7 Famous Actors In Hit Movies (That Were A Personal Hell)
Good actors pick their films based on such factors as the quality of the writing and the talent of the director. But sometimes, even the most money-hungry thespian will decide a role isn't for them and tell Hollywood they're bailing hard -- only for Hollywood to go, "Haha, not so fast, Jabroni." It turns out that forcing actors to shut their mouths and act in a movie they want nothing to do with can result in massive hits, cult classics ... and yes, the occasional turd. For example ...
Mark Hamill Really Wanted To Skip The Force Awakens
For almost 30 years, Mark Hamill lived easy, thinking his days of waving around a magic space glowstick for a living were behind him. But then in 2012, during a Star Wars event, George Lucas took Hamill and Carrie Fisher aside and told them a new trilogy was happening -- and if they didn't sign up, their characters would be written out.
"Sorry, lost my hand in a freak Slurpee machine accident! I can't play Luke with only one ... wait, shit."
Immediately, the actor was filled with utter terror. He explained the sensation as feeling like he'd been drafted. And he's not exactly wrong. Whoever became responsible for Luke Skywalker being left out of the movie was basically committing suicide-by-angry-nerd.
Hamill's admitted reaction upon learning he would be a few million dollars richer.
Hamill, ever the kind farm boy, needed someone else to do the dirty work for him -- someone like a brazen smuggler, perhaps. In an interview on the Nerdist podcast, he admitted that he was crossing his fingers and hoping that Harrison Ford would say no first, which seemed like a realistic possibility, given how much he freaking hates Han Solo. Unfortunately, director J.J. Abrams made the movie irresistible for Ford by offering to kill his character. And so Hamill accepted mostly out of politeness, The Force Awakens was a success, and he ended up being in it for like ten seconds. Good luck on the next one, Mark! Hope it doesn't suck!
Tommy Lee Jones Was Fucking Miserable Making Batman Forever
Batman Forever may not be the greatest Batman movie, but there's a touching story hidden behind the scenes that almost makes it all worth it. It's the story of how Tommy Lee Jones loves his son more than he hates Jim Carrey. And he really hates Jim Carrey.
"If you talk out of your asshole one more time, I'm going to stick this up it."
After Tim Burton was kicked off the Batman movie franchise for not selling enough Penguin action figures, Warner Bros. brought in director and human strobe light Joel Schumacher. Schumacher's producer had become close with Jones while filming Under Siege and The Fugitive, and thought it would great to ruin his new best friend's reputation. He gave the script to Jones, whom he wanted to play Two-Face, but after reading it, the actor said he didn't get it. The producer replied with all the grace and diplomacy you'd expect from someone who'd made several Steven Seagal vehicles:
"Oh shit! I love that guy!"
Jones called back after a few hours to accept the role. Except for a mini-stroke, what could have possible gotten him to change his mind in such a short time? Schumacher discovered the answer when he went to visit Jones a few weeks later ... and saw his son Austin's collection of Batman comic books. Yep, Jones' true motivation was to finally star in a movie that his kid could watch, instead of trying to explain to Austin why daddy is trying to stop the nice man from finding his wife's one-armed killer.
On top of having to sit in a makeup chair for three hours a day to look half man, half burger patty, Jones had to endure something even worse: Jim Carrey, who played the Riddler. On the night before filming a big scene together, Carrey saw Jones at a restaurant and stopped by his table to say hi. Jones' face turned ashen gray. He got up, hugged the comedian tight, and said, while shaking: "I hate you. I really don't like you." When Carrey asked him why, Jones replied with "I cannot sanction your buffoonery," because Tommy Lee Jones is so old that he was taught his insults by Mark Twain.
Austin didn't get more birthday presents until he was 35
Everybody Was Like, "Fuck Casablanca"
An actor's career lives and dies on their instincts -- a professional gut feeling which sometimes tells them they're making a terrible, awful piece of garbage. You know, like what happened to Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca.
The Citizen Kane of movies that aren't Citizen Kane.
