We’ve all had to deal with classmates/co-workers/people that we don’t like. It’s part of being a living, breathing human being. Clashes of personality are bound to happen. This is just as true in the glamorous world of showbusiness. While smiling stars on their latest press junket will tell you that working on their newest movie was a lot of fun and praise their co-stars, we know that realistically, it can’t always be all sunshine and rainbows.
In fact, some actors have had some epic mud-slinging feuds, with the media in the middle all too eager to give us the latest updates. These grudges, while entertaining to watch from the sidelines, can get genuinely personal and legitimately nasty. With all that in mind, we decided to trawl through the Bumper Book of Celebrity Beefs (not a real publication, unfortunately) and present you with the 15 Actors/Actresses Who Refuse To Work Together.
15. Robert Downey Jr. and Terrence Howard
There’s a moment in the first Iron Man movie where the likeable Rhodey (Terrence Howard) sees a shiny silver Iron Man suit hung up. He considers putting it on for a moment, but instead says “Next time, baby” and walks away. However, as anyone with even the slightest passing knowledge of the MCU will know, that time never came for Howard, who was unceremoniously dumped from the franchise and replaced with Don Cheadle in the sequel.
We don’t know all the details about Howard’s departure from the series, but according to the actor, RDJ may have had something to do with it, indirectly at the very least. He was originally signed to do three films, but Marvel offered a dramatic cut in salary in order to bankroll RDJ’s hefty pay increase for Iron Man 2. Howard balked at the offer, and Don Cheadle was brought in to suit up instead. There’s been no real comment on the issue from Downey Jr., but Howard still seems bitter about how things went down, and it’s unlikely that they’ll be teaming up for any future projects.
14. Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones
On paper, you probably couldn’t get much more differing personalities than Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones. While most people regard Joel Schumacher’s neon nightmare Batman Forever as a low point for the Caped Crusader, it at least appeared that the actors were having fun, even if audiences weren’t. The Riddler and Two-Face may have become BFFs in an attempt to defeat the Dark Knight in the movie, but off-screen was a different story altogether.
When Jim Carrey appeared on The Howard Stern Show, he recounted one time he went into the same restaurant as Jones during filming. As the pair were shooting the big Riddler lair sequence the next day, Carrey went over to say hi. To quote Carrey “the blood drained from his face in such a way that I realized that I had become the face of his pain or something. And he got kind of shaking and hugged me and said, ‘I hate you. I really don’t like you.’ And I was like, ‘Wow, okay, what’s going on, man?’ And he said, ‘I cannot sanction your buffoonery.'” Ouch.
13. Nick Nolte and Julia Roberts
To put in mildly, Nick Nolte and Julia Roberts didn’t see eye-to-eye while working on the romcom I Love Trouble. Things got so bad, production was apparently affected by the co-stars’ hatred for each other, with rumors of the two actors insisting on filming their scenes separately and using stand-ins for their scenes together.
When asked her opinion on Nolte in an interview with the New York Times, Roberts didn’t mince her words, commenting that whilst Nolte could be “charming and nice”, he was also “completely disgusting”. Nolte later shot back at Roberts, quoted as saying that “It’s not nice to call someone ‘disgusting.’ But she’s not a nice person. Everyone knows that.” Since then, Nolte has called I Love Trouble the worst film he’s ever appeared in, and that he felt he “sold his soul” by doing it. Meanwhile, Julia Roberts called Nolte the worst actor she’s ever worked with. With such barbs thrown back and forth, we’re probably not going to be seeing a Nolte/Roberts project in the works any time soon.
12. James Franco and Tyrese Gibson
To prepare for his role as a junkie in City By The Sea, James Franco went full method and slept on the streets to get him in the required mindset. He brought his process to Annapolis, but by his own admission, probably went too far with it. In the movie, Franco plays a new naval recruit who is entered in a midshipman boxing tournament called The Brigades, where he eventually faces his commanding officer Matthew Cole (Tyrese Gibson). Both men got into fighting shape, but Franco apparently overstepped the line.
During the filming of the climactic fight, Franco didn’t pull his punches, something which Tyrese Gibson understandably took exception to. In a later interview, Gibson stated “Whenever we’d have to get in the ring for boxing scenes, and even during practice, the dude was full-on hitting me. I was always like, “James, lighten up, man. We’re just practicing.” He never lightened up.” In a 2007 interview with Playboy, Gibson was quoted as saying “I never want to work with him again, and I’m sure he feels the same way. It felt very personal. It was f**ked-up.” You can’t get much clearer than that.
11. Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano
Cult supernatural witch ’em up Charmed underwent a drastic change at the end of its third season when it killed off Prue Halliwell (Shannen Doherty) and brought in a new lead for the fourth season in the form of Rose McGowan’s Paige Matthews. Rumors started swirling after Doherty’s departure, and most of them were focused on the apparent on-set tensions between the three main stars.
According to Doherty, her friction with Alyssa Milano in particular was a major contributing factor to her quitting the show. Milano and co-star Holly Marie Combs had been friends for a long time prior to filming, and it apparently all got a bit too much like high school for Doherty, with their cliquey behavior alienating her. The pair have apparently started to reconcile their differences recently, with Alyssa Milano extending an olive branch, contacting her former co-star with messages of support during Doherty’s recent battle with breast cancer.
