It's no secret that creative types can be temperamental, especially when you put a bunch of them together in the same room -- you wouldn't believe how many Cracked staff meetings descend into full-on mosh pits because we can't decide which word is funnier, "dick" or "dong." [Ed. Note: It's "dong," you motherless son of a bitch.] Add giant egos and easy access to drugs to the mix and now you know why movie sets are so chaotic.
In fact, those "creative disagreements" can sometimes be more insane and action-packed than the actual movies. Here are five backstage stories that prove movie sets should start keeping tranquilizer darts on hand:
5Michael Bay Was Attacked By Two Guys With An Air-Conditioning Unit On The Set Of Transformers 4
There is a long, long, long list of reasons to criticize Michael Bay, but with all due respect to those of you wearing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles onesie right now, no entry on that list justifies swinging a large metal appliance at his head. Which is unfortunate, because that's the situation he found himself in while filming Transformers 4 (the one with Mark Wahlberg) in Hong Kong. And no, the machine didn't turn out to be a little robot trying to stop Bay from committing cinematic crimes against his people -- a human threw it.
The problems began when a Paramount employee went around offering businesses $100 for the inconvenience of having their workplace turned into the scene of a robot fight. Two brothers running an appliance store felt this was insufficient and demanded $13,000 instead. When their counter-offer was rejected, they called some local toughs and started making a ruckus using bricks, metal carts, and loud music.
"You think senseless noise and destruction bother me? Do you even know who I am?"
When Bay told the brothers he wasn't paying shit, they returned an hour later with one of them wielding a "long air-conditioner unit," Bay wrote, because Hong Kong is apparently always on the verge of breaking out into a wacky martial arts fight. We'll let him describe the next part, because he makes it sound like it's a scene from his movies and he's the Shia LaBeouf character:
There's even pointless product placement.
Bay sustained unspecified facial injuries but managed to wrestle the air-conditioner away from the man and prevented "what could have been a serious incident," according to a statement from Paramount that was surprisingly restrained in that it wasn't accompanied by a sick guitar solo. The men were then taken into custody, and the filming of Transformers 4 was able to continue without a hitch. Hurray.
Their sentence was having to watch Transformers 4.
4 Steven Seagal Reportedly Can't Stop Kicking People In The Balls
Among many things! When John Leguizamo was working with Seagal on Executive Decision, they started with a rehearsal, as very few movies are filmed on the first take. According to Leguizamo, Seagal introduced himself by saying, "I'm in command -- what I say is law." Leguizamo obviously thought he was joking and started laughing, which prompted Seagal to elbow him in the solar plexus and knock him into a brick wall. It's that kind of no-nonsense dedication to his craft that earned Seagal's performance a, uh, Razzie nomination.
"Everyone respects me. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go shoot
one of the most undignified movie deaths ever."
Leguizamo has also said, "I'm not the only person he's hit without warning," adding that Seagal threatened to punch him for telling this story (which is an improvement, because at least he's giving people a warning now).
It would be easy to dismiss Leguizamo as a comedian exaggerating an anecdote, but so many people have surreal Steven Seagal stories that we're considering launching a sister site to catalog them all. Before actor/stunt coordinator/true badass Stephen Quadros worked with him on Exit Wounds, Quadros had already heard rumors that Seagal liked to bully stuntmen and put them through idiotic physical tests. In particular, he had heard that Seagal liked to kick them in the junk to see if they were wearing cups, which is a tactic we assume the multi-millionaire movie star learned on a middle school playground.
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"I'd punch your nuts with my hand but, you know, no homo."
Quadros has noted that that he knows "guys [Seagal] has hurt to the point of having to have surgery" -- so when it came time to meet Mr. Nutcracker himself for Exit Wounds, Quadros was understandably concerned about the safety of his genetic legacy. What followed was a Monty Python-esque situation in which Quadros subtly tried to stand a little sideways as they talked, only for Seagal to move and place himself in perfect groin-kicking position every time. Eventually, Quadros made like a tree with an excuse to leave, only for Seagal to later come up and grab his wrist. When Quadros got out of the hold, Seagal pointed at him, said, "You're good," and strolled off, because Seagal apparently thinks that life is an action movie and he's the tough, eccentric police chief. Incidentally:
But to be fair, we can't blame this behavior on Seagal being an out-of-touch Hollywood asshole, because even before he was famous, he managed to break Sean Connery's wrist while training in aikido. Anyway, please send all punching threats through our feedback form, thanks.