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Clash of the Egos: On-Set Drama and Feuds

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I think Sean would have made a perfectly good Catwoman, but Michelle was a GREAT Catwoman and specifically for Michael Keaton's Batman, the meta/subtext of their personal history having dated brought a ton to the dance between the that thematically tied together that whole movie.

 

I think the most telling thing about Sean Young is that even in this reality show world, no one has ever offered this woman a reality show, she's too erratic even for them. More erratic than Lindsay Lohan, more erratic than stoned 24-7 Paula Abdul or Kirstie Alley.

 

The one thing I love is how she mostly owns her crazy without realizing just how crazy it is. Like during the James Woods thing, she's like Oh Jimmy, it was just a crush, let's not get melodramatic! Haha.

 

In less interesting, and less detailed drama, on the set of The Craft Fairuza Balk and Robin Tunney were super bitchy to and meangirled the hell out of Neve Campbell and Rachel True, but at least Rachel and Neve are still BFF from that experience.

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If you're not already familiar with it there's a great blog series called "What The Hell Happened To..." featuring stars from the 80's and the 90's whose movie careers took a nose dive. They're very funny (without being mean spirited), in depth and has some great stories including clashes on set. Several of the actors you've mentioned in this thread have articles, like Sean Young, Debra Winger, Penelope Ann Miller, Emilo Estevez, and more. I believe some actors even posted in the comments, like Sean Young.

 

I will warn you that you may fall down a rabbit hole reading these! 

 

http://lebeauleblog.com/category/movies/what-the-hell-happened/ (If you go to last page of someone's article there will be a list of all the featured actors and actresses)

 

I just discovered these yesterday and I'm already in love. His "What Might Have Been" articles are great, too.

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In less interesting, and less detailed drama, on the set of The Craft Fairuza Balk and Robin Tunney were super bitchy to and meangirled the hell out of Neve Campbell and Rachel True, but at least Rachel and Neve are still BFF from that experience.

 

This does not surprise me at all. 

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From what I remember about Cameron and Mastriotone on The Abyss was that her character drowns and is later revived, but Cameron was so brutal with the shots and retakes that it got to the point where she wasn't acting anymore, she was exhausted and drowning.

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Didn't Tea Leoni and Micheal Bay have major problems?  I have some vague memory of her telling a story where she was injured while making Bad Boys and getting into an argument with Bay because she wanted to go to the hospital, and he wanted her to keep shooting.  I think it turned out she had a concussion.

 

I think Lily Tomlin and John Travolta had issues when they did a movie together but I don't remember the exact details.

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I've never seen it, but they played a couple in the movie Moment by Moment, which disturbs me, considering how much she looks like his real life sister, Ellen (who basically made her acting career out of constantly playing Scott Baio's mother on TV).

 

No idea about any clash between them, though. 

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Didn't Tea Leoni and Micheal Bay have major problems?  I have some vague memory of her telling a story where she was injured while making Bad Boys and getting into an argument with Bay because she wanted to go to the hospital, and he wanted her to keep shooting.  I think it turned out she had a concussion.

 

I think Lily Tomlin and John Travolta had issues when they did a movie together but I don't remember the exact details.

If I remember correctly Tea was insured on the set and was on the ground when Michael was supposedly pressuring her to finish shooting and she wanted to go to the hospital.  The rumor is that he was so pissed that he literally stepped over her while she was on the ground with a concussion.

 

Michael Bay has had some real issues with a lot of the women on set.  I remember during press for Pearl Harbor there was an incident about Michael Bay's treatment of women on set and even Jennifer Garner didn't bat an eyelash to refute his misogyny.

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Or Anne Heche having an alter ego called Celestia and telling strangers she was God taking them to heaven in a spaceship.

