Celebs Who Wish They Never Accepted Difficult Roles

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Uma Thurman – Kill Bill


Kill Bill is probably the most iconic role of Uma Thurman‘s career but as Thurman recently revealed, the actual experience of making the films was hardly sunshine and roses. Uma collaborated with the film’s director, Quentin Tarantino, on the story for the film. Given their close personal relationship, the project seemed like the kind of passion project that most actors and directors dream of creating. However, things took a quite literal turn for the worst when Tarantino strongly encouraged Thurman to perform a car stunt that she was uncomfortable with. He told her that the stunt would be considerably easier and safer than she (and the stunt coordinators) thought it would be. Eventually, Uma relented and wound up getting in a pretty bad car accident as a result. Luckily, Thurman recovered, for the most part. However, the recuperation was difficult. Thurman and Tarantino’s long friendship basically ended because of it.

Christian Bale – The Machinist

Christian Bale is well-known for his intense commitment to any role. One of his most famous movie transformations was for a film called The Machinist. In order to play a psychologically tormented man, Bale dropped down to a shocking 110 pounds. He achieved this by eating one apple and one can of tuna per day and jogging five miles each day as well. Bale also took up smoking to curb his appetite and at times, had trouble performing some of his scenes because he was in such a weak and frail state. While his dedication to the craft is impressive, the movie did poorly and was poorly received by critics. In the years since the film was released, it has become known almost solely for Christian Bale’s dramatic weight loss, which is thought to be a record amount of weight loss for a film role.

George Clooney – Three Kings

It’s hard to imagine the notoriously nice guy, George Clooney, getting so upset on a film set that he would actually come to blows with the director of the project, but that is exactly what happened between Clooney and the director, David O. Russell, on the set of their film, Three Kings. Russell is well-known for having an aggressive directing style and getting into arguments with his cast (in fact, he’ll appear oin another one of the entries on this list) and Clooney had a real problem with how he spoke to a lot of the other cast and crew members on set. During one particularly heated exchange, Clooney intervened when Russell was yelling at and physically assaulting an extra, which caused Russell to turn his anger towards Clooney and started a physical fight between the two. If that’s not enough, Clooney has said that the making of Three Kings was absolutely the worst experience of his life.

Diane Kruger – Inglorious Basterds

Quentin Tarantino is pretty well-known for trying to get his movies to be as believable as possible, even when it’s really not necessary. That was certainly the case when he was working with Diane Kruger on his film, Inglorious Basterds. In the film, Diane’s character winds up being strangled after being discovered as a spy. In order to make Kruger’s strangulation look as realistic as possible, Tarantino decided to actually do it himself. Apparently the fakery was looking too fake for his liking, so he told the actress that he was going to momentarily cut off her air supply to make it look realistic. Aside from being completely unnecessary (because we are sure most of the people watching the movie have never strangled someone and therefore would not know if it looks real enough or not), it was an incredibly dangerous decision that Tarantino was most definitely not qualified to make.

Cher – Silkwood

It’s hard to imagine someone like Cher ever lacking confidence in any area of her life but when she took on her first film role in the movie, Silkwood, she actually had an incredibly difficult time dealing with what the role required of her. Cher wasn’t nervous about tackling her first major film role. though. The part that she had a lot of difficulty with was having to be dressed down as much as possible, wearing completely natural air-dried hair, and appearing on screen without a stitch of makeup. The director, Mike Nichols, was so serious about giving the world a completely un-made up version of Cher that he would subject her to a white glove test, actually touching her face to ensure she hadn’t snuck any makeup on to her face secretly. But in the end, the suffering may have been worthwhile, since Cher was nominated for her first Academy Award for the picture.

Meryl Streep – Kramer vs. Kramer

Meryl Streep is pretty much recognized as one of the greatest living actors today in the entertainment industry, so it would be pretty much impossible to imagine that she couldn’t meet someone’s standards for a performance, right? Wrong. Apparently, Dustin Hoffman thought that her performance in Kramer Vs. Kramer could be improved and thought that he was the one to do it. Some of his more interesting methods to get reactions out of Meryl were to slap her in the face without any prior warning or agreement and taunt Streep about her recently deceased fiancé to make her more emotional during certain scenes. Streep and Hoffman both wound up winning Academy Awards for their performances in the film but seeing as Streep has also picked up more than a dozen nominations and wins on her own, it’s safe to say that Dustin’s antics were completely unnecessary.

