As it turns out, some movies and television shows push actors to their limit, almost breaking them to the point of dropping out of the project.
From Sir Ian McKellen almost quitting over green screen work in The Hobbit to Al Pacino feeling unwanted during The Godfather: Part II filming, these upcoming roles, and scenes almost broke some big-name actors.
Mike Myers Almost Quit Wayne’s World
Actor Mike Meyers was literally the creator of Wayne Campbell. So, it might come as a shock to learn that he almost quit the movie. It all came down to the song the guys listened to in then Mirthmobile.
Meyers was adamant about the song being Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” but the studio wanted something cheaper. As a result, Meyers threatened to quit the production.
Jim Carrey Couldn’t Stand The Grinch Makeup
Funnyman Jim Carrey wasn’t laughing when he was in the makeup chair for How The Grinch Stole Christmas. It took three hours a day to get his costume situated, Carrey literally broke down and told the director he’d give all the money back if they didn’t make him go through with the role.
That’s when the producer called in a military trainer who specialized in torturous situations. He spent the weekend with Carrey, and afterward, the actor was good to go with the part.
Al Pacino Didn’t Feel Appreciated On The Godfather: Part II
For Al Pacino, it wasn’t one scene that had him at his breaking point; it was the entire role of Michael Corleone. While he earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his performance in The Godfather, the studio executives were trying to boot him out of the role for the sequel.
According to Pacino, he didn’t want to work somewhere he wasn’t wanted. Eventually, he stuck around, thanks to director Francis Ford Coppola.
Michelle Rodriguez Almost Quit The Fast Franchise Over Her Vision Of Letty
After hearing that The Fast and the Furious writers wanted Letty to betray Dom and fall in love with Brian, actress Michelle Rodriguez put her foot down. To her, there was no way Letty Ortiz would ever leave “the alpha-est of alpha males” in favor of a pretty boy.
She threatened to quit the first movie if they didn’t make things right with her character. What a different franchise it would be if they didn’t!
After Pirates, Zoe Saldana Almost Quit Acting
In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, actress Zoe Saldana had the small role of Anamaria. According to Saldana, other actors looked down on her because of her “small part.”
During an interview with THR, Saldana said, “It was very elitist. People disrespecting me because they look at my number on a call sheet, and they think I’m not important.” The experience almost had her quitting show business.
Daisy Ridley Had A Panic Attack On The Force Awakens
Newcomer Daisy Ridley had little to no acting experience when she was cast as Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. With one of the most anticipated movies on her shoulders, it probably wasn’t easy to hear director J.J. Abrams calling her performance “wooden.”
Then and there, Ridley’s career almost ended. She had a panic attack and later said, “I thought I was gonna cry; I couldn’t breathe.”
Lauren Cohan Thought A Walking Dead Scene Was Too Intense
In the AMC series The Walking Dead, Lauren Cohan plays the role of Maggie, one of the series most popular characters. While the show is very intense, there was one scene that brought Cohen to a breaking point.
In the scene, her character performed an emergency C-section on Lori Grimes while her young son watched. It was so intense that Cohen went to the writers, asking them to think about removing it. In the end, they kept it, and Cohen did the scene.
Brad Pitt Wanted To Buy Out Of His Vampire Contract
Brad Pitt starred alongside Tom Cruise in the 1994 film Interview with the Vampire. Even though he was a main character, Pitt had a miserable time filming the movie. His bad experience stemmed from the makeup, contact lenses, and horrible working conditions that had him in a studio with no windows.
It became so bad that Pitt actually asked David Geffen, the bankroller for the production, to buy out of his contract. It was $40 million, so Pitt stayed on.
Tippi Hedren Was So Over The Birds
Alfred Hitchcock’s horror film The Birds starred Tippi Hedren in the role of Melanie Daniels. Wanting the actress’s fear of the birds to be as authentic as possible, Hitchcock had the cast and crew throw real, live birds at Hendren during her scenes, eliciting real fear.
This happened for five days straight. Afterward, Hendren had a complete breakdown, and her doctor ordered her a week off of the set.
Carl Weathers Didn’t Appreciate Getting Rocked In Rocky IV
Being a boxing movie, one would think Carl Weathers would know what he was getting into when he signed on to portray Apollo Creed in Rocky IV. Alas, the NFL star turned actor almost quit the movie because of one scene.
