Just imagine, you’re an actor and you’ve got it all—money, cars and people who pretend they’re your friend. You’ve got a steady job for the foreseeable future, whether it be on a hit TV show or in a big film. You have security and it feels great. What more could you ask for? Things could not get any better. Then, in the euphoria of all your good fortune, you get a swift kick in the face from reality. You’ve been fired. How did things change so quickly? They say that you’ve got a touch of the crazy. You’re not quite as amazing as you thought, as your friends told you that you were. Why nay?
This is exactly how it went down, more or less, for some of your favorite stars. You may have thought they were flawless, but you were wrong. We often are. The stars on this list made a bad decision or two somewhere along the way; maybe they made many, many bad decisions along the way. No matter how many bad decisions they made, though, they were fired because of them. In an instant, they went from stars with a job to stars with no job, like a cloudy night. God, that was beautiful. Here are the craziest of the bunch, the 15 stars who went crazy and got themselves fired.
15. Anne Hathaway – Knocked Up
It’s not crazy to say you don’t want to do a frontal nudity shot in a movie. It’s a little crazy to say you don’t want to do a frontal nudity shot in a film when you’ve showed your bare breasts for other movies. It’s really crazy to say that you don’t want to do a frontal nudity shot in a movie when the film plans to show a vagina that isn’t even yours crowning in childbirth. This is Anne Hathaway’s claim for what happened on set for the movie Knocked Up. She said that she didn’t want to do a childbirth scene because she had never experienced real childbirth. Isn’t that what acting is? You act like you’re experiencing childbirth, but you don’t actually have to give birth on camera. She says this like it’s an honorable thing for real mothers everywhere. Had Hathaway really been a prostitute before playing Fantine in Les Miserables? I certainly hope so. We wouldn’t want the performance to be disingenuous. Hathaway was fired and replaced with Katherine Heigl, making Heigl a popular choice in Hollywood for a year afterward. Thanks for that, Anne.
14. Suzanne Sommers – Three’s Company
Suzanne Sommers, star of The Home Shopping Network and the Thighmaster commercials, used to actually be a major TV star. It’s true! Originally she was a megastar on Three’s Company with John Ritter. Unfortunately for her career, Sommers worked up the nerve to challenge the Hollywood gender pay gap in the 80s. After four seasons on the show, she demanded a 500% pay raise to equal the pay of comedy legend John Ritter. It was a brave move but a foolish move. They whittled Sommers’ screen time down to almost nothing that season and finally worked her off completely. After that, despite some odd appearances here and there, Sommers’ career was effectively over. Ah well.
13. Jean-Claude Van Damme – Predator
Remember when Jean-Claude Van Damme was the Predator in Predator? Well, if you’re just finding it out now, oh boy you’re in for a treat. The story goes that Van Damme, fresh from Belgium with big dreams of becoming an action movie star, came to the set of Predator expecting to have a large role. He apparently was not told that he would need to dress up in a big red suit, a suit that would be hidden with the magic of cameras, but Van Damme was confused about the entire thing. He complained relentlessly about the look of the suit, saying he looked like a superhero; he thought this was what he would look like in the final cut. Then came the rubber suit, the big mechanical, dorky looking early mockup of the Predator’s costume. This suit made Van Damme even more uncomfortable, saying he felt unsafe jumping and running in it. Eventually he was replaced and so was the god awful first suit. I guess it’s not crazy, but it’s a little hilarious.
12. Columbus Short – Scandal
Columbus Short, star of the TV show Scandal, must have felt that his real life was a little too scandal-less (see what I did there?). Nah, it’s really no joking matter. Short actually went psychotic. This is a guy who’s been arrested on assault charges and domestic abuse charges quite a few times. The last one, the one that resulted in a restraining order from his wife and him being fired from the show, was because he held a knife to his wife’s throat and threatened to kill her. You know, he doesn’t really sound like that nice of guy. We can all hope that the next time he’s arrested he’ll get a worse punishment than just losing a job. It would be comforting to know that he’ll never work in Hollywood again, but knowing how it all works makes that very unlikely.
