They say fame is fleeting, so you can’t blame Hollywood A-listers for taking full advantage of their celebrity status. Still, some actors take their star power way too far, making absurd demands that reflect a lifestyle almost unrecognizable to us mere mortals.
That’s why film directors and producers often have such a hard time dealing with talent. When it came to these 19 stars, their egos and appetites for indulgence nearly brought down blockbuster movies and franchises. Even your worst coworker can’t be more obnoxious than these high-maintenance celebs…
1. Bill Murray: Here’s a scary fact — Bill Murray only joined Ghostbusters at the last minute. In the 1980s, Murray desperately wanted to star in a dramatic adaptation of the novel The Razor’s Edge. Sensing he had the upper hand, he took on the part of Peter Venkman, only if Columbia Pictures would also fund his passion project.
2. George Clooney: While Clooney is famous for his philanthropic efforts, he’s not afraid to spend a little money on himself. His contract for Gravity stipulated that his trailer needed to come with a beach hut, a large hot tub, a personal garden, and a full basketball court. If only actual astronauts had it that good!
3. Lindsay Lohan: The star power of this Mean Girls actress has certainly faded in the United States, but it seems she still pulls a lot of weight over in Russia. In order to appear on a popular Russian talk show, Lohan negotiated a $860,000 fee, a suite at the Ritz Carlton, and a meeting with Vladimir Putin.
4. Johnny Depp: He’s made hundreds of millions of dollars from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, but the man behind Jack Sparrow didn’t even bother to learn his lines. Instead, he had a sound engineer feed him lines through an earpiece so he could simply repeat them seconds later. Now that’s real piracy.
5. Wesley Snipes: He played a half-human, half vampire in Blade: Trinity, but Snipes was a complete monster behind the scenes. He spent most of his time in his trailer smoking marijuana, and clashes with his director led Snipes to only communicate through an elaborate series of Post-It notes.
6. Harrison Ford: Most performers would love to stick with a blockbuster franchise as long as possible, but Ford had some kind of death wish with Star Wars. He unsuccessfully tried to get George Lucas to kill off Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, but Solo — old spoilers ahead — finally saw his demise in 2015’s The Force Awakens.
7. Samuel L. Jackson: Ford wasn’t the only actor who used the force to get his way. Before taking on the mantle of Mace Windu in the Star Wars prequels, Jackson insisted upon a purple lightsaber — the only of its kind — so that he would be recognizable in crowded action scenes.
8. Paris Hilton: Although her acting career stalled, Hilton hoped that a cameo appearance in the comedy The Other Guys would revive her job prospects. However, crazy demands like bottles of Grey Goose vodka and a tank of live lobsters made her a nightmare to work with. Her scene ended up getting scrapped from the final cut.
MTV / Ian Davidson
9. Gary Busey: In the 2003 family film Quigley, Busey played an amoral businessman who gets reincarnated as a cute little dog. Naturally, the movie has a scene that takes place in heaven. But Busey, who once had a near-death experience, claimed that real heaven looked nothing like the set and forced the crew to rebuild it according to his memory.
10. Sharon Stone: Everyone has their own creative process, but Stone’s favorite way to get in character is to buy a complete wardrobe for each role — all on the film’s budget, of course.
She’s also notorious for forcing directors to communicate with her through her agent. Maybe that prevents her from getting too wrapped up in her part.
11. Mike Myers: Dreamworks’ hit Shrek almost sounded very different. The studio hired Chris Farley to voice the ogre, but he tragically passed away during production. His SNL pal Mike Myers replaced him and played Shrek with his natural voice. Late in the game, however, he realized the character needed a Scottish accent and held up animation to completely rework his part.
12. Daniel Day-Lewis: Perhaps the most extreme method actor in history, Day-Lewis will go to great lengths to become one with his character. A tame example is that on the set of Lincoln, he insisted to be called ‘Mr. President’ off-camera. Also, while depicting a painter in My Left Foot, he never left his wheelchair and made the crew feed him every meal.
13. Will Ferrell: While filming and promoting 2008’s Semi-Pro, this comic actor astoundingly required wacky objects like a motorized scooter and a 20-foot inflatable tree on wheels. Maybe these toys helped Ferrell work out his funny bone, or he could have just been pulling a prank on his producers…
14. Will Smith: Men in Black III filmed primarily in New York City, just a short distance away from Will Smith’s apartment. But that didn’t stop Smith from demanding a two-story, luxury trailer that cost $2 million to build. Maybe he couldn’t make it home because he kept getting his memory wiped.
15. Lady Gaga: Whether she’s backstage or on set, Gaga has a long list of goodies she needs to stuff her poker face. Aside from bottles of wine, veggie hot dogs, and humidifiers, she requires an entire smoothie station to follow her around. Who can say whether Gaga has let fame get to her head, or if she was born this way?
16. Arnold Schwarzenegger: Though he made good on his promise to be back for Terminator 3, Schwarzenegger didn’t make it easy for the production team. He insisted on a perk package that included a three-bedroom suite, a private limousine, and, of course, his very own gym. After all, you can’t have the Terminator looking like a girlie man.
17. Lena Headey and Jerome Flynn: Better known as Cersei Lannister and Ser Bronn of the Blackwater, these Game of Thrones stars were romantically attached long before they set foot on Westeros. Apparently, their split was as ugly as the Red Wedding, because they refuse to be on set at the same time.
18. Justin Timberlake: Even though Timberlake is ready to rock your body, he has no interest in catching any of your germs. No matter what project he is working on, Timberlake has an assistant on hand to wipe down any doorknob that he is about to touch.
19. Jack Nicholson: Most actors would do anything to work with Martin Scorsese, but Nicholson had some peculiar requests before he joined The Departed. For one thing, he made his character more evil by including a scene where he does cocaine off a prostitute’s backside. As a huge Lakers fan, he also banned all Celtics memorabilia from the set.
Do you think that some of these stars went too far?
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