Everyone has their bad days, especially celebrities. Some, however, seem to have more bad than good. Here are 15 celebrities known for having a difficult time collaborating with others…
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Crowe’s reputation for having a volatile temper accompanies his stoic, Academy Award winning pedigree. Even Cinderella Man co-star Renee Zelwegger commented on his penchant for “pushing” the actors around him, though she later recanted by spinning this trait as something to be cherished. This, along with his offset antics, qualify him for a spot on this list by default.
He’s a super talented actor, but Bale revealed himself as having a Russell Crowe-sized temper when a tape of him berating a cinematographer on the set of Terminator: Salvation leaked. Though the tape cemented the actor’s penchant for being, ahem, “serious,” he managed to work with the next personality on this list, David O. Russell, and earned an Academy Award in the process. Even more surprisingly, they collaborated without a Terminator-style incident. Perhaps Bale’s bark is worse than his bite?
David O. Russell
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Maybe Bale learned a few things about anger management from I Heart Huckabees and The Fighter director David O. Russell. George Clooney famously cleaned his clock on the set of Three Kings following Russell’s less-than-stellar treatment of a crew member. Later, a tape would be released of Russell and actress Lily Tomlin going at it verbally on the set of I Heart Huckabees. The tape would garner more press than the movie, but Russell has since overcome his angry pedigree and has The Silver Linings Playbook currently in theaters.
The Mad Men star has also developed a reputation for causing tension on set. Even her co-star Jared Gilmore, who played her son Bobby on the show, commented on her icy demeanor. In an interview, Gilmore confirmed Jones is “not as approachable as the others. She’s really serious about what she does. Everyone else is so nice.”
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The Wayne’s World and Austin Powers star has long maintained a reputation for being an egotistical, hard-to-work-with perfectionist. EW previously published a disconcerting account of the Canadian comedian. In that article, Wayne’s World director Penelope Spheeris commented, ”I hated that bastard for years.” Ouch!
Kilmer has a long standing rep for being “difficult” that stretches back to difficulties with Tom Cruise on the set of Top Gun (rumor has it the two got into some fisticuffs at one point). To top it off, Batman Forever director Joel Schumacher described Kilmer on set “irrational and ballistic… rude and inappropriate .. childish and impossible,” attitudes that culminated in two weeks of silence between Kilmer and the filmmaker. Schumacher subsequently described this period as “bliss!”
Director Kevin Smith is known for being open about various aspects of his life, including his experiences on movie productions. Smith has candidly discussed his problems dealing with Bruce Willis on the set of Cop Out. Smith reports Willis had difficulty dealing with the quick-witted improv of Tracey Morgan and refused to take direction. At one point, things culminated in a stand-off that nearly led to blows. The experience with Willis would help usher Smith’s departure from Hollywood and into the world of reality TV and podcasts.
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Former Saturday Night Live star Chevy Chase has confirmed he will be leaving Community before the series ends. This comes on the heels of well-documented drama between himself and the show’s creator, Dan Harmon, conflict that helped contribute to the latter’s departure. Chase’s history of being difficult traces back to his SNL days– at one point while guest hosting he got into an infamous backstage fight with his replacement on the cast, Bill Murray.
Speak of the devil, the Ghostbusters star has opened up on several occasions about his own bad behavior on sets. In particular, his work on Charlie’s Angels sparked a conflict with the film’s director McG, who reported the actor headbutted him during an argument. Murray has denied that claim, but also says he considers his onset demeanor “sometimes a badge of honor” and that he’s “nothing but trouble” when he doesn’t agree with the direction a film is taking.
In an interesting reversal of roles, it was the aforementioned Bill Murray who would help protect one young director against another “difficult” performer, Gene Hackman, on the set of The Royal Tenenbaums. Apparently Murray and actress Angelica Huston both helped support Anderson while dealing with the vitriolic actor, who would yell things at the director like “Pull up your pants and act like a man” along with various obscenities. Hackman anticipated the role to be his last on film and though he did a few more movies later, Tenenbaums represents his critically acclaimed work.
Jay-Z has been quoted as saying, “difficult takes a day, impossible takes a week.” The rapper/producer should know– his reputation as a perfectionist is tainted by an infamous 1999 assault on producer Lance “Un” Rivera. The rapper would plead guilty to the charge and got three years probation for it. In recent years, the rapper has seemed to mellow out, surviving and extinguishing various conflicts with several of his collaborators, including Nas, R. Kelly and his own “brother” in hip-hop, Kanye West.
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West, an artist known for his outspoken and often stubborn demeanor, has maintained a close, if sometime rocky, personal and professional relationship with Jay-Z. Around the time of recording Watch The Throne, rumors persisted that a fist fight broke out between the two rappers. Jay-Z himself has dismissed the rumors, saying he and West only “sometimes get on each others nerves” and fight “like brothers.” West also famously feuded with rapper Consequence, a battle of the word that ended in the artist’s departure from Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music family. The two have also since buried the hatchet.
Katherine Heigl has become famous for rubbing her fellow Grey’s Anatomy co-stars the wrong way, displaying a diva-like attitude onset and dismissing her previous film’s (such as Knocked Up) in the media. The last bit of Heigl gossip suggested a feud between Sofia Vergara and the actress on the set of Valentine’s Day, though the conflict was never substantiated beyond rumors.
Guns N Roses frontman Axl Rose has notoriously held up any sort of reunion with the band’s original line-up, much to fan’s chagrin. His behavior has been said to have contributed to delaying albums like The Spaghetti Incident as well as the new line-up’s Chinese Democracy (which took 15 years to see release). Rose denies these claims but also maintains his feud with Slash and Duff McKagan will likely never end any time soon.
Faye Dunaway’s erratic behavior has become the stuff of Hollywood legend. The Oscar-winning Bonnie and Clyde star has reportedly clashed Roman Polanski on the set of Chinatown—rumor has it she was kept offset for three weeks after the two argued about a misplaced strand of hair. Another much talked about episode involved her throwing a cup of urine (!) in the face of the director when he wouldn’t let her take a bathroom break during a set-up. Dunaway is famous for not wanting to discuss such stories, letting her award-winning resume do the talking for her.