On the outside Hollywood is a glamorous place full of magic and dreams. It's the place where people go to become stars. The movie business is one of the toughest industries out there and is home to some pretty odd stuff. Here are people sharing the craziest and rudest stuff they have witnessed while working in Hollywood.
"That parents are willing, and actively trying, to sell out their kids for roles on the next hit children's show. Roles for the kids, not the parents, just to be clear. To clarify what I'm saying: That parents will offer their children up for roles. They will even offer themselves up for roles for their children. They want their children to become the next big thing. Am I saying that producers and such take advantage of situations like this? Only the Hollywood 1%. What is the Hollywood 1%? A term that is used to state that 1 out of every 100 people that work in Hollywood are f--ked up enough to do stuff like this. The law will eventually catch up to most of them. But think, how long did it take for the Bill Cosby stuff to come out to where people believed? I would say 95% of the people who work in the industry will never be exposed to this kind of stuff, but it's there, and it's f--ked."
"I was a lowly intern for a bigger production company during film school. We were doing a pitch day where writers and other producer wannabes came in to pitch their ideas. We (6 of us) sat at a long table while the potential film maker told is their idea hoping for funding. Before we started the executive producer said, 'if you hear me say the word pass in any context that's code for stop taking notes and have zero follow up question so we can get the duds sorted out quickly.'
People were coming in and pitching and a few minutes into their stories he would say, 'pass me a pen' or 'pass-trami for lunch okay with everyone?' He was having fun coming up with ways to interrupt the pitchers with his hidden code word. Well the worst one was a guy from Minnesota who had this kids movie idea that a lot of people back home loved. It got some attention and the right people agreed to set up this pitch meeting for him. The guy was written up in his town paper, local boy goes to Hollywood, they named a drink after him in this small town, the town got together to raise money for his trip out to big ol' Hollywood, hero worship to the hilt. Anyhow, he walks in, sets up an easel and the E.P. immediately says, 'are you coming from Pass-adena?' Done, over. Pens down.
All he'd said was his name and its a pleasure to be here and he got passed. I felt bad for everyone that day but I felt especially bad for him. He went on to pitch his entire story and his hometown hero personal story and all the E.P. was doing was drawing geometric shapes on his notepad."
"Adi Shankar is the sketchiest person I've met in this town. I know he's a hero on Reddit, but he's the craziest person I've ever worked for. In my first few years in LA, I interned a lot, including at his company. I thought it was pretty cool to learn from the Producer of movies like The Grey and Dredd. But what I learned pretty early on is that 'Producer' is a pretty flexible term in Hollywood. What his company does is gap financing. Let's say a movie is already packaged and ready to go, but they have 28 million of a 30 million dollar budget, they go to a company like Adi's. He gets a loan from the bank for $2M and slaps his name on as Executive Producer. No creativity, no involvement with the production. Perfectly fine business model. But the level of arrogance that came with this has been unmatched at any of my other jobs. He would parade around town acting like he was the sole creative force behind The Grey and Killing Them Softly. As a specific example, he likes to tell people that it was his idea to shoot Dredd in 3D. He would often call interns into his office just to show them videos of some 'girl he banged' the night before.
I was often tasked with searching IMDB for rising actresses. He would then call them in for a general meeting where he would talk about how he was going to make them into a star, while usually not so successfully trying to trick them into sleeping with him. A year of interning there and all I learned were what substances he liked, and how to get women to sleep with him. Not a minute of actual industry work happened at that office. Turns out the actual producers and directors of projects don't take to kindly to some guy parading around claiming responsibility for their movie. He was basically blacklisted from the industry, which is why he's making his bootleg YouTube videos.
His methods haven't changed at all. We all loved the Power Rangers short. What no one knows is that it was 100% paid for with the Director's own money. Over $100k. Adi didn't spend a dollar of his own money on this, or any of his other videos. He has the directors pay for them, do all the creative, then puts it up on his YouTube page and essentially takes full credit for it. Interning for him was a messed up, cultish ego trip that has been unmatched at any of the places I've worked after, including large studios."
"I've heard a lot of rumors about this. Apparently, a lot of the lower tier Hollywood worker bees like myself get approached all the time about it.
People ask stuff like, 'Want a better career? Want your kid to be famous?' Apparently, it happened to a friend of mine, she was approached and told her kid could be on TV and she'd get hired on as an exec if she just left him alone with whoever for a few hours. I think her kid was like one at the time. She, of course, said No... I think her company was dropped by that particular client as well because she said no."
"Most people in the 'business' are conceited jerks. I interned on a (crappy, short-lived) reality show for MTV. The producers were the biggest idiots who thought they were hot stuff because they had been 'handpicked' for this job (they had very short resumes). They treated everyone above them like Gods and everyone below them like slaves.
One spilled her entire drink on my personal laptop when I was out of the room. When I returned and saw it sitting in a puddle (she hadn't even attempted to clean it up) she said 'Yeah, that was me. You shouldn't leave your computer on the desk'. They also regularly popped pills (for which they didn't have a prescription) openly."