10. Bill Murray and Lucy Liu
Bill Murray seems like a chilled-out kind of guy. However, when he’s on set, he’s apparently all business, and hecan be quite critical if things don’t run smoothly. Case in point, Charlie’s Angels, the 2000 blockbuster remake of the iconic ’70s TV show. Murray played Bosley, the assistant to the mysterious Charlie, the millionaire who bankrolls all of the Angels’ (Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu) super-sleuthing.
If certain sources are to be believed, Murray’s dislike of Lucy Liu’s acting got to the point where he stopped a scene and went to each of the “Angels” in turn: “I get why you’re here, and you’ve got talent….but what in the hell are you (referring to Liu) doing here. You can’t act!” Apparently, this enraged Liu and the actress attacked him, with the two having to be separated by the crew. Whether this is actually how it went down is up for debate, but the fact that Bernie Mac replaced Murray in the sequel does lend credence to the theory that Bill and Lucy didn’t get along.
9. LL Cool J and Jamie Foxx
This one stands out, as it’s the only one in which the police had to be called. LL Cool J and Jamie Foxx worked together on Oliver Stone’s football drama Any Given Sunday. While they were meant to play rivals, things soon went spectacularly off script. Reports vary, but apparently, LL Cool J punched Foxx in his helmeted face without warning and struck him on the back of the head when he starting walking away. Foxx then turned around and socked him square in the face in retaliation. Local law enforcement was called, but no charges were filed.
However, the beef didn’t stop there. On his 2000 album G.O.A.T., LL Cool J sniped at Foxx again on the track “U Can’t F*ck With Me,” which contains the lyrics “Once and for all / What’s my opinion on Jamie Foxx? / He’s a p*ssy / P*ssy ain’t as funny as Chris Rock /” In his stand-up show I Might Need Security, Foxx detailed the incident, joking that Mr. Cool James didn’t know the difference between real life and acting. The pair have since buried the hatchet, but their rivalry earns its place in the Hall of Hollywood Beefs.
8. Charlie Sheen and Selma Blair
In what seems like a lifetime ago, Charlie “Tiger Blood” Sheen was fired from the popular sitcom Two and a Half Men and started making eyebrow-raising media appearances, hitting headline news over his antics. Sheen then fell into another sitcom role in Anger Management, where he played Charlie Goodson, an ex-baseball player with rage issues. Inspired by his therapist, Dr. Kate Wales (Selma Blair), he decides to go back to school and become a therapist himself. Cue laugh track.
The drama allegedly began when Blair criticized Sheen’s professionalism and work ethic to the show’s executives. Upon hearing this, it’s alleged that Sheen fired the actress and gave the higher-ups an ultimatum – if Selma turned up to work on Monday, he would quit the show. After Blair’s departure, more details came out about the situation, with Sheen apparently firing Blair with a sweary text. Blair would later threaten legal action, but nothing came of it.
7. Will Smith and Janet Hubert
You’d struggle to find many more beloved ’90s sitcoms than The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Not only did it showcase future megastar Will Smith’s talents, but it also had a brilliant supporting cast, from Alfonso Ribeiro as the nerdy Carlton, James Avery as the peerless Uncle Phil, and Karyn Parsons as spoiled rich girl Hilary. However, the matriarch of the Banks family, Vivian, was originally played by Janet Hubert, who lasted for three seasons before being replaced by Daphne Maxwell-Reid.
The reason for this? Apparently, Hubert was difficult to work with on set. In a Q&A, Alfonso Ribeiro simply stated that “she went nuts”. Will Smith commented on the issue back in 1993, “I can say straight up that Janet Hubert wanted the show to be ‘The Aunt Viv of Bel Air Show’ because I know she is going to dog me in the press”. Hubert also downplayed the repeated rumors of a reunion, jabbing at the recent photo of the cast hanging out by saying “there will never be a true reunion of the Fresh Prince,’ and that she has “no interest in seeing any of these people on that kind of level.”
6. Kevin Smith and Bruce Willis
Bruce Willis and Kevin Smith acted together in Live Free or Die Hard, where Smith played a hacker known as “Warlock” who helps John McClane track down cyber-terrorist Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant). Smith apparently impressed Willis when the Clerks writer/director/actor did some uncredited work on the script, rewriting chunks of dialogue. This led to the two working together on Cop Out, which proved to be a challenge for both men.
Apparently, things didn’t go smoothly on the Cop Out set. Smith criticized Willis’ attitude and later called him “the unhappiest, most bitter, and meanest emo-bitch I’ve ever met at any job I’ve held down.” and remarked that he wouldn’t even pose for the movie poster. An unnamed talent representative for the production commented on Smith smoking too much pot on set and generally leaving the actors with little to work with. Never at a loss for words, Smith pointed out that he delivered the movie on time and under budget. We may never know what exactly happened, but at least we got a good movie out of it right? Oh.
