Imagine, for a second, that everything you’ve worked hard for has collapsed. Your hard work has been for nothing, and you just can’t take it anymore. You break down, cry, and eventually regain your composure. You’ve just had a meltdown. Sure, you’ve probably experienced this at some point in your life. It’s natural, and it happens to everyone. However, what happens when your meltdown isn’t just kept to yourself? What happens if you’re a celebrity and the spotlight follows you 24/7?
Actors and actresses are under a ton of stress. Sure, they get paid millions of dollars. But, as the money rolls in, the pressure gets cranked higher. Finally, after months and years of pent up rage, it is natural to break down. These types of meltdowns by celebrities tend to get passed around and almost always make wonderful gossip.
These meltdowns can happen anywhere, but the ones compiled in this list happened on the set. Whether it be the set of a talk show or the set of a movie, meltdowns happen all the time. Sometimes, the meltdowns are of the negative variety. They involve cursing and people being extremely angry. And sometimes the meltdowns can have a tinge of humor to them. Whatever the case, these meltdowns involve big name actors, on-set tussles, and even illegal substances. To have witnessed some of these meltdowns would have been amazing. Can you imagine standing right next to someone when they finally crack and throw a tantrum?
Meltdowns happen all the time, and celebrity meltdowns are quite fascinating to read about.
15 Christian Bale
Christian Bale is a huge celebrity in Hollywood. He's a hard-working actor who has racked up a high number of hit films. From movies like Terminator: Salvation to the now classic Batman trilogy, Bale has been in some high-profile situations in the Hollywood spotlight. However, his fantastic acting ability has always been followed by a cloud of controversy. Bale is known for his short and quick temper. And, even for a seasoned veteran, Christian can sometimes lose his cool on the set. A perfect example of this is when Bale absolutely lost it on the set of Terminator: Salvation.
To set it up, Bale had been awake for way too long: 48 hours, to be exact. He was enduring a ridiculously tough shoot and things just weren't going his way. That's when a camera man walked into the shot. Bale began throwing expletives around and threatened the crew. The entire rant is available online. Bale later apologized for his behavior.
14 Marilyn Monroe
She’s one of the most famous stars of all-time. She’s an icon that will live on forever. Whether it be commercials in the late 90s or the classic movies she starred in when she was alive, Monroe is synonymous with beauty and glamour in our culture. But, the real Marilyn wasn’t anything like her on-screen personas. Rather, she was the complete opposite.
One of her many on-set meltdowns involves Marilyn crying profusely. She wasn’t the best at remembering her lines. So, whenever Monroe would mess up a line, she would run to her trailer. She would literally leave the set and lock herself in her trailer. She would become that upset with herself.
In the 50s and 60s, Marilyn’s costars said that they would never work with her again. Many refused to acknowledge her and even shunned her from wrap parties once productions were finished. Marilyn is indeed a true enigma of classic cinema.
13 Charlie Sheen
While it seems like some celebrities have a certain magnetism for controversy, there’s arguably no one better at it than Charlie Sheen. Leading a troubled life full of drugs and women, Sheen has always had a rough go of it. Even with his early success in the 80s, Sheen was already having problems and struggling with substance abuse. It wasn’t until 2012 when the public really got a major dose of Charlie Sheen’s issues.
Making an appearance on the Today Show, Sheen was set to do an interview. But, the interview didn’t go as planned. Charlie’s behavior was strange. He would mumble and say things that didn’t make a whole lot of sense. For instance, one of his most famous claims was about “tiger blood.” His meltdown on national television only fuelled the claims that he had some major problems going on. Eventually, he would admit he had problems. However, only he holds the key to his future success.
12 Tom Cruise
Yes, this is the infamous rant in which Cruise absolutely lost his touch with reality. Now, it needs to be said that Tom Cruise was one of the most respected actors in the industry before this rant. He had been in a bevy of hit movies, including 80s classics such as Top Gun and 90s mega franchise Mission: Impossible. At this point in Cruise’s career, anything he touched turned to gold. That would soon change after the infamous Oprah rant.
Tom began jumping up and down on Oprah’s couch when he was being interviewed in 2005. Cruise kept insisting that he was in love with Katie Holmes. His behavior was strangely erratic. He couldn’t seem to keep his concentration and Oprah was flabbergasted as well. She didn’t know how to react to the debacle.
