From creative differences to outrageous demands by directors, there are many instances when famous actors almost had their fill and were ready to quit a movie altogether. Some of the most iconic scenes are often the ones to blame, as these 16 examples almost caused the actors starring in them to straight up leave the production!
As a new star of a billion-dollar franchise, Daisy Ridley (understandably) felt the pressure even before the cameras started rolling. On her very first day on set, J.J. Abrams described her performance as "wooden," a note so crippling that she almost walked away from the role of Rey right then and there.
Mike Myers wasn't ready to party on when the studio was attempting to push a cheaper Guns 'N Roses song for Wayne and Garth's head-banging car sing-a-long. The actor stuck by his guns, saying it had to "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen, otherwise he would walk away from the project. Both Myers and the studio made the right decision, and the song became a number one hit 17 years after its initial release.
Vampires don't like the light, and apparently Brad Pitt doesn't like the dark, as his time on set as Louis de Pointe du Lac eventually drove him to ask producer David Geffen about buying out his contract. The $40 million price tag convinced Pitt to stay and deal with his horrible yellow contacts, plastered makeup, and constantly having to film in dark places at night.
This happens in the TV world, too! While "The Walking Dead" is famous for some shocking scenes in it's walker-filled world, there was one in particular that was almost too much for Lauren Cohen. We all remember the horrific scene when Maggie had to give Lori an emergency C-section, which Cohen confided to co-star Steven Yeun that she was worried it would be too intense for her. Yet it was this very reason that convinced her to stay, as she realized that the show was about pushing people to grueling extremes.
As the seriously badass Letty Ortiz, Michelle Rodriquez threatened producers that she would quit the first film of the franchise. The actress was angered that the script called for her character to betray her true love Dom and fall for undercover cop Brian, a move she said made no sense for Letty, as she would chose the alpha male over the pretty boy. Not wanting to lose her, the script was changed to Rodriquez's liking, which we agree is a much better fit for her character.
"Fantastic Four" wasn't only rough on audiences to watch, but it was also a very negative experience for Jessica Alba, who played Sue Storm. Her experiences with director Tim Story almost made her walk away from acting altogether, as she claimed he issued crazy demands, such as keeping her facial expression flat during a crying scene so she'd stay pretty. She made through it, and now balances acting with her multi-billion dollar company.
There doesn't seem much that either Ian McKellen nor his character Gandalf can't handle, yet during the filming of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," McKellen had a complete breakdown on set. Due to this character towering over hobbits and dwarves, almost all of his scenes had to be performed solo in front of a green screen, which soon proved too trying. Director Peter Jackson had to stage an emergency intervention to help convince him to stick around.
Emma Watson can thank the "Harry Potter" series for helping to launch her successful career, but the actress admitted that during contract renegotiations for the fifth chapter, she gave serious thought to quitting. Apparently the studio had very strict oversight over schedule and appearance, but after careful contemplation she decided to stick with it (thank goodness!). Though she did admit feeling a major sense of relief when the franchise finally came to a conclusion.
It's hard to imagine anyone but Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in the iconic "Godfather" series, yet apparently studio execs had other ideas. Despite getting Oscar nominations for both the original and the sequel, Pacino claimed the higher ups wanted him removed from the role so much that he would have walked off set if it hadn't been for for director Francis Ford Coppola, who was so supportive in the early days of filming.
As her character Wendy was having a rough time in the movie, Shelley Duvall was having what sounds like just as bad of a time on set. She reportedly was suffering from exhaustion and dehydration from the amount of crying she had to do, with the scene where she holds the baseball bat for protection going down in the Guinness World Records for most takes (at a whopping 127!). Even Jack Nicholson commented that it was the toughest job he'd ever seen an actor have.
You'd think if Russell Crowe signed on to to play the title role in a film, he would at least agree with the major concept of the movie. Yet he hated the role-reversal of the Sheriff of Nottingham turning out to be the good guy so much that he cost the studio millions of dollars in extra development to completely overhaul the script. Sadly, his changes and the studio's submission did not save "Robin Hood" from being torn apart by critics.
Even though we know the fighting we see on film is staged, that doesn't mean it isn't psychical or dangerous. While filming a scene facing off against Dolph Lundgren, Carl Weathers got thrown across the ring and immediately stormed off and refused to return to set. Production was halted for four days until Sylvester Stallone was finally able to convince Weathers to return.
Transitioning into the role of the Grinch is no easy task, as Jim Carrey had to spend hours in makeup to become the Who with a heart four sizes too small. Yet it was a simple pair of contacts that almost proved too much, as they were so painful that the studio brought in a military torture advisor to help Carrey get through the shoot. Even that wasn't enough, as there were some scenes where the eyes had to be changed in post-production, as Carrey couldn't stand to wear the painful contacts a second longer.
Alfred Hitchcock was notorious for going to great lengths to get the perfect shot, and filming with his blonde heroine in "The Birds" was no exception. In the scene where Tippi Hendren gets attacked by the feathered villains in the attic, Hitchcock had the crew attach real birds to Hendren with strings while prop men flung additional birds at her. The experience was so traumatic that she had a panic attack on set and was ordered by a doctor to be given five days of rest.
Pro wrestler turned action star John Cena may look like he can handle anything, but as it turns out, he has an extreme fear of heights. While making "12 Rounds," Cena had to film a scene where his character repels down a side of a building and then dangles from the rope mid-air. In the DVD extra, Cena admitted the prospect of filming the scene made him so queasy that he almost quit the film entirely.
Faye Dunaway had many instances of clashing with director Roman Polanski while filming "Chinatown," yet it was the scene where Jack Nicholson surprises her in her car that almost made the actress leave the film. Being refused a restroom break, Dunaway eventually resorted to relieving herself into a coffee cup, which she reportedly then threw in Polanski's face.