5. Sylvester Stallone and Richard Gere
Richard Gere and Sly Stallone were originally slated to appear in 1974 movie The Lords of Flatbush together, but apparently disliked each other so much that Gere was fired from the production several weeks into shooting. According to an interview with Ain’t It Cool News in 2006, their beef actually started over some chicken.
Stallone stated that tempers were already flaring before one fateful lunch break, where things reached boiling point: “We were rehearsing at Coney Island and it was lunchtime, so we decided to take a break, and the only place that was warm was in the backseat of a Toyota. I was eating a hotdog and he climbs in with a half a chicken covered in mustard with grease nearly dripping out of the aluminum wrapper. I said, ‘That thing is going to drip all over the place.’ He said, ‘Don’t worry about it.’ I said, ‘If it gets on my pants you’re gonna know about it.’ He proceeds to bite into the chicken and a small, greasy river of mustard lands on my thigh. I elbowed him in the side of the head and basically pushed him out of the car.”
Gere was fired soon after and replaced with actor Perry King. There are even rumors that Stallone started the infamous “gerbil” urban legend about Gere, which he denies, although Gere apparently believes him to be the culprit.
4. Sharon Stone and William Baldwin
Fresh off the success of Basic Instinct, work soon began on Sliver, an erotic thriller that reteamed Sharon Stone with screenwriter Joe Eszterhas. The movie had a troubled production, including a major battle with the MPAA over the film’s rating, but perhaps the biggest problem was the fact that Sharon Stone and her on-screen lover William Baldwin hated each other. That’s a massive issue when your movie is primarily about lust and attraction.
There are tons of rumors as to the extent of their feud, but one of the most persistent allegations is that Stone bit Baldwin’s tongue so hard during a love scene that it rendered him unable to speak properly for a week (the number of days reported varies, but it’s still a vicious thing to do). To cap it all off, the film was critically panned. Don’t expect a reunion pic to pop up on Instagram any time soon.
3. Faye Dunaway and Roman Polanski
Actor and director Roman Polanski may have made some great movies, but reports about his personal life leave a lot to be desired. Apparently, one of his many questionable traits is that, as a director, he rules with an iron fist. While filming Chinatown, Dunaway asked for clarification regarding her character’s motivation, to which Polanski replied “Say the f*cking words. Your salary is your motivation!”
Dunaway would later get her revenge when she was denied a request for a bathroom break. She confronted the director and allegedly threw a coffee cup of urine in his face. You know things have gotten personal when bodily fluids are involved.
With all of this on-set drama, it’s a miracle that Chinatown turned out as good as it did. Faye Dunaway has since declined to talk about the truth behind the incidents in interviews, and even shut one journalist down in 2008 when he tried to press the issue, angrily retorting “I think you’ve brought up something that is so distasteful…you know very well, I am a lady and you were completely insulting.” That’s not exactly a “no”, is it?
2. Debra Winger and Shirley MacLaine
Debra Winger and Shirley MacLaine played a mother and daughter in the 1983 tearjerker classic Terms of Endearment, but in real life, they were anything but friendly towards each other. Many of the stories have to do with Winger’s drug addiction at the time, which caused her to be erratic on set and clash with her coworkers.
One infamous story is that Winger became tired of MacLaine’s stuffy attitude, lifted up her skirt and, ahem…broke wind right in her face. Things reached a peak when both actresses were nominated for Best Actress at the glitzy 56th Academy Awards for their roles in the movie. MacLaine ended up walking away with the gold, memorably closing her genuinely funny winner’s speech with “I deserve this, thank you!” Their feud lasted far beyond the one movie, and since then, Debra Winger has made no secret of her continued dislike for MacLaine in her infrequent media appearances.
1. Bette Davis and Joan Crawford
We couldn’t have a Hollywood feud list without talking about one of the most legendary rivalries to ever hit Tinseltown. In case you weren’t aware of this epic grudge match, both Joan Crawford and Bette Davis were two of Hollywood’s most glamorous leading ladies in the 1930s and ’40s. They socialized in the same circles and ended up fighting over actor Franchot Tote, whom Davis had worked with on a movie called Dangerous and fallen for. Crawford knew this and seduced Tote, and the pair ended up married for several years.
They ended up working together at Warner Brothers and their rivalry worsened, taking to the press to dig at each other with deeply personal remarks. Despite all this, the pair worked together on What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?, but continued to fight, indulging in some unbelievable shade-throwing. At the time of filming, Crawford was married to the CEO of Pepsi, so naturally, Davis made sure that a Coca-Cola machine was installed in Crawford’s dressing room. In a scene where Davis has to drag her character Blanche out of bed, Crawford wore a lead weightlifter’s belt hidden under her costume. Davis, who already suffered from back problems, reportedly ended the scene in agony, with an amused Crawford looking on.
This beef was so strong even Crawford’s untimely death in 1977 didn’t quell Davis’ hatred for her, with Bette reportedly quipping “You should never say bad things about the dead, only good… Joan Crawford is dead. Good.” Damn, that’s cold.
What other well-known Hollywood hotshots refuse to work together? Let us know in the comments.
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