Casablanca was set up to fail from the start. Hastily adapted from an unproduced play called Everybody Comes To Rick's, Jack Warner (of the Warner Bros.) had little hopes for its success. In order to make the best of a bad situation, they brought in director Michael Curtiz, who was not only an amazing filmmaker, but also the kind of maniacal workaholic who thought lunch breaks were for lazy people. And they were going to need a strict taskmaster to keep everything together, especially since the screenplay was in no way ready when they had to start filming and the two leads had the enthusiasm of a cat at bath time.
Between an ever-changing script and an ever-shouting Curtiz, all Bogart and Bergman knew about Casablanca was that it was sloppy, with tons of bad dialogue and absurd situations. When actress Geraldine Fitzgerald took them to lunch (lazy), all they could do was talk about how to get out of the movie. This shit sandwich had literally killed their appetite.
"I'll smack Curtiz, you make a run for the plane and start the engine."
Every morning, Bergman would arrive on set asking Curtiz, "Who are we? What are we doing?" because the script would change with each passing day. Neither Bergman nor Bogart particularly liked each other, nor knew how the movie would end until they were practically shooting it, with many classic lines being pulled out of the writers' asses at the last minute. In the end, Casablanca turned out to be a timeless masterpiece, which came as a great surprise to the people who'd made the damn thing. But hey, sometimes when you drop a thousand-piece puzzle, all the pieces fall in exactly the right place, and then you have a perfectly formed puzzle on the floor of your kitchen. That's Casablanca.
Evangeline Lilly Only Agreed To Make The Hobbit If There Was No Love Triangle (And Then They Added One)
One of the more baffling aspects of the Hobbit trilogy was the out-of-place romantic rivalry between inexplicably hot dwarf Kili and beautiful mop Legolas over the affection of the elf Tauriel. There seemed to be zero chemistry between all the actors involved, but there's a perfectly valid reason for that: None of them knew they were supposed to fancy each other until the movie was almost finished.
One Tumblr fic to rule them all.
When Evangeline Lilly was asked to play the role of Tauriel, an elven warrior created specifically for the movies, she only had one demand: no love triangles. After being trapped in one for six seasons on Lost, she wanted nothing to do with that crap. The producers assured her that there was nothing like that in the script, so Lilly signed onto the films. Then, after an entire year of shooting, they informed Lilly that they needed some vital reshoots between herself and actors Aidan Turner and Orlando Bloom. Why? Oh, because instead of the mentor/mentee relationship with Legolas and a flirty competitiveness with the dwarf Kili, Tauriel now had the high elven hots for these two dudes.
Look, if you're going to make love triangles up, why not go for the gold?
This stealth love triangle was snuck in using reshoots and editing wizardry. When she asked why her badass elven hero was suddenly the star of some teenage drama more befitting Degrassi: Mirkwood than a Tolkien story, Lilly cites the producers telling her that "the relationship between Tauriel and these male character is a bit too ambiguous." They had suddenly remembered a golden rule of fantasy: A female character can only be defined by which hero's longsword she's trying to get her hands on. Eventually, Lilly grew to understand the audience's need for clarity, and accepted that there wasn't time to build another nuanced relationship in a trilogy that only had ten measly hours to adapt a 300-page book.
Brad Pitt Was Bored To Tears Filming Interview With A Vampire
When an interviewer once noted that Brad Pitt looked "miserable" throughout 1994's Interview With A Vampire, the actor responded "I am miserable." You see, Pitt was excited about the movie at first, but didn't get his hands on the script until two weeks before shooting started, only to read that all the juicy bits had been given to Lestat, Tom Cruise's vampire.
The screenwriter had butchered author Anne Rice's story -- which was surprising, because the screenwriter was Rice herself. Plus, it didn't help that Rice hated Pitt's guts, publicly calling his and Cruise's casting "the worst crime in the name of casting since Bonfire Of The Vanities" (the Batman v. Superman of the early '90s).
Not pictured: Cruise, right out of frame, talking about this wonderful new religion he's discovered.
The work was tolerable at first, until the crew moved to Pinewood Studios (near London) in the dead of winter. According to Pitt, at Pinewood, his working day boiled down to "wake up in darkness, go be sad and blink painfully in a drafty mausoleum, go back home in darkness." It was like working night shifts at the Louvre McDonald's.
