For most of us, if we showed up high or drunk to our daily jobs, we’d get caught in a second and lose our jobs. Some have mastered the technique of showing up to work under the influence. Others, not so much. For those who work behind the camera, convincing an audience that they’re sober might be the easiest thing they can do. Others perform in roles with characters who are supposed to be drunk or high, so using drugs can sometimes actually help! Of course, there are cases in which acting in a production under the influence could ruin the set and cost an entire shooting day.
Everyone knows someone who struggles with addiction to some sort of substance, and celebrities are not exempt from this alarmingly high statistic. When you’re a celebrity on drugs or alcohol, it’s much more challenging to hide your vice from the public as well. Of course, not everyone who has acted drunk or high necessarily has a substance abuse issue. However, it can be concerning when one starts to alter their state of mind when they’re supposed to be totally focused on the role they’re attempting to play.
Out of all the movies and shows on the list, what do you think is surprising? Some might not shock you at all, as some celebs are known for their substance abuse; others might be unbelievable considering the iconic performances involved. Here are 15 Celebs You Didn’t Know Were Under The Influence While On Screen:
15. Natalie Portman And Mila Kunis In “Black Swan”
One of the hardest roles for acclaimed actress Natalie Portman was her intimate scene with Mila Kunis in the dark film Black Swan. Both Natalie and Mila claimed that they felt uncomfortable during their sex scene together and that they were incredibly nervous to shoot this particular part of the film. In order to overcome their nerves, the actresses found a way to overcome their jitters. They both stated that before filming the scene, they shared a bottle of tequila. For them, to be drunk is actually pretty fitting, as, in the movie, they were in a club before they went home and hooked up at Portman’s home. Although the scene was incredibly difficult for both of them to film, they made it through with some hard liquor and proved that it doesn’t matter if you’re a little under the influence during a shoot as long as you make it through.
14. Daniel Radcliffe In “Harry Potter”
Most of us remember growing up with Daniel Radcliffe and the rest of the cast of the wildly popular movie franchise, Harry Potter. What we don’t remember is how Daniel Radcliffe would actually show up to the set drunk morning after morning. In an interview, he was open to talk about how he fell into a party addiction while shooting the last few movies of the franchise. He states he had a drinking problem and would often go out and spend all night boozing it up with friends. He claimed to never drink on set or while he was shooting various scenes, but when it came to early morning shoots, he was likely still drunk from the night before! This would also lead to him being pretty hungover for the rest of the day. Going back and watching the movies, it’s pretty difficult to see it, but Harry Potter did have it pretty rough so it’s hard to tell what’s acting and what’s real misery.
13. Margot Robbie In “The Wolf Of Wall Street”
Margot Robbie got the role of a lifetime when she was asked to act alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street. Before she got the part, she hadn’t had any huge breakout roles, so this was her time to shine. It’s pretty nerve-racking knowing that you have to work alongside one of the most talented actors, although he wasn’t an Oscar winner at the time. Margot discussed what she used to prepare for such a high-pressure role: tequila. She stated that before her more intimate scenes with DiCaprio, she would take up to three shots of tequila at once. She certainly never showed this side onscreen, but you know what they say: “Tequila makes your clothes fall off,” and hers certainly did. Without the alcohol running through her blood, she might’ve been too nervous to fulfill such a big part!
12. Matthew Perry On “Friends”
Matthew Perry is best known for his role as Chandler on the iconic sitcom Friends. Although most of us remember every moment in the long-running series, the same can’t be said for Matthew Perry. He claims that between seasons 3 and 6, he was high on cocaine for the most part and that he barely remembers any of the filmings. At this time, he went through his whole romance with Kathy and things started to heat up for him and Monica! Looking back on the series now, it’s actually not that difficult to tell when the addiction starts and stops. His weight seriously fluctuates throughout the series, indicating that he’s high when he’s skinny and sober when he has a little extra weight. Today, although he often receives criticism for the weight he’s gained, it’s actually a good sign that he’s no longer forgetting some of the most memorable moments of his life.
