Actors have a reputation for bizarre behavior, and it could even be argued that the movie industry promotes such eccentricity. After all, method acting, outlandish demands and diva personalities all often mean that movie sets can be slightly unorthodox places in which to work. There are some occasions, however, when even Hollywood gasps in horror at how crazily some stars have behaved. These on-set antics, for example, are sure to leave you astounded.
20. Shailene Woodley
Actress Shailene Woodley has a pet peeve about anything plastic related. So much so, in fact, that she refuses to eat or drink any food or beverage in plastic packaging. And so Woodley brings her own glass container to set to keep her refreshed on the job. Sure, she has her reasons, but it’s still rather on the bizarre side…
19. Steven Seagal
We’ve all seen the fighting chops of everyone’s favorite B-movie action star Steven Seagal, but it would seem as if the Under Siege actor likes a scuffle when the cameras aren’t rolling, too. In fact, Seagal has a reputation of beating up the cast and crew on films – something that doesn’t reflect too well on the Lawman. It seems like he might have picked the wrong fight with fellow actor John Leguizamo, though, who has publicly trashed the martial arts expert for his bullish nature.
18. Gene Hackman
Rumors have always circulated about Gene Hackman’s belligerent demeanor on set, but it sounds like he really acted out while filming cult classic The Royal Tenenbaums. Indeed, Hackman’s fellow cast members have since called him out for his behind-the-scenes behavior. Apparently, the star verbally abused the screenwriter, told the director to “pull up your pants and act like a man” and pretty much intimidated everyone on set.
17. George Clooney
All wasn’t well on the set of the 1999 action adventure movie Three Kings – and, this time, it doesn’t appear to have been the actor’s fault. In fact, it was the director of the movie, David O. Russell, who was especially irked by the financial restrictions placed on the film, and poor George Clooney took the brunt of his anger. According to other cast members, Russell was continually pushing Clooney’s buttons during filming. Things came to a head, moreover, when the two got into an actual physical scuffle, which reportedly ended with Clooney choking the belligerent director. We’re sure Russell didn’t have a cloo what hit him.
16. Nicolas Cage
What would a list like this be without the bizarre antics of one Nicolas Cage? As it turns out, the Con Air star gets super into the character he’s portraying. So much so, in fact, that he has been known to rehearse lines in different accents in order to get a feel for the required performance. And no matter what accent you say this fact in, it still sounds weird.
15. Mike Myers
It’s not all fun and games for Austin Powers star Mike Myers: allegedly, the actor once sacked a member of staff who dared to make eye contact with him on set. And there’s certainly nothing “groovy” about that! Myers, then, pretty much gives Mariah Carey a run for her money in the diva stakes, if reports are to be believed…
14. Wesley Snipes
When it comes to the pretty turgid film Blade: Trinity, it seems like there was more entertainment to be found behind the cameras than in front of them. And that had a lot to do with Wesley Snipes’ very peculiar behavior. Between puffing on marijuana all day and staying in character throughout the process, Snipes lit up the set in more ways than one. And things escalated when he actually attempted to wring the neck of director David Goyer, who he spoke to only through Post-it notes thereafter.
13. Daniel Radcliffe
It wasn’t all innocence during the filming of the Harry Potter movie series. Indeed, what many probably look past is the fact that the cast were growing up during the franchise, in a project that would encompass much of their early lives. And Daniel Radcliffe is a prime example: he grew into a teenager during filming and has now admitted that he would come to set still intoxicated from the previous evening’s, well, experimentation. He should have just said that it was an “unknown potion” he’d consumed.
12. Sylvester Stallone
Most of Sylvester Stallone’s movies are very physical affairs, and so it’s perhaps not too surprising that he’s had his fair share of injuries on set. While filming Rocky IV, for example, his on-screen opponent Dolph Lundgren thumped him with such force that his heart became inflamed, and Stallone as a consequence had to be rushed to intensive care. This is just one of many such incidents on set for the Rambo actor, though: among other injuries, he’s also sustained fractured ribs and a broken neck. Ouch!