 

I recently finished Neil Patrick Harris' Choose Your Own Autobiography (which, BTW, is very entertaining -- I'm no NPH superfan but it's very light and witty) and he definitely aims to see the positive in everyone but Anne Heche as his stage partner in Proof gets an extended piece about how difficult and borderline traumatizing she was to work with.

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I think the most telling thing about Sean Young is that even in this reality show world, no one has ever offered this woman a reality show, she's too erratic even for them. More erratic than Lindsay Lohan, more erratic than stoned 24-7 Paula Abdul or Kirstie Alley.

Actually, she did sort of get a reality show gig if you count competition shows: Skating with the Stars. Sean Young, intense competition, and razor-sharp footwear; what could possibly go wrong? I tuned in wondering if I'd be seeing Johnny Weir or Bethenny Frankel get decapitated on network TV.

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Stories of these two hating each other during Dirty Dancing are legendary.  

 

See?  This type of thing is what deserves Oscars IMO.  They created serious chemistry on that movie and if no one had ever told me I would have never known they couldn't stand each other.  There should be a category for that.  

Likewise Helen Mirren and Nicol Williamson on Excalibur - when they're onscreen together you can't take your eyes off them, and rumor was they despised each other.

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E.L. James is basically holding Universal hostage because she wants to write the sequel's script.

 

E.L. James Demands to Write Script for Fifty Shades Darker

 

Universal really screwed themselves here by giving her too much power. LOL.

 

Hey though, they might as well go for it. Trainwrecks are fun to watch. I think people will watch this shit no matter how bad it gets.

 

Honestly though, this was pretty damn faithful to the material. It's ridiculous how nitpicky she's apparently getting. I'm going to feel bad for Dakota if she's forced to make Ana sound like a stupid 14-year old girl because of the script.

 

E.L. is basically ensuring that no one will want to adapt anything else she does again. That is not a reputation you want to be gaining.

Edited by methodwriter85
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   I'm just laughing my ass off that Universal basically has this potential franchise that could gross a billion dollars world-wide, and it's being held hostage by a frumpy middle-aged woman.

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Good documentaries about problematic movie shoots.

 

Burden of Dreams (Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo) Herzog, Klaus Kinski and a shooting location deep in a jungle that tried to kill everybody. (Jason Robards had to give up the lead role because he caught dysentery.) Oh, and Herzog had the cast pull, by hand, a real steamship over a hill.

 

Lost in La Mancha (Terry Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote) Weather problems, location problems a lead actor with health problems so bad he could barely ride a horse. (Which is kind of important for someone playing Don Quixote.)

 

Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now) It seemed like everyone involved had some kind of substance abuse problem at the time, Martin Sheen has a heart attack, Brando at his strangest and once again, Mother Nature attempts to sabotage the production.

 

Any other recommendations?

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Good documentaries about problematic movie shoots.

 

Burden of Dreams (Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo) Herzog, Klaus Kinski and a shooting location deep in a jungle that tried to kill everybody. (Jason Robards had to give up the lead role because he caught dysentery.) Oh, and Herzog had the cast pull, by hand, a real steamship over a hill.

 

Lost in La Mancha (Terry Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote) Weather problems, location problems a lead actor with health problems so bad he could barely ride a horse. (Which is kind of important for someone playing Don Quixote.)

 

Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now) It seemed like everyone involved had some kind of substance abuse problem at the time, Martin Sheen has a heart attack, Brando at his strangest and once again, Mother Nature attempts to sabotage the production.

 

Any other recommendations?

 

Related to Kinski and Herzog, there's My Best Friend, Herzog's documentary on their volatile relationship. It's about the relationship itself rather than specific movie sets, but they made a number flicks together so it kind of ties in.  Or not.

Edited by harrie

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I didn't know about the Harrison Ford/Josh Hartnett one.  The article talked about Ford having a difficult reputation, but I thought there were general rumors of Hartnett being a pill as well and that's why his career allegedly sputtered out. 

