5 Iconic Roles (That Made Actors Miserable)

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5 Iconic Roles (That Made Actors Miserable)

Buena Vista Pictures

Film acting seems like a pretty sweet gig; you get to meet interesting people, travel to exotic locations, and sometimes there’s even free coffee and donuts. But as much as we may assume that movie stars are all having the time of their lives while we’re stuck, well, sitting in front of a computer writing about how movie stars are having the time of their lives, sometimes these icons of the silver screen were secretly miserable as hell, such as how … 

Bob Hoskins Didn’t Realize That Super Mario Was A Video Game Character

Confusing every kid in 1993 who was expecting an adventure in a candy-colored fantasyland, and not a downward spiral into a monster-filled dystopian urban hellscape, the Super Mario Bros. movie isn’t without a loyal fanbase. And a big reason why some people love this movie is the central performance from legendary actor Bob Hoskins – although, to be fair, the bar for live-action Mario portrayals, at that point, had been set by a former wrestler best known for sweatily threatening kids about drug use. 

But the role of everyone’s favorite pixelated plumber was less than ideal for Hoskins, who claimed that he didn’t realize that Super Mario was a video game character when he took the part. According to Hoskins, he was only informed of the part’s game-based origins by his excited children. When he saw Mario “jumping up and down” he lamented: “I used to play King Lear.”

Hoskins and co-star John Leguizamo were so despondent while making the movie, they coped by “drinking too much” which caused Leguizamo to crash the Mario Bros. plumbing van, breaking Hoskins’ fingers. Maybe someone should have tried taking the movie out and blowing on it. 

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Making Interview With The Vampire “Broke” Brad Pitt

We’re soon going to get a brand new, TV adaptation of Interview with the Vampire – and since it’s set in modern-day, presumably the interview is a podcast and Lestat’s tales of unholy misdeeds are constantly being interrupted by commercials about food boxes and reasonably-priced underpants. The original movie, though, came out way back in 1994, and starred Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and several unconvincing wigs.

While we’re guessing that Cruise became a vampire for real in order to maximize the film’s accuracy (which, come to think of it, would explain the age-defying latter stage of his career) Pitt was … less enthused with the project. According to the actor – who, we have to remind you, willingly agreed to make Meet Joe Black – he was “miserable” while shooting the movie in London, after “six months in the f**king dark.” Plus there was the discomfort of the required contact lenses and make-up, and the fact that he believed he was “playing the bitch role.” 

Pitt was so annoyed, he phoned producer David Geffen and asked him: “How much will it take to get me out?” Since the answer was $40 million, he endured the rest of the shoot. Again, this is a guy who just two years earlier was totally cool with clocking in day in, day out to make Cool World

Jeri Ryan Made Herself Sick Playing Seven Of Nine (Because She Couldn’t Go To The Bathroom)

One of the most famous characters in Star Trek history is Seven of Nine; the former Borg drone who showed up on Star Trek Voyager and later Picard. Unfortunately for Seven, Voyager had no HR department because, rather than just give her a regular uniform like literally everyone else on the ship, the crew provided her a wardrobe that consisted of only skin-tight bodysuits that left little to the imagination for some unspoken reason.

While this may have appealed to the Venn diagram overlap of Trekkies and Maxim magazine subscribers at the time, the outfit was a goddamn nightmare for actress Jeri Ryan. For starters the corset she had to wear was so tight she had trouble breathing. While they didn’t change-up the costume immediately, the show instead hired “nurses with oxygen tanks” to help Ryan who “passed out four times during production.” Which is just way too many times.

If that wasn’t bad enough, if Ryan had to so much as pee, production had to shut down for the 20 minutes it took her to get undressed, go to the bathroom, and get dressed again. So in order to avoid the embarrassment and difficulty of this occurrence, she would “not drink all day” which led to her feeling “really ill.” 

Viola Davis Felt She “Betrayed” Herself Making The Help

Rivaling even the filmography of Jason Biggs for grossest cinematic pie scene, The Help famously tells the story of several Black maids working in the South during the Civil Rights movement, so naturally, much of the story is about … a white writer played by Emma Stone?

The film, and the original novel, have been criticized for being a glossy, prestige-hungry white savior story – or as it’s known today, pulling a Green Book. One of the film’s Oscar nominations went to the always great Viola Davis, who played Aibileen. Davis later had some not-so-flattering things to say about the movie, pointing out that it was ultimately “catering to the white audience.” 

While she took the role hoping that it would help her “pop,” Davis stated that it was “created in the filter and the cesspool of systemic racism,” adding that: “there’s a part of me that feels like I betrayed myself, and my people.” And speaking of white savior stories … 

Filming Lawrence Of Arabia Was Basically Torture For Peter O’Toole

David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia, one of the all-time great cinematic epics, tells the story of the titular British soldier who worked with Arab forces to battle the Turks during World War 1, based on a true st – er, probably a bunch of hogwash. 

While today, you could probably shoot the whole movie with an iPhone and a green bed sheet, back in 1962, it necessitated schlepping out to the desert of Morocco. Unfortunately for star Peter O’Toole, it also meant enduring a staggering, Jackie Chan-esque number of injuries. 

For starters, there were the camels; after riding one for hours on end, O’Toole’s self-described “delicate Irish arse” literally started bleeding, so he was forced to “layer his saddle with sponge rubber.” He was also bitten on the hand by a camel – at least that’s what he told a Los Angeles vice cop who busted him and Lenny Bruce as they were leaving an after-hours drinking club in ‘62. 

He also reportedly “broke his thumb, dislocated his spine, fractured his skull, sprained his neck, tore his groin muscle” and “was concussed twice.” Not to mention that the film’s costume designer “deliberately made the actor’s army uniform too small and ill-fitting” either in an attempt to “reflect the historical figure’s real-life discomfort with the outfit” or just to, you know, be a jerk.

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Top Image: Buena Vista Pictures/Paramount

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