When you think of gruelling jobs, you think of people toiling with their hands in blistering heat, every hour of the day. Cleaning toilets, tending to animals or being Donald Trump's P.R. guy are just some of the things that spring to mind. What you don't think about is acting in a massive Hollywood blockbuster. So what would make someone earning thousands (even millions) hate their job so much that they want to leave the set of a film?
You would assume that there are no hazardous materials that they have to handle and, aside from a few jumps and spins, the majority of the stunts are handled by trained professionals. You might say that, once you've made it in the acting business, it's a pretty cushy deal. We all know that A-Listers can be divas, take Christian Bale losing his head with the poor lighting guy on the set of Terminator: Salvation as an example, but what happens when there are genuine problems on set? And how much could some classic films have changed if one iconic character was played by a different actor? Imagine Harrison Ford losing his sh*t on the set of Indiana Jones and then looking for a replacement... No-one else would be fit to run from that boulder!
So, whether it was a disagreement with the director or getting fed up with the green screen, here are fifteen instances that almost caused some of Hollywood's biggest celebrities to walk out of a movie during production.
15 Carl Weathers - Rocky IV
Let's be honest, even the idea of pretending to go toe to toe with the monstrous Russian Ivan Drago is daunting. During filming for Rocky IV, Carl Weathers donned the stars and stripes to take on The Siberian Express himself Dolph Lundgren. Despite the punches being fake, Dolph's physique certainly wasn't and Weathers found this out the hard way. During the filming for Apollo Creed's final fight, Lundgren picked Weathers up and threw him across the ring into the corner. Carl Weathers took real offence to this and immediately left the ring, demanding to speak to his agent and threatening to quit. Fortunately Sly Stallone was directing the scene and managed to talk Weathers back into the ring to finish the fight. Clearly, Weathers wasn't happy with being thrown around like a rag doll but was smarter than try and confront the Swedish black belt.
14 Native American Extras - The Ridiculous Six
The Ridiculous Six... It's in the name. This film was never going to be an Oscar winning drama that tugged at the heart strings but the last thing Adam Sandler expected was to be embroiled in a racial insensitivity scandal. When a group of Native American extras read the script they were instantly offended and walked off the set, taking with them the film's cultural adviser. This was spurred by jokes in the script, most of which were based on spoofs of Native American names like Beaver's Breath and No Bra. This was coupled with lines like, "How about after this, we go some place and I put my peepee in your teepee?" that drove the actors from the set. The Ridiculous Six has since held various number one spots on Netflix and Sandler himself has addressed the issue as a "misunderstanding."
13 Jessica Alba - Fantastic Four: The Silver Surfer
Before Robert Pattinson made it cool to hate the film you're acting in, Jessica Alba was starting the trend with Fantastic Four. The 2005 Fantastic Four films were a difficult experience for all involved but no-one felt the squeeze like Sue Storm herself. Alba's problems with the films are well documented and lengthy but there is one incident that stands out that almost made Jessica Alba leave the set of the Fantastic Four sequel. It wasn't the terrible standard of script or the fact that the first film was universally ripped to bits by critics and fans alike. It was that Alba actually tried to act.
12 Lauren Cohan - The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead is not exactly a light and breezy affair is it (and yes, we know it's not a movie)? In every episode there is either a plethora of undead "walkers" being hacked, slashed and shot at or we lose another beloved member of the cast (don't worry I won't be that guy if you haven't seen the latest, earth shattering episode). So, what could push an actor to the edge of almost quitting the show? When Lauren Cohan's Maggie appeared on our screens she was a welcome addition to the cast. She was an unexpected big player in the show (for those of us that haven't read the comics) and would be a real miss if she was no longer a part of the show.
11 Michelle Rodriguez - The Fast & The Furious
The Fast & The Furious franchise has been absolutely massive. Even after the tragic passing of the series' lead Paul Walker, there are plans for around three more films to be added (depending on box office success obviously!). Michelle Rodriguez has been confirmed to be in Fast 8 (which is currently in post production), but it almost wasn't going to happen. Letty has always been a part of the franchise, with growing roles since the first film back in 2001 but it almost came to pass that she walked out on the gang during the first film.
10 Russell Crowe - Robin Hood
Everybody knows that Russell Crowe is a man with a serious ego. What many people don't know is that he has the ability to change the entire direction of a film. This is not some very specific super power that he has developed, more the swing of an actor that directors want in their film.
