The MCU now occupies several of the top spots of highest-grossing movies. It has completely taken over the film industry. The latest film, Black Panther, is on track to be one of the highest domestic grossing films ever, and the other MCU films certainly have been huge hits. Its characters have become cultural staples, beloved by fans around the world. It's a money-making machine, and, despite being a risk upfront, is now the most reliably-earning franchise in the stable of a company with quite a few of them. MCU has revolutionized films, especially franchises and the superhero genre.
But there's a bit going on behind the scenes. Its cast members, despite being in films that need to appeal to everybody, have a few things that run counter to the series' squeaky clean reputation. These films have become cultural phenomena, so these things can prose a problem for the success of the franchise. Some of them are personal skeletons in the closet, others are professional, others are so spectacular— they're kind of both. Just as a disclaimer, none of the innumerable Chrises in the series are here. With them, Disney wanted bland, safe leading men, and they got them. However, the same can't be said for the whole cast.
15 Robert Downey Jr. Had A Really Tough Life
Imagine getting a time machine and heading back to the '90s. There’s a huge list of things that the people would be astonished by, but the fact that Disney corporations biggest, most profitable franchise was anchored and led by Robert Downey Jr, of all people, would definitely be up there.
Robert Downey Jr’s troubled years stretched right across that decade. He was in and out of rehab, was arrested repeatedly for offences surrounding illegal substances, and was even caught driving around with a .357 Magnum revolver in his car.
It has a happy ending, obviously, because he got clean and is a massive star now. It’s hard to remember now just what a risky thing it was to have him play Iron Man. In fact, one of the bigger costs was the film’s insurance, since no one thought RDJ could make it through the movie without relapsing.
14 Gwyneth Paltrow Gives Bad Health Advice To Fans
Gwyneth Paltrow is a living comedy sketch about out of touch celebrities. Her career, or at least its beginning, was largely the product of nepotism (the Steven Spielberg is her godfather) and she has, apparently, learned nothing on her journey through life. There was the time when she couldn’t believe people overacted to 9/11 and another where she was equally unbelieving that other working moms (who are not billionaires) couldn’t find the time to do as many sit-ups as she could.
However, all of that pales in comparison to her range of very stupid products she sells, which range from harmlessly dumb (crystals that need to be placed in… intimate areas in order to improve your chakras) right through to fake cures. It’s surprising there aren’t more laws to prevent this.
13 Terence Howard Has Many Accusations Made Against Him
There’s a good chance that you’ve forgotten that Terence Howard was in the first Iron Man since he’s long since been replaced by Don Cheadle. It was a surprise at the time, especially since Howard was on a real hot streak. He was extremely bitter about it and would rant any time he was asked, angrily pointing out that he had been contracted for several films and dumped after one.
Then, it became clearer why it had happened— Terrence Howard is a very unique person. Alongside his terrible taste in hats (he has so many of them), he would also describe himself as "medium maintenance," while boasting of his 500-a-day push-up routine. He invented a philosophy called Terryology, which proves that one multiplied by one is two and why bubbles are round (he won’t tell anyone though).
Don’t, however, think that he’s charmingly eccentric or something. It surfaced that he has multiple allegations of assault, both on his wives and other random unfortunates who’ve crossed his path. The decision to drop him makes perfect sense now.
12 Mickey Rourke Struggled For A Long Time
When Mickey Rourke was cast as the villain Whiplash in the highly anticipated, Iron Man 2, the narrative parallels in the film were easy to match in the real world. Much like RDJ, Mickey Rourke had had a… troubled career. There’s a point where he easily could have been the biggest star in the world, but instead, decided he’d rather spend his time drinking and fighting.
He briefly retired from acting in the early '90s and become a pro-boxer (the reverse of the usual course). He was beaten up a decent amount and his once-famous looks becoming steadily craggier. At the same time, there were rambling, incoherent interviews and rumors about substance abuse, alongside his passionate campaigns to stop IRA assassins from going to prison.
However, for whatever reason, directors still wanted to give him work, culminating in an Oscar nom in 2008. Iron Man 2 came as the pinnacle of an unlikely career renaissance for Rourke in 2010.
Unlike RDJ, though, it was only a brief respite. He went back to his insane ways and in his 60's, has had boxing fights in Russia against homeless men with the blessing of Vladimir Putin. Nothing in that insane sentence is an exaggeration.