"I worked overnight at a hotel. About thirty mid-20-year old interns for MTV's Rock of Love came to stay the night. Brett Michaels stayed at a syphilis laden Fantasuites down the road. Around 1:00 AM, one of the interns came downstairs and asked, 'Can we use the swimming pool?' Me: no, I'm sorry but it's closed and I can't have complaints from the other guests. Intern is now clearly angry: 'Come on, we are with MTV! This is the most excitement this place has had'. Me: Good for you. I don't care and neither does anyone else. I'm not opening the pool. Intern: 'What if we do it ???????anyways?' Me: I'll call the cops and kick you out. Pissed me off. The thought going through my head was 'Don't come in here and pull the bullsh-t big city card In a big city'. I live in Indianapolis. People can choose to ignore it, but despite it not being known for much, it is a big city. F--k off with that bullsh-t" (Source).
"Having a producer call me specifically because he had many glowing recommendations for me and sang my praises. Then asked my daily rate for a feature. Then after a big sigh from him and an awkward silence he asked if I could work for 10 days for 25 dollars a day. After another longer awkward silence from me waiting to see if it was a joke I asked him if he was serious. He said yes. I said I wouldn't work for that little because it's the equivalent of 2 bucks an hour for highly skilled labor. He told me I didn't know what I was missing and that he would give out terrible recommendations to others about me because I turned him down. But on a more serious note, there's been some horrendous deaths on set and after wrap due to lack of safety and improper training, cutting corners, or sneaking things. Sarah Jones was the most recent large example, but there's been too many vehicle rollovers due to crew members falling asleep after ridiculous hours, someone being electrocuted on a condor lift when they hit electrical wires because they weren't trained nor legally allowed to be in the lift. Just crazy stuff. Oh, also had an actor lift his oversized shirt over his head in front of me and forget he didn't have any clothing on underneath. I understood why the ladies talked about him all the time after that" (Source).
"I work as a Post Coordinator on a network TV show. There is one producer we have that doesn't really do much. He just got the title and passed the work on to everyone else. He only shows up to set whenever casting calls involve models or hot women (and he creeps on them HARD). I see it often because the casting office isn't far from the Post offices, and it annoys the piss out of us cause we need his signature for a lot of stuff and it's impossible to get a hold of him sometimes. Anyways, one time a casting day happens and I remember a few of the women he was talking to. That night I had to take some paperwork to get signed to the producer's house at night. He has this house in a secluded part of the Hollywood Hills. I get up and ring the door, and lo and behold, he opens it and behind him are four women from that casting session. All in their underwear. Cocaine on the table, and the producer is coked out of his mind. He invites me in and I decline, but it eventually devolves into saying he won't sign until I come in. I sit away from everyone and keep super quiet as they do blow and drink, and decline all the offers. Eventually he went away with two of the girls to another room (sex, of course) and told me he'd sign when he came back. I awkwardly wait for about 30 minutes until the girls come out and leave, clearly upset and pissed. I go in and find him passed out and vomit on his bed. I told the other two girls and they left along. I put him into a position where he wouldn't choke on his vomit and left. Forged the signature. The next day he came to apologize to me and asked if I told the EP's or Showrunners. I said no and noticed my check the next week had a crap ton of overtime I didn't work. We haven't spoken about it since" (Source).
"I worked on a show recently where the art director was a supreme d--k. We had a midget onset and he had to go in a cage. The midget went in the cage (already every human being with a soul on set is uncomfortable) and the AD says 'ok kneel down'. Well.. The poor guy didn't have knees... So he said 'I don't have knees, I can't kneel'. This confused the AD. He asked again, to the further embarrassment of every person there. The midget showed him his legs. They tried him sitting on his butt but his legs stuck out of the cage comically and that wasn't the look they were going for. They were looking at putting a hole in the bottom of the cage to fake it. Finally (and I wasn't there by this point, it was too much and I wasn't needed for that problem.) the AD said 'I just need you to kneel down.'
angry pause 'I physically can not kneel down, I don't bend there'. AD: 'Not my problem.' And he walked off set.
I wasn't around to see what happened after or if they re-shot or whatever, but 'I literally can't even'" (Source).
"I worked on a film a few years ago with a well known child star who had a crazy mother. Every day, you could see the pressure that the mom was putting on her and it was clear that she was mentally abusive and trying to live vicariously through her. We were shooting in an old house that had just had all the dust kicked up from people moving around, which was making me sneeze over and over in a bad reaction to inhaling it. I had to go outside for fresh air, but the sneezing wouldn't stop for some time. The mom followed me out and accused me of being sick around her daughter and that I have no place on the set if I'm going to get her kid sick. Other people chimed in that I was clearly having some kind of allergic reaction, but she kept insisting that I be removed from set. Luckily, everyone knew she was full of sh-t and ignored her. The entitlement of parents with children in the industry can be sickening" (Source).
