The 5 Most Hilarious Actor Meltdowns Behind Famous Movies

Hollywood meltdowns make Chernobyl look like routine procedure.
The 5 Most Hilarious Actor Meltdowns Behind Famous Movies

The blockbuster film business is just like any other line of work, only the co-workers are hotter, the paychecks are astronomical, and you can't go outside without having adoring fans throw themselves at you. But other than that, it's almost exactly the same. The main difference is that when office workers have a meltdown, they might punch a hole in the bathroom stall and steal a stapler, but when Hollywood actors do it, they'll pull amazingly insane stunts like these.

Marlon Brando Demands a Bucket Hat and a Personal Dwarf

The 5 Most Hilarious Actor Meltdowns Behind Famous Movies
Getty Images/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Marlon Brando is responsible for some of the most memorable performances in movie history in films like The Godfather, On The Waterfront, and Apocalypse Now, but he's also responsible for testing the patience of pretty much every director he worked with. The man had an ego the size of a Brando. He held so much power that he could wear an ice bucket over his head and it would wind up in the finished film.

We know this because it actually happened.

The 5 Most Hilarious Actor Meltdowns Behind Famous Movies

"That had better be Twinkies you're pouring in there."

That's a real still from The Island of Dr. Moreau, possibly the worst movie in Brando's long career, as well as the careers of people who weren't even in it. It was probably this realization that made Brando decide that, if his name was going to be associated with such a turd, he was at least going to have some fun doing it. And so, when filming began, Brando wore something not in the script: a random ice bucket he found. And he refused to take it off.

Brando also wore a radio earpiece that would feed him his lines, in part because the script was constantly being rewritten and in part because he was beyond giving a shit at this point in his life. The problem was that, according to his co-star David Thewlis, the earpiece would sometimes get interference from police frequencies, so Brando would end up acting out lines like "There's a robbery at Woolworth's!"

The 5 Most Hilarious Actor Meltdowns Behind Famous Movies

That, or Brando was purposely doing that just to fuck with them ... which is highly likely.

And that wasn't even the most bizarre thing to happen on the set. At one point, Brando told the director that he would not perform unless a midget whom he had befriended during production appeared next to him in all his scenes, so then that happened -- you know the miniature version of Dr. Moreau who accompanies him everywhere? That's not in the book or the script. Brando forced them to add all those scenes. And that, friends, is why this happens in the movie:

The dwarf (who had a successful television career in South America) then inspired "Mini-Me" from Austin Powers, although that isn't an accurate comparison; a mini-me version of Brando would be the size of Edward Norton. Speaking of which, Brando co-starred with Norton and Robert DeNiro in the less crappy film The Score. Did you think Brando looked more in shape in that movie than in Dr. Moreau? Well, that's just because he refused to wear pants, forcing the director to shoot him only from the waist up.

Wesley Snipes Gets Stoned, Strangles the Director of Blade 3

The 5 Most Hilarious Actor Meltdowns Behind Famous Movies
Lawrence Lucier/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Method acting can be a useful tool when you're playing, say, a man who has lost everything and just wants his family back. It's not so useful when you're playing a vampire/human hybrid who hunts other vampires and decapitates people with swords -- especially if your idea of a vampire hunter is actually "someone who smokes weed all day." If it wasn't obvious already, we're talking about Wesley Snipes in the Blade movies, most of which he apparently spent alternately pretending he was a real vampire and getting baked.

The 5 Most Hilarious Actor Meltdowns Behind Famous Movies

In the backstory constructed by Snipes, Blade wears those glasses so his parents can't tell his eyes are all red.

Cracked favorite Patton Oswalt recently addressed rumors that Snipes not only had stayed in character all the time during shooting of Blade 3: Trinity, but had also been stoned as hell. Snipes apparently spent all day smoking weed in his trailer and refusing to come out. As a result, they had to rely on stand-ins to shoot most of his scenes, and then simply used close-ups of Snipes for the reaction shots. And by reaction shots, we mean Snipes' emotionless face grunting or saying "Mmm" to everything, which was due to a combination of not knowing what he was reacting to and having the mental agility of a Phish concertgoer.