Word quickly spread of this once the episode aired and Cruise’s link to Scientology came out after the odd appearance. Ever since, Cruise’s career has been a bit of a rollercoaster.
11 Vanilla Ice
His musical career skyrocketed in the early 90s. Before then, the name Vanilla Ice sounded like you forgot to mention the “cream” in vanilla ice cream. But, his name became plastered on everything once his hit “Ice Ice Baby” was released in the early 90s. A global superstar, his 15 minutes of fame wasn’t enough. Ice tried to stay in the spotlight by releasing new music, but his time in the sun had seemingly passed. Not content to let his stardom go, he appeared on several reality TV shows and other such things.
In 1999, he appeared on MTV’s Lame 25. His video was ranked as one of the worst music videos of all time. Not wanting to laugh at himself, Ice became irate at the announcement. He began destroying the set with a bat. Ice was looked at warily after the incident. Throwing around curse words is one thing. But, destroying objects on set? That’s a whole other level of anger.
10 Michael Richards
During the 1990s, one comedy reigned over all the others. While Friends is considered a classic, the other comedy that easily matches it is Seinfeld. Known as a show about nothing, the show ran for a long time and brought about some of the most popular quotes in pop culture. One of the stars of the show was Michael Richards. Known for his wacky and clueless character Cramer, Richards was a superstar for his role on the show. However, Richards would be looked at in a different light after a stand-up show in 2006.
Richards was performing his stand-up routine when he began a bizarre rant about racism. He began dropping racial slurs left and right. And this wasn’t just a small rant, either. Michael went on for minutes and couldn’t be stopped.
It was a weird occurrence, but he did come out and apologize for his actions. To this day, people aren’t sure why he went on that crazy rant.
9 Robert Duvall And Marlon Brando
Classic films are classics for a reason. They’ve reached that status by being something extraordinary. They reach out to audiences and speak to them like no other movies can. In the 1970s, this is the reception that the mob epic The Godfather got. It shattered people’s expectations and won several awards. With a cavalcade of brilliant actors (including Al Pacino and Marlon Brando), you may be surprised to learn that meltdowns occurred quite frequently on the set.
These meltdowns aren’t your typical loss of mind, but rather a group of silly occurrences. Mainly, youngsters such as Robert Duvall would moon co-stars. And it gets even weirder. Legendary actor Marlon Brando brought an air of mystique to the set. However, he still knew how to act oddly as well. Brando would also moon his co-stars while in between takes. While it’s not your typical meltdown, no sane people do that on a regular basis.
8 George Lazenby
Have you ever pretended and got lost in a fantasy world? If you think back to your childhood, you can probably think of a time in which you imagined an entire fictional world, and you got lost in it. While that’s perfectly normal for a young child, what happens when this happens to an adult? This is precisely what happened to George Lazenby when he snagged the role of 007.
Lazenby, a method actor, took his strategy of getting into character to an extreme. First of all, George wanted to replicate the success of Sean Connery (the previous Bond). He got his hair cut by the same barber to maintain that illusion. However, his antics on set were even weirder. He would routinely throw bottles of liquor into the air and shoot at them to hone his aiming skills. This meltdown is more of a character-engrossing situation than a real-life one.
7 Jerry O’ Connell
Ah, to be a kid again. If you’ve ever had dreams of heading back to childhood, you may want to think again. Sure, you may think it would be a wonderful time, but you may forget the ignorance kids have. And, depending on your view on ignorance, this can either be a great thing or a terrible thing. A brilliant example of this is one of the young stars of the coming-of-age classic Stand by Me.
A young Jerry O’Connell decided to skip one of the days of filming. There was a fair nearby, and he really needed a break from the movie. Venturing out on his own, Jerry made his way to the fairgrounds. He got some cookies and was happy. The meltdown? That happened afterwards when the producers found him sobbing uncontrollably by a tree.
Apparently, the cookies were laced with drugs. Not a fun time for the youngster, and the film crew took a couple of days off so the kid could recover.
6 Gene Hackman
Some actors and actresses are a pure delight to work with. They bring joy and enthusiasm to the set and, oftentimes, this translates into their performance on screen. These words were never uttered by anybody who worked with Gene Hackman on the set of The Royal Tenenbaums. The director Wes Anderson really wanted Hackman for the part. Gene reluctantly agreed after talking with his agent. This is when the negativity starts.
