Hollywood is a Darwinian landscape that draws some of the most talented, ruthless and dedicated individuals from around the world. The fantastic rewards of a successful career as a Hollywood player causes a few celebrities to behave in a reprehensible manner, especially after actors and directors experience a taste of success in the form of fame and fortune.
Many Hollywood celebrities are able to live and work under the spotlight, enjoying the good life afforded by a successful career in film. Some others don’t seem quite as capable of adjusting to their success – or of monitoring their own egos – causing them to become difficult to work with in movie productions.
At best, inflated egos lead to people behaving badly, causing expensive delays in production due to arguments caused by inconsiderate behavior, failing to show up on time and other general flakiness. At worst, these disagreements escalate to emotional abuse, bullying, physical violence and predatory behaviour that takes advantage of those new to the industry.
The following Hollywood personalities are exactly the sorts of people the industry dreads working with, These are very talented actors, actresses and directors who, in one way or another, have decided to make life difficult for those around them. But, for the most part, their consistent talent outweighs their sometimes negative reputations; ensuring that these Hollywood stars have kept working, while giving their colleagues headaches.
10. Val Kilmer
According to Joel Schumacher, while filming the movie Batman Forever, Val Kilmer decided to treat anyone he considered beneath him – essentially everyone on set – with such disdain that he ended up getting into a physical altercation with the director and avoided speaking with him for two weeks.
On the set of The Island of Dr. Moreau, the first director of the film, who was mysteriously fired three days into filming, noted that Kilmer would show up and immediately start arguments anytime he showed up to film the production. The next director hired for the doomed movie, John Frankenheimer, said “I don’t like Val Kilmer, I don’t like his work ethic, and I don’t ever want to be associated with him ever again.”
9. Tony Kaye
American History X was a powerful film, well-received by critics and audiences alike. Viewers especially appreciated Edward Norton‘s turn as Derek, an ex-Neo-Nazi responsible for horrific, hate-based violence before his reformation.
Yet, right off the bat, director Tony Kaye was not happy with the selection of Edward Norton for the role of Derek, despite the actor’s dedication and skill to the craft. Nonetheless, the two got along well during filming, creating almost 200 hours of film before the editing process.
Inexplicably, after the studio expressed pleasure with the initial editing of the movie, Kaye decided to chop away many of the best parts of the film and took out ads in movie magazines slandering the studio. Then, he bizarrely showed up to a production meeting with a priest, a rabbi and a monk after spending eight weeks hoarding the movie without producing anything resembling a workable final cut.
8. Gwyneth Paltrow
She’s an academy award winner and owner of Goop, a high-end lifestyle website that features articles such as “Mother-Daughter Itineraries in Paris & New York”. Gwyneth Paltrow is considered an arbiter of style, despite the occasional controversy she stirs through quackery such as “vaginal steams” that supposedly promote good genital health.
While those who disagree with Paltrow’s opinions have the option of avoiding her website, those who work with Gwyneth have to deal with a slew of bizarre demands that satisfy her allegedly frivolous and unusual lifestyle. For example; sending someone into a shower with towels to dry any hint of moisture from the facility before she uses it, because she doesn’t want to touch “somebody else’s shower water”. She also only uses freshly unwrapped toilet paper that hasn’t been touched by others.
7. Lindsay Lohan
Lohan has a history of serious personal problems affecting her involvement in various productions. But Oprah Winfrey decided to ignore people who warned her against working with the troubled actress on a reality show focused on Lohan’s recovery from her substance abuse program.
Despite this huge opportunity to resurrect her career, reports surfaced that Lohan nonetheless angered Oprah by failing to engage in production as scheduled. Oprah didn’t shy away from airing her grievances on the show itself, saying that “this is just what everyone warned me would happen.” The media magnate warned Lohan, “my truth is, I really do want you to win … but if that isn’t what you want, I’m okay with that. I will tell these guys to pack up and leave today.”
6. Daniel Day-Lewis (And Other Method Actors)
One of the best, most consistently excellent actors working today is Daniel Day-Lewis, who uses an extreme version of method acting to pull off intense, authentic performances in all of his roles.
