Back when he was interviewed about the oral history of Saturday Night Live in a novel Live from New York, Bill Murray famously said “when you become famous, you’ve got like a year or two where you act like a real a**hole. You can’t help yourself. It happens to everybody. You’ve got like two years to pull it together — or it’s permanent.”
If this notion is truly the case for many a Hollywood actor, then some actors may still be stuck in that first phase.
From the fan’s perspective, approaching a celebrity can be a double edged sword or, rather, a two sided coin. Either the celebrity turns out to be the nicest person in the world… or the biggest jerk in the world. The celeb will either welcome your approach with open arms or wave you off.
The same goes for their personal life. In a world where the internet and social media allow us a close glimpse into a celebrity’s personal life within the blink of an eye (or, rather, the click of a mouse pad), we can easily find out if a celebrity dedicates their time to wonderful acts of kindness or awful scumbag behavior.
With that said, here are the 10 Actors Who Are Jerks In Real Life (And 10 Who Are Sweethearts).
20. Jerk: Teri Hatcher
Charlize Theron recently revealed that, while filming one of her first films, 2 Days in the Valley, she legitimately hit Teri Hatcher in the face while filming a fight scene.
Theron promises that she did so by accident, but judging Hatcher by her history with other actors in the past, we would not be surprised if Theron’s “accident” was actually on purpose.
Teri Hatcher has always had a reputation of being quite nasty on the set with her co-stars, and this behavior never felt more pronounced than during her days filming her hit tv show Desperate Housewives.
It’s unclear what caused a rift between Hatcher and her castmates, but according to TV Guide‘s William Keck, “something went down” between Hatcher and the cast. Hatcher often distanced herself during the show’s run, and her castmates were sure to keep out of Hatcher’s way in return.
Hatcher had gotten herself such a bad reputation on the set that, when the entire cast sent the show’s creator, Marc Cherry, a thank you gift at the end of the show’s run, Hatcher’s name was left off of the card.
19. Sweetheart: Mark Ruffalo
Mark Ruffalo has always been known to be one of the nicest guys in Hollywood today. It is rare (if ever) for anyone to say anything bad about him.
Anybody who has ever worked with Ruffalo has nothing but positive memories and nice things to say about him. When the cameras are not rolling in his direction, Ruffalo happens to be an enthusiastic activist towards a number of important causes.
Ruffalo often finds himself championing and supporting pro-choice rights, LGBTQ rights, and anti-fracking campaigns.
He also has dedicated much of his time to working alongside groups like We Are Change (an organization that works to expose corruption) and The Solutions Project (which works towards making the US a 100% renewable resource country).
18. Jerk: Katherine Heigl
There was once a time when Katherine Heigl was one of the most sought after actresses in modern Hollywood. In more recent years, however, Heigl has not had as much of a presence in mainstream media as she used to, and now, much of that has to do with the reputation she garnered for having a nasty attitude.
The former Grey’s Anatomy star was once accused of being ungrateful when she called Knocked Up– the movie which gave Heigl her big break in film– a sexist movie.
Speaking of Grey’s Anatomy, the Emmy winner refused to put in her bid for a 2008-09 season nomination because she felt that the material written by the critically acclaimed Shonda Rhimes was not on par with her performance that year.
17. Sweetheart: Tom Hanks
Anyone who has seen their favorite celebrities walk the streets during the day knows that there is some hesitation on our part to approach them. We are usually worried about how we’ll be treated, and if, ultimately, the celeb will blow us off like a jerk.
One actor who we never have to be worried about meeting in person is Tom Hanks. The two time Oscar winner has always been more than enthusiastic about meeting his fans, frequently taking pictures with them whether he is on the street or entertaining drunk fans at a bar.
When he isn’t doing any of that, he’s fighting for substantial causes in the world. His efforts and contributions as a political activist has earned Hanks both a Kennedy Center Honor and a Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Barack Obama.
16. Jerk: Gwyneth Paltrow
There was a time when Gwyneth Paltrow was considered by many to be one of America’s sweethearts back in the 1990s. Either the image she displayed was merely a facade or her personality has drastically changed in more recent years because, in 2013, Star Magazine dubbed Paltrow as The Most Hated Celebrity in Hollywood.
Some may wonder what Paltrow could have possibly done to earn such a prestigious accolade. Well, for starters, she was considered by the magazine to be “arrogant” and “pretentious” to her peers on a regular basis.
She has also made some ridiculous statements over the years, such as claiming that she’d rather die than let her child eat Cup-a-Soup, or that she doesn’t break up, but “consciously uncouples.” Many fans believe that such statements make her sound like she’s a bit too full of herself.
