one of his most noted roles to date. Looks like his original reason for being fired wasn’t that major.
2. Michael Anthony
Michael Anthony is a musician who is known for playing in the band Chickenfoot. He used to play bass for Van Halen, but apparently, he was fired from the band for being friends with Sammy Hagar. Perhaps we’re not aware of rock star etiquette. So, you’re not allowed to be friends with a musician in a band, unless you are also in that band? Also, are all the people in your band required to be friends with all of your friends? It all sounds pretty juvenile, and we’re guessing there’s more to the story, but it doesn’t sound like friendship is a reason to lose your job.
1. Damon Wayans
Damon Wayans is a part of the large comedy family The Wayans, and is a stand-up comedian, writer, actor and producer. It is rumored that he was hired to be a part of the cast of Saturday Night Live back in the day, but was fired immediately after his first scene. This apparently took place in the 1980s, shortly after Eddie Murphy left the show. Wayans stated that the skit he was in called for him to play a straight cop, but he decided to give the character a bit more flair. As soon as the scene was over, Lorne Michaels fired him. Wayans later stated that the character didn’t come across as funny because he was angry that he wasn’t getting much creative freedom on the show. He states that Michaels limited his comedic decisions on the show because he didn’t want the comic to be seen as the next Eddie Murphy. While Damon Wayans can appreciate Lorne Michael’s intentions now, firing him abruptly probably wasn’t the best choice.