9 Zoe Saldana - Pirates of the Caribbean
Zoe Saldana is a well known actress and is best known for her roles in the likes of Avatar, Star Trek and Guardians of the Galaxy. It's safe to say that Saldana takes on roles of female characters that take no sh*t and this seems to have been carried over from her personal life. Before she was taking arse kicking lead roles, Saldana took a small speaking role in the first Pirates of the Caribbean film that tempted her to leave the elitist Hollywood officials behind.
8 Brad Pitt - Interview With A Vampire
Do you have a spare $40 million just lying around to get you out of your job? No? Neither did Brad Pitt when he attempted to leave the set of Interview With a Vampire and buy out his contract. After claiming that the movie was the one of the worst experiences of his life, it's understandable that Pitt would want to leave.
7 Al Pacino - The Godfather
Al Pacino has graced our screens for nigh on fifty years. Whether you like the movies that Pacino has starred in or not, you cannot deny his talent. The likes of Serpico and Scarface were huge in their day and have stood the test of time, largely down to his performances. So why is it that when Al Pacino took to our screens as Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy there was a chance that he could have left the set during production?
6 Sir Ian McKellen - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The progress and development of special effects in film is truly mind blowing. From the early stop motion skeleton warriors in 1963's Jason and the Argonauts to the astoundingly realistic dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, special effects really have changed the film industry for the better. Well... For the majority of us.
5 Daisy Ridley - Star Wars: The Force Awakens
When Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released, it left many people feeling like a kid at Christmas waiting for that gift they knew was coming but had to wait forever for (especially after the last three Christmases being a bit of a Jar-Jar Binks shaped let down). A lot of people were also very unaware about a certain Daisy Ridley, the gift you hadn't really asked for or expected but were thrilled about once it was out of the wrapping paper. She was outstanding as Rey but it nearly all came to an abrupt end for Daisy on the first day of filming!
4 Shelley Duvall - The Shining
Stanley Kubrick's psychological horror classic The Shining is a gruelling experience by anybody's standards. There are stark images from The Shining that stick in the mind of even the most seasoned horror fan. Whether it was the image of Jack (wonderfully portrayed by the psychotic Jack Nicholson) hacking through the door in one of the most iconic horror scenes of all time or the blood pouring out of the elevator, there is one thing that often gets overlooked. That is the image of Shelley Duvall, as the tormented Wendy Torrence. Shelley's performance has been met with criticism from the likes of Nicholson, Kubrick and the original author of the novel, Stephen King. All of this took its toll during the filming of the movie.
3 Jim Carrey - How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Dr Seuss' classic How The Grinch Stole Christmas was always going to be adapted into a live action film but it would take somebody spectacular to pull off the green anti-Santa and it would take one hell of a make-up team to make him look authentic. Who better to call upon than the king of physical comedy Jim Carrey? Carrey's performance had something for everybody in a film that could have gone either way. Looking back, there isn't another actor that could have done what Carrey did with The Grinch, so why did it almost go very, very wrong?
2 Emma Watson - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Emma Watson first donned the Hogwarts robes at the age of nine and the series has shaped her life since then. For better and worse. At one point, Emma was the highest paid woman in Hollywood, with a guaranteed job for the entire Harry Potter franchise. Even people who weren't fans of the series saw just how much talent this girl has and she became an inspiration to young women everywhere as a U.N. ambassador. Things could have been different if she had turned down her contract extension during the filming of Order of the Phoenix.
1 Mike Myers - Wayne's World
Regardless of the type of film, when you think back through cinema there are iconic scenes that stand out in everyone's minds. One of these is undoubtedly Bohemian Rhapsody from comedy classic Wayne's World. I imagine that for many, like me, this was the first experience of head banging and it was encapsulating. Everyone already had a love affair with the song (don't lie and say you hate it, if that song is played every single person within ear shot is singing along at full volume), but the brilliance of Wayne, Garth and company made it so much better. So why did this scene nearly cause Wayne himself to leave the set?
That's right, Mike Myers got into a dispute with the studio over which song would be used in the scene. The studio argued that Guns N' Roses should have been used in the scene as they were arguably more popular at the time, as Queen had quietened down due to Freddie Mercury's tragic illness. Myers pushed for Queen's obscure classic to be included in the scene. Not wanting to lose the star of the film, the studio agreed for the more pricey option of Bohemian Rhapsody. Six months after the world lost one of it's greatest front men and entertainers, Wayne's World was released and Bohemian Rhapsody subsequently climbed to number one in the charts seventeen years after its release.
So, have these fifteen actors just been prima donnas or did they have a good reason to try and leave the movie they were filming? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
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