Marvel has put in a lot of work to create a family-friendly, cinematic universe over the last few decades. With all the vibrant colours and imperfectly, perfect heroes, it’s hard to imagine the actors portraying these characters doing some very shady things.
The studio has always had a knack for casting its heroes: from Wesley Snipes, Chris Pratt, and Robert Downey Jr, to Chris Hemsworth, Chadwick Boseman, and Chris Evans. Unfortunately, some of these heroes have done some pretty villainous things in real life.
Maybe it’s the pressure of being famous, maybe it’s their inflated egos, but these shady acts will forever be remembered by the internet. That could be a good thing, considering some actors don’t seem very sorry for their actions and only apologize when forced to by their publicists.
Some of these entries portray essential characters, while some of them are more focused on the supporting roles. Either way, you’ll be surprised to find out what some of the most recognizable faces on the planet get up to in their spare time.
Here are the 15 Shadiest Things The MCU Actors Have Ever Done
15. Arrested For Battery (Josh Brolin)
In 2004, Josh Brolin had just recently married the gorgeous Diane Lane, when the police were called to their home for domestic disturbances. In the early hours of a Sunday morning in December, police responded to a call placed by the actress claiming Brolin had hit her.
Brolin was arrested and booked with battery, but was later released on a $20,000 bail. Lane dismissed the incident, claiming it was just an argument that went to0 far. A spokesperson for the couple reiterated this and claimed the couple was back home together and were embarrassed that it went this far.
No matter how you spin it, it’s still pretty shady to be charged with what the spokesperson called the lowest-end misdemeanour charge of domestic battery. Miss Lane decided not to press charges, but the couple later divorced.
14. Calling Out British Actors (Samuel L. Jackson)
In an article from The Guardian earlier this year, Samuel L. Jackson questioned what Jordan Peele’s highly successful Get Out film could have been with an African American instead of British-born Daniel Kaluuya.
Jackson went on to mention Ava DuVernay’s Selma, starring British actor David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, stating “…there are some brothers in America who could have been in that movie who would have had a different idea about how King thinks.”
So why does Jackson think so many American based roles are going to British actors instead? In the same article, he goes on to say that British actors don’t ask for as much money and are classically trained.
Needless to say this did not go over well with fans and actors alike. Jackson has since clarified his comments, stating he was actually taking aim at the Hollywood system and not the actors themselves.
13. Promoting a Potentially Dangerous Diet (Gwyneth Paltrow)
Gwyenth Paltrow and her trainer Tracy Anderson came under major fire this year for promoting a weight loss regiment that essentially made you lose 14lbs in just four weeks.
The diet was quickly condemned by a number of medical experts and advocates as being incredibly dangerous, since it would cause you to lose a seriously unhealthy 3.5 pounds a week. It’s basically a raw-vegan diet with very small portions, which would leave your body exhausted and could potentially trigger an eating disorder.
The diet was promoted during a Q&A session hosted on Paltrow’s lifestyle website Goop. Obviously, the site got rid of all traces of the video and both Paltrow and Anderson quickly distanced themselves from the controversy and have yet to release any kind of statement.
12. The Take a Knee Meme ( Sebastian Stan)
Last year, NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to protest the multiple cases of police brutality against unarmed black men in America. This ultimately cost him his career and has since spawned many a meme, article, tweet, and best of all, a movement.
In late September, Sebastian Stan saw an opportunity to promote his new film, I, Tonya, with one such meme. It featured an image of disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding sitting next to her rival and victim, Nancy Kerrigan, with the caption “Back when take a knee meant taking a knee.”
Stan apologized on his Instagram account after a huge Twitter uproar. His apology reiterated that he posted the meme without thinking, stating he had to do his homework in order to understand the reference. While admirable, it highlights how out of touch Hollywood can be considering the take a knee incident garnered international attention.
11. Accidental Home Invasion (Robert Downey Jr.)
Back when Robert Downey Jr was struggling with some pretty serious drug addictions in 1996, he was also facing jail time in a federal prison.