11. Jennifer Lawrence In “The Hunger Games”
Although Jennifer Lawrence had an Oscar nomination before even knowing about The Hunger Games, this is still one of the movies that are known for making her as famous as she is today. She pops up on everyone’s celebrity crush list, and it’s harder for her to not get a nomination for a role she plays than it is for some longtime actors to even get a nomination. Something most probably don’t know about her, however, is that she was a little under the influence during one of her most iconic roles as Katniss on The Hunger Games. The actress stated that being on set would be so boring and long sometimes that she would drink Pina Coladas while waiting in her dressing room! At that point, she knew she was so talented and popular that she wouldn’t have trouble finding work. So with no risk, why not drink luxury cocktails in your private dressing room?
10. Charlie Sheen On “Two And A Half Men”
Charlie Sheen being on a list of drug users comes as no surprise to us, in all honesty. The guy has made a name for himself more as a person with an addiction problem than as a talented actor. Some people might go their entire lives without seeing something with Charlie Sheen in it as an actor; however, there’s a good chance they’re aware of all his problems and drama throughout his life. What’s so surprising, however, is that he’s still able to find work and live a comfortable life as a millionaire. If any of us got caught high as a kite at any of our jobs, we’d potentially be arrested depending on the severity of the situation! It’d likely be hard for us to find a replacement job, and the shame and embarrassment we’d get from our friends and family would be devastating! However, most celebrities who go through situations like this don’t have to worry about most of that.
9. Chevy Chase On “SNL”
Before SNL was what it is today, it had a pretty iconic cast and was known for having some of the best comedy television has seen. One of the men responsible for all the laughs was Chevy Chase. Unfortunately, like many older actors, Chevy has found his place in the category of angry racists. There was a time that he was known as the guy who fell a lot. Falling and getting hurt used to be what made Chevy Chase himself on the set of SNL. The unfortunate part is that Chevy actually did feel pain while shooting these scenes, so in an attempt to make it easier to fall and get hit, he started taking painkillers. Unfortunately, he soon found himself an addict and couldn’t make it through a set without popping a pain pill. He has since been to rehab and recovered, but it’s a reminder of the darkness that lies behind some of our most comedic memories.
8. Carrie Fisher In “The Empire Strikes Back”
One of the most iconic roles of all time has to be Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise. Many remember this movie as a staple story to their childhood, and with the revival of the series, a new generation of fans has been born. Although the cast got to be part of one of the most iconic franchises we’ll ever see, they didn’t come without their own problems. Carrie Fisher, the actress who played Leia, has openly discussed her problem with drug addiction, especially during the filming of The Empire Strikes Back. She claimed she didn’t really like cocaine that much, but she still looked for something that would get her high. Carrie had struggled with addiction for a good portion of her life but was never afraid to openly talk about that as well as her mental health, hopefully helping fans who were going through similar problems.
7. Robert Downey Jr. In “Less Than Zero”
Before Robert Downey Jr. became Iron Man, he was known as a bit of a trouble maker. He openly discusses his past with drug addiction and how he made a major comeback after his arrest in the nineties. The movie he claims that started it all was Less Than Zero. He stated that he took drugs and drank alcohol in excess often, but that he never did it on set and would always wait until he was home. However, he claims that this movie kickstarted his use of drugs while working behind the camera, stating that his character was a bit of a loser, so the drug habit was fitting. For almost the next decade, it’s safe to assume that any roles he was in, he was probably portraying under the influence. Fortunately, if anyone is an example of doing a complete 180, it’s Robert Downey Jr.
