It’s a fallacy that everyone gets on together on a movie set. Just as in an everyday office, some people get on better with others. That’s as you might expect. But when it comes to movie, occasionally a disagreement between co-stars becomes oh-so-apparent to pretty much anyone in the stalls at their local Odeon.
This isn’t designed by any measure to be a definitive list (yep, Swayze and Jennifer Grey weren’t best chums making Dirty Dancing), but here are some of the more interesting examples of where co-stars simply didn’t get on…
NICK NOLTE & JULIA ROBERTS
I Love Trouble
To date, we struggle to think of a more bizarre screen combination for a romantic blockbuster than that of I Love Trouble. The movie, a vehicle at heart for Julia Roberts, back when she was near the peak of her box office powers, saw her co-star with Nolte as one of a pair of competing newspaper reporters who don’t get on, but then have to join forces to break a big secret. Romance then ensues.
Friendship between the two leading stars, whose chemistry would not require the brain of Walter White to decipher, did not ensue. In fact, the Los Angeles Times went a bit further, and suggested that Nolte and Roberts were equally unhappy with director Nancy Meyers and producer Charles Shyer.
But then comments since suggest that the real discord remains between Nolte and Roberts. Nearly a decade on, Roberts described Nolte as a “disgusting human being”, leading Nolte to respond that “she’s not a nice person”.
Worst of all, the movie that was spat out at the end of it all was an arduous mess. It didn’t help that at its heart, it had a romance that would only fool those who genuinely did think Adam Sandler had a twin sister by the end of Jack & Jill.
HARRISON FORD & JOSH HARTNETT
Since the moment production wrapped on Air Force One back in 1997, Harrison Ford seemed to embark on a quest to find the least interesting star vehicles he could (a trend he’s only recently arrested). Sabrina, Firewall, Random Hearts, that pretend Indiana Jones movie… in fact, take What Lies Beneath out, and Ford had a decade of fairly slim pickings.
In the midst of them was the muddled buddy movie Hollywood Homicide, which instantly looked promising when it was declared that Ron Shelton was to direct. Shelton is a director who never gets enough praise for eliciting terrific performances from his cast. Look at Kevin Costner in Bull Durham and can Cup, or Kurt Russell in Dark Blue, if you’re after some evidence.
But he was on a hiding to nothing when the casting gods threw Ford in with Josh Hartnett on the movie. The pair apparently did not get on throughout the production, and weren’t that warmer with each other when it came time to promote it. Given that they were the two leads of the movie, this was something of a problem.
Ford, to be fair, has a reputation – deserved or otherwise – for having the odd spat. His resume of run-ins also features, to varying degrees, George Lucas, Sean Young, Ridley Scott and Shia LaBeouf. Plus he told Sacha Baron Cohen to “fuck off” in Bruno, which, to be fair, remains comfortably the best bit of the movie.
With Hollywood Homicide, Hartnett did say back in 2003 that they were getting along better by the end of the movie but that “there were times we would end up just sitting in the car when we were supposed to be doing a scene and neither of us would say anything for like an hour”.
YUL BRYNNER AND STEVE MCQUEEN
The Magnificent Seven
Inevitably, given the powerful names involved in the all-time classic The Magnificent Seven, beds of roses were not necessarily in bountiful supply. As it turned out, it was Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner who were at loggerheads on the set of the movie, with the latter annoyed at the apparent attempts of the former to upstage him.
This is one with a sort-of-happy ending, though, for eventually the feud was put to bed a decade or two later. When Brynner was dying of cancer, McQueen called him up to thank him, for not kicking him off The Magnificent Seven when he had the chance. Brynner accepted the apology, and when he died, the pair were finally back on good terms.
COLIN FARRELL & JAMIE FOXX
Jamie Foxx had already had one notorious falling out with a pal actor on the set of Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday, where he and LL Cool J – they’ve since made up – went a bit method with their fighting. But believe the stories surrounding Michael Mann’s Miami Vice, and Foxx’s contribution was a little more damaging.