11. Peter Dinklage – Destiny
When Peter Dinklage was announced as the voice as a companion in the video game Destiny, fans were ecstatic. This is, after all, Tyrion Lannister. However, after game players actually heard the actor’s awkward line delivery, there was quite a bit of backlash. Did Tyrion just mail his performance in? Then, all of a sudden, when the expansion came out, Dinklage was gone. Now, the game makers suggest that their decision to have Nolan North redo all of the lines of dialog for the game’s expansion has only to do with Tyrion’s busy schedule, but that sounds like a bunch of baloney. Clearly they hated his voice and decided to replace him with someone who actually tried to make it sound convincing. In the end, Dinklage must have been crazy to think his weak performance would be acceptable. I guess it’s true what they say, a Lannister always pay his debts. Actually that doesn’t work so well here.
10. Judy Garland – Valley of the Dolls
When Judy Garland was first cast in the role of Helen Lawson in Valley of the Dolls, it seemed like a near perfect match, albeit an ironic one. After all, it was widely rumored that the character of Neely O’Hara was actually based on Garland’s real life. Now, Garland has a pretty tragic story, but we won’t get into all that here. Let’s just say that, in the early days of shooting for the film, Garland would show up late, drunk and disorderly. Reports suggest that getting anything completed with her on set was next to impossible. Eventually the filmmakers let her go because of her vices and her problems, all vices and problems that her character was supposed to have. Maybe she was just method acting. Maybe she was just too real.
9. Shannen Doherty – Beverly Hills, 90210 & Charmed
Shannen Doherty has been accused of being a spoiled brat by nearly everyone that she’s ever worked with. Look up any most-hated celebrity lists and you’ll be sure to see her name. Jason Priestley from Beverly Hills, 90210 claims that she complained once about being picked up in a Lincoln Town car and not a limo. She apparently took any chance she could get to whine. For that she was canned from the show. There’s also the long-running feud with co-star Alyssa Milano on the set of Charmed. Rumor has it that Doherty was eventually removed from the show because of her attitude and the constant drama surrounding the shoots.
8. Megan Fox – Transformers Franchise
You may have noticed that, after Transformers 2, that eye candy that was Megan Fox had been replaced by eye candy Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. You ever wonder why? Probably not, but I’ll tell you anyways. In a magazine interview, Fox compared Michael Bay, the Jewish born and raised Michael Bay, to Adolf Hitler. Interesting figure to choose Megan, well done. Once the article was released and people read it, Fox was fired. Apparently it was producer Steven Spielberg, director of such classics as Schindler’s List, that suggested to Bay that he fire Fox. He would later hire her back for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for some odd reason, but that’s neither here nor there.
7. Isaiah Washington – Grey’s Anatomy
When Grey’s Anatomy star, Isaiah Washington called his co-star T.R. Knight a homophobic slur, the showrunners were quick to axe him from the cast. Later, at the Golden Globes, Washington defended himself, saying that he never called T.R. a (insert that same homophobic slur here). Clever boy, Washington. Say you never called someone a brutally offensive name, but use the same word on a widely seen awards show… Oooh this guy is a real winner. Since then, Washington has apologized and has even been invited back to show. He says he has struggled to fight off bigots who want to embrace him. They recognize you as one of their own Knight. You are one of their own. Shout it out loud! They love me. They really love me!
6. Damon Wayans – Saturday Night Live
In Damon Wayans‘ first year on the hit comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live, he made one huge decision that ended with him being fired from the show. Young, ambitious and angry about having his comedic choices stifled, Wayans decided to go way off script in a live sketch. Rather than play a straight cop, Wayans made the character flamboyantly gay, something the SNL team were not happy about. It wasn’t about the nature of the character, it was about an actor going rogue, which is really a time bomb for improvisational comedy. It’s believed that Lorne Michaels, the show’s creator, was trying to shelter Wayans from coming across too much like Eddie Murphy, so soon after the legend’s departure from SNL. They wanted to build Wayans up slowly in front of audiences, rather than throw him to the wolves. Now this whole shebang didn’t end up ruining Wayans’ career because he fell standing up right onto In Living Color, but it certainly was risky and something he actually thinks was pretty naïve today.