"Used to be an on-set grunt on Supernatural. One of the 2 main actors was kind of a giant douchebag on set - I'm not a fan of Jared Padalecki. I've got a few stories of that guy treating the grunts like sh-t, but heres one nugget that always makes me smile: On jared padalecki's IMDB it says 'While filming season two, Jared Padalecki (Sam Winchester), broke his wrist after performing one of the stunts on the show.' - The truth is they got into a bar fight the night before filming and Jared broke his wrist. That guy had a real chip on his shoulder and fancied himself some kind of fighter bro - The rumor is they started it and Jared ended up getting hurt. They had to write it into the show so if you're a fan - The reason Sam Winchester had a cast on in season 2 (Starting in episode 4) was because he got in a bar fight and lost. Did some more googling and other sources say he broke his wrist from over-training. What a tool" (Source).
"One time I had an audition and I had a zit on the side of my nose and the casting director just said 'Come back when you get a bar of soap'. Other than that, stage moms. Just remembered another one. Filmed an episode of a show about a comedy sketch show that takes place at 30 Rockefeller Center. We were shooting outside on the street, and Alec Baldwin was screaming at tourists for taking photos and 'ruining the show'. We were filming outside at noon in one of the most touristy sections of the city. The word 'Art' was mentioned in the diatribe. The eye contact among everyone said 'Ewwwww'. I feel I've been pretty negative, so I'd like to toss in some names of people I've worked with or met who were great people: Dave Coulier, Jay Z, Danny DeVito, Sarah Silverman, Billy Crystal, P Diddy, Dave Attell, Jim Gaffigan, Bill Burr, David Lee Roth, Jason Giambi, and Bobcat Goldthwait were all very nice to me and the crew/fans" (Source).
"I'll spill some juice. Mira Sorvino is the one of the worst actresses I have every worked with. She threatened to walk off the set one day, you were not allowed to be in her eye line when we were shooting (or look at her). She could not remember her lines and she blamed it on 100 things, She made the DP change his lens a few times and MADE him raise his camera more than once because she did not want to be shot from below her eye line ( She didn't think it was flattering). She made producers order her very high end make up because she didn't like what the Make-up artist was using, She HAD to check herself in the mirror before EVERY take. Everyone on set could not stand her but because she had won on Oscar she thought she was queen of the world" (Source).
"I work as a lighting technician, and I'm still in the low budget world, so I have to deal with a lot of crap and I could go on for ages about the borderline abusive and illegal stuff I have to deal with on a regular basis but I'll just go with my best story. This is the incident that made me decide I was done with the worst of it. This is the story of the executive producer who got stabbed on set. So I got asked to come out on the reshoots of a ultra-low budget horror feature. It was a minimum wage/illegal rate, but I hadn't worked in a long time so I went out for it. The bad signs quickly started to pile up. The executive producer was also the director was also the lead actress, and in my few interactions with her she flaunted her position and was generally a b--ch. The Key Grip had already basically checked out. 'It was a sh-tshow then and it's a sh-tshow now'. I went to my standard procedure in these situations and tried to just do my job and stay out of the way as much as I could. Then came day 2. We were going up for some stabbing scene, lots of fake blood and whatever. The house was very cramped so I was out at our equipment staging area on the back porch. They go up for a take. Then comes the screaming. Not acting screaming, real, loud screams. 'OH MY GOD HE STABBED ME! HE F--KING STABBED ME OH MY GOD!!'
At first I didn't think much of it. I thought it was just the actress being terrible, but, hey, she's running the show so she could do whatever she wanted. Then everyone around me started freaking out. This idiot girl had decided that she didn't want to use a fake prop knife for the scene. Apparently it 'wasn't real enough' for her. This is something that is film safety 101. You ALWAYS use a prop weapon and you let anyone on set who wants inspect the prop. I had just assumed that they were using one and the dozen or so people on set knew better, including my direct superiors in my department. This was literally Darwin Award levels of stupidity. I didn't see the wound itself, but it wasn't life threatening. She was out of the hospital in a few hours, but she could have easily died, and it would have been completely because of her idiocy. TL;DR: Selfish idiot producer gets stabbed and it's 100% her fault" (Source).
"I'm a female vfx artist working primarily in television. I've had several douchey supervisors (and some great ones). There are a lot of egos in this business and some people who think it's perfectly acceptable to be nasty and sexist. I have more than one thing, sorry! I was once told (after working double-time all weekend, mind you) that I should use more nouns when I speak. This was when my boss asked me about my progress on a shot that I was racing to finish before a deadline. When I asked to switch departments so that I could learn another discipline, I was told that the one I wanted to go to was all guys and they weren't sure how I would fit in there. I watched one supervisor throw a chair across my boss's office. The owner of a company I used to work for would bring in his herd of rescue dogs that weren't housebroken. They would pee and poop all over the floor and he wouldn't clean it up. I watched one of the dogs lift his leg and piss on my coworker's chair. Super fun to work for an hour with a pile of diarrhea sitting next to you. They would also bite clients and I was bitten twice on the job. I was laid off so that the girl the lead artist was sleeping with could have a full-time job in the department. They tried to get me to come back three weeks later. No thanks. Had a producer who couldn't understand that if you want a shot sped up but kept the same length, you will need more footage. This was a man who had been working in this field for about twenty years. He was the best friend of the owner, which was probably the only reason he still had a job. I really could go on and on" (Source).