When Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were haphazardly thrown together by a studio in crisis, neither man’s career was going particularly well. Stan Laurel had come to Hollywood with the intention of mimicking the success of his former theater buddy Charlie Chaplin but wasn’t all that skilled in physical comedy. Oliver Hardy had similar dreams, but his size had led to him being typecast and rarely used as anything more than a foil for a larger name. But the moment the pair became co-stars, they skyrocketed to stardom.
The story of Laurel and Hardy is one of many Hollywood examples of an actor being weak as an individual but a bona fide star as a pair. From Laurel and Hardy rose such cinematic pairings as John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd, Woody Allen and Diane Keaton, and, as insufferable as they have become, Adam Sandler and David Spade.
Some actors, however, have not been all that lucky when it comes to forging lasting relationships with other performers. Quite often it is the case that two actors sign on to appear alongside each other in a film only to find that they can barely stand to be together long enough to film their scenes. In polite society, people generally keep their problems with their coworkers to themselves. Of course, Hollywood is far from polite society and jilted actors rarely have any scruples about slamming their colleagues.
Here are 15 celebrities who were completely destroyed by their co-stars.
15 Kiefer Sutherland
British-Canadian actor Kiefer Sutherland achieved his greatest fame portraying the character of Jack Bauer in the hit Fox drama 24, which ran from 2001 to 2010 (and enjoyed a brief comeback in 2014). In playing the role of Jack Bauer, Sutherland managed to take a seriously flawed character and make him a favorite of American television viewers, an audience that historically has not gravitated towards anti-heroes. According to Freddie Prinze, Jr., who acted alongside Sutherland in 24, his former co-star’s success in highlighting the likable qualities of an unlikable man is a testament to his acting ability and certainly has nothing to do with who he is as a person.
If Prinze is to be believed, Sutherland was a pain in the neck to work with during the final years of 24’s initial run. “Kiefer Sutherland was the most unprofessional dude in the world”, he said during a 2014 interview. “I hated every moment.” According to Prinze, the success of 24 had made Sutherland such an egomaniac that he insisted any male cast member who was taller than he was had to remove their shoes before filming a scene with him.
14 Kirstie Alley
Actress Kirstie Alley made it big when she was cast as Rebecca Howe in the now iconic sitcom Cheers. While the series was a major success, Alley struggled to separate herself from her character in the eyes of the public and experienced a serious career downturn shortly after the series ended.
Saddened to see her friend struggling for work, The King of Queens star Leah Remini helped Alley - who she knew due to her involvement in Scientology - score a role on the show. While Alley was initially grateful to Remini, she quickly turned on her after the latter left the Church of Scientology in 2014. In a series of scathing comments in the aftermath of Remini’s Scientology departure, Alley branded her former friend a traitor and a bigot. Remini, never one to back down from a war of words, retaliated by reminding Alley that she owes much of her modern “success” to their affiliation and that she “doesn’t know, really, anything”.
13 Tom Hardy
With roles in modern cinematic masterpieces such as 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises and 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road, Tom Hardy has established himself as one of the movie industry’s top tough guys. Just like so many on-screen brawlers before him, Hardy seems to have let his reputation go to his head, which has made him rather unpopular among his peers.
Hardy’s inflated ego caused a whole lot of problems when he was filming Lawless, in which he starred alongside former Transformers golden boy Shia LaBeouf, who was not a fan of Hardy’s behavior. At one point during production, things became so heated between the co-stars that they came to blows, with rumors that LaBeouf legitimately knocked Hardy out cold, destroying any perception the latter had of himself as a genuine badass.
12 Kate Hudson (According To Dane Cook)
Through her appearances in films such as How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Bride Wars, and Almost Famous, Kate Hudson has managed to rise through the ranks to become one of the most in-demand actresses in all of Hollywood. Her natural acting talent - she is the daughter of Academy Award winner Goldie Hawn - has been enhanced by her unfaltering, breathtaking beauty. There are literally millions of men who would kill to spend a steamy night in a hotel room with Kate Hudson. Dane Cook, however, is not one of them.
While doing the promotional rounds for his special Troublemaker, Cook was asked to name his worst on-screen kiss. The comedian wasted little time in awarding that title to Kate Hudson, with whom he shared a kiss during the filming of My Best Friend’s Girl. According to Cook, the experience of making out with Hudson was marred by her terrible breath, which smelled as though she had eaten “a feast of onions” before the scene.