Again, none of this has been confirmed by those concerned and should be read with that in mind, but the story goes that Foxx was the higher paid of the two, then won his Oscar for Ray, and he was aware that his star was in the ascendancy. This, in turn, was said to ‘influence his behaviour’, to the unhappiness of Farrell. Furthermore, one story suggests that Foxx also refused in the end to travel outside of America, which changed what Mann wanted to do with the final act of the movie. Gadzookz.
RYAN REYNOLDS & WESLEY SNIPES
There was never, to our knowledge, any over-bubbling animosity between Wesley Snipes and Ryan Reynolds on the set of the third Blade movie. But it gives us an excuse to retell one of our favorite stories surrounding the production.
Notwithstanding the fact that Snipes apparently communicated with director David S Goyer via notes that he signed ‘Blade’, there was also the small matter of Ryan Reynolds apparently having to do the bulk of his on-screen scenes with Blade in isolation. Snipes apparently would only come out of his trailer by the end for close-ups, and that meant that Reynolds could have a free reign to do what he wanted, which he pretty much did. Were he doing his gags and riffs opposite another actor, then chances are he’d be told to stop. Because Snipes wasn’t there? Reynolds had a bit of a field day. Snipes has never commented on it.
It added character to a movie that’s hardly overflowing with it. So whilst the reason Snipes and Reynolds didn’t really get on in this case was that they never really had a chance to, it all seems worth it just for the tales of Snipes’ on-set antics…
WILLIAM BALDWIN & SHARON STONE
A brilliantly bad 90s movie, written by Joe Ezterhas and rushed into production to capitalise on the box office success of Basic Instinct a year or two earlier. Another Ezterhas screenplay! Sharon Stone with her clothes off again! What could go wrong?
Crikey, where do you start. The movie itself is terrible, but in a charming sort of way. At no stage do you get the impression that they’re in on the joke, but in this instance, that still doesn’t mean that this voyeuristic comedy isn’t a lot of fun.
However, there’s also the complete lack of, well, anything between the two stars, William Baldwin and the aforementioned Stone. The reason? They simply couldn’t stand each other. It’s said that at one stage, Sharon Stone bit William Baldwin’s tongue with such force that he couldn’t talk properly for a couple of days afterwards.
The pair have not, to date, gone on to make another movie together.
TOM SIZEMORE & VAL KILMER
There are, in truth, a couple of different stories surrounding both actors, and people not taking to them particularly kindly. It thus made the decision to put them both on the same movie, the otherwise fairly forgettable Red Planet, a bit of an odd one. So it would prove, as by the end of production, Val Kilmer and Tom Sizemore were reportedly no longer on speaking terms, to the point where the former wouldn’t, apparently, set foot on the set if the latter was around. Believe the tittle tattle, and the catalyst was an exercise machine that Sizemore had shipped to the set.
It got to the point where Kilmer also refused to say Sizemore’s character’s name, and their scenes together were often put together without them being on the set at the same time. Director Antony Hoffman has, to date, never made another movie.
MARLON BRANDO & VAL KILMER
The Island Of Dr Moreau
Stories of Val Kilmer not getting on with directors aren’t rare, but here’s another actor he apparently didn’t see eye to eye with. The trouble The Island Of Dr Moreau was a movie that Kilmer apparently elected to make for the opportunity to work with Marlon Brando. But as Yoda may have once said, idyllic it was not.
As well as falling out with director John Frankenheimer on the movie (leading the late helmer to declare “I will never climb Mount Everest, and I will never work with Val Kilmer ever again”), the relationship with Marlon Brando quickly went south. The pair reportedly argued heavily on the movie, leading Brando to apparently tell Kilmer that “you’re confusing your talents with the size of your paycheque”.
In Kilmer’s defense, Brando wasn’t, it’s said, the easiest customer on any of his final films. But putting the two together did not engender the sparks that were hoped for.
BILL MURRAY & LUCY LIU
Bill Murray was not amongst the list of returnees for the pretty insipid Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, and given that the first movie hardly resulted in he and Lucy Liu exchanging Christmas cards, that’s perhaps no surprise. Murray, who apparently wasn’t a massive fan of director McG either, reportedly called into question Lucy Liu’s acting ability in front of everyone, and Liu, if you believe the stories, didn’t take this particularly well. Head to your gossip site of choice to find out her apparently not very calm reaction.