 

That James Cameron BS on Ed Harris warranted a punch, assuming it happened.  I really don't understand directors who torment or endanger an actor's life for a performance.  But hey, I'm not a creative, so I'll never understand suffering for your art. 

 

Also, (the actors behind) R2D2 and CP3O feuding? Hilarious!

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I had heard of the Harrison Ford/Josh Hartnett feud, but I've also heard so much stuff about Harrison Ford that I kind of think he's just a grumpy, cranky old (sorry) guy.   Can't recall whether I read it in the Celebrity Encounters forum here or on Gawker, but someone wrote about how they pulled up to a red light and in looking around while sitting there, noticed Harrison Ford in the next car over.  The writer smiled and nodded, and Ford flipped him/her the bird.

Edited by harrie

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I recall the year when Charlton Heston died, during the 'In Memoriam' part of the Oscars broadcast, there was scant,tepid applause for him. While some speculated that this was due to his outspoken political views, I think it was somewhat likely that he truly was not someone who'd been very likable to at least some of his fellow performers. Case in point, when he and the legendary Edward G. Robinson were starting work on "Solyent Green", they were sitting in chairs ready for closeups and Mr. Robinson thought to break the ice by saying 'You know, I just can't sit next to someone for a half hour without talking with them.' to which Mr. Heston coldly responded, ' Well, I can!'

   If he needlessly snubbed a film legend who wanted to see if a friendship was possible, it's hard to imagine he was any more pleasant to those he didn't consider his peers.

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While some speculated that this was due to his outspoken political views, I think it was somewhat likely that he truly was not someone who'd been very likable to at least some of his fellow performers.

 

 

Personally I believe it was due to his political views than personality.  From people I've talked to who have met him, they said he was a great guy.

 

when [Heston] and the legendary Edward G. Robinson were starting work on "Solyent Green", they were sitting in chairs ready for closeups and Mr. Robinson thought to break the ice by saying 'You know, I just can't sit next to someone for a half hour without talking with them.' to which Mr. Heston coldly responded, ' Well, I can!'

 

 

I had never heard this story.  If anything, Heston was VERY broken up over Robinson's death - which occured only a few weeks after Soylent Green wrapped.

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magicdog,

   Well, good for your acquaintances for having had better luck re Mr. Heston's friendship than Edward G. Robinson appears to have had. If Mr. Heston was 'broken up' over Mr. Robinson's death, it's possible that it may have been some guilt over his    needless rudeness.

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Is Harrison Ford really 'difficult' to work with? The Anchorman crew on Graham Norton were talking about him being on set and really just being a low key guy who does the work and then goes. (Will Ferrel, by the way, does a pretty spot on Ford.) He's certainly not a "Hollywood" guy by any stretch and certainly not what Hollywood is at this point in time. I guess I've just never heard any stories about Harrison Ford, other than whatever the hell that Ford/Hartnett movie was supposed to be, being difficult to work with.

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I dunno - not a fan of Hartnett, but he was on CBS This Morning a while back and seemed like a very grounded, low-key guy himself.  He even took time off because (according to the spin, anyway) he kept getting offered superhero of the moment type roles, which he didn't want to do.  Maybe Ford and Hartnett are both decent guys who just had a bad time making that one flick.  

 

And I don't have it in for Ford, but it's part of the game to make nice when you're doing press, so the Anchorman cast could have just been going with the program, ie not pissing off the big star who did a cameo or something (I'm guessing because I haven't seen Anchorman.)

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Hartnett has a reputation as an ass for a long time. He's a local boy and he's pulled diva behavior all over town. There were lots of rumors that it was due to drug issues, etc. But, he does seem like his fall from fame has changed his ways somewhat. I have no problems believing the feud was mostly due to Hartnett.

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Honestly, Hollywood Homicide was so terrible I think they might have both been in shame spirals at the time.

 

That's a new story from The Abyss -- the one I'm familiar with is James Cameron making Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio do her death-swim so many times she was nearly dead.  So apparently Mr. Cameron attempted to kill both his stars in that film.

