10 Times Even Actors Were Caught Off Guard by the Director
Things don’t always go as planned when making a movie. Many directors enjoy improvising and modifying the script on the spot, bringing more drama or comedy to the action, which can genuinely surprise the actors. Frequently, unforeseen events and dialogue make their way into the final draft. However, some incidents are totally accidental, such as an actor’s forgetfulness.
1. Daniel Radcliffe didn’t have time to learn the dance on the set of Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire.
Daniel Radcliffe admitted that acting out Harry’s first dance at the Yule Ball is one of the most embarrassing parts of The Goblet of Fire, and that wasn’t by chance. According to the written books, Harry is characterized as a bad dancer, and Radcliffe’s busy shooting schedule managed to bring that phenotype to the big screen because he didn’t have time to learn the dance. The actor said, ’’Everyone else had about 3 weeks, and I only had about 4 days to learn because I was doing another scene."
2. When shooting Titanic, Kate Winslet couldn’t stop shaking from the cold water.
In the Titanic scene where Rose is looking for Jack, the water used was actually from the Pacific Ocean on the Baja California, Mexico set. The water was so cold that Kate Winslet couldn’t stop shaking. Her elbow was chipped and she suffered several bruises. However, it was nearly getting hypothermia that almost caused her to leave the project.
3. When filming the scene with Tony’s funeral in Avengers: Endgame, Tom Holland and Mark Ruffalo thought they were attending a wedding.
After the release of Avengers: Endgame, actors Tom Holland and Mark Ruffalo said they had thought they were filming a wedding scene when they were really filming Tony’s burial. But Holland made it clear when he posted pictures of the filming day and stated, "I guess when Barry said no cameras we all heard bring your cameras. Hands down the most memorable day of my career and still, to this day, the strangest wedding I’ve ever been to.’’
4. Jim Carrey was frequently irritated on the set of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind after having to act out a dramatic scene instead of a comedic one.
In the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind movie, Jim Carrey was frequently irritated on set, as Michel Gondry, the director of the film, would say things that were the opposite of what he was telling other cast members. Gondry said, “I had to talk to Kate Winslet in a different room to tell her, ’Go as big as you want! This is a comedy!’ And to Jim, I’d say, ’This is a drama, not a comedy.’”
5. Jennifer Lawrence needed Josh Hutcherson when filming her scenes in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 to elicit an emotional response.
In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, the director of the film, Francis Lawrence, captured and edited a test video of Peeta’s interviews to be aired during Jennifer Lawrence’s parts. During an interview, he said that presenting Josh Hutcherson during Lawrence’s scenes would only take a few hours to shoot and help her elicit an emotional response because Lawrence genuinely missed working with him.
6. On The Office, Steve Carell was supposed to hug Oscar instead of kissing him on the lips.
In this episode of The Office, Steve Carell’s character, Michael, was supposed to hug Oscar, go in for a kiss, back out, and then kiss him on the forehead. Instead, Carell went off script and made up his own scene. Oscar Nuñez had no idea he was getting a kiss on his lips, and the entire cast was in a real shock.
7. Before Cruel Intentions started, Reese Witherspoon revised her character.
Actress Reese Witherspoon initially declined the role of Annette in the film, Cruel Intentions, because she disagreed with the girl’s character as it was written by the screenwriters. According to Witherspoon, Annette was too shy and lackadaisical. After reworking the character and rewriting numerous lines, the actress developed a unique and interesting character that satisfied the director.
8. When filming Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones, Samuel L. Jackson requested a purple sword from the director.
In George Lucas’s Star Wars universe, the bad guys used red lightsabers and the good people used blue or green ones. For his role as Mace Windu, Samuel L. Jackson specifically requested a purple lightsaber from the director. The actor said that this would make his character more noticeable among the other combatants in the climactic scene of Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones. The outcome pleased Jackson, and Lucas approved.
9. In the Glee series, Naya Rivera was asked by the director to slap Cory Monteith without his knowledge.
Naya Rivera, who played Santana, was secretly asked by director Eric Stoltz to slap Cory Monteith so hard in the Glee scene where Santana accuses Fin, who is portrayed by Monteith, of exposing her as a lesbian. The actress claimed she felt terrible for slapping him and was scared he would be angry with her, but Monteith handled it so well the second time around that he urged her to strike him again on camera.
10. In the last scene of Die Hard, Alan Rickman wasn’t aware his costar would be dropped after the count of one as the director requested.
While shooting the last scene of Die Hard, Alan Rickman was instructed by the director that Hans Gruber would be allowed to fall out when he counted down from 3. The actor was dropped from around 25 feet above onto an airbag, and McTiernan tricked him by letting go when Rickman least expected it, giving the actor a shocked expression of panicked astonishment.
Which of these situations should have been reshot in your opinion? Do you believe actors can be innovative during filming or is it best for them to strictly follow the director’s instructions?