The bottom line was the Murray, the best thing in the first Charlie’s Angels movie, declined the opportunity to return for the second, with the late Bernie Mac taking his role instead.
SEAN YOUNG AND LOTS OF PEOPLE
Stripes, Blade Runner, The Boost, No Way Out, Wall Street
Stories of people falling out with Sean Young – or perhaps more to the point, Sean Young falling out with people – are not scarce. So, apparently Bill Murray refused to work with her ever again after crossing swords with her on the set of Stripes. Harrison Ford didn’t get on with her while making Blade Runner. Apparently, Kevin Costner wasn’t one to remember her birthday after making No Way Out. And, as was well reported around the time, James Woods had disagreements during and after making The Boost.
Then there was the confrontation she never got to have with regards Batman Returns. Originally cast as Vicki Vale in Batman, an injury led to her pulling out (so in stepped Kim Basinger), and thus she doubled her efforts to land the role of Catwoman in Batman Returns. Legend says that she donned her own homemade costume and heading to the Warner Bros set, whilst Tim Burton hid in the toilets. By the sounds of it, Burton was quite a wise man…
DEBRA WINGER AND SHIRLEY MACLAINE
Terms Of Endearment
Again, believe the tittle tattle, and Debra Winger is not the easiest actress to work with. She and Richard Gere were hardly bosom buddies on the set of An Officer And A Gentleman, and neither speaks particularly highly of the other.
Yet our favorite Debra Winger story is the one where she apparently farted in Shirley MacLaine’s face on the set of Oscar-nabbed Terms Of Endearment. Nobody has ever confirmed that part of the story, but the feud was and is a very real one. As late as 2008, Winger was interviewed and told the ABC show The View that “time heals all wounds? Let’s just say that it’s not applicable in this case”.
The pair had different styles. MacLaine tended towards a more restrained approach, whilst Winger has been described in more than one place as “erratic”. Draw a Venn diagram with those two, and the shaded crossover bit in the middle would be clearly marked ‘Oh shit’.
DENNIS HOPPER AND RIP TORN
Here’s a story that took a while to emerge. It’s one that naturally enough ended with a lawsuit too. Rip Torn was originally cast in Easy Rider, which starred and was directed by the late Dennis Hopper, of course. The Jack Nicholson role in the movie though, George Hanson, was originally set to go to Rip Torn.
It took three decades before Dennis Hopper explained why the role was recast. He told The Tonight Show that the pair had a huge argument, and Torn then went and pulled a knife on him. Which is a bit more serious that signing a note with the name Blade, or farting in the face of an acting legend. However, Rip Torn denied this, filed a lawsuit, and claimed that it was actually Hopper that pulled the knife. They both seemed to agree that a knife was involved though, so that’s plenty enough to scare us away. What’s wrong with an old-fashioned arm wrestle?
PIERCE BROSNAN AND TERI HATCHER
Tomorrow Never Dies
Rumours had persisted for some time that the set of Pierce Brosnan’s second 007 movie, Tomorrow Never Dies, wasn’t always the most harmonious. But it wasn’t until 2005 that Brosnan broke his silence on the matter, in an interview with the Daily Mirror.
“I must admit I let slip a few words which weren’t very nice”, he admitted. “I got very upset with her – she was always keeping me waiting for hours”. As it turned out Hatcher was suffering with morning sickness at the time. That said, there’s been little sign of any frost cooling since.
Hatcher would go on to the gossip mag-filling feud-centric set of Desperate Housewives several years later, just to cheer herself up…
KENNY BAKER AND ANTHONY DANIELS
There’s something quite dispiriting about the thought of R2-D2 and C-3PO not getting along, but actors Kenny Baker and Anthony Daniels are a pair who you’d do well to get back in the same room together. Baker’s take on the story is that one day, he said hello to Daniels on set, and as Hollywood.com reported, “he just turned his back on me and said ‘can’t you see I’m having a conversation’?” Again, in Baker’s words, “it was the rudest thing anyone had ever done to me. I was furious. It was unbelievable”. Daniels has not given his side of the story in an interview that we could track down.
As such, it is apparently the case that if you get one of the pair along to a convention or event, then you won’t get the other. Unless you CG one of them in…