The reason all of us are at least a little obsessed with celebrity culture is that so many performers seem to be freaking insane. Maybe it's a natural side effect of the fame and money, or maybe you just need to be a little crazy to be willing to spend months in New Zealand pretending to be an elf or whatever. Whatever it is, we're not sure if life on a film set would be hilarious or a freaking nightmare.
What we do know is you'd definitely walk away with some great stories to tell ...
6 Gene Hackman Was an Asshole on The Royal Tenenbaums Set
The Royal Tenenbaums was the film that cemented symmetry-obsessed director Wes Anderson's career after first getting the attention of independent film critics and liberal arts students with Rushmore. Anderson had a very clear vision for it from the get-go: from the moment that vintage typewriter type bar clapped against paper, the grumpy patriarch character of Royal Tenenbaum was written specifically to be played by Gene Hackman. That was a bold decision, considering Hackman really, really didn't want to be in the movie.
"Every moment of this is pure agony."
When Anderson started courting Hackman for the role, he sent the actor some preliminary artwork to help convey the tone of the film, which Hackman never returned, possibly because he tossed it straight into the trash. A portion of his shit-boiling rage was stirred by the fact that he resents being offered roles that were written with him in mind, which he told Anderson in a face-to-face meeting before Anderson had even started writing The Royal Tenenbaums. The other reason was money -- The Royal Tenenbaums didn't have much of a budget, and Hackman's character is in nearly every scene, which means he'd essentially have to work every single day of filming for a much smaller salary than he was used to.
The scene where he bet on a dogfight wasn't actually in the script.
Hackman eventually let his agent talk him into accepting the role, but not before making a solemn vow to be the biggest son of a bitch he could during filming. Making sure everyone working on The Royal Tenenbaums knew he'd literally rather be beaten to death with coat hangers than be in their fucking movie was just below "turn in a good performance" on his list of priorities. According to the cast and crew, Hackman became increasingly intolerable as filming went on, venomously snapping at people for the slightest transgression and generally making Anderson's life miserable. He treated Anderson like his no-good, hipster nephew, telling him to "pull up his trousers" and straight up calling him a cunt in front of the crew.
"This line wasn't originally in the script either. Go figure."
Things got so bad on set that the rest of the cast, including veteran actress Anjelica Huston, were scared to be anywhere near Hackman. In an effort to try to ease the tension, Anderson eventually asked Bill Murray to come in on his (Murray's) days off, because Murray, in addition to being Anderson's friend, was apparently the one person who just wasn't intimidated by Hackman. Murray gladly showed his solidarity by supervising the filming of several scenes, including one where he stood on a ridge overlooking the shoot in a cowboy hat, because nobody messes with Bill Murray in a goddamned cowboy hat. The experience was so negative that when asked what it was like to work with Hackman, Murray begins his response by calling Hackman a cocksucker.
5 The Cast of The Godfather Were Constantly Exposing Themselves
The Godfather is rightly considered one of the greatest movies of all time. It was a huge hit at the box office, won Best Picture at the Oscars, launched the career of Al Pacino, and proved that a supporting character can spend an entire film speaking in a ridiculous voice and still win an Academy Award. The film's enduring legacy is only slightly discolored by the fact that, in at least some of those groundbreaking and memorable scenes, the actors aren't wearing any pants.
The horse even insisted on being filmed without them.
Between takes of this ultra-serious mob drama, the cast were goofing off like middle schoolers on substitute teacher day pretty much all the time. One of their favorite running gags was to drop their pants and moon each other. It all started with James Caan and Robert Duvall, who, for some indescribably insane reason, decided the only way to overcome their nervousness about working with the legendary Marlon Brando was to flap their naked ass cheeks at him in between takes, which probably had the screen veteran wondering just what the hell kind of drugs these young Hollywood kids were taking and if they had any leftovers he could buy.
The face of a man that deeply regrets not putting his pants back on before sitting in a chair that Brando had just used.
However, if you're under the impression that Brando was above asinine hijinks, then you have seriously overestimated him. While cameras were being put in place and 500 extras were being assembled for the film's famous wedding scene, Brando took the opportunity to turn around, pull down his pants, and flash his legendary trouser hams to the entire cast and crew. It is up for debate whether his ass or his Don Corleone face looked more like a sad bulldog.
"My God ... it's like one of those paintings where the eyes follow you."
As a reward for this noble (read: unbeatable) act of public exposure, Caan and Duvall presented Brando with a belt that read "Mighty Moon King," which is a great name for a David Bowie album and/or one of Frank Zappa's children. It is unclear whether Brando accepted the belt himself, or if he sent a fake Native American woman to reject it on his behalf.