They say you should never meet your heroes, as you will only be disappointed. This sentiment certainly rings true when it comes to a few select actors.
Fame is a difficult thing to fathom for those who find themselves plucked from obscurity and suddenly showered with praise and pampered beyond belief. Anyone who has ever attended a press junket will attest to the care and attention these stars receive and the contrasting behaviour journalists often witness first hand from the Hollywood A-lister.
There are some actors out there who stay grounded, remembering that once upon a time they were the little guy, doing his or her job and trying to make something of themselves in the world. These are the kinds of actors you want to interview – they are open, engaging and look you in the eye. They give you good answers to average questions and always make sure you go away with that one killer quote.
Then there are the others. The actors who, once stardom begins to soak in, believe their own hype and begin to get demanding with the people that wait on them hand and foot. No one is doubting that the filming and promoting of a movie can be an arduous task, but these actors take it upon themselves to make the entire process that bit trickier by being, well, jerks.
Here are the 16 Actors Who Used To Be Sweethearts But Became Jerks.
16 Zooey Deschanel
She may be the very definition of a manic pixie dream girl, but Zooey Deschanel is apparently far from sweet and kooky these days -- try moody and demanding, if reports are to be believed.
"Although the show has other bosses, including creator Liz Meriwether and producer Katherine Pope, Zooey rules the roost," the source said. "And she gets moody and starts making rules on the set which is upsetting a lot of the cast and crew members." These antics include rejigging shooting schedules, throwing full-blown strops, and being mean to people on set.
15 Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon’s early success as a teen star saw her emerge as a poster girl of sorts for good, wholesome fun. She was the innocent girl under attack from the evil Mark Wahlberg in Fear and the deflowered virgin under threat from Ryan Philippe and Sarah Michelle Gellar in Cruel Intentions.
Anyone thinking that image might change once she made the transition from teen to grown-up movie star was soon left mistaken thanks to similar feel good rom-com hits like Sweet Home Alabama and Legally Blonde.
She has found room for some drama – though it’s not always featured on the big screen. In 2013, when her husband Jim Roth was busted on a DUI, Witherspoon ignored a police instruction to stay in their car and began arguing with the officers. She was subsequently arrested, but not before issuing the immortal words "You’re about to find out who I am." Oh boy.
14 Lea Michele
She may have come across as all sweetness and light as Rachel Berry on Glee, but the success of the series evidently went to Lea Michele’s head soon enough if a story shared by True Grit star Hailee Steinfeld is anything to go by. When the then-14-year-old actress was auditioning for her breakthrough role in the Coen Brothers’ western, she spotted Michele nearby walking towards her trailer.
Glee was filming on the same Paramount lot at the time and Steinfeld was a fan, so she plucked up the courage to go over, in her uncomfortable 1800s costume, to ask for her autograph. Steinfeld told J-14 magazine: "So I walked up to her and asked for her autograph, but she walked by and a guy came and said, 'Sorry, now's not a good time' … I was so sad! I was practically crying on the way home."
13 Zach Braff
Zach Braff first came to our attention as lovable trainee doctor J.D. on Scrubs. Yet somewhere along the way, Braff stopped being a sweetheart and started being a jerk. Maybe it was the success of his first feature film, Garden State, but more likely the moment Braff jumped the shark, so to speak, can undoubtedly be traced back to a prank from an episode of Punk’d.
The set up was simple enough: Scrubs co-star Donald Faison went for a ride with Braff in his Porsche. They stopped at a liquor store and, while inside, had a kid come over and pretend to graffiti all over the car.
There was only one problem. "I wasn’t supposed to catch the kid, but I caught him," Braff explained Hollywood. "I’m not a big fighter or anything, but, with the adrenaline and everything, I just started pummelling him." The prank had to be edited significantly before it could be aired.
12 Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston won fans the world over as Rachel Green on Friends but, if some reports are to be believed, the actress was not bothered about making friends on the set of one of her recent films, Life Of Crime. A source told Radar Online: "Every day at lunch the entire cast and crew head to a cafeteria facility where they all sit down and eat lunch together for well over an hour."
Aniston was apparently the only cast member not to eat with everyone else. "She quickly grabs a lunch to go and leaves," the source added.
Worse still, the insider claimed Aniston was based in a private trailer which was located much further away from the set than all of the rest of the cast and that she was given a plush-looking car to make her way to and from the set.
