Actors can be challenging and often quite petty with what they will or will not do, but are they ever in the right for walking off set? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. We’re going to take a look at some of the most outrageous scenes that caused these stars to almost quit.
Zoe Saldana – The Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl
Long before she was in Guardians of the Galaxy, Saldana’s first real taste of big Hollywood filmmaking was a minor part in the first Pirates of the Caribbean film. She hated the dehumanizing way she was sometimes treated and considered quitting acting for good.
Andrew Garfield – The Amazing Spider-Man Franchise
This is more of a story from after both films in the short-lived reboot wrapped, but constant executive meddling, poor scripts, and tight deadlines meant that when Marvel came knocking to get back Spider-Man, Garfield was happy to let the character go onto greener pastures.
Jim Carrey – The Grinch
Carrey was no stranger to prosthetics or being painted green, but he loathed the process of getting into the makeup for The Grinch. The contact lenses were so painful that the studio brought in a military advisor to teach him CIA techniques for withstanding pain.
Jessica Alba – The Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer
There’s a reason why Alba left acting to start her own successful personal care company, and it’s her treatment in the second Fantastic Four movie. The director of the film was very demanding of her especially, making Alba believe she was being bullied for no reason.
Mila Kunis – Friends With Benefits
It’s not uncommon for sex scenes to be incredibly weird to film, but Kunis’ complaint about there being far too many people present on set is legitimate. Nude and sex scenes are more comfortable for the actors when they don’t have much of a live audience.
Daisy Ridley – Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens
It’s hard to believe the young star almost walked off set after her first day of shooting, but she took comments from director JJ Abrams to heart when he said she was being too wooden. The young star was fulfilling her dream, but the pressure of the franchise was almost unbearable.
Vanessa Hudgens – Spring Breakers
Desperate to break out of the Disney Channel image she made for herself in the High School Musical series, Hudgens took the raunchy crime movie Spring Breakers to make her mark. The bedroom scenes were too much, and she refused to do another movie like it.
Jenna Dewan – Step Up
In the film Step Up, Dewan found herself filming intimate scenes with a co-star she wasn’t absolutely comfortable with. Not only that but being happily married (to none other than Channing Tatum) made it even harder to shoot these parts.
Blake Lively – The Town
It wasn’t Lively’s first movie where she had to do intimate bedroom scenes with her costars. The difference here was that it was all within her first week of shooting on set, meaning the whole affair was dreadfully embarrassing and super awkward to do for all parties involved.
Ashton Kutcher – No Strings Attached
Kutcher is by his own admission a very self-conscious actor, so what star role did his manager get him? A “friends with benefits” style movie with Natalie Portman. Kutcher must have been kicking himself after signing the contract and hated the whole process.
Dakota Johnson – Fifty Shades Of Gray
This one speaks for itself. Not only are you tasked with an embarrassing script, but also numerous sex and nude scenes. They must have been paying Johnson a pretty penny to put up with the high demands the studio made of her, that’s for sure.
Shailene Woodley – The Spectacular Now
Remember this little romantic tale? Probably not. Starring the aforementioned Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller, The Spectacular Now was a coming of age story that included a sex scene. Woodley was understandably awkward about it, making for a fumbling, uncomfortable scene.
Kristen Stewart And Robert Pattinson – Twilight: Breaking Dawn
You’ve got to give it up to the stars of the Twilight movie series, they’ve got to put up with a whole load of weird stuff. The vampiric super sex scene almost broke Stewart (and co-star Robert Pattison) when they had to act out a ridiculous, super powered tumble in the sheets.
Anne Hathaway – Love And Other Drugs
Nude scenes are nerve-wracking for basically any actor. It doesn’t matter how famous or rich you are, it’s always uncomfortable stripping off in a room full of strangers with their eyes leering at you. Hathaway has vowed never to do a nude scene again if she can help it.
Melvin Van Peebles – Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song
This classic was made under the harshest of conditions, technically being classified as pornography so Van Peebles could hire more African American crew than union laws allowed. Van Peebles did the deed for real in one scene and caught chlamydia for his troubles.
Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg – Antichrist
We’ve got a double feature here. The Lars Von Trier-helmed movie was certainly not comfortable watching and wasn’t particularly easy to make either. Both Dafoe and Gainsbourg refused to do an invasive, demeaning sex scene and forced Von Trier to use body doubles instead.
Jamie Dornan – Fifty Shades Of Gray
Dakota Johnson’s leading costar didn’t have all that great of a time in the movie either. Dornan and Johnson had absolutely zero chemistry. They were cordial and professional on set, but there was absolutely no spark that made them seem like a passionate, kinky couple.
Michelle Rodriguez – The Fast And The Furious
Rodriguez is an actress that speaks her mind, and when she brought up concerns about her character’s love subplot, the producers had to listen or else she’d walk. Luckily, they decided to placate her and make amendments to the script to fit her requests. I guess being a diva works.
Michael Douglas – Basic Instinct
This 1992 classic was sexually charged from the start, with an infamous leg crossing scene that got viewers hot under the collar. Allegedly Sharon Stone didn’t wear underwear for the first few takes and distracted costar Michael Douglas to the point of storming off the set.
