While celebrities are being paid to act like lovers or friends on the big screen, behind the scenes, they may not be as happy as they appear. Plenty of feuds have become known to the public and have gone down in celebrity smackdown history. Though, several of Hollywood’s beloved actors have also left sets before even stepping foot on them.
Actors have flat out left movie sets, walked away from franchises, and have refused to work with fellow actors again following on-set feuds. Hey, it happens. Sometimes people just don’t get along with each other. Though, when it comes to having big names and millions of dollars on the line, the line between negotiation and strictly walking away becomes pretty muddled.
To be fair, actors don’t just walk off of movie sets either. When it comes to interviewers or reporters turning promotional interviews into something more than that, some actors walk off set mid-spot due to their frustration.
So, whether it was salary disputes, arguments with co-stars or disapproval of jokes, here are 15 actors who walked away from interviews, franchises (and even their film careers) for good.
15. Crispin Glover Demanded More Money And Script Influence
You might recognize Crispin Glover as the “creepy thin man” from Charlie’s Angels or River’s Edge which also stars Keanu Reeves. But Glover is perhaps most recognized for his role as George McFly, Marty McFly’s cowardly dad in Back to the Future.
While we all adored watching George finally clock Biff, audiences didn’t get to see too much more of Glover after the first installment. There are conflicting reports as to why Glover left but Glover claims that he lost interest in the project. Though, writers Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis claimed that Glover wanted more money and that he requested an approval of the script. Glover stepped away from the role and was replaced by Jeffrey Weissman.
14. Bill Murray Refused To Appear In Sequel For Charlie’s Angels Because Of Actress
Bill Murray usually plays the lovable character that audiences find themselves rooting for.
Though, on the set of Charlie’s Angels, Murray refused to reprise his role as Bosley for the second instalment. While on set, Murray and co-star Lucy Liu feuded over him claiming that she couldn’t act. Liu didn’t take too well to his criticisms and it was reported that she threw punches. However, Murray later said that the argument had with Liu was exactly that and merely got exacerbated through the media.
Murray walked away from the franchise due to his distaste in another co-star, who he refused to name. While he claims it isn’t Liu, Murray said, “That same person was going to be involved in the second one, so I wasn’t going to show up again.”
13. Janet Hubert Calls Smith A Snotty-Nosed Punk
Known for her role as Aunt Vivian on the popular 90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Janet Hubert played the role for three years before a sudden recasting left audiences confused.
In a 1993 interview, Will Smith said Hubert wanted “the show to The Aunt Viv of Bel-Air show,” adding that, “[…] She said once, I’ve been in the business for 10 years and this snotty-nosed punk comes along and gets a show.’”
Several years later during an interview, Hubert commented that her departure was planned for a long time. She added that “There will never be a reunion of the Fresh Prince. Will Smith and Alfonso destroyed a 20-year career with untruths. I got slammed. Will apologized later in an Essence Magazine article, but it still lingers.”
12. Indigenous Extras Feel Disrespected On The Ridiculous 6
On the set of Adam Sandler’s film, The Ridiculous 6, inappropriate jokes made on set and throughout the script encouraged several Indigenous extras to walk off set.
Allison Young, one of the actresses who walked away from the film, described the film industry as still possessing their racist undertones as “nothing has changed” regarding how Indigenous people are treated. “We are still just Hollywood Indians,” she said.
Actor David Hill also left, explaining that the actors understood the movie was a comedy but they would not tolerate disrespect. When concerns were brought to the crew, producers allegedly told the actors that if they were so sensitive, they should leave.
11. Sean Connery Quit Acting Because League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Was So Bad
This list is geared towards actors who have walked off sets but Sean Connery’s departure from the film industry is just too interesting.
Connery had graced the big screen for decades before calling it quits following his final disaster. After his flop in A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Connery walked away from movies permanently. He starred as Allan Quatermain who teams up with various supernatural beings to embark on a mission. The movie was as boring as the plot and after receiving negative reviews across the board, Connery left his career behind with the hopes that audience members would remember him for his roles in Dr. No, Goldfinger, and The Untouchables rather than the movie that singlehandedly removed one of Hollywood’s greatest actors from the big screen. We’re sure there were plenty of frustrating days while making the movie.
10. Will Ferrell Stepped Away From Reagan Role After Controversy
Notable funny man Will Ferrell has starred in several roles that either make us roll our eyes at the ridiculousness of it all or wind up making us laugh. While critics didn’t love Stepbrothers and Anchorman, audiences kept flocking to watch Ferrell reprise his role in comedic films. Though, when it came time for him to step into a more serious role, Ferrell dropped out before his role even began.
Reagan was set to star Ferrell at one point but he revoked his position days before it was officially announced due to received backlash. Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis commented on how there was no humor in the final days of her father’s life. Ferrell’s spokesperson told Page Six that he would be dropping out of the project.
9. Christian Bale Refused To Play Steve Jobs
Christian Bale is pretty much known for doing what it takes to gear up for a role and rock the part. The chameleon starred in The Machinist, Fighter, and Christopher Nolan’s Batman series, all of which required some intense changes. However, there was one role that Bale couldn’t see himself doing.
Bale admitted that he didn’t believe he was right for the part of Steve Jobs in Danny Boyle’s film Steve Jobs. He dropped out and Boyle himself commented on how Bale believed that he couldn’t see himself taking on the role. Jobs’ wife allegedly called several actors who were interested in the role and told them not to take the part. She also tried to get the project canceled, which is something that a Sony executive had confirmed. While he may not have stormed out, this was still one of the biggest moments of controversy around Bale and a potential part and we’re sure those calls from Jobs’ wife may not have had the nicest tone!