Hackman wasn’t set to make a lot of money, so he decided to be a horrible person on set. He went out of his way to make everybody’s lives miserable. And not just the director’s. Co-stars were afraid to work with him. Hackman would call out Anderson in between takes and fling expletives on set.
Despite all of this, Gene’s performance in the role didn’t suffer. However, Anderson has vowed never to work with Hackman again. When there’s this much tension generated by one person, you know meltdowns are probably a common occurrence.
5 Buddy Rich
In the early 20th century, life looked a lot different than it does today. After all, televisions were in their infancy, Amelia Earhart was still alive, and a Second World War was far away. But, the more things change, the more they stay the same. How? Well, rants and meltdowns. If you think celebrity meltdowns are a new phenomenon, you’d be dead wrong. Take Buddy Rich.
Rich was a jazz musician. Namely, he played drums with world-class talent. He was a pretty big deal. So, when you’re a big deal and immensely talented, you expect a lot out of your band. One night, Rich’s band didn’t give it their all, and they paid dearly for it.
Buddy’s meltdown includes a slew of curse words and a berating of his band mates. He asks how they can be so bad. Even in the 1950s, it seems meltdowns occurred even to the best of the best.
4 Joan Crawford And Bette Davis
Two of the biggest movie stars from the 1940s through the 1970s were Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. They each had brilliant acting chops and were both highly sought after. Over the course of both of their careers, they began a rivalry that easily matches anything seen today. And, after 30 years of feuds, they worked together on a movie. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? is a classic film, but also holds an interesting behind-the-scenes story.
Davis and Crawford were constantly at each other’s throats. While most celebrity feuds stop at slinging words at each other, Crawford and Davis went far past that line. For instance, Davis had to kick Crawford in the movie. She didn’t hold back, and delivered a kick so hard to Crawford’s head that she required stitches.
Davis also threw her back out after Crawford tied weights under her dress. When it came time for Davis to drag her for the scene, she threw her back out. These are nasty meltdowns, indeed!
3 Orson Welles
When people turned on the radio October 30, 1938, they were in for the shock of their lives. They heard that an alien invasion was happening. They were advised to go their basements and prepare for the worst. Of course, this didn’t really happen. Rather, a young radio broadcaster named Orson Welles was conducting a radio drama. While this is what Welles is best known for, he’s also known for a small meltdown he had decades later.
By the 1970s, Orson Welles was doing commercials. Specifically, he did a series of commercials for frozen peas. While most of the commercials went fine, one such recording session didn’t. Welles was given a series of instructions about his strategy for reading his lines and he didn’t take too kindly to it. He asks why the audio engineers are so stupid and why they have to make his life so miserable. He’s a bit frustrated and it shows through his words.
2 George Clooney
What? How can this possibly be true? How can George Clooney really lose his cool? Well, it happened. However, it's not as bad as you may think it is. Clooney is known around Hollywood as one of the greatest guys you'll ever meet. He's passionate and kind and just a genuinely nice guy. It's hard to find anything wrong with the man.
So, when tensions became high on the set of Three Kings, people were shocked to learn of what went down. And at first glance, it sounds pretty interesting. Supposedly, Clooney and Director George O. Russell had some words early in the shoot. Clooney stated that Russell would regularly verbally assault the crew. When Clooney saw him doing this again, Clooney walked up to him and picked a fight. He told him to quit yelling at them and Russell ended up pushing Clooney. A small tussle ensued, but the tension was quickly alleviated.
They went their separate ways after that film.
1 Casey Kasem
If you're in your 50s, then you probably have a good idea of who Casey Kasem is. For those who are younger, Kasem hosted a radio show throughout the 70s, 80s, 90s and well into the 00s. The radio show counted down the Top 40 songs in the United States. His show would air once a week and, since it aired in a time before Internet and instant information, a lot of people would tune in on the radio to hear the most popular songs of the week.
Kasem was a man known for his calm demeanor and his sense of humor. That was all shattered when a clip leaked of an audio outtake he recorded in 1985. Casey became furious when he was told to do a dedication about a dead dog after an up-tempo song. He knew it didn't fit the flow of the show and went on a quick rant.
He verbally assaults the producers of the show and makes them regret their decision to plan the dedication.
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