Hayden Christensen – Star Wars

It’s hard to believe that taking a job in the Star Wars franchise could ever be a nearly career-killing move but unfortunately, that seemed to be the case for Hayden Christensen. Christensen appeared to have struck gold when he nabbed the iconic role of Anakin Skywalker but unfortunately, the quality for the prequel movies just wasn’t there and Christensen (probably unfairly) took a huge hit for it. His performance was lacking and his character was annoying but the same could be said for pretty much every other actor and character in the franchise, the only difference was that they were all established A-listers. Hayden still works as an actor pretty consistently but playing Anakin Skywalker really did nothing to help his career. Reportedly, work on the prequels was pretty difficult for a variety of reasons (including Lucas’ direction and the nearly exclusive use of green screen).

Tom Hardy – Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the most visually stunning movies to come out in the last ten years but unfortunately, making something look that pretty can mean that the actors on set have to deal with the most uncomfortable conditions possible. And it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that shooting an action movie in the desert might be a physically demanding and difficult experience. Tom Hardy and the rest of the cast spent six months in the desert shooting Fury Road and across the board, it sounds like the cast and crew were feeling miserable, isolated, and homesick after staring at the sand for months on end. What made things worse for Hardy was his relationship with the leading lady, Charlize Theron. Reportedly the two leads did not get along well during the shoot and since nearly all of Hardy’s scenes were with her, it must have been a pretty rough gig.

Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant

Leonardo DiCaprio may have finally snagged an Academy Award for his performance in The Revenant but that doesn’t mean that shooting the actual movie was much fun for him. The film’s director, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarratu, was committed to making the film as realistic as possible, which meant that the cast and crew went through hell in order to make that happen. Leo’s character spends most of the movie surviving through the freezing wilderness and in order to make that look as real as possible, DiCaprio did some absurd and gross things like getting inside of an animal carcass or eating a raw bison’s liver. DiCaprio said that he knew what he was getting into when he signed on with the project but he also said that many of the scenes and sequences in the film were the most difficult he has ever experienced in his decades-long acting career.

Jonah Hill – War Dogs

Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight in their lives can tell you how difficult it can be. Jonah Hill‘s impressive weight loss must have taken an enormous amount of energy and dedication, which is why his willingness to regain the weight (and then some) for his part in the film, War Dogs, is such a surprise. In the film, Jonah plays an arms dealer, Efraim Diveroli, and while Hill did muster up a Golden Globe nomination for the performance, the film did poorly overall and got mixed critical reviews. Jonah went on to lose all the weight he had gained for the role and wound up looking fitter than ever but you have to wonder whether or not going to those extremes was worth all of the trouble. Maybe he could just go for a prosthetic suit or something the next time.

Robert Pattinson – Twilight

When it comes to actors who openly hate on the projects that made them household names, nobody can really beat Robert Pattinson.  He certainly takes digs at the Twilight film franchise with a sense of humor but seriously complained pretty much nonstop for the entirety of his Twilight experience. Considering how aggressive the Twi-hard fans could be, it’s no shock that it made him a little uncomfortable and frankly, a lot of his criticisms of the material as well as his character were well founded. Regardless, it’s kind of inappropriate to publicly dump on a franchise that brought him so much success or dump on the fans that supported his work. Pattinson may wish that he hadn’t taken on the role but he also wouldn’t have gotten to where he is today without it.

Jessica Alba – Fantastic 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer

No one really goes into a Fantastic 4 movie expecting it to be a deep, thoughtful artistic expression but Jessica Alba‘s experience while shooting Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer definitely sounds like it took meaningless work to a whole new level. The movie was mediocre, to say the least, but Alba said that she seriously considered quitting acting for good after what she went through during filming. For one particular scene, Jessica needed to emote pretty powerfully because her character was supposed to be on the verge of passing. Apparently, her performance of the scene was “too real” and her crying was not pretty enough. After working at the scene for a while the director just said that they could CGI tears onto her face instead. Alba understandably felt disheartened by the experience and it made her question whether or not acting was the right career choice for her.

Kate Winslet – Titanic

Titanic is a movie that made Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio the superstars they are today, so it’s kind of hard to imagine that they would have any regrets about taking a role in the film. Although, the actual shooting of the blockbuster movie didn’t sound like much fun. As we’ve all seen, the majority of the film is just Jack and Rose running around through freezing water trying to keep themselves alive, which meant that Kate and Leo had to spend months on end filming in uncomfortably chilly water. Winslet does say that the experience taught her some very important lessons about acting, like if the script calls for five days of shooting her character running through a flooded dining room then she will be spending five days standing in a flooded dining room, but overall, the actual experience of filming Titanic was still pretty difficult and unpleasant.

Ed Harris – The Abyss

Working on a film that takes place mostly underwater is a notoriously difficult endeavor. Things were no different when it came to the director, James Cameron’s, underwater movie The Abyss. Everyone on the film’s set seemed to struggle with the difficulties of the shoot but the film’s star, Ed Harris, had such an awful time that he said he would never publicly discuss his experience making the movie. In one particular scene, the actor quite literally almost drowned. The scene required him to hold his breath for a certain amount of time and when he signaled for some oxygen the diver who was supposed to give him some air got tangled in some of the equipment. Another crew member gave Harris a regulator but unfortunately, gave it to him upside down, which caused him to inhale water instead of air. It took another crew person to turn it around and fix the issue but Harris was understandably shaken by the experience.