So, in the movie, many of Ryan Reynolds' funniest lines to Blade were included simply because Snipes wasn't there when he said them -- Reynolds was able to just improvise the most ridiculous stuff, knowing that the movie would always cut to a shot of a stoic Blade saying, "Mmm." Here's Reynolds just winging it like in a Judd Apatow movie:

And here's the finished scene with Snipes' "reaction":

When Snipes did bother to leave his trailer, he spent his time making friends on the set: One time he sat down with director David Goyer and told him he sucked at his job and should quit. When Goyer replied that maybe Snipes should be the one to quit since they could always shoot the rest of the film with the stand-ins, Snipes snapped and tried to strangle the director.

After the assassination attempt failed, Goyer paid a bunch of bikers he had met at a strip club to pose as his security team and drop by the set one day to scare Snipes. The prank worked, as Snipes never got near Goyer again, instead communicating with him via Post-it notes ... which he signed, "From Blade."


Lindsay Lohan and the All-Nude Movie Shoot from Hell

The 5 Most Hilarious Actor Meltdowns Behind Famous Movies
David McNew/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Lindsay Lohan's would-be comeback picture The Canyons had all the right elements to turn into a crowd-pleaser: It had Academy Award-nominated director Paul Schrader for fans of Taxi Driver; screenwriter Bret Easton Ellis for fans of American Psycho; and adult entertainment actor James Deen for fans of Cum Fart Cocktails 9.

How could such a collaboration lead to what is apparently a cinematic turd? Well, we don't want to jump the gun here, but it may have had something to do with Lohan's already legendarily insane behavior on the set. In fact, the New York Times on-set report about the filming is almost certain to be remembered more fondly than the film itself. It even has all the ingredients of a good Bret Easton Ellis story: a protagonist completely disconnected from reality, incongruous pop music cameos, and baffling amounts of male nudity.

The 5 Most Hilarious Actor Meltdowns Behind Famous Movies
Handout/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

And this ridiculous fucking mess of a human.

Right off the bat, Lohan missed the very first day of shooting and was consequently fired by Schrader over the phone. At this point she went to Schrader's hotel and stayed outside his room all night, crying. Schrader finally had a change of heart (or just wanted to go to sleep), so Lohan promised she'd be on her best behavior from then on. However, over lunch break the next day, Schrader sent one of his producers to drive Lohan to get some food to make sure she'd return to the set on time ... and when the car stopped at the security gate, Lohan bailed, jumped over the gate, landed on a friend's car, and took off.

She did come back, hours later, but it might have been better if she hadn't, as things only got worse from there. When Lady Gaga arrived at the hotel they were filming at, Lohan once again ditched the already troubled production to party with Gaga, giving the production team a doctor's note that said she was ill. Finally, when it was time to shoot the pivotal orgy scene and Lohan refused to take off her clothes, Schrader had had it. Furious, he walked over Lohan's room, opened the door, and showed her his scrotum.

The 5 Most Hilarious Actor Meltdowns Behind Famous Movies
Via Wikipedia

If this is how wrinkled his face is, just imagine.

Butt naked, he pleaded with her to undress, saying that the only reason he had his schlong in front of her face was because he wanted her to "be comfortable." Because Hollywood doesn't operate by the same logic as the rest of the world, it worked. They finished the movie, and it was rejected from every festival for "quality issues," so clearly it was all worth it.

Lawrence Tierney Punches Tarantino and Pulls a Knife on Seinfeld

The 5 Most Hilarious Actor Meltdowns Behind Famous Movies

Lawrence Tierney had a long career in Hollywood playing gangsters and all-around tough guys, but you probably know him better from a little movie he did later in his career called Reservoir Dogs -- he played Joe Cabot, the old-timer who puts together the whole operation. In real life, however, Tierney was less like Joe and more like the psychopathic Mr. Blonde: All those years he was playing gangsters, he also had a pretty successful side career as a complete lunatic. He was one of the most intimidating people in Hollywood.

The 5 Most Hilarious Actor Meltdowns Behind Famous Movies

Tarantino had to repeat this one shot 10 times because the cameramen kept dying.

In the 1950s and '60s, Tierney was arrested multiple times for constantly fighting civilians, cops, and sobriety. Despite being in his 70s by the time he did Reservoir Dogs, he was still the same troublemaker: On his last day on the set, he got into a fistfight with Quentin Tarantino, and he was so angry when he got home that he fired a shotgun into a wall and hit his nephew. That was a pretty unlucky shot, though -- think about it, that could have been Tarantino.