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Hartnett has a reputation as an ass for a long time. He's a local boy and he's pulled diva behavior all over town. There were lots of rumors that it was due to drug issues, etc. But, he does seem like his fall from fame has changed his ways somewhat. I have no problems believing the feud was mostly due to Hartnett.

 

It's always nice to have the local angle!  One thing I will say - not exactly in his defense - is that I saw the house somewhere in/around his/your hometown, pivot, that he renovated. It looked really beautiful, but I totally admit to being a sucker for real estate porn. 

 

It would be funny if on the Hollywood Homicide set Ford and Hartnett were both asshats who just sort of met their matches in each other. 

Edited by harrie
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I will admit to liking Harrison Ford as an actor so I'm a bit biased. From interviews and other accounts, he seems to be a very introverted and private man. The Anchorman reports about him working and going sounds consistent. As a result, he does not always appear particularly outgoing on set which probably do turn some people off from him. He has also made some snarky comments about his roles, but nothing egregious. I don't think this makes him an ass though. He's definitely has had an interesting career the last four decades.

 

Terrible movies also lend itself to making everyone on set unhappy so now that Hartnett seems less assy from all reports (there were a lot of those reports ten years ago), I can probably write it off for them both.

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It's always nice to have the local angle!  One thing I will say - not exactly in his defense - is that I saw the house somewhere in/around his/your hometown, pivot, that he renovated. It looked really beautiful, but I totally admit to being a sucker for real estate porn. 

 

It would be funny if on the Hollywood Homicide set Ford and Hartnett were both asshats who just sort of met their matches in each other. 

 

That house is lovely! 

 

As for the Hartnett vs Ford thing - I'd never heard of Ford being difficult to work with, but had heard as much about Hartnett from years back.  It's entirely possible Hartnett has matured/chilled out.  It seems rare to hear about how someone in the business went from being an ass to more mature, so hopefully, it is true.     

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Personally, I'm a bit skeptical about feuds in Hollywood. Loving the stories here, but I think a lot of the modern "feuds" are actually just tabloids faffing around "Oooh -- the romantic leads hated each other!" No, sometimes it's just that they weren't best friends. (I have sympathy for both Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, for example -- it sounds like the set of Fifty Grades of Shite was truly horrendous, and they were both trying to get through it as best they might.)

Maybe it's because I'm a big sap, but the Gosling/McAdams feud seems over-blown to me, too. If they ended up in relationship for -- what, two years? -- after the film ended, maybe they weren't filled with loathing for each other after all? Sounds like things were prickly between them for, you know, a reason.

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I think some actors processes are just different, for example if one actor asks a lot of questions and the other just, well, goes at it. Rachel and Ryan may have had something like that. Damn, I do wish they were still a couple though!

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magicdog,

   Well, good for your acquaintances for having had better luck re Mr. Heston's friendship than Edward G. Robinson appears to have had. If Mr. Heston was 'broken up' over Mr. Robinson's death, it's possible that it may have been some guilt over his    needless rudeness.

 

According to one story I read, Charlton Heston was the one person Edward G. Robinson told that he (Robinson) was dying of cancer on set, so when Sol Roth died, CH's tears were NOT in character. 

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Well, if UYI's story is true, then I guess that could mean  that somehow they made up for the very bad 1st impression.

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Warren Beatty. Damn. I'm reading his biography, and it seems like he literally and figuratively screwed anybody that got in his way for about thirty years.

 

No wonder why it seems like Hollywood doesn't seem to miss him at all, and why he hasn't matured in a well-respected older director like Clint Eastwood.

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Back when the Kill Bill Saga was filmed, it was rumored that Uma and Daryl Hannah didn't get along.The latter allegedly wanted the lead role.