6. Kevin Spacey In “American Beauty”
Before Kevin Spacey was known for having his own critically acclaimed Netflix series, he was the creepy dad on American Beauty. In this film, Kevin Spacey’s character goes through a bit of a wild phase, beginning to exercise, hitting on teenage girls, and even smoking weed with his neighbor. The director of the film, Sam Mendes, has admitted in an interview that the weed Kevin Spacey is smoking in the movie might not be fake. Most of the time, the marijuana that actors smoke in movies is actually an herbal blend less harmful than tobacco. It doesn’t give you a buzz and isn’t addictive, but it looks similar to weed, so many productions use it as a tool to keep their actors in the mindset of smoking without actually getting high. However, the director hinted that the weed Kevin was smoking was probably real marijuana!
5. Bruce Campbell In “Evil Dead”
Although it’s still talked about today as a standout horror film, The Evil Dead was a pretty weird flick when it first came out. Not many people knew who the people involved in it were, but the same certainly can’t be said today. One of the things that helped this movie be so goofy and different from the rest was the fact that Bruce Campbell was pretty high on marijuana for some of it. He stated that he had heard rumors that Jack Nicholson had smoked over 40 blunts for one of his famous roles, so he thought he’d try the trick of toking to get him some recognition for the role. It certainly worked as people are still talking about the movie today with a recent series revival. Had he not been high during the movie, what happened after it was released might’ve been totally different!
4. Judy Garland In “The Wizard Of Oz”
As we look back on such an iconic movie as The Wizard of Oz, it’s not surprising that there was some drug use involved. Unfortunately, it’s not the tripped out LSD happy trip that you might imagine. Judy Garland was a young actress at the time of the filming, and the producers wanted to keep her fit and peppy. In order to do this, they kept her on a strict diet of coffee and cigarettes. When this proved insufficient as filming got more difficult, they started putting her on a blend of amphetamines and other pills to keep her as tiny and alert as possible. Most of this was done against Judy’s will as she was a vulnerable young actress who just wanted to be famous. Looking back on it now, they might not have made such an iconic film had Judy not been on the drugs. However, drug addiction ultimately led to her death, so was it all worth it?
3. Martin Sheen In “Apocalypse Now”
Apocalypse Now is an incredible film that went through a lot in order to get made. It almost caused the director, Francis Ford Coppola, to commit suicide! The film went way over the projected budget and almost wasn’t even finished! Luckily, it was and is, to this day, known as one of the greatest films of all time. Had it not been for one of the actors being under the influence while filming, it might not have made the list! The main character, played by Martin Sheen, goes through an intense struggle in one of the first scenes as he angrily punches a mirror causing his hand to bleed! Turns out, Martin Sheen was actually drunk while shooting this particular scene! If he had played the role sober, there’s a good chance the same turn of events would not have happened, potentially ruining the rest of the film.
2. Shia LaBeouf In “Lawless”
Lawless was a movie all about moonshine, so it comes as no surprise to find out that one of the men seen drinking the most alcohol onscreen was drinking real moonshine! There have been actors known to sip an occasional brew onscreen, but drinking gulps of moonshine from mason jars is another story! Shia LaBeouf was so rude and bothersome to his costars that one actually almost walked off the screen! However, if he had been drinking water instead of actually drinking strong alcohol, it might’ve ruined the film! One of the most amazing aspects regarding actors who are high or drunk on set is the fact that they’re able to remember most of their lines! They also work incredibly long hours and get very little food or sleep. Going out to the bar and getting home safe is hard enough for some of us, but navigating through a set and playing a serious role is an entirely new challenge.
1. Eminem In “8 Mile”
Aside from being a white rapper, Eminem is also widely known for his serious role on 8-mile, in which he plays himself without all the fame and money. He was pretty open in an interview to describe his relationship with prescription drugs while filming the movie. He stated that the movie forced him to work long and irregular hours, requiring him to sleep as soon as possible when the shoot wrapped for the day. To aide in his sleep, he took an Ambien and quickly realized his love for the drug. He stated that before he knew it, he was taking more than the daily dosage and found himself dependent on the drug. For a character who so heavily emotes pain in his behavior, it seems fitting that the actor would be simultaneously going through his own struggle. He has since recovered from the addiction, but it will still be strange to re-watch the movie knowing of the drug abuse.