5 Iconic Roles That Made Actors' Lives A Living Hell
Believe it or not, Johnny Depp isn't a pirate, Robert Downey Jr. doesn't own a mechanical super-suit, and Tom Cruise isn't really a maniac who hangs from planes and ... OK, that last one is a bad example. But our point is that just because an actor pretends to be someone in a movie doesn't mean that they are that person. You'd think this would be common knowledge, and yet some famous thespians (and even a bunch of C-list celebrities) keep getting harassed in insane ways. For example ...
Everyone Tries To Pick Fights With Ghostbusters' Bad Guy
In Ghostbusters, actor William Atherton played the villainous bureaucrat Walter Peck. Atherton is so good at playing a smug, ignorant, loud jerk that you forget that he's completely right and Bill Murray is the real asshole in this movie. Speaking of which, Atherton's most memorable movie moment is probably the scene where Murray says, "Yes, it's true. This man has no dick." Classic! It never gets old!
Unless, of course, your name is William Atherton.
It turns out that it is possible to be too good of an actor. For years after the release of Ghostbusters, fans of the movie would see Atherton in bars and try to pick fights with him, presumably under the impression that he really does work for the EPA and really did try to hinder the efforts of a pack of wisecracking ghost hunters in 1984. Not even shaving his beard could prevent people from HOLY SHIT WE JUST REALIZED HE'S THE JERK FROM DIE HARD TOO.
Ahem. Anyway, the film's director, Ivan Reitman, mentioned on the DVD commentary that he ran into Atherton sometime after the film's release, and instead of greeting him as one might normally greet the man who made you internationally famous, Atherton was completely pissed off. Not only were people trying to fight him, but he also had random assholes shouting at him in public. In one incident that was absolutely horrible and totally not the greatest thing we've ever heard, a bus full of kids spotted him on the street and yelled "DICKLESS!" at him from the windows. The joke's on them, though; if any celebrity on Earth is likely to become a ghost and haunt the shit out of people who were assholes to them, it'd be this guy.
No word on how the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is taking his fame, but given that we haven't seen him in any more movies, we're guessing it's not well.
Biff Tannen Has To Carry Prepared Response Letters For Fans
If you're ever in the presence of one of the stars from your favorite films, it's natural that you should want to ask them some questions, ranging from common sense stuff ("Did you have clothes on under the Iron Man suit?") to the philosophical ("Would you wear clothes under an Iron Man suit if you had one?"). It doesn't matter how original you think your question is, though; chances are they've heard it a hundred times before, and are tired as shit of answering it.
However, no one has it worse than actor Tom Wilson, perhaps due to a combination of being known only for one movie, that movie being one of the most famous ever, and aging almost exactly like some makeup artist in 1985 predicted he'd age.
Wilson played Biff and other assorted Tannens in the Back To The Future trilogy, a universally-beloved series that some freaking nerds just can't seem to stop talking about. In fact, he gets asked the same handful of questions so often that he went ahead and had all the answers printed on some postcards, which he now carries everywhere. Whenever someone approaches and Wilson senses that they're gonna start asking Back To The Future questions (perhaps there's a certain smell that sets them apart), he just hands them one of these:
At this point, we're guessing this is less about saving time and more about straight-up self-preservation. If he didn't give these to people, he wouldn't have time for eating or sleeping, and would drop dead within a few days. Wilson seems fairly good-natured about it, though; he's taken several of the above questions and turned them into a comedy song, which he plays at some of his stand-up shows.
The takeaway message here seems to be "Thanks for being a fan. I appreciate it. But for the love of God, please shut the hell up."
People Keep Sending The Harry Potter Cast Bibles, Blood, And Other Bizarre Shit
With the Harry Potter series being as popular as it is with the younger crowd, it makes sense that the actors and actresses would get more fan mail than they could possibly read or reply to (or at least, that's what we tell ourselves to sleep at night). This is especially true in the case of Emma Watson, since her fan mail pile looks less like the heap of pink envelopes you're imagining, and more like this:
Watson says that she constantly receives Bibles in the mail, revealing that the film series is really big with old grandmothers and/or serial killers. They seem to come from people who think that Harry Potter is the most satanic thing ever, and that the actors only contribute to this moral decadence because no one's simply informed them that organized religion is a thing that exists. This hilarious passive-aggressiveness doesn't seem to faze Watson, though; she told The Sun that she's got a collection of 20 Bibles now. We would have probably fled our homes after Bible number three, because we've seen more than enough stalker movies to know how that ends.