11 Natalie Portman Doesn't Always Tell The Truth
Someone needs to explain to Portman, who is in the first two Thor movies, that it’s okay to do a bit of acting sometimes. She doesn’t need to do everything for real. She certainly doesn’t need to pretend she does.
She starred in 2010’s Black Swan, playing a ballerina. Obviously, that required her to do a fair bit of ballet dancing. Ballet is an exceptionally demanding thing to learn. Most top ballerinas start at the age of 5. It’s not just about having skills but being able to meet the physical demands. Nonetheless, Portman tried to tell people that she’d done all her own dancing for Black Swan.
Over the course of several months of press tours for the film, how much she’d done changed dramatically every time she or the director were asked. First, they admitted that the close-ups of her balanced on her toes were a professional dancer, not Portman, and then admitted that a lot of the wides shots were too. Finally, they admitted that there were two separate dance doubles. But every shot from the waist up was definitely Portman.
10 Renner Is Not A Team Player
Arrow-Man is more of a sidekick to a sidekick, but the Oscar-winning actor, Jeremy Renner, wasn't going to miss out entering the 'sidekicks saying stupid things' sweepstakes. You may remember that RDJ went to bat for the other cast mates on pay. He was, at the time, the only cast member considered to be irreplaceable (again, amazing given his start in the series), and so he got a lot more money. He thought that was unfair, and held out until everyone was getting paid better.
Renner has apparently forgotten this basic lesson in collective bargaining, or at least, only cares when it benefits himself. Bradley Cooper, upset about the gender pay gap in Hollywood, promised to always tell his female co-stars what he was getting paid, to give them a better bargaining position. When asked whether he would do the same, Renner evaded and said he knew nothing of business or the contract side.
Someone starring in the MCU definitely knows what they’re getting paid. It's also especially funny since Renner is only who doesn't understand teamwork.
9 Anthony Mackie Probably Shouldn't Answer Serious Questions
It’s really our fault, as a society, for asking an actor a serious question. Remember that an actor is someone who plays dress up and recites things that other people wrote, while a whole team of people makes sure they look and sound good. This doesn’t preclude them from having interesting takes and being knowledgeable, but it sure as heck doesn’t guarantee it.
Anthony Mackie is a case in point. While promoting a film about the racial politics of families, and preparing to play Martin Luther King in a different film, he gave a rambling interview about how there were too many films about race, meritocracy, police brutality, and weirdly, dreadlocks. It’s hard to disagree with anything he said because he never approaches anything as a coherent point that you could actually disagree with.
8 Vin Diesel Can Be A Little Too Much
You may not have realised that Vin Diesel is in the MCU. He voices Groot, the walking tree in Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s weird that they got him to play the part since he only ever says one thing. He also nearly played Black Bolt of the Inhumans, which would have been ironic, given Black Bolt never speaks.
He’s managed to be largely scandal-free over his long and pretty successful career. However, in late 2016, he was interviewed by a Brazilian Youtuber for unclear reasons. While being asked about his early career, particularly Saving Private Ryan (yes, he is in that), he started complimenting her on her beauty. The problem is, he didn’t stop. She desperately tried to keep the conversation on track, but he just kept rambling about her looks and staring at her. You can see her love of Groot dying as the interview progresses.
7 Batista Was Not A Very Good Husband
Dave Bautista has had an odd career. He didn’t start his pro-wrestling career until he was 30 (most wrestlers get started in their 20's, having been competitive wrestlers before that) and dabbled in MMA before getting into movies. He started out rough, starring in direct-to-DVD action movies, but has become a surprising star, being a Bond villain in Spectre, a minor character in the acclaimed Blade Runner 2049, and most surprisingly, the loveably grumpy Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy, where he was discovered to have a knack for comedy.
He also stepped out on his cancer-stricken wife. It was long thought to be the invention of tabloids, but he straight up admits to being unfaithful his book. While she was at home, on chemo, he would find eager, young women— sometimes more than one a night. To be fair, he did seem to genuinely repent, and has worked to raise a lot of money for various cancer-focused charities.
6 Paul Bettany Weighed In On Something No One Asked Him About
Look, we’ve all seen friends go through some hard times and it’s hard not to want to help, but when someone’s going through a public divorce, maybe just keep your mouth shut.
When Johnny Depp went through a fairly bitter divorce, including accusations of domestic violence, Bettany, who plays the all-powerful robot, Vision, felt the need to chime in and say that Depp had always seemed like a very nice guy to him.