5. Ryan Gosling – Lovely Bones
When Ryan Gosling was first cast as Susie Salmon’s father, Jack Salmon, he pictured the character at about 210 lbs, a 60lb increase from the weight he was at. He just never told the director, Peter Jackson, what he thought. He simply went home and started melting Hagen Dazs ice cream down and drinking it, for real. He went and guzzled so much melted ice cream that he gained 60 lbs of pure fat. Then, when he showed up to shoot, they fired him. Now Gosling was fat and unemployed. After Gosling went home to drink more ice cream, Jackson hired Mark Wahlberg and that was that. One crazy decision cost Gosling a job. He would be alright in the end.
4. Charlie Sheen – Two and a Half Men
Charlie Sheen‘s crazy antics have been very well documented. Yet, his attacks on Two and a Half Men show creator Chuck Lorre were a little more crazy than usual. Sheen went on an anti-Semitic rant, calling Lorre all sorts of names, including things like maggot, a bleep and a bleeping bleep. He also physically threatened him numerous times. Needless to say, the show fired Sheen and sent him on his crazy way. That wasn’t enough to keep Sheen down though. His fire-breathing fists and the tiger’s blood coursing through his veins made sure he would be just alright. Not acting in anything of consequence, mind you, but alright either way. Sheen isn’t just crazy. He redefined the term.
3. Harvey Keitel – Apocalypse Now
The legend says that Harvey Keitel, fresh of a great performance in Mean Streets, was cast as Captain Willard in Apocalypse Now, but was fired because he struggled to play the character as a passive person. You might think, so why does this make Keitel crazy? He didn’t really do anything wrong to get fired. You’re right. He didn’t. If he didn’t get fired, though, he would have gone crazy. See where I’m going with this? Yeah, it’s a stretch. Whatever. Martin Sheen came on and replaced Keitel, and he basically went crazy on set. Buddy had a nervous breakdown and suffered a heart attack. There are so many different stories about how trying the film shoot was and how difficult it was for everyone involved. It’s been said that Apocalypse Now isn’t only about Vietnam. It is Vietnam.
2. Richard Gere – Lords of Flatbush
Richard Gere wasn’t fired from the set of Lord of Flatbush for going crazy like yelling and throwing things. Gere was fired because he was crazy enough to eat a greasy chicken sandwich in Sylvester Stallone’s Toyota after Rocky had told him very clearly not to. Not only did Gere shrug off the warning with “don’t worry about it,” he eventually dropped a big gob of grease right on Sly’s leg. A few pushes and an elbow in the head from Rambo later, and Gere was outside of Stallone’s Toyota with a handful of greasy sandwich, soon to be fired from the set. Stallone gave the filmmakers an ultimatum, me or him. The choice was easy and the lesson is clear: that’s what you get for messing around with the Italian Stallion.
1. Lindsay Lohan – Like, Four Different Movies
I think there’s a part of Lindsay Lohan that’s always been crazy, like even during The Parent Trap, but as soon as the booze and drugs touched her lips, she really went at crazy hard. Beginning in 2007, Lohan started going downhill and fast. It’s probably more difficult to list the jobs that Lohan was fired from than the roles that she actually somehow kept. But we like horror stories. The lost roles started with The Edge of Love, which Lohan was removed from because she wasn’t insurable. Then rehab kept her out of A Woman of No Importance. After her second DUI arrest, Lohan was then replaced from the film Poor Things. Later, in 2011, Lohan was fired from The Other Side because she wasn’t “bankable.” And finally, she was fired from Inferno, the Linda Lovelace biopic, again because she was uninsurable. Classy gal, that Lohan.