We're pretty sure he's somehow sleeping under those contacts.
Pitt hated the experience so much that at one point, he called producer David Geffen to find out how much it would take to buy himself out of the movie. Geffen replied "40 million dollars." Pitt quietly and professionally completed the movie. And peaking of reluctant vampires ...
Christopher Lee Kept Getting Guilt-Tripped Into Playing Dracula
Famed pretend wizard and real-life secret agent Christopher Lee rose to fame playing Dracula in Hammer Film Productions, a London-based studio famed for their low-budget horror films. But after his third Dracula flick, Lee felt that the studio was just churning out movies -- he famously had no dialogue at all in that film because, according to him, the lines they gave him sucked. Much to Lee's chagrin, the sequels barely gave him anything to do, as if as if the producers had figured out that Christopher Lee hanging out in a Dracula costume with fangs was terrifying enough. And sure, they were right. Christopher Lee could wear a Pikachu costume and still be terrifying. But that's not the point.
"Lee-A-Chu, I choose you-WUAARRRRGH" [blood is simply everywhere]
When he finally announced he was quitting, Lee got a frantic call from Hammer co-founder Sir James Carreras begging him not to abandon the studio. Apparently, they'd already sold the next movie to the distributor based on the promise of Lee's appearance. When that didn't work, Carreras moved on to full-on emotional blackmail, saying, "Think of all the people you're putting out of work." That line worked on Lee, who admitted that he didn't want to be responsible for hundreds of people ending up on the street. So he wound up pumping out four more Dracula films for Hammer, which he did "under protest" -- though you couldn't really tell, because glaring intensely was also part of his job.
Marlon Brando Was Even More Of A Goddamn Maniac Than You Ever Realized
Marlon Brando has a long and storied past as one of the most difficult actors to work with in Hollywood history. But like all good villains, Brando has his origin story -- a singular moment in which he tipped over from brilliant actor to every director's nightmare. That moment was 1954's Desiree, a movie most notable for providing Google Images with pictures of Brando dressed as Napoleon.
It was also when he touched his firm stomach and said, "Hmm, a Twinkie or two couldn't hurt."
After winning an Oscar for On The Waterfront in 1954, Brando was the hottest ticket in town. 20th Century Fox managed to seduce the star into signing up for their upcoming big-budget epicThe Egyptian. Brando loved the idea -- until he read the script, which was terrible. Knowing now what a scar the movie would leave on his career, Brando did what any responsible adult would do: He snuck out of the studio lot, bought a fake mustache, and pretended to be a United Nations diplomat in order to escape to his apartment unnoticed.
"No, my name is, uh ... Vittorio Florenc- Palerm- Corleone! Yeah, Vito Corleone."
However, Fox tasked a U.S. marshal to serve Brando with papers to let him know they were suing his pants off. The marshal tracked Brando down to his home and, making the wild assumption that Brando had a massive ego, decided to trick him by pretending to be from the Academy to inform Marlon that he had been nominated for another Oscar. Within moments, Brando crashed through the front, only to be informed that Fox was suing him for $2 million (we'd definitely watch a celebrity prank show with this exact premise).
And yet none of this explains why he secretly pretended to be a dolphin decades later.
To settle the matter, Brando agreed to do Desiree for the studio ... and everyone else on set suffered for it. When Brando didn't like a line, he would read it in a ridiculous accent and refuse to do a second take. According to co-star Cameron Mitchell in the appropriately titled biography Brando Unzipped, at one point, Brando pissed his own pants mid-take to ruin a shot. The story is unconfirmed, but it's true that Brando squirted people with his hose -- as in, a literal fire hose, which he'd use to blast extras and create chaos between takes.
This turned out to be the beginning of Brando's on-set madness, with his behavior becoming more and more volatile and unpredictable with every new project. Then again, studios kept hiring a notorious trousers-pisser, so who's really to blame?
For more of Cedric Voets' attempts at witticisms or his famous recipes for toilet wine, do follow him on Twitter.
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