Not to get into whether or not Depp is guilty (the legal outcome was inconclusive) but Bettany could have said nothing. It’s not like him and Depp are some great pairing of actors where everyone wonders what one thinks of the other, or whether friends liking Depp is even useful information in this case. His silence would have been fine. And piling on to the huge number of people who are already convinced that Amber Heard was lying (and that even deluded themselves into thinking she recanted), it was a pretty scummy move.
5 Michael Douglas Was Ahead Of The Curve
When the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke last year, Harvey, figuring this would probably blow over, tried to claim addiction as his reason, addiction to…being intimate with women. His excuse worked as well as you think it did. The thing is, it wasn’t a new excuse. Michael Douglas, the mentor from the Ant Man movies was doing this back in the '80s.
He was famous for his…addiction. He seemed to pick movies just so he could indulge in it. All those erotic thrillers from that decade may have been based on his memoirs. However, recent allegations have suggested that he may have been trying to get out ahead of the accusations by a couple of decades.
He was famously amorous, and so it’s not surprising to learn that he had a poor understanding and respect for where the line is. It does mess up the idea of him being Ant Man’s mentor, though, since it’s now pretty obvious what Pym is doing off-screen.
4 Benedict Cumberbatch Phrases Things Pretty Insensitively
So, I’m still sceptical about Cumberbatch being a real person. He’s more like a character from a comedy sketch about the stereotypical, uptight Englishman. Only he's escaped into our world and keeps getting cast in genre franchises. As well as being Dr. Steven Strange, he was also Smaug in the Hobbit movies and Sherlock Holmes. I mean, he’s a pretty good actor, but he’s also a hilariously foppish person who you keep expecting to start screaming about "colonials."
While bemoaning the lack of diversity in Hollywood, he lamented that he knew a lot of very talented "colored" actors and wished they got more work. I mean, it’s a nice sentiment, but he expressed it in a way that suggests he hasn’t interacted with people since about 1780. At least he’s consistent.
3 Josh Brolin Assaulted His Wife
Josh Brolin’s appearance as Thanos is hotly awaited. The grand villain of the MCU has been hinted at since 2012, 13 movies ago now. Finally, in this year’s film, Infinity War, he’s arriving to do…something…for…some reason. I’m sure his plan and motivation will be fleshed out and memorable, and not full of cookie cutter villain stuff to distract us from how much Thanos looks like Joss Whedon.
It’s strange that he doesn’t resemble his actor much. They splashed out to get the acclaimed Josh Brolin, star of No Country for Old Men and are hiding it. It might have something to do with avoiding negative press about Brolin having been arrested for domestic battery in 2004. He was married to the great, Diane Lane, who younger readers will recognise as Superman’s mum, and was arrested over assault charges.
2 Laurence Fishburne's Daughter Tried To Launch A New Career
Fishburne is going to be Bill Foster in this year’s Ant Man sequel. If you don’t who he is, you’re missing out. He’s a really talented dude with a career stretching back to the '70s, where he lied about his age so he could be in the now classic Apocalypse Now. He’s also been in the Matrix, played Will Graham’s boss in the television series, Hannibal, and most recently, rejoined his Matrix co-star, Keanu Reeves in John Wick 2.
Also, his daughter was a performer, but not in the good way. In an attempt to become the next Kim Kardashian, she launched a questionable film career in 2010, earning $60,000 to perform. Her career went nowhere, though, and a bad contract led to her seeing no more revenue from the sales. She quit the business, largely from monetary dissatisfaction. She’s been troubled since, though she seems to have reconciled with her father.
1 Jude Law Is Not Great At Relationships
Jude Law was, at one point, one of the most attractive actors in Hollywood. It was official. The sort of publications that decide who the best-looking man alive is decided that it was Jude, more than once. And you know, no publication would bestow such a lofty title for anything but the purest reasons. He’s older now, and will be the lead’s father in next year’s Captain Marvel. He’s called Mar-Vell. Yes, Captain Marvel’s dad is called Mar-Vell... because naming characters is hard, that’s why.
He’ll probably be the wise father who bestows knowledge. We'll watch and try to forget that, in 2003, while engaged to the model, Sienna Miller, having left his wife, Sadie Frost, for her, he ended up having a relationship with the child’s nanny. After all, if you’re going to be a scummy womanizer, you might as well double up. And if you’re going to stray away from a supermodel, you might as well do it with someone who is not a supermodel, just to confuse everybody.