I've heard rumors about DH being really tough to work with on Wall Street too. Something about wanting the part of Gorden Gecko's wife (which was a much bigger part in the original script) and having a hard time with her own role. Oliver Stone has actually said he wishes he had just let DH and Sean Young go ahead and switch roles since he didn't feel like he got very good performances out of either.

Of course, DH is autistic. Sometimes I wonder if it's not a diva thing so much as she just has a really had time communicating what she's thinking.

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No, it was Sean Young that wanted Daryl Hannah's role. I still wish they had just switched the roles, because Daryl Hannah's acting was absolutely atrocious in a part that any competent actress should have made memorable. I still cringe when I think about her monologue about exquisite furniture. It should have been something like Faye Dunaway's monologue about t.v. shares in Network, but it just flopped.

 

One lovely anecdote about Warren Beatty is that during the filming of Shampoo, he offered to "relieve" 17-year old Carrie Fischer of her virginity, and "joked" about it in public around other people.

 

And apparently he and Faye Dunaway couldn't stand each other during the filming of Bonnie and Clyde, so much so that the end, where you think Bonnie is staring at Clyde as they die, she's actually staring at someone else who was involved in the film (I think the director?) because she liked him and therefore would have a soft, serene expression.

Edited by methodwriter85

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No, it was Sean Young that wanted Daryl Hannah's role. I still wish they had just switched the roles, because Daryl Hannah's acting was absolutely atrocious in a part that any competent actress should have made memorable. I still cringe when I think about her monologue about exquisite furniture.

 

Really? I'm not sure anyone could have made that underwritten character really memorable, OIiver Stone couldn't write an interesting realistically nuanced woman if he tried.  What proves that to me is how much better Hanna is at an almost carbon copy of that part in Legal Eagles, but one that was much much more fleshed out and better written. I think one thing I realized re-watching that movie recently is how unbelievably campy it plays to me know, a satire almost, even more so because it was so earnestly self serious, particularly when I feel like on set everyone basically WAS those characters: obscenely wealthy people coked to the gills getting to "pretend" to be obscenely wealthy people who were coked to the gills.

Edited by blixie
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And apparently he and Faye Dunaway couldn't stand each other during the filming of Bonnie and Clyde, so much so that the end, where you think Bonnie is staring at Clyde as they die, she's actually staring at someone else who was involved in the film (I think the director?) because she liked him and therefore would have a soft, serene expression.

 

methodwriter85, are you reading Star?   Or is there another Beatty bio?

 

Not defending Beatty, but Dunaway is a piece of work all on her own; I think most in the know attribute it to neurosis, but whatever the reason, she's clashed with a lot of industry people.  Elia Kazan, while calling her a bitch and difficult also said she was intelligent, strong-willed and a brilliant actress -- which can be a troublesome combination in a business that, when FD was at her prime, was run by and for men who tended to consider actors of either sex as pieces of meat, egocentric idiots, and cash cows.

 

Working with Beatty on Bonnie & Clyde and then immediately after that  with Steve McQueen (no prince himself) on The Thomas Crown Affair must have been a really awful, nerve-wracking period of time for Ms. Dunaway.

 

Not exactly a feud, but in a musical montage scene (aka the semi-obligatory lyrical interlude) in Heaven Can Wait, Beatty and his former love Julie Christie walk along romantically chatting.  They're actually talking, and she's reaming him about wasting his talent making crap pictures and what is he going to do with his life, etc.  His next flick was Reds, so maybe he listened.  (But the one after that was Ishtar, so....  Actually, it was not that bad, but that's for another forum.)

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It's on my to-read pile, haven't gotten to it yet.  But it sounds like it's got some good dirt in it, so I may have to move it up.

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Lars Von Trier, I'll never forget the side eye Kirsten Dunst gave him.

When he started talking out the ass about Hitler, during a press event for Melancolia.

In hindsight, I'd say he pretty much killed her chance for an Oscar nom.