While Tarantino never cast him in a movie again, for some reason, Tierney kept busy in the '90s doing guest spots on classic sitcoms: He played mall detective Don Brodka in the episode of The Simpsons where Bart gets arrested for shoplifting a video game. Simpsons show-runner Josh Weinstein called Tierney "the craziest guest star experience we ever had," and we'll remind you that this show has had both Dennis Rodman and Michael Jackson. Besides being generally scary and yelling at everyone, Tierney insisted on reading his lines with an inexplicable Southern accent and refused to say any jokes he didn't understand.

The 5 Most Hilarious Actor Meltdowns Behind Famous Movies

"Since when do video games exist in this show? And why is Pebbles called 'Bart' now?"

But Tierney's craziest moment came during one of the most memorable performances of his career, when he played Elaine Benes' father on Seinfeld. Larry David wanted him to appear regularly on the show, like Jerry's and George's parents, but sadly we missed out on a potential Lawrence Tierney/Jerry Stiller team-up when Tierney stole a real knife from the kitchen set and tried to hide it under his jacket.

Because Jerry Seinfeld was always good at observing the little things, he noticed the knife and confronted Tierney about it. Tierney took out the knife, but instead of handing it over, he started to mock-stab Jerry in the heart, saying this had all been a plan for a joke he had. We can't decide what's scarier -- if he was lying or if he wasn't.

The 5 Most Hilarious Actor Meltdowns Behind Famous Movies

Let's just assume whatever he wants us to assume.

Sean Young Dresses Up Like Catwoman and Terrorizes Tim Burton

The 5 Most Hilarious Actor Meltdowns Behind Famous Movies
Robert Mora/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Sean Young rose to prominence in the 1980s by appearing in movies like No Way Out and Blade Runner, and for a while everyone wanted her in their movies. Today, her acting career consists of sneaking into Hollywood parties and getting kicked out by security. How did she get to that point? By being so crazy that even Hollywood wants nothing to do with her, and this is the same industry that keeps giving work to Nic Cage.

Young's troubles started in 1988 when rumors emerged that she had super-glued James Woods' dick to his leg while shooting The Boost.

The 5 Most Hilarious Actor Meltdowns Behind Famous Movies

"Two thumbs down." -James Woods' dick

Although they've both denied those reports, Woods and his wife did sue Young for stalking them, which included leaving a decapitated doll at their doorstep and mailing them gore images. They eventually settled out of court, but Young's reputation as one of Hollywood's most batshit insane actresses was just getting started.

After annoying Oliver Stone so much on the set of Wall Street that he drastically reduced her role and just shipped her off to a bus station, Young scored a career-making role: Bruce Wayne's girlfriend in Tim Burton's first Batman movie. Unfortunately, Young broke her arm before shooting and had to be replaced by Kim Basinger, but she still felt like she was owed a piece of the Batman pie, so she started campaigning to be cast as Catwoman in Batman Returns. And by campaigning, we mean she put on a real Catwoman costume and took to the streets.

The 5 Most Hilarious Actor Meltdowns Behind Famous Movies

"Oh, I just had this from that time I fell off a window and like 50 cats licked me back to life."

You see, when Young was passed up for the role, instead of phoning the director to call him a motherfucker like most respectable actors do, she showed up unannounced at the studio lot in a makeshift Catwoman outfit and started an impromptu audition in front of a terrified Michael Keaton and Mark Canton, the head of Warner Bros. at the time. According to Keaton, for a second there he thought he and Canton were dead men, as the metallic object in her hand looked like a gun.

Of course, it wasn't a gun, as Young is not that crazy. It was only a walkie-talkie she was using to locate Tim Burton, who was hiding from her in the bathroom.

The 5 Most Hilarious Actor Meltdowns Behind Famous Movies

If this man is scared of you, it's time to re-evaluate your life.

Yeah, she didn't get the part.

Ricardo would like to thank Luke Jennet for providing the Blade entry.

Related Reading: If you crave more stories of crazy actors, click here to read about the time Tom Cruise worked as a FedEx driver for the movie Collateral. More interested in insane sacrifices for terrible movies? Read about the time Jared Leto gained sixty pounds to star in a box office flop. Of course, the best performances aren't acting at all- no one on the set of Alien knew anything about the chestburster before its bloody first appearance.

Angels are real, and they are bad frickin' news. Robert Brockway's Vicious Circuit series is a punk rock, dark fantasy full of horror and humor. Check out the first two books, and pre-order the third, Kill All Angels, available December 26th.

Scroll down for the next article
Forgot Password?