Al Pacino – The Godfather
The Paramount studio executives never wanted Pacino in the film, and even after they’d begun shooting were working to unseat him for someone else. Pacino was verbally abused in memos from the studio, and things got so severe it almost caused him to walk.
Chloë Sevigny – The Brown Bunny
Sevigny may never live this down, but a sex scene with costar and boyfriend Vincent Gallo started off as a simulation and then ended up the real thing. Even worse, the take where the two actually went at it ended up being used in the final film. Can’t beat realism, we suppose.
Sharon Stone – Basic Instinct
Despite her teasing of costar Michael Douglas, it appears the two had some real sexual chemistry. The crew on the movie grew increasingly uncomfortable as it became apparent the two were no longer acting during the sex scenes.
Guillaume Depardieu and Yekaterina Golubeva – Pola X
Even for a French movie, the stars of Pola X absolutely could not perform the intense bedroom scenes the script depicted. Despite the badgering from director Leos Carax, neither star would budge and threatened to leave the film together if they were forced to do these scenes.
Keira Knightley – A Dangerous Method
Being the female lead in David Cronenberg’s Sigmund Freud vs. Carl Jung drama led to some very interesting scenes where she had to explore her character’s sexual psyche. How did she get through it? By taking shots of vodka in her trailer to help numb the embarrassment.
Dave Franco – Bad Neighbors
The younger Franco brother can seem like a cool character at times, but he totally went to pieces when it came time to film a sex scene. Franco was reportedly freaking out about the whole thing and even threatened to leave the production if he wasn’t given a chance to prepare himself.
Lauren Lee Smith – Lie With Me
The romantic flick initially got off to a good start, but when Lauren Lee Smith and co-star Eric Balfour began to develop emotions for each other, things got a little too heavy for both parties involved, and almost caused a recasting due to the real romantic tension.
Helen Mirren and Malcolm McDowell – Caligula
Neither Caligula the movie nor the historical figure are looked back on particularly fondly for various reason. In the case of the film, it was because of the many real sex acts performed on set. Mirren was disgusted by it, but costar McDowell actually began to enjoy it.
Lauren Cohan – The Walking Dead
Part soap opera, part dramatic torture porn, The Walking Dead actress felt some scenes were going too far and considered resigning from the role at the end of season three. It came very close to the wire, with an alternate ending of that season drafted for her exit.
Al Pacino – Cruising
Mr. Pacino makes the list again with another conflict with a studio. They hated how graphic and overt the story of a serial killer targeting gay men was, and tried to have the project shut down. Pacino stepped in and threatened to reduce the influence of the producers in Hollywood.
Karl Glusman and Aomi Muyock – Love
Billed as a 3D erotic romance film, French director Gaspar Noé was planning to redefine acting, and redefine film with Love. There was one problem, his actors had no idea what the hell he was actually doing. They had such little faith in the movie they left set one afternoon without warning.
Shūji Terayama – Fruits Of Passion
Terayama and the crew recall how awkward this film was to shoot due to the weird scenes in a brothel where Terayama’s character receives some kind of training. It involves many embarrassing situations that were uncomfortable to be in.
Brad Pitt – Interview With The Vampire
Pitt got cold feet on the project shortly before shooting began, feeling it was going in a direction he wasn’t pleased with. The producers offered him a chance to buy out his contract… at $40 million. With no hope of getting free, Pitt gritted his (fanged) teeth and got to work on the movie.
Russell Crowe – Robin Hood
Crowe came onto the project when the script was a role reversal of the traditional Robin Hood tale, with the Sheriff of Nottingham as the hero. Crowe wanted to be the hero, or else he’d leave the project, and so the script was overhauled in a short time span.
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio – The Abyss
Mastrantonio swore never to trust James Cameron again when a scene after she was repeatedly slapped in order to redone a scene because of a camera error nobody told her about.
Robert Pattinson – Little Ashes
Yes, he’s made the list twice. Pattinson starred in the Salvadore Dali biopic Little Ashes where a scene required him to pleasure himself. Ever the method actor, Pattinson worked himself up to doing it for real, which shocked the director and the crew especially.
Dree Hemingway – Starlet
Having signed on to do the film knowing there was an explicitly pornographic scene, Hemingway turned up on set and decided she no longer wanted to do it. The production was thrown into a panic as they searched for a body double who could shoot the scene.
Emma Watson – Harry Potter: Order Of The Phoenix
Watson was another young star who felt completely crushed by the weight of a franchise. She almost didn’t sign a renewed contract for the remaining four films of the Potter saga. Watson has since said she feels very relieved about no longer being under that kind of pressure.
Tippi Hedren – The Birds
The abuse Hedren suffered in The Birds at the hands of director Alfred Hitchcock ranges from slightly shocking anecdotes about live birds being thrown at her to dark rumors of sexual assault. While the rumors cannot be confirmed, the film indeed almost broke Hedren.
Mike Myers – Wayne’s World
Myers isn’t exactly a known diva, but he made a real stink when a producer suggested using a cheaper song than Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody in that famous car sequence in Wayne’s World. Myers threatened to leave the project, and take half the cast with him.
Shelley Duvall – The Shining
Shelley Duvall was another actress who suffered at the hands of her director, Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick ignored, belittled, and chided Duvall into such an emotional mess that she almost left the set without telling anybody. Kubrick apparently did it to enhance her frazzled performance.