 

I saw that video - Ms. Dunst looked like she wanted to fucking strangle him.

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It was actually for a magazine called Gear. What makes it a little skeevy, though, is that she was 17, but still posed topless. Granted, I think she may have only been a month or so away from 18, but still.

 

And then tried to convince people she wasn't crazy...by donning the Catwoman outfit again. Um, yeah...good luck with that.

 

Tiny Toons sums it up succinctly: https://youtu.be/-MvFzpJ-3A4?t=3m41s

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I'm up to the part that talks about the filming and post-production of Reds. They were under strict orders not to say so, but they apparently had over a million feet of film they had to work with. Apparently like an assistant editor or something like that tried to commit suicide, and the whole thing was like a cult where no one who worked on piecing together the film was allowed to have a life.;

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when [Heston] and the legendary Edward G. Robinson were starting work on "Solyent Green", they were sitting in chairs ready for closeups and Mr. Robinson thought to break the ice by saying 'You know, I just can't sit next to someone for a half hour without talking with them.' to which Mr. Heston coldly responded, ' Well, I can!'

I had never heard this story.  If anything, Heston was VERY broken up over Robinson's death - which occured only a few weeks after Soylent Green wrapped.

I would find this "harsh reception"story easier to believe if I did not already know that Heston asked for Robinson to play  Dr. Cornelius in Planet of the Apes - in fact the whole thing got greenlighted partially on the basis of some test footage Robinson did with Heston.  Robinson only opted out because he felt his heart problems would make it dangerous for him to spend so much time in makeup and Maurice Evans ended up taking the part.  Of course Robinson had been a blacklist victim - as were Kim Hunter (Dr. Zira) and Michael Wilson (the screenwriter). 

The thing that has always made me believe that Charlton Heston was an honest conservative was the way he defended Vanessa Redgrave when he cast her as Lady Macbeth against his own MacBeth.  Every fucking night there were demonstrations in front of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion because of her position on Israel - and he always defended her saying that she was the greatest Shakespearian actress of her day, that like any actor he wanted to play with the best Lady Macbeth available,   and that no actor should be discriminated against for their politics.  

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Rumors I've read/heard:

Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt on The Devil's Own set didn't really get along, something about Brad's inability to pull off the Irishman he played.

Ben Affleck and Morgan Freeman in The Sum of all Fears. I saw an interview that Affleck did during the movie's release and a couple of things he said about Freeman weren't very nice.

Sigourney Weaver and Veronica Cartwright on Alien set. Apparently there was tension between the two because Cartwright wanted the role of Ripley but instead Weaver was cast. I think I heard some rumors about Yaphet Koto causing some tension on set as well. I also seem to recall something about Ridley Scott making Weaver cry while shooting one scene. Actually when I think about it I've heard that the entire cast was tense and uncomfortable on set because of the environment Scott created. He really wanted them to feel like they were trapped on the ship.

Gary Oldman and Francis Ford Coppola didn't get along while filming Bram Stoker's Dracula. My understanding is that they had several "misunderstandings" during filming. Also, when listening to the commentary on this one I got the impression that Coppola really didn't enjoy doing this film. I don't know if that is true, but just what I got from him when he talked about it.

Spike Lee and Edward Norton clashed while filming The 25th Hour. Though rumor has it that this is par for the course with Ed and that he's always difficult to work with. It's funny because if you listen to the director/producer's commentary on this movie it's obvious that Spike Lee adores Rosario Dawson and thought that Phillip Seymour Hoffman was just incredible. He went on and on about how great he was, but the star of the movie - Ed Norton, he barely had two words to say about him.

Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise Interview with a Vampire. I don't think there were any fights between them but I remember hearing there was a lot of tension between the two on set and they certainly weren't going out for drinks together after filming.

As someone said up thread you can kind of get an idea if things went well or didn't during filming based on how the actors and directors talk about each other after the fact.

Edited by Enero

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