He lived in the wilds for half a year in order to prepare for his part in Last of the Mohicans and caught pneumonia during Gangs of New York after refusing to wear proper clothing because the threads in question didn’t exist during the 1800s.
While engaged in filming a production, Daniel is known to stay in character at all times. This means, on-screen nemeses of the actor’s characters typically find themselves in an unfriendly working environment off-screen too.
While filming with Liam Neeson, Daniel continued to refer to his fellow actor by his character’s name while working out, and just plain refused to hang out with Leonardo DiCaprio at all, infuriating the cast members.
5. Katherine Heigl
For some actors and actresses, their growing celebrity ends up inflating their egos to the point where they can do no wrong – while everyone who surrounds them is to blame for everything that doesn’t go right. Katherine Heigl is considered notoriously difficult to work with by many in the industry because of just such an ego.
After her career received a major boost and her paycheck from the movie was cashed in, she decided to criticize Knocked Up as sexist, feeling free to slag the film only after she benefitted from its release.
Incredibly, she also went as far as withdrawing her name from contention for the Emmy awards as a slap in the face to the writers of Grey’s Anatomy; she felt she didn’t deserve the nod due to her perceived lack of screen time. With this movie, she managed to insult both the crew of the television show and the Emmy awards at the same time.
4. David Fincher
Rumor has it that David Fincher is a demanding hardass of a director who manages to produce fantastic results despite bothering his cast. So extreme are his methods that he reportedly inflicted “emotional scars” on actor Jake Gyllenhaal.
This incident took place during the filming of Zodiac. The film was based on the real-life story of the zodiac killer, a serial murderer who terrorised Californians during the 1970s. Fincher went out of his way to tear Gyllenhaal down, demanding repeated takes before ordering the takes deleted from storage.
After the movie was finished, Fincher revealed that the hundreds of takes and offhanded criticism of Jake was part of a psychological experiment to mess with the actor’s emotions. “I hate earnestness in performance,” Fincher remarked, “Usually by take 17 the earnestness is gone.”
3. Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock is a Hollywood icon, who became famous for directing great horror and thriller movies such as Rear Window and Psycho, but he was also known for being the type of guy who tried to seduce women through predatorial means. He routinely offered blonde actresses career opportunities, lessons and advice before falling into obsessive love and attempting to use the casting couch to bully women into bed with him.
Tippi Hedren was one of Hitchcock’s main targets, and when she refused his advances he tried to destroy her career by trapping her into undesirable contracts and slandering her name. He even used real crows to assault her during the filming of The Birds, saying to Tippi, “There is only so much I can teach you through kindness, my dear.”
2. Steven Seagal
Hollywood film sets occasionally become intense environments due to disagreements between talented, type-A personalities who believe in their craft strongly enough to refuse backing down from an opinion. While differences of opinion drive some actors and directors to fisticuffs, a very select few are sociopathically-inclined individuals who commit violent acts randomly, for little to no reason.
John Leguizamo recounts the time when he ran across this type of personality in the form of Steven Seagal. John, who is more than half a foot smaller and a hundred pounds lighter, chuckled at Seagal’s declaration as the alpha male of the film, spurring Seagal to judo throw John against a wall and land a solid elbow into John’s sternum.
This wasn’t the first time Steven couldn’t hold his ego in check. He previously kicked fellow actors in the groin, separated stuntmen’s shoulders and was even rumored to be choked out by Gene LeBell – a martial arts legend – after claiming to be immune to choke holds.
1. David O. Russell
The normally chill George Clooney, noted for his congeniality among the Hollywood elite, couldn’t stand for David O. Russell’s dictatorial behaviour while filming Three Kings, a brilliant movie about the Iraq war during the 1990s.
Constantly pushing for exhausting extra takes, yelling at and demeaning crew members led Clooney to defend everyone from Russell. The action eventually escalated to a headbutt from the director, with George responding by choking the auteur.
While filming American Hustle, Russell abused Amy Adams to the extent that Christian Bale yelled at him, calling him an a******. Sony email leaks revealed that his treatment of cast and crew is getting to the point where no one will work with him, despite his superb filmmaking abilities.
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