Working on a set with up to hundreds of people relying on you to remember your lines, look beautiful, and be generally perfect can be stressful at the best of times. This is doubtless part of the reason why some can't handle the pressure and lash out at their fellow actors.
Here are six times actors claim to have been appallingly bullied or criticized by colleagues who apparently felt the need to let their co-stars know exactly what they thought of them.
6. Lucy Liu And Bill Murray: 'Charlie's Angels'
The Charlie's Angels reboot in 2000 features Liu as angel Alex and Murray as her loyal buddy, John Bosley. According to the stories, however, backstage relations didn't reflect those on the silver screen.
The two did not get along. One day Liu was so riled by Murray's insults that she ended up throwing punches at the actor. Murray apparently said:
"I get why you’re here, and you’ve got talent [indicating the other actors]... but what in the hell are you [Liu] doing here? You can’t act!”
5. John Leguizamo And Steven Seagal: 'Executive Decision'
On the set of '90s action movie Executive Decision (which also featured Kurt Russell and Halle Berry), Leguizamo, playing a soldier nick-named Rat, was minding his own business early on in rehearsals when something rather odd apparently happened.
Steven Seagal, who was playing Lt. Colonel Austin Travis, may have been taking his military role a bit too seriously. I'll let Leguizamo's words from 2010 do the talking:
“We were in rehearsals for 'Executive Decision'. I’m playing his Master Sergeant and we come in for rehearsals and he says, ‘I’m in command. Everything I say is law. Anybody doesn’t agree?’ I was like, ‘Bwahahaha.’ I started cracking up because he sounded like a retard and he came up and he Taekwondo’ed my ass against the brick and he [hit me with his elbow]."
“He’s six-foot-five and he caught me off guard and knocked all of the air out of me and I was like, ‘Why?! Why?!’ I really wanted to say how big and fat he was and that he runs like a girl, but I didn’t because all I could say was, ‘Why?!’ Why’d he slam me against the wall? We were rehearsing. What’s the bid deal?"
David Yost: 'Power Rangers'
The Blue Power Ranger actor David Yost was bullied until he left the set, like Ricky Whittle on The 100, except this time the victim was harassed not just by the show-runner but by just about everyone — and because of his sexuality.
One day when he had been called a "faggot" for the umpteenth time he left the show and didn't look back. He said in an interview with No Pink Spandex:
“I had heard that [faggot] several times while working on the show from creators, producers, writers, directors. It’s not that people can’t talk about me, and have their opinion about me – but continuing to work in an environment like that is really difficult. I myself was struggling with who I was, or what I was, and to be made fun of on some level, or to be stereotyped, or put into a category – I felt like I was continually being told I’m not worthy of where I am because I’m ‘a gay person’ and I’m not supposed to be an actor and can’t be a superhero."
“I know my co-stars were getting called in a couple times to different producers’ offices to be questioned about my sexuality, which is a humiliating experience. I was worried I might take my own life, and in order to get a handle in what was going on, I needed to leave when I left. That’s why I left the show.”
That wasn't even the end of it. After leaving, he tried to "pray the gay away," asking God to change his sexuality for two years. It did not work and ended with him having a "horrific" nervous breakdown. Following this, he moved to Mexico.
3. Jim Carrey And Tommy Lee Jones: 'Batman Forever'
Carrey and Jones, as the Riddler and Two-Face, had a more uncomfortable relationship off-screen than their characters' alliance suggests.
The green madman did not claim that the split-face bullied him as such, but things were "crusty" from his perspective, with frequent antagonizing moments from Jones.
On The Howard Stern Show, Carrey remembered:
"I walked into a restaurant the night before our big scene in the Riddler’s lair and the maitre’d said, ‘You’re working with Tommy Lee Jones, aren’t you?’ And I said ‘Yeah, I am.’ He said, ‘He’s in the back corner, he’s having dinner.’ I said, ‘Oh, great, I’ll go say hi. I went up to say hi and the blood drained from his face, in such a way that I realized that I had become the face of his pain or something.
He got up, kind of shaking, and hugged me and said ‘I hate you. I really don’t like you. I was like ‘Wow, okay. Well, what’s going on, man?’ And he said, ‘I cannot sanction your buffoonery.’ He did not want to work with me at that point.”
2. Richard Dreyfuss And Robert Shaw: 'Jaws'
There was more than one shark on the set of toothy extravaganza Jaws. Shaw, who played the nail-scraping shark pro Quint, took a disliking to co-star Richard Dreyfuss (playing Matt Hopper). Dreyfuss, whose character sold moonshine illegally between fishing seasons, was especially vocal after a drink.
According to actor Roy Scheider, a typical snipe from Shaw to Dreyfuss would be:
"'Look at you, Dreyfuss. You eat and you drink and you’re fat and you’re sloppy. At your age, it’s criminal. Why, you couldn’t even do ten good push-ups.'"
During a documentary called Jaws: The Inside Story, Dreyfuss downplayed the tension in saying there was only trouble after Shaw had had a drink.
1. Kenny Baker And Anthony Daniels: 'Star Wars'
Here's yet another famous cinematic pairing who did NOT have companion chemistry in real life. R2-D2 and C-3PO (Baker and Daniels respectively) had some corrosive conflicts between them that apparently stemmed from Daniels's dislike of Baker.
Talking about the last time they'd met, Baker said in the documentary Bring Back 'Star Wars':
"The last time I spoke to him was in Boston and he was in front of me. I said 'Did you have a nice weekend Tony?' He said 'I’m having a conversation,' and walked away. He wasn’t talking to anybody. I could have hit him. I was furious. I was shaking with rage, I really was, and I’m not easily upset.”
The frosty feud apparently was rooted in Daniels being classically trained as an actor while Baker was a cabaret entertainer — they did not have similar acting methods and so didn't gel.