What's odd is that her male co-stars don't seem to have this problem ... which doesn't mean that the postman doesn't deliver weird shit to them, too. Besides the normal scrapbooks of his own face -- which, let's face it, we've all made at some point -- Daniel Radcliffe says he also gets photos of regular objects, like a milk bottle or a door (his own). The most baffling ones, however, are the "Freddy-Krueger-like masks." You could see them as a reference to that horror movie he did, Horns, but he started receiving these masks years before that film even came out. People decided entirely on their own that Harry Potter needed to get monster faces in the mail.
Finally, the actor who played Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire probably has it worse off than anyone. If you're not sure who that is, you might have seen his face on the posters of some obscure indie film he made called Twilight. Sparkly vampire heartthrob Robert Pattinson has gotten vials of blood from fans. Or at least, we hope they're from fans and not, like, bacteriologists short on guinea pigs.
"It's still better than the fans who mail me glitter."
Malcolm McDowell Got Death Threats For Killing Captain Kirk
When A Clockwork Orange was first released in theaters, it instigated what scientists generally refer to as "a real shitshow." It was so violent and shocking that it sparked protests and supposedly even copycat crimes, getting to the point where Stanley Kubrick asked for the film to be withdrawn from the UK. And yet for lead actor Malcolm McDowell, this cultural touchstone is nothing compared to the time he made thousands of nerds angry by making this happen:
Yes, McDowell is the guy who dropped a bridge on Captain Kirk in Star Trek: Generations. The fact that James Tiberius Kirk isn't a real person and that McDowell only pretended to kill him while acting in a movie was unimportant. This man had to pay. With his life, preferably. In 2011, he confirmed in an interview that he received death threats after the film's release from people who were furious that he fake-murdered their fake-idol. McDowell claims that some of them were written in another language, but we're gonna go ahead and guess they were also related to the movie, since that language was Klingon.
The impressive part (in a fucked-up way) is that the threats were sent over the Internet, and this was back in 1994. Cat memes weren't even a thing yet and online porn had only recently been upgraded from "text art" to "actual images," but random angry people were already using this wonderful new technology to tell celebrities to eat shit and die. The experience unfortunately soured McDowell on the World Wide Web, and he's apparently hated it ever since. Which at least explains this:
As for why the rabid fans chose an actor who was just following the script and not, you know, whoever wrote that thing, that's anyone's guess. We get that you're a crazy person who is sad that Kirk will never show up to your house with the Enterprise to take you on fantastic space adventures, but the least you could do is direct your irrational hatred at the right person.
Kate Winslet Is Constantly Asked To Sign Her Own Boobs
After Titanic was seen three times by everyone in the entire world, Kate Winslet became an international superstar for her classic, unforgettable role of Rose Somethingorother. Like most famous celebrities, she's constantly asked to sign all sorts of things by her fans. Unlike those celebrities (at least, the ones not in the adult entertainment industry), those things tend to include parts of her own anatomy.
In case you've only seen the daytime network TV version of the film, one of the most famous scenes is where DiCaprio draws Rose in charcoal while she's lying naked on her couch, wearing only the Heart of the Ocean necklace (known as the "Yogi Bear" look). A few terrifying individuals have taken to printing out copies of that drawing for the explicit purpose of asking Winslet to sign her own nude sketch. As in, they shove her own boobs in her face and expect her to happily write "Have fun wanking to me!" or something. She refuses to do so, probably choosing to sign a restraining order instead.
This isn't a one-time thing, either; Winslet says she's "haunted" by her nude sketch, and is asked to sign it "a lot" by random folks. "I don't sign that [picture]. It feels very uncomfortable. Why would you do that?" said Winslet, who is taking the wrong approach to this problem. If it was us, we'd just grab the pen, take the sketch, and do something more useful with it:
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