In the scene, Creed’s opponent Ivan Drago tossed him three feet into the corner of the ring. According to Sylvester Stallone, Weathers was so rattled he came out of the ring yelling, “I’m calling my agent, I quit!”
Sir Ian McKellen Didn’t Enjoy The Hobbit‘s Green Screen
While filming Lord of the Rings, a vast majority of Sir Ian McKellen’s work as Gandalf was done with other actors. This wasn’t the case when he signed on for The Hobbit trilogy. He wound up having to act in front of a green screen for a majority of his scenes.
Acting by himself became very frustrating, and McKellen almost walked off the set!
Shelley Duvall Was Drained After The Shining
During the filming of The Shining, actress Shelley Duvall did the impossible, crying for 127 takes straight. The process left her drained and dehydrated, not to mention stressed out of her mind.
During an interview with Dr. Phil, Duvall admitted that the stress of filming The Shining led to her hair falling out!
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio Hated One Scene Of The Abyss
While filming The Abyss, actress Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio has horrible memories of one particular scene. In the scene, her character’s estranged husband administers her CPR and slaps her!
Mastrantonio said that after the first slap, she actually held up her arm to block the next one, ruining the shot. She eventually got off the floor, left set, and stayed away for hours until she finally calmed down.
Jeremy Renner Wasn’t Pleased With The Avengers
In The Avengers, Jeremy Renner plays the role of Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye. Sadly, the actor wasn’t too thrilled with the direction of his character in the film — Loki immediately brainwashes him.
While filming, Renner said that they should just kill the character off now because he didn’t like where anything was headed. Thankfully, no one took up his offer.
John Cena’s Fear Of Heights Almost Had Him Walking Away From 12 Rounds
While John Cena is scary in the wrestling ring, he isn’t fearless. As it turns out, Cena is very afraid of heights. While filming 12 Rounds, he almost walked away because of a scene where his character had to dangle from a rope off a skyscraper.
During an interview, Cena said he almost left the set without performing the stunt. Eventually, he wound up doing it.
Johnny Depp Had A Hard Time On What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
When Johnny Depp was filming What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, he was going through a lot of personal issues, namely his breakup with then-fiancé Winona Ryder. Because of this, he had a tough time filming some of the film’s more emotional scenes, especially when it came to yelling at his on-screen mother, Darlene Cates.
According to Cates, Depp would feel so bad after those scenes that he called her to make sure she was okay. The yelling almost broke the actor.
Reshoots Of Zodiac Was Almost Too Much For Jake Gyllenhaal
In the 2007 mystery thriller film Zodiac, Jake Gyllenhaal plays the role of comic-turned reporter Robert Graysmith, a role he almost left due to the grueling hours. According to the actor, director David Fincher put the talent through the wringer, making them do 70-90 takes.
The reshoots were almost the end of Gyllenhaal’s time on the set since, to him, “enough was enough.”
Lily Tomlin Tried To Quit 9 To 5
A week after filming began of 9 to 5, actress Lily Tomlin tried to quit. It all came down to the actress seeing raw footage of herself in the Snow White scene where she talked to fake birds. She thought it looked horrible!
According to Tomlin’s co-star Jane Fonda, “She asked my producing partner to let her go, and she’d give the week’s money back.” It didn’t take, and Tomlin stayed with the movie.
Roger Moore Hated Having To Use Firearms In James Bond
Playing the role of 007 comes hand in hand with using firearms. That was something that almost had Roger Moore leaving iconic films such as The Man with the Golden Gun, Moonraker, and The Spy Who Loved Me.
According to the actor, the James Bond films were getting increasingly violent, and he did not like it. Of course, he stayed on as the title character for seven films.
Fantastic Four Had Jessica Alba Questioning Her Career
Jessica Alba didn’t have a great experience on the set of Fantastic Four. In the film, she played the role of Sue Storm, aka The Invisible Woman. Her frustration stemmed from director Tim Story and how he treated her character and asked her to always “stay pretty,” regardless if she was crying or fighting.
After Rise of the Silver Surfer, Alba questioned her career in acting and decided to become very picky with the roles she accepted.