Director Bryan Singer isn't exactly known as a great dude. He's had multiple sexual assault allegations levied against him, including involving numerous underage boys. So it shouldn't be a shock that, on top of being an alleged sexual predator, Bryan Singer might also be a prick to work with. Yet, when you hear the sheer insanity of the stories, you can't help but leave your mouth hanging agape, thinking, "How the hell did anyone ever allow this guy to run a film set?" (Don't leave your mouth hanging agape for too long though or Singer might allegedly take that as an invitation.)
The Hollywood Reporter recently released an expose of Singer's time directing the first X-Men movies, and it reads less like an account of a film being made and more like an unearthed tale about Caligula. According to one unnamed source, "Bryan would bring people to story meetings who weren't involved in the movies. Young guys. A different person every time." Said another passage:
"Behind the scenes, crises raged, including drug use, tantrums, and a writers' feud. Adding to the drama, one of the film's actors filed a civil suit four months after production wrapped, claiming that he was raped by three of Singer's friends and business associates -- although none of them were involved with X-Men."
Another story recounts Singer's rampant drug use and conflicts with producers like Tom DeSanto who tried to rein him in:
"Singer was incapacitated after taking a narcotic. Some crewmembers had taken the same drug, and DeSanto became fearful that someone on set could be injured. All of the main cast, with the exception of McKellen, were in the scene that day, which takes place in the X Jet and comes near the end of the movie. But Singer was defiant and continued shooting, leading to a botched stunt that left Jackman bleeding on camera (no stunt coordinator was present because the scene was supposed to be shot the following day)."
It was in response to this incident that Halle Berry famously told Singer, "You can kiss my black ass." But the original X-Men films weren't the only time Singer treated a film set like the very worst version of a frat house. According to a Vanity Fair report, Singer would arrive at work late and unprepared on the set of X-Men: Apocalypse and allegedly he would cry if his behavior was challenged. There were also frequent visitors, "People flying in and out of town, put up in hotels, all on his dime." Then, during the shooting of Bohemian Rhapsody, Singer just wouldn't show up for work like he was a high schooler working at the smoothie stand and not, as he actually was, the director of a major motion picture with a $55 million budget.
Singer was eventually fired from Bohemian Rhapsody, but it's incredible to think he could make it as long as he did without being fired. Perhaps the reason is, as one exec interviewed in The Hollywood Reporter put it, "His behavior was poor on the movie. We accommodated him on the first movie, and therefore we can accommodate him on the second movie. And on and on. And it created a monster." Maybe that's true, or maybe Hollywood just has a high tolerance for monstrous behavior in general, but whatever the case, it's hard not to be stunned by just how high that tolerance goes.
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Top Image: Franz Richter/Wiki Commons, 20th Century Studios