The role eventually went to Michael Fassbender.
8. Terrence Howard Blamed RDJ For Being Replaced
Donning the role of James Rhodes in the first Iron Man, Terrence Howard chose not to return for the sequel. The reason? Salary disputes.
On Watch What Happens: Live Howard explained that, “It turns out that the person that I helped become Iron Man, when it was time to re-up for the second one, took the money that was supposed to go to me and pushed me out.” He added that he tried to call Downey Jr. asking for an explanation. Howard alleges that he didn’t receive a response back and that Downey Jr. took the millions owed to him while pushing Howard out of the project. The alleged low-ball deal offered Howard $1 million despite the $8 million that was laid out in his contract.
7. Katherine Heigl Demanded More Screen-Time On Grey’s Anatomy
It might be hard to recognize Katherine Heigl outside of her role as Izzie Stevens on Grey’s Anatomy and there’s a good reason why. After her departure from the show, Heigl has starred in less than favorable movies with critics and her recent NBC show State of Affairs didn’t make it past its first season.
But before her career took a dip she starred in the fan-favourite television show for years before departing. Amid rumors from Ellen Pompeo and Shonda Rhimes, reasons behind the departure allege from wanting more money as a big screen actress and being difficult to work with. Heigl also admitted in an interview that with the size of the cast, everyone was looking out for themselves but that sometimes meant having to grovel for more screen time.
6. Courtney Thorne-Smith Upset Over Weight Concerns
At the height of her career, Courtney Thorne-Smith segued from her role on Melrose Place to make a name for herself in other television shows such as Ally McBeal and According to Jim.
But, when she played Georgia on Ally McBeal, the actress decided it was time to leave due to the pressure placed on women to lose weight. Thorne-Smith was cast in a nude scene and the pressure placed to lose weight was the final straw for her. “I remember Gil [Bellows] said ‘You look good,’ and I was like, ‘I’d better. I haven’t had a piece of chicken in five days.’ There was something terribly wrong with that.”
5. Pamela Anderson Furious After Pre-Fame Photo Emerged
Keith Lemon, host of Celebrity Juice has alleged that Pamela Anderson walked out on him mid-interview after being shown an old photograph of herself before she rose to fame.
Lemon claims that after being shown the photo, Anderson grabbed her belongings and walked out without explanation. She expressed her anger to a producer backstage explaining that she has clearance on all of her photos and that she was upset the photograph was even shown. Lemon added that Anderson didn’t apologize or excuse herself before making her way off the set.
4. Robert Downey Jr. Doesn’t Want To Talk About His Past
In a 2015 interview with Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Robert Downey Jr. cut his time short by walking out of an interview after questions surfaced of his past.
In what was supposed to be an interview promoting his latest Avengers flick, Guru-Murthy veered off course and started questioning Downey Jr. on his “dark past.” The actor quickly reacted and questioned what was becoming of the interview. Though, Downey Jr. didn’t give Guru-Murthy much time to provide an explanation. He promptly walked out of the interview and told him, “It’s just getting a little Diane Sawyer in here.”
3. Justin Bieber Doesn’t Appreciate Being Asked If Harry Styles Is Seducing His Mom
In 2012, Justin Bieber was scheduled for a phone interview with Mojo in the Morning, which he took part in. Though, Bieber didn’t take too kindly to a mom joke.
Host Mojo first compared Bieber to that of Justin Timberlake in his new single “Boyfriend.” He then proceeded to ask Bieber if he was afraid of then-One Direction frontman Harry Styles seducing his mother. Before Mojo could continue, Bieber had hung up.
The DJ was quickly penalized with a suspension and the interview was pulled off their website. He then disappeared from Twitter for a while after announcing his suspension on the social media platform. Though, fans found a way to upload the interview to YouTube, which is where the cringe-worthy interview is available.
2. Robert Pattinson Has No Interest In Talking About Kristen Stewart
Robert Pattinson may have kept his cool but sometimes all it takes is a publicist to pull you from an interview that was quickly going south.
Back when Twilight was still popular, Pattinson sat down with Ryan Seacrest for an interview. It only took a few minutes before Seacrest asked Pattinson about him and Kristen Stewart. Pattinson’s publicist promptly told him that it was time to leave. Pattinson thanked everyone for having him and jokingly plugged his film while Seacrest and the publicist squabbled the whole time.
1. Jennifer Lopez And Mariah Hate On Minaj, Carey Calls Her Satan
After starring as a guest judge for several seasons on American Idol, Lopez walked out on the show due to an interest in spending more time with family and wanting to focus on other ventures.
When news hit about Lopez’s salary on the show ($15 million for her first season), rumors started regarding her real reason for leaving. Sources alleged that Lopez wanted more money despite being given a raise for the second season and that she couldn’t work out a deal. She also had some beef with Nicki Minaj when the singer jokingly requested that she wanted to be a guest judge after performing “Starships.” She proceeded to ask J-Lo to “scoot over” on the panel to which she replied, “I don’t think there’s enough room for the two of us.”
Minaj also ran into some trouble with Mariah Carey when the two worked as judges on the show in season 12. Rumors began of a feud between the two when Carey said her time on the show was like “Going to work every day in hell with Satan.”
In fact, when Carey was asked in an interview about how she felt working alongside she Minaj, she didn’t hold back saying it was like “Going to work every day in hell with Satan.”