15. Sweetheart: Tom Hiddleston
There is something about the name Tom that just lends itself to be the name of some of the nicest guys. Much like Tom Hanks, Tom Hiddleston happens to be one of those super nice guys.
For an actor who makes a living playing one of the most dastardly villains in modern movie history, Hiddleston finds a way to be an utterly nice guy whenever he is out of character.
We have seen him lend his jacket to a red carpet reporter because it was cold outside, give another hungry red carpet reporter a can of tomato soup, and surprised a child at a Thor: The Dark World screening with Thor memorabilia.
14. Jerk: Jennifer Lawrence
The time span in which the entire world turned on Jennifer Lawrence seemingly happened within a blink of an eye.
One minute, the Oscar winner was one of the most beloved actresses on the planet. People either loved her for her acting, or because she was– as millennials would say– “relatable AF” and was open about her love of pizza.
The next minute, she found herself venomously hated. We could blame some of this on the mass public suddenly finding her obnoxious, but we can mostly blame this one on the fact that her true colors came to light the longer she remained in the spotlight.
This was most evident when she treated a foreign interviewer badly for looking at his phone for translated questions, and when she revealed that she disrespected some sacred rocks in Hawaii by scratching her butt onto them.
13. Sweetheart: Ryan Gosling
Ryan Gosling is more than just a phenomenal actor and somewhat of a noteworthy meme. He also happens to be something of a hero.
One of his kinder and braver acts came in 2011 when he was caught on camera breaking up a fight in New York City. Two New Yorkers were scuffling over a painting when, suddenly, a wild Ryan Gosling appeared.
Upon seeing the two men fight, he dropped his grocery bag and ran over to break it up. After the two gentlemen stopped flinging fists at each other, Gosling tried to mediate the situation and cool everybody down.
12. Jerk: William Shatner
If we were to look back for a second at William Shatner’s Comedy Central Roast special, we would remember that George Takei’s tirade against the former Captain Kirk actor felt too full of animosity to be scripted in the spirit of fun.
This is because Takei used the opportunity to let out all the rage shared by the rest of the cast during the years of working on Star Trek with Shatner.
During their tenure on the show, no one liked Shatner because the star was known to be extremely difficult to work with. It seems as though Shatner has retained much of his jerk behavior in recent years.
11. Sweetheart: Angelina Jolie
More often than not, Angelina Jolie tends to get a bad reputation in Hollywood, usually for unwarranted reasons.
For all of the flak that Jolie normally receives, not enough people recognize that she can be absolute sweetheart at times.
In 2014, Angelina Jolie arrived to New York City for a Daily Show interview. In front of the studio, she noticed that a fan in line was having a panic attack triggered by the dozens of people pushing and surrounding the woman to see Jolie.
As a mother with children of her own, Jolie couldn’t help but try to assist the woman– she approached the woman, talked to her, and managed to calm her down. Once she was at ease, Jolie posed for a selfie with the fan. Jolie refused to leave the woman’s side until she was sure that she was okay.
10. Jerk: Charlie Sheen
In a case of life imitating art (or, arguably, vice versa), Charlie Sheen has proven to be just as much of an immature man-child as his former character from Two and a Half Men.
There are far too many examples of Sheen being a complete jerk. For starters, he was arrested in 2009 for assaulting his wife at the time, Brooke Mueller.
A year later, he trashed his hotel room in an immature, drunken rage. Another year later, he discovered that he was HIV positive, but instead of being responsible about it, he continued to have unprotected sex without even notifying his partners of his condition.
In fact, he kept his condition a secret until the news broke out in 2015, when he admitted that he had unprotected sex with close to 200 women while HIV positive.
9. Sweetheart: Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx is a jack of all trades in Hollywood. He is an Oscar winning actor, a Grammy winning musician, a well regarded comedian, a current game show host, a successful radio host, and to top it all off, he is also a courageous hero.
In early 2016, Jamie Foxx watched a pickup truck crash right in front of his house. In the knick of time, Foxx did not hesitate to rush over to the burning vehicle and pull the driver out of the truck.
The driver still had to go to the hospital to treat his burns, but had Foxx not been there and been willing to help him, the man would have been in fairly worse shape.
8. Jerk: Johnny Depp
This is a somewhat controversial entry, as Johnny Depp is known for both doing sweet things and being a scumbag.
On one hand, Depp has been known for committing some kind acts. After all, this is the same guy who shows up unannounced at hospitals to entertain sick kids in his Captain Jack Sparrow attire just because he can.
However, on the other hand, Depp was recently exposed by his ex-wife, Amber Heard, for physically and verbally abusing her in drunken tirades. Both instances were caught on camera with video and photographic evidence.
