14 Actors Who Got Fired Right From the Movie Set
Moviemaking is a complicated process in which everything must be perfect. So when the smooth flow of things gets disrupted by the actors themselves, the directors and producers sometimes find it easier to fire the culprit altogether — even if he or she is a megastar.
Today Bright Side presents you with 14 stories about the antics of well-known actors that resulted in their dismissal during filming. As a bonus, you will find out which international star was dismissed from a movie, only to be apologetically reinstated!
Natalie Portman — Claire Danes
Natalie Portman was approved for the role in Romeo + Juliet, and she was supposed to star alongside Leonardo DiCaprio. But after filming began, the filmmakers discovered that the 14-year-old actress’s miniature complexion made her look like a little girl next to the 21-year-old Leo. According to Portman herself, this made some of the scenes smack of child molestation. In the end, Natalie had to be dismissed and replaced by Claire Danes.
Robert Downey Jr. — George Clooney
One of the main roles in the movie Gravity was given to the inimitable Robert Downey Jr., famous for his improvisations in front of the camera. But a few days into the filming, it became clear that the actor wasn’t suitable to play the character. In the words of the film’s director, Alfonso Cuaron, "Robert is incredibly talented, but the technological aspects of the movie presented a big obstacle to his style of acting." So Downey Jr. was replaced by George Clooney.
Megan Fox — Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
During the filming of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Megan Fox and the director, Michael Bay, had a major row. And all because Bay demanded that Fox get a suntan and gain 7-9 pounds for the role. In response, the actress likened Bay to Hitler and called him "the most horrible person to work with!" As a result, Megan was promptly fired, and the leggy Rosie Huntington-Whiteley got the part.
Nicole Kidman — Jodie Foster
Nicole Kidman spent 18 days on the set of Panic Room playing the mother, but it all came to nothing. The actress had to resign from the film due to complications with a knee injury she suffered while starring in Moulin Rouge! In the end, Jodie Foster got the part.
Ryan Gosling — Mark Wahlberg
Ryan Gosling wasn’t fired from the movie set — he had to resign his role a day before filming began. However, that still makes him a worthy candidate for our compilation. The actor intentionally put on weight in the run-up to the shooting of The Lovely Bones because he had his own idea of what his character should look like. The director, Peter Jackson, did not appreciate Gosling’s creative approach and sent the actor packing. Subsequently, Mark Wahlberg was signed up for the role.
Samantha Morton — Scarlett Johansson
In this case, the director felt dissatisfied not with the actress herself but with her voice. Originally, the seductive operating system in the movie Her was meant to be portrayed by Samantha Morton. But during post-production, Spike Jonze suddenly realized that her voice was not of the type that Joaquin Phoenix’s character could’ve fallen in love with. As a result, the director invited Scarlett Johansson to redub the computer. All that remained of Samantha in the finished picture was the name of the operating system.
Richard Gere — Perry King
The drama The Lords of Flatbush (1974) would have become 25-year-old Richard Gere’s movie acting debut...if not for his behavior on the set. Just a few days after the filming started, the young actor managed to quarrel with half of the crew and get into fights with most of the actors. The last straw was when he had fisticuffs with Sylvester Stallone over a trifling matter (Gere dropped a particularly greasy piece of chicken on Sly’s pants, apparently on purpose). After that, the future megastar was shown the door, and the leading role went to Perry King.
James Remar — Michael Biehn
During the filming of Aliens, James Cameron suddenly fired James Remar and replaced him with Michael Biehn. The official reason given was "creative differences." Many years later, Remar himself revealed that, back then, he was arrested for drug possession, and this forced Cameron to look for a replacement.
James Purefoy — Hugo Weaving
James Purefoy spent 6 weeks wearing the Guy Fawkes mask during the filming of V for Vendetta. However, the (then) brothers Wachowski decided that his voice was not menacing enough, and they started to look for a replacement. They contacted Hugo Weaving (with whom they’d worked on The Matrix) and reshot/redubbed all of Purefoy’s scenes with that actor.
Stuart Townsend — Viggo Mortensen
4 days into the filming of The Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson realized that Stuart Townsend looked way too young as Aragorn. So he parted ways with the actor and gave the role to Viggo Mortensen, who later became world famous thanks to starring in the trilogy.
Anne Hathaway — Katherine Heigl
At first, the lead role in the movie Knocked Up was offered to Anne Hathaway. But, as soon as filming began, the actress learned that the movie involved a childbirth scene. Anne decided she didn’t want to be involved, quarreled with the director, and, consequently, her role went to Katherine Heigl.
Jean-Claude Van Damme — Kevin Peter Hall
When Van Damme was 27, he agreed to appear as the Predator in the eponymous 1987 movie, which also starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. But 2 days after filming got underway, "The Muscles From Brussels" left the project. He did so because he hated the idea of spending many days in a stifling costume, playing a character with no lines, whose face was to remain hidden behind a mask for the entire movie. The producers were quite happy with this decision because it turned out that Van Damme’s Predator looked too short and scrawny next to Schwarzenegger, thus losing the intimidation effect. Besides, Jean-Claude had beaten up a stuntman on set. In the end, the role of the Predator went to Kevin Peter Hall. By the way, if you want to see rare footage of Van Damme in the Predator costume, click here.
Kevin Spacey — Christopher Plummer
Kevin Spacey became one of the first Hollywood celebrities to be accused in the ongoing sex scandal. This resulted in Netflix kicking him out of the House of Cards TV series, in which the actor played the lead role. Director Ridley Scott also decided to ditch the tainted star, cutting all the scenes with Spacey from his new movie, "All the Money in the World." Since the film is scheduled to be released on December 22, those scenes are currently being reshot at a frantic pace with another actor: Christopher Plummer.
Eric Stoltz — Michael J. Fox
For 5 whole weeks, Eric Stoltz played Marty McFly on the set of the first Back to the Future movie. But, according to director Robert Zemeckis, "Stoltz’s performance lacked that special something to make the character really funny and memorable." The role was finally handed over to Michael J. Fox, and producer Steven Spielberg immediately approved the new choice. The studio had to reshoot the material from scratch, but, as we’d all agree, the result was worth it!
Bonus: Christian Bale was first replaced with Leonardo DiCaprio and then asked to come back.
In 2000, the producers of American Psycho approved a little-known Christian Bale for the title role. But the project suddenly attracted the attention of the famous Leonardo DiCaprio, and Christian was promptly fired, along with the director, Mary Harron, who defended the original choice. However, DiCaprio’s fans convinced the actor that his involvement in the movie would spoil the romantic image he acquired after Titanic. In the end, both Christian Bale and Mary Harron returned to the set.