Just hours after being arrested for having various drugs and a concealed weapon, Downey was arrested again for falling asleep in a neighbor’s home. After consuming who knows what, Downey walked down his Malibu street and wandered into his neighborr’s house, took off his clothes, and went to bed.
The homeowner heard the strange noises and proceeded to investigate. The poor woman found the Iron Man-to-be snuggled up in her 11-year-old son’s bed. Naturally she called the sheriff’s department who needed an ambulance to wake the very groggy star. The Tony Stark actor has since gone to rehab and put his life back on the right track.
10. Controversial Views on Feminism (Evangeline Lilly)
Back in 2014, Evangeline Lilly became a huge inspiration for little girls as one of the leading characters in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. Sadly, during an interview with HuffPost, Lilly made a very strange and erroneous remark about feminism.
While discussing how she enjoys playing three-dimensional characters and wanting to embrace her womanhood freely, Lilly stated that she doesn’t care for feminism because, to her, it means pretending to be a man.
This resulted in many articles, blog posts, and fan rants surfacing to try to figure out exactly what Lilly meant. A few even suggested that Lilly reacquaint herself with the definition of feminism. Lilly never really commented on the issue, choosing instead to ignore it until it disappeared in the next celebrity scandal. Unfortunately, the internet never forgets.
9. Shaming Black Widow (Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner)
Back when Avengers: Age of Ultron was coming out, Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner were doing an interview together on the press tour. When asked which one of them they think the fans would be most pleased with falling for Black Widow, the pair needlessly started shaming their fellow avenger.
In the Digital Spy interview, Evans and Renner could have taken the opportunity to point out that there wasn’t really a need for that love triangle. However, they decided to let everyone know that Black Widow is quite promiscuous, but with much cruder language. This seems a little harsh coming from the two actors and whether it’s aimed at their colleague or the Avenger, neither of them deserves such treatment.
Needless to say, there was a massive outrage over the sexist remarks made by the two men, both of whom apologized. Renner’s apology actually caused a slightly smaller uproar since it was barely an apology at all.
8. Controversial “Kitchen” Comments (Anthony Mackie)
An age old joke that almost every girl has unfortunately heard was repeated by Falcon in 2015. Anthony Mackie went on the Wendy Williams show and loudly announced his belief that women belong in the kitchen, calling men daddy, making sandwiches, and bringing lemonade.
While promoting his film Black or White, Wendy Williams invited Mackie for a sit down. After asking the actor his thoughts on gender roles Mackie, citing his southern background, explained his belief that women belong in the kitchen. Yes, he actually said those words.
At this point, the audience was getting a little uncomfortable and Williams attempted, unsuccessfully, to steer the conversation back to the film. Mackie, who has been with his girlfriend since second grade, doesn’t seem likely to change his tune any time soon.
7. The Inappropriate Interview (Vin Diesel)
Last December, Vin Diesel was travelling all over the world to promote his new action film, xXx: Return of Xander Cage. At a stop in Brazil, Diesel was interviewed by journalist Carol Moreira in what became one of the most cringeworthy interviews of the year.
While asking Diesel about the film, Moreira was constantly interrupted by the actor’s compliments, which ranged from calling her beautiful countless times, asking how he could possibly do the interview with a woman who looked like her, and a creepy talk-to-me-baby comment.
After uploading the interview to her YouTube channel, Moreira added a commentary about the awkwardness of the situation and how uncomfortable it made her. Hopefully Diesel learns from this experience and will never have a similarly disastrous interview.
6. Bullied a Classmate (Christopher Eccleston)
Christopher Eccleston appeared on Good Morning Britain back in 2016 to talk about his role as the Doctor in Doctor Who. The actor became visibly upset when recounting his days of being bullied on the playground, and not wanting to go outside to play.
He also revealed that he was once a bully himself as a cause of this. Eccleston recounted his days of bullying a young boy in his class because the boy was sensitive. Eccleston told the hosts he tried to make the boy feel weak and would force him to give him his food at school.