11 Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts rose to fame in Gary Marshall’s smash hit rom-com Pretty Woman, but it didn’t take long before the actress made the switch from sweetheart to complete jerk. The turning point appears to have been on Steven Spielberg’s Hook. Roberts’ only played a bit part as Peter Pan’s fairy sidekick Timberbell but her antics on set soon saw her earn the nickname Tinkerhell from the cast and crew.
Rumour has it that Roberts was demanding throughout filming, employing an assistant whose sole job was to clean the actress’s feet while she was suspended in the air as the fairy character.
Worse was to come, though, with Roberts apparently shutting down filming entirely for several days after going AWOL after calling off her wedding to Kiefer Sutherland. Spielberg was furious and contacted Roberts, warning her that if she didn’t return immediately, she would be fired. Roberts relented, but her difficult reputation has stuck.
10 Woody Harrelson
Woody Harrelson’s big break came way back in 1985 when he landed the role of adorably dumb barman Woody Boyd on the hit sitcom Cheers. Harrelson has remained a firm favourite for much of the time since, thanks to a string of memorable movie roles and his status as one of America’s biggest marijuana advocates.
However, even Harrelson can come off as a bit of a jerk sometimes, as he demonstrated during a disastrous Reddit Ask Me Anything session hosted to promote his new film at the time, Rampart.
The only problem was that Harrelson had little interest in answering questions from fans unless they related to Rampart. At one point he even responded to one, admittedly odd, question by stating: "Let’s focus on the film people." He’s unlikely to repeat the experience any time soon and few fans will be complaining.
9 Katherine Heigl
Katherine Heigl has been in the film and TV business for a considerable amount of time, having first caught the eye playing the role of Steven Seagal’s niece in Under Siege 2: Dark Territory.
She’s gone on to have considerable success on the big and small screen with Knocked Up and Grey’s Anatomy arguably her two most notable projects. However, despite those successes affording her a life and career most could only dream of, Heigl has earned a reputation for biting the hand that feeds with some contentious comments on both.
She famously labelled Knocked Up "a little sexist" adding that she "had a hard time with it" during an interview with Vanity Fair. It was by no means an isolated incident though; Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes labelled the actress "nasty" in an interview with People after she publicly removed her name from Emmy consideration because she wasn’t happy with the writing on the show.
8 Jared Leto
Jared Leto has come a long way since played brooding heartthrob Jordan on My So Called Life but he’s not quite as sweet and innocent as he once was. In truth, the problems really began in the immediate aftermath of arguably the high point of Leto’s acting career to date: winning a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work on Dallas Buyers Club.
That success evidently went to his head, with Leto’s method acting madness sinking to new depths on Suicide Squad. Not only did Leto stay in character as the Joker throughout filming but he took to sending co-stars inappropriate gifts.
Adam Beach, who played Slipknot, told E! Online that Leto "sent [Margot Robbie] a nice love letter with a black box with a rat in it — a live rat." He also skipped the start of filming to work on his character, sending the dead carcass of a pig in his place.
7 Teri Hatcher
Teri Hatcher will always hold a special place in the hearts of Superman fans as arguably the best big or small screen incarnation of Lois Lane to date. However, the once sweet Hatcher had changed by the time her career enjoyed a renaissance on the hit series Desperate Housewives.
When co-star Nicollette Sheridan launched legal action against the makers of the show over wrongful dismissal, creator Marc Cherry took the stand to reveal Hatcher and Sheridan had fallen out on the very first series of the show.
According to Cherry, in quotes carried by E! Online, Sheridan referred to Hatcher as "the meanest woman in the world." She wasn’t the only one to take issue with Hatcher though – co-stars Eva Longoria, Marcia Cross, Felicity Huffman and Vanessa Williams had all apparently fallen out with the actress by the end of the series. A gift sent to the crew was signed by all four but not Hatcher.
6 Mike Myers
Mike Myers was a popular part of Saturday Night Live for six years where he first introduced the popular Wayne’s World sketch alongside Dana Carvey. The duo would eventually land their own movie which, in time, would lead Myers on to Austin Powers.
However, while Myers was a sweetheart during his time on SNL, he proved a far trickier prospect on the Wayne’s World movie and in the years since. Myers regularly clashed with director Penelope Spheeris on the set, often complaining about long takes and her directorial choices.