11 Vin Diesel (According To Dwayne Johnson)
Vin Diesel has never been the most likable guy in Hollywood. His apparent belief in his own on-screen tough guy persona hasn’t earned him any friends in the movie industry, and his baffling inability to figure out his way around a script has made him a frequent source of anguish for critics everywhere.
However, Diesel has somehow become a pretty major star in the motion picture industry, meaning very few people have been willing to call him out on his unprofessional behavior. Of course, that all changed earlier this year when an even bigger motion picture star took to social media to slam Diesel, although he didn’t mention him by name. In a scathing Instagram post, Vin Diesel’s Fate of the Furious co-star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson vented his frustrations with “candy ass” co-stars who fail to “conduct themselves as stand up men” and are “too chicken s**t to do anything about it”.
10 Will Smith (According To Janet Hubert)
Will Smith has managed to combine choosing the perfect movie roles with a masterful understanding of social media to become one of the biggest stars of modern Hollywood. Smith’s big break came in 1990 when he was cast as the star of the now beloved sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Although Smith was presented as a lovable rogue in The Fresh Prince, he apparently became quite a pain to work with in the show’s later seasons. His inflated sense of self-importance was a cause of tension between himself and actress Janet Hubert, who played Aunt Viv on the show. In recent interviews, Hubert has described her former co-star as being an “a**hole” and an “egomaniac” who went out of his way to have her fired from the series. She has also referred to Alfonso Ribeiro, who portrayed Carlton Banks, as “Will’s tampon”.
9 Lucy Liu
Over the past couple of years, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day star Bill Murray has become something of an internet celebrity owing to his farcical nice guy antics. When on set, however, Murray has earned a reputation for being something of a curmudgeon, and actress Lucy Liu experienced his wrath in full when starring alongside him in the 2000 adaptation of Charlie’s Angels.
Murray, a professional to the very bitter end, was thoroughly unimpressed by Liu’s acting talents and had no problem telling her so. Over the course of filming, the Caddyshack star frequently reminded Liu that he had no confidence in her ability and believed that her involvement in the film would lead to it failing. When speaking about his disdain for Liu several years after Charlie’s Angels was released, Murray explained, “I will dismiss you completely if you are unprofessional and working with me.”
8 Teri Hatcher
Palo Alto native Teri Hatcher began her show business career as a cheerleader in the NFL before landing her breakthrough role as Lois Lane in the hit ABC series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. According to internet lore, when Lois & Clark was at peak popularity, an image of Hatcher wrapped in a Superman cape became the most downloaded image in the world, with over 20,000 downloads per month for six months straight.
In her prime, Hatcher was a favorite of critics and studios alike, but there was one person who wasn’t quite taken by her: her Tomorrow Never Dies co-star, Pierce Brosnan. With Hatcher playing the Paris Carver to his James Bond, Brosnan spent a significant amount of time around the actress during the filming of the movie and came out of the production thoroughly unimpressed with her unprofessionalism. He would later complain that “she was always keeping me waiting”. Hatcher has also been slammed by her Desperate Housewives co-stars for being a loner and refusing to mingle with the rest of the crew.
7 Anne Hathaway
Whenever she appears on screen or walks down a red carpet, Anne Hathaway oozes an odd combination of confidence and confusion, as if she is surprised that she has become such a great success in Hollywood. It is this modesty that has made the Brooklyn, New York native so popular among the public and her peers. Hathaway’s former co-star James Franco, however, was not all that impressed by her personality nor her body of work.
When speaking to the notoriously crass Howard Stern, Franco, who had a much-publicized falling out with Hathaway after the pair hosted the 2011 Oscars, stated that he was forbidden from speaking publicly about his issues with her. However, he did say that he would happily listen while Stern voiced his issues with the actress. After promising to intervene if Stern said something erroneous about his former co-host, Franco sat back and allowed the shaggy-haired disc jockey to brand Hathaway as a “goody two-shoes” who is “fun to hate”.
6 John Cleese
John Cleese is without a doubt one of the single most important figures in comedy of the past 100 years. In fact, as a founding member of Monty Python and a more than successful solo writer and actor, the argument can be made that John Cleese is the single most important comedian to come out of the 20th century. While Cleese is beloved by the public and adored by film studios, his former Monty Python co-stars generally don’t have a whole lot of positive things to say about him.