The actor issued an apology to the boy live on the show, but reverted back to the fact that he only did it because he too was bullied and grew up in a macho culture. The apology probably would have been more genuine had he not tried to take the blame off himself and place it instead on his upbringing.
5. Defending Johnny Depp (Benicio Del Toro)
Benicio Del Toro recently landed himself in some hot water when he gave his opinion on the ongoing divorce battle between Amber Heard, and his friend, Johnny Depp. In an interview with The Wrap, Del Toro sent some pretty harsh words Heard’s way while talking sweetly about his pal.
Del Toro called Heard sick and twisted over her claims that Depp was physically abusive towards her during their short marriage. He went on to say that she was manipulative, wanted money, and that Depp was a kind, caring, and loving man.
Del Toro argued he would know the specifics of the situation since he saw them months prior and said they looked like they were fine. He even went on to suggest that Heard purposefully filed for divorce two days after Depp’s mother died because she wanted some money out of him.
4. Not Thanking his Co-Workers (Sylvester Stallone)
Back in 2015 when Creed came out, director Ryan Coogler made a great coming of age, rags to riches story about Apollo Creed’s son.
The movie ended up being a huge hit and Stallone won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor. Unfortunately, the actor then failed at his speech. For some strange reason he forgot to thank Coogler and lead actor, Michael B. Jordan, in his very lengthy speech. Stallone remembered to thank Rocky, but not the two guys who made the film as good as it was.
Obviously, this didn’t go down well especially considering the #OscarsSoWhite was starting to really kick-off. Apparently, Stallone just got caught up in the moment and went back on stage to properly thank his colleagues, although that part was never aired.
3. Controversial Instagram Post (Gwyneth Paltrow)
Gwyneth Paltrow returns for an ill-worded Instagram caption featuring herself, Kanye West, and Jay-Z. While supporting her longtime pal Jay-Z on while in Paris, Paltrow posted a photo of herself, Jay-Z, and Kanye all grooving on stage with the caption “N****s in Paris for real!”
This obviously didn’t go over well since. Twitter quickly lit up with posts demanding an apology. Paltrow didn’t apologize, instead she defended herself by telling people that it was the name of the song. Singer-songwriter The-Dream then quickly came to her defense, claiming it was him that took the photo and wrote the caption.
This didn’t help the situation at all, as people did not accept her excuse for her own lapse in judgment. The-Dream was even accused of trying to save a white princess. This is why you don’t let other people use your phone.
2. Extensive Tax Problems (Wesley Snipes)
Our favourite vampire slayer got staked by the government back in 2006 for multiple tax charges. Wesley Snipes had apparently failed to file his taxes from 1997-2007, sent the IRS $14 million in fake money, and claimed false tax refunds.
Snipes was charged with trying to defraud the American government with two other men and was sentenced to three years in prison. To get out of it, Snipes argued that he was a non-resident alien and shouldn’t have to pay that much in taxes, adding that the government was unfairly targeting him due to his fame. This obviously didn’t work since Snipes was born in Florida and is a birth-right US citizen.
After all was said and done, Snipes spent three years in prison for his crimes. The IRS then served him with a $17.5 million tax bill the day he got out and Snipes has been in a legal battle ever since.
1. Performing in Blackface (Robert Downey Jr.)
Robert Downey Jr. makes another appearance for his role in the comedy Tropic Thunder. While the film was generally well received by critics and and fans alike, the usage of blackface did not go unnoticed.
The actor was completely unrecognizable in his role and apparently was unsure of taking the role in the first place because of the controversial makeup. He ultimately changed his mind because he wanted to work with Ben Stiller and Jack Black. It should be noted that Ben Stiller never created the character of Lazarus to be played by a black man.
Downey got surprisingly little backlash for his role, presumably because the character, as well as the actor, were doing blackface. The meta aspect helped keep the choice more on the absurd side than being full on offensive. Regardless, it wasn’t a good look for Downey and most likely would not fly if the film were made today.
Did we miss any shady moments by MCU actors?
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