"You should have heard him b***hing when I was trying to do that ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ scene: ‘I can’t move my neck like that! Why do we have to do this so many times? No one is going to laugh at that!,'" she told Entertainment Weekly. Myers also objected to some of Spheeris’s editing and eventually moved to block the director from helming the 1993 sequel. That’s pretty jerky.
5 Jonah Hill
Jonah Hill rose to fame thanks to comedies like Superbad but in the years since he has branched out into more serious dramatic work, with some adverse side effects. Maybe it was because of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination he received for Moneyball, but Hill seemingly went from comedy movie sweetheart to standard Hollywood jerk.
The turning point came during a bratty interview with Rolling Stone in which Hill appeared to object to some of the questions he was being asked, labelling them "dumb."
"I’ve done one of the biggest challenges you can do in Hollywood, which is transition from being a comedic actor to being a serious actor, and I’m really prideful of that," he added. "I could have made a billion dollars doing every big comedy of the last 10 years and didn’t, in order to form a whole other life for myself. Now I have fulfilment doing both."
4 Anne Hathaway
There seems to be a trend for child actors turned fully-fledged movie stars going from sweethearts to jerks and Anne Hathaway is no exception. Having made her name on the Princess Diaries movies, Hathaway managed to score a string of meaty roles that saw her emerge as a fully-fledged film star of some considerable acclaim. Unfortunately, that brought with it some pretty demanding behaviour if some reports are to be believed.
Back in 2015, TMZ reported that the actress was a pretty demanding presence during a shoot for a Japanese commercial that she was already being paid handsomely for. The report claimed that Hathaway sent her breakfast of eggs and English muffin back an astonishing four times, until it was exactly the way she wanted it.
She also once made press wait 45 minutes for interviews while someone fetched her coffee and scrambled eggs. Hathaway is evidently a firm believer in the notion that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
3 Bruce Willis
If you ever want to hear about how much of a jerk Bruce Willis can be to work with, then Kevin Smith will happily oblige. The pair worked together on the misfiring police comedy Cop Out after striking up an unlikely friendship on the set of Live Free and Die Hard.
It was an entirely different matter on the set of Cop Out though, with Willis complaining about the script and Smith’s direction throughout filming. He was an antagonistic and confrontational presence throughout, according to the film’s director, often deliberately ignoring instructions.
"It was f**kin' soul crushing," Smith told Marc Maron on his podcast. "I mean, a lot of people are gonna be like, ‘Oh, you’re just trying to blame the movie on him.’ No, but I had no f**king help from this dude whatsoever." He’s come a long way since David Addison on Moonlighting. What happened to that happy-go-lucky guy?
2 Tommy Lee Jones
A late bloomer of sorts, Jones only really made it big with The Fugitive, earning an Oscar for his performance as Marshal Samuel Gerard. He soon found himself inundated with major movie offers, including one to play Harvey Dent / Two-Face in Joel Schumacher’s big and brash Batman Forever.
It was here that Jones displayed his jerk tendencies though. Jim Carrey has made no secret of the fact the pair didn’t get along – he’s not sure why that was the case, though.
Speaking on The Howard Stern Show, Carrey recalled the first time he went to say hello to Jones in a restaurant ahead of filming. "The blood drained from his face, in such a way that I realised that I had become the face of his pain," he said. "He got up, kind of shaking, hugged me and said 'I hate you. I really don't like you,'" telling Carrey he could not sanction his "buffoonery."
1 Wesley Snipes
The late '80s and '90s were a glorious time for Wesley Snipes, who went from starring in the music video to the Michael Jackson hit "Bad" to starring in movies like Passenger 57, Demolition Man and Blade.
Alas, Snipes’s personal issues soon began to affect his work and, by the time the third instalment in the Blade franchise, Blade Trinity, arrived, he was not in a good place. In fact, according to co-star Patton Oswalt, Snipes was something of a nightmare on set.
"He wouldn't come out of his trailer and he would smoke weed all day," Oswalt told The AV Club. Snipes apparently frequently clashed with director David S Goyer, accusing him of being racist and demanding that he quit. In the end, he stopped speaking to him altogether.
"For the rest of the production, he would only communicate with the director through Post-it notes," Oswalt said. "And he would sign each Post-it note 'From Blade'."
Did we forget any actors who went from sweethearts to jerks? Let us know in the comment section.