Jennifer Lawrence – Mother!

Jennifer Lawrence is probably the most popular working actress in the entertainment industry today, which is why it surprised quite a few people that she signed on for Darren Aronofsky’s arthouse film, Mother! The movie was meant to symbolize the way humans abuse and take advantage of “Mother Earth,” but unfortunately, the film’s message didn’t translate well and the movie totally flopped. Lawrence definitely gave her all for the performance and since Jennifer’s character is meant to represent the tormented mother earth, her commitment to the story meant being committed to her own personal suffering. During the filming, Lawrence says that she tore her diaphragm and dislocated a rib during some of her more intense scenes. Despite the fact that the director wound up becoming her boyfriend, Jennifer said that she didn’t know if she’d ever work with him again after the experience of making this film.

Jared Leto – Chapter 27

Actor and musician, Jared Leto, has been considered to be a superficial pretty boy for a significant chunk of his career. Leto has done his best to disprove anyone who questions his credibility as a super serious, struggling artist. One of his more extreme transformations was for the film, Chapter 27, a film about Mark David Chapman’s assassination of John Lennon. Leto played Chapman and since the real-life Chapman was considerably more rotund than Leto, he had to pack on the pounds. Jared wound up gaining nearly 70 pounds for the role by drinking melted ice cream, soy sauce, and olive oil, and he actually took it to such an extreme that he wound up getting gout. That is certainly a whole lot of suffering for the sake of a role. Chapter 27‘s 19% approval score on Rotten Tomatoes definitely makes it seem like a waste.

Everyone Other Than Jared Leto – Suicide Squad

Jared Leto certainly seems committed to method acting as much as he possibly can, which applies even when he’s making a cheeseball superhero movie. Unfortunately for his Suicide Squad co-stars, going method to embody the most hardcore Joker the world has ever seen wasn’t something that he restricted solely to himself. In order to convince his cast mates that he was intense and unhinged enough to rival Heath Ledger’s Joker, he decided to send them an array of horrifying surprises, which included live rats, a pig, and a few other unmentionable and unimaginably repulsive things. Unfortunately for Jared, his dedication to becoming the silver toothed clown prince of Gotham was a bit of a waste. The character was heavily edited out of Suicide Squad in the end and Jared didn’t make any friends through his work experience on the film set.

Jim Carrey – How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Some actors might consider wearing prosthetics and appliances for a film to be the most miserable thing possible, but in order to cope with the hours upon hours of makeup and prosthesis application for How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Jim Carrey literally underwent training to deal with incredible amounts of discomfort. Reportedly, Carrey was on the verge of quitting the movie because the discomfort of being outfitted in pounds of makeup and costuming every day was too much for him to handle. The movie’s producer, Brian Grazer, offered him some training with a CIA operative to show him how to deal with being dressed up as the Grinch every day. The makeup and costume took three hours to be applied each day and one hour to remove, and the yellow contacts that covered Carrey’s entire eye were so uncomfortable that at times he couldn’t wear them and they had to be digitally added later.

Bjork – Dancer In The Dark

Most people know Bjork as the most famous singer to come out of the tiny country of Iceland and not as an actress but Bjork did actually play the lead role in a film called Dancer In the Dark. It was her first and only film because she ended up hating the experience so much. Reportedly, she and the director, Lars Von Trier, got into some massive arguments during the filming of the movie. Bjork has also chimed in on the #MeToo movement to say that she was mercilessly harassed by a director that she had worked with and since Dancer In the Dark is the only film she ever made, it seems logical to presume that she must be talking about Von Trier. Von Trier denies that he was inappropriate or cruel towards the singer but Bjork’s manager claims that he witnessed some pretty significant verbal and physical abuse during filming.

Lily Tomlin – I Heart Huckabees

If you’re unfamiliar with the expletive-laden screaming matches between the actress, Lily Tomlin, and the director, David O. Russell, on the set of the film, I Heart Huckabees, you should probably go to YouTube and take a look because it is the kind of work environment that has to be seen to be believed. Russell definitely has a reputation for being a difficult director but Tomlin was clearly not willing to put up with any of his over-the-top antics. The arguments between them were brutal and the recordings of their fights started to spread around, most people were shocked and appalled. When asked for a comment, both Tomlin and Russell claimed that they had buried the hatchet and had the utmost respect for each other as artists but it’s hard to believe that anyone could use that kind of language towards someone they have any respect for.


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