For abusing his wife alone, we should label Depp as more than a jerk; Not only because he betrayed the trust of his partner by intentionally harming her, which is absolutely appalling, but also because the actions committed in private are more indicative of a person’s true personality rather than their actions committed in public– even if said person is known to be completely selfless.
7. Sweetheart: Rooney Mara
Coming from a family of philanthropists (her mother’s family is the founder to the Pittsburgh Steelers and her father’s family is founder to the New York Giants), Rooney Mara dedicates a lot of her time to supporting noble causes whenever she is not acting.
One of those causes involves Faces of Kibera, a charity which Mara founded herself in 2008 long before she ever became famous. The foundation deals with providing food, shelter, and medicine to orphans living in Nairobi, Kenya, which happens to be one of the largest slums in Africa.
Mara also helps oversee the charity of the Uweza Foundation as President of the Board of Directors for the foundation. The Uweza Foundation supports and provides empowering programs for children and families in the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya.
6. Jerk: Christian Bale
When we try to think of notorious jerks in Hollywood, one of the first to immediately cross our minds is none other than Christian Bale.
This is mostly due to his outburst on the set of Terminator: Salvation. We all remember the viral internet clip where Bale can be heard verbally lambasting and bullying a member of the film crew for stepping on the film set and breaking the actor’s concentration.
He repeatedly cursed at the guy and threatened to have the Director of Photography fired. Bale wound up apologizing for his tirade, but we can’t help but wonder how often Bale finds himself bullying his crew on the set, or even his castmates, and whether his antics have just been kept under wraps.
5. Sweetheart: Zach Galifianakis
Instead of just gushing about all of the nice things which Zach Galifianakis does with his time outside of acting, let’s take a minor detour…
More than 20 years ago, when he was still a struggling comedian, Galifianakis met and befriended an elderly woman named Elizabeth “Mimi” Haist who owned his local laundromat down in Santa Monica, California.
The two lost touch years later, but when Galifianakis finally hit it big after he caught his big break with The Hangover, he found out that Haist was homeless. He searched for her, found her, and bought her an apartment to live in.
4. Jerk: Russell Crowe
Russell Crowe is known to have a bit of a temper that tends to flare up in front of the public eye. One of his more infamous rages occurred during a BBC radio interview back when he was promoting his film Robin Hood.
The interviewer questioned the authenticity of Crowe’s accent. Apparently, Crowe was gunning for an East Midlands accent, but anybody who has seen the film knows that his accent switched around to every island in the United Kingdom.
Understandably, the interviewer asked Crowe if it was intentional that his accent sounded Irish. Crowe was so offended that he belittled the interview, waved him off with his cigarette, and walked out.
Crowe has also been accused over the years of have several restaurant outbursts and getting into fights on set, but without visual proof, we have no choice but to call most of it hearsay.
3. Sweetheart: Emma Watson
Pretty much all of the Harry Potter alumni have been praised for being a bunch of nice lads and ladies, but arguably none more so than the former Hermione actress, Emma Watson.
In between acting takes, Watson dedicates all of her time to political activism and supporting women’s rights. She even landed herself a role a Women Goodwill Ambassador for the UN. She has used her position to help advocate and spread awareness for gender equality and has campaigned for wide education for all women across the world.
Watson has also used this unique opportunity to influence her fans through her own #HeForShe campaign, which garnered much acclaim, attention, and success. The fact that she has found a way to use her celebrity status as a launching pad to promote feminist values is incredibly inspiring.
2. Jerk: Jared Leto
The more that we read about his personal life, the more that Jared Leto just sounds like a detestable human being. Don’t get us wrong, we admire his work as an actor.
Leto has put in some truly incredible performances over the years. However, as far as what he does when the cameras are not rolling, he mostly comes off like a complete jerk.
When news broke that Leto was a little too into his method acting on the set of Suicide Squad and decided to send the cast some “pranks.” By pranks, we mean sending a box of bullets, a dead pig, anal beads, and condoms to his castmates.
Though some can excuse him for this, other people have also had bad experiences, with the Thirty Seconds to Mars singer telling one sound technician to “f*** off” during a sound check.
1. Sweetheart: George Clooney
Long before Grey’s Anatomy had Patrick Dempsey walking the halls as Dr. McDreamey, Clooney was getting hospital patients all hot and bothered on ER.
Now, Clooney has become known to the world through both his movie and TV work. Clooney is not just a hunk because of his good looks, though. It also helps that he happens to be one of the nicest guys in Hollywood.
Fans who run into him tend to describe him as friendly and approachable no matter when they find him. In recent years, he has also become a political and economic activist, raising money and awareness for Haiti, the Darfur conflict, the Armenian Genocide recognition, as well as 9/11, among other important causes.
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