11. Sacha Baron Cohen
Sacha Baron Cohen is known for his brash actions off screen, but he’s also been known to bring his own unique brand of craziness to the sets of other productions, too. For example, to promote his new film Bruno in 2008, the master of comedic alter egos crashed filming for the U.S. show Medium, when he took to the catwalk as the obnoxious character. More recently, he also interrupted filming of the Baywatch motion picture when he arrived dressed as the Liam Gallagher-inspired star of his then-upcoming movie The Brothers Grimsby. And so while the other actors on this list cause disturbances on their own sets, Baron Cohen sparks controversy on others as well…
10. Lawrence Tierney
Quentin Tarantino certainly got more than he bargained for when he appointed eccentric Hollywood legend Lawrence Tierney for the role of Joe Cabot in Reservoir Dogs. The unpredictable actor was only featured in the opening scenes of the movie, yet he still found time on his last day to punch Tarantino. In fact, Tierney was still so enraged when he returned to his house that he aimed a shotgun at his wall and fired it, with his nephew unfortunately getting caught in the crossfire. Yikes.
9. Samuel L. Jackson
Few actors have appeared in as many movies as Samuel L. Jackson, and we have to presume that the many producers he’s worked with simply agreed to this bizarre demand in his contract. Because, as it turns out, the Pulp Fiction actor makes sure that he always has easy access to a golf course, regardless of the location of filming. That’s how much he loves golf.
8. Nicolas Cage (again)
Nicolas Cage’s odd behaviour was in full flow again on the set of the 2007 superhero flick Ghost Rider, where he was reportedly under the illusion that he was some sort of shaman. In fact, he actually attempted to summon up ancient ghosts by painting his face and walking around with Egyptian antiques. Yeah, weird to say the least. In fact, this little factoid is more ludicrous than his performance in the 2006 remake of The Wicker Man – and that’s saying something.
7. Ben Kingsley
Few British actors command the same screen presence as acting legend Ben Kingsley. However, it seems as if the Shutter Island villain has a rather high impression of himself, too. Allegedly, Kingsley even expects colleagues to address him as “Sir” Ben Kingsley on set. And the veteran performer’s full title was even included on promotional posters for the movie Lucky Number Slevin, even though he would later claim that this was simply a production error.
6. Jennifer Lopez
Probably the least shocking fact on this list is that Jennifer Lopez is something of a diva. However, the famous singer and actress seems to reach new levels of spoiled behavior whenever she is on set for a movie project. In fact, Lopez is known for not refusing to speak to any of her colleagues during production, with the sole exception of her personal assistant. Why so cold, J. Lo?
5. Christopher Walken
For those stars who have made it to the top of their craft, it can be the small things that keep them going. And it seems that silver screen god Christopher Walken certainly feels that way. It’s said that the actor finds amusement in telling the cast that it’s his birthday, just so they’ll get him a cake – proof that Walken even puts on an act when the cameras aren’t rolling. It’s Christopher Walken, though, so we’ll let it fly. It’s his birthday and he’ll lie if he wants to.
4. Al Pacino
We’ve all heard of actors becoming the character, but in the case of Al Pacino on the set of Serpico, the character became the actor. In fact, the veteran star found himself so engrossed in the titular role of an NYC cop that he actually stopped a taxi and threatened the cabbie with arrest. Good thing it wasn’t Robert De Niro’s taxi driver, though, or mayhem would have ensued.
3. Daniel Day-Lewis
Arguably the most dedicated method actor to ever grace our screens, Daniel Day-Lewis never rests on his laurels when it comes to the full acting process. And one of the most alarming behaviors he has indulged for the cause stems from his time on the set of The Last of the Mohicans. In true Day-Lewis style, he would consume only the meat from animals he himself had hunted during filming. This meant that, along with his acting duties, the committed actor also had to master the ability to capture and skin the animals himself.
2. Tom Cruise
What do you do when you have to go undercover and simultaneously star in a Hollywood blockbuster? Well, Tom Cruise found himself in this very precarious position while filming Collateral. In the role, moreover, the very recognizable star had to blend in with the public in various different guises. And he stealthily succeeded in doing so, too. Mission: Impossible? Not in this case.
1. Marlon Brando
From refusing to wear pants to refusing to learn his lines, there doesn’t seem to be any end to legend Marlon Brando’s bizarre antics on set. For example, the actor once insisted that a stray cat he found should be included in The Godfather – and he was successful in his endeavor, too! Plus, on the set of The Island of Dr. Moreau, he was forever picking things up and not putting them down, and he reportedly even refused to act when certain directors were present. Yes, bizarre Brando has done it all, and yet he remains one of the most entertaining personas in Hollywood history – both on screen and off it.