Michael Palin, a former Python who has since gone on to become a prolific travel writer, has often blamed Cleese’s need to be constantly in control for the downfall of the comedy group. According to Palin, Cleese’s dominating nature made writing Python films particularly unenjoyable as every joke had to be personally approved by him before it could go into a script. His tendency to book weeks away on tropical islands on a whim also impeded the writing process. Monty Python reformed for a brief period in 2014, with Palin later writing that Cleese was as demanding and as cynical as ever.
5 Lea Michele
A talented singer and actress, Lea Michele was born to be a star and she became one in 2009 when she was cast as Rachel Berry in Fox’s hit comedy-drama Glee. Michele was likely put in that starring role owing to her natural likeability, but there was at least one member of the Glee cast who didn’t find that likeability all that natural.
In her cage-rattling memoir Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes and Growing Up, former Glee actress Naya Rivera portrays Lea Michele as the typical Hollywood diva, claiming that she was never happy unless the spotlight was on her. Although Rivera and Michele were initially quite close, Rivera has asserted that Michele stopped speaking to her after her character became a more prominent feature in Glee storylines.
4 Richard Dreyfuss
Academy Award-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss has appeared in so many classic movies that it’s a wonder the guy hasn’t been cryogenically frozen so future generations may enjoy his on-screen genius. Included in his extensive filmography are roles in iconic feature films such as Jaws, American Graffiti, and Postcards from the Edge. Most who have worked with Dreyfuss over his 50 years in show business have described him as being nothing less than a consummate professional. Robert Shaw, however, held a different opinion of him.
Shaw, who acted alongside Richard Dreyfuss in Jaws, was unimpressed by his co-star both as an actor and as a man and spent the majority of the production process mocking him for his physical ineptitude. For the remainder of his life, Shaw would recall his on-screen partnership with Dreyfuss with contempt, telling all who would listen that the oft-praised Brooklyn native was too stuck up and self-absorbed to be an effective actor.
3 Chevy Chase (According To Joel McHale)
Despite having nowhere near the writing and performing talent of other comedians of his era, Chevy Chase became one to the most beloved comics of the second half of the 20th century. Chase allowed his success to go to his head and to this day believes himself to be the world’s number one comedy star, despite having done little of any significance since his role in the now canceled sitcom Community. It was during his stint on Community that Chase’s belief in his own superiority really became a problem and it led to frequent clashes with his co-stars, including the true star of the series, Joel McHale.
In a memoir that was simultaneously self-effacing and self-aggrandizing, McHale recalled his time on Community and his frequent clashes with Chevy Chase. According to McHale, Chase was jealous of his youth and good looks and was resentful of the fact that his own advanced age had landed him in a minor role. On one much-talked about occasion, Chase insisted that McHale hit him as hard as he could (the pair were filming a fight scene). After a lot of prodding from his bitter co-star, McHale conceded, subsequently dislocating Chase’s shoulder and putting him out of action for two weeks.
2 Justin Bieber (According To Marg Helgenberger)
Since entering his 20s, Canadian singer Justin Bieber has focused more on touring and making music than he has on establishing himself as a badass. For a while there, however, it seemed that Bieber was so intent on convincing people that he was a “wild boy” (as he put it) that he was going to totally ruin his career and reputation.
In 2011, a teenage Justin Bieber made an appearance on the hit crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. This was at the height of his attempts to be rockstar-esque and his behavior on set was, as described by his co-stars, “bratty”. Shortly after Bieber’s episode aired, CSI mainstay Marg Helgenberger gave a scathing interview, in which she blasted the pop star for his behavior. “He locked one of the producers in a closet”, said Helgenberger who also added, “and he put his fist through a cake that was on the cast’s table.”
1 Woody Allen (According To Mariel Hemmingway)
When discussing iconic on-screen partnerships in the introduction to this article, I made reference to Woody Allen and his pairing with Diane Keaton, which gave us such comedy classics as Annie Hall and Love and Death. While Allen and Keaton were indeed a match made in Heaven, the infamously picky director hasn’t always had such success with his co-stars.
In the 1979 comedy-drama Manhattan, Allen appears alongside Mariel Hemingway, the granddaughter of acclaimed novelist and manly man Ernest Hemingway. In her 2015 autobiography Out Came the Sun, Mariel Hemingway shares an anecdote about Allen attempting to seduce her and lure her away to Paris shortly after her 18th birthday. Although Hemingway later claimed she included the story in her autobiography because she found it amusing and in no way creepy, it did little to alleviate the perception of Allen as a dirty old man obsessed with young girls. In fact, Hemingway’s story likely contributed to the growing animosity towards the director and his work which has nearly destroyed his reputation.