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Actor and Director Enemies Who Vowed to Never Work Together Again

The relationship between the cast and crew of a film is key to its success. It’s likely to fail if any two members don’t get along.

Some films such as Chinatown, Tootsie, and American History X managed to succeed despite behind-the-scenes feuds. Others such as Cop-Out couldn’t overcome them.

Almost anything can cause an actor and director to not see eye-to-eye. Problems such as creative differences and dictatorial behavior can spark a lifelong feud.

Like and subscribe to Facts Verse for more details on these battles. Keep watching to learn about actor and director enemies who vowed to never work again.

Kevin Smith vs. Bruce Willis

Kevin Smith and Bruce Willis first worked together on the 2007 film Live Free or Die Hard. Kevin was originally a big fan and happy to work with his idol. That only lasted for a few years.

Kevin made the eventual feud between himself and actor Bruce Willis obvious at the wrap party for the 2010 film Cop-Out. He allegedly said, “I want to thank everyone who worked on the film, except for Bruce Willis, who is a f**king d*ck.”

EDITOR’S NOTE TO TIM : CONSIDER OMITTING THE PREVIOUS LINE

He’s called him undirectable and intimidating and accused him of sabotaging shots. He even claimed Tracy Morgan kept them from getting into physical fights on set.

Bruce hasn’t given as much commentary on the feud. He did call the director a “whiner” in an interview for Time Out and said they had personal issues about how they approached the film.

Kevin eventually apologized after Bruce’s aphasia diagnosis came to light. This may or may not end the feud, but it will end their pairings as both are retired from acting.

Lily Tomlin and George Clooney vs. David O Russel

Sharon Waxtersaid in her book Rebels on the Backlot that George is known for sticking up for crewmembers but having problems with those in authority on set. That was true when he worked with David O Russel on the 1999 film Three Kings.

The movie was important for both of them. It was the director’s first big-budget picture and a way for the actor to improve his reputation after flops such as Batman and Robin.

This didn’t stop altercations on the set. George sent the director a scathing note. They then threatened and grabbed each other until David apologized and walked away.

Stanley Kubric vs. Shelley Duvall

The Shining may be one of the most beloved horror films of all time, but Stanley Kubric went to extreme measures to get genuine terror from his actors. He traumatized and isolated Shelley Duvall, made her repeat the famous baseball bat scene 127 times, and told the rest of the crew to ignore her when she got upset.

She said it was the most difficult role she ever had. The 13 months of shooting even caused her to lose her hair and face other health problems.

Kim Bassinger vs. Adrian Lyne

The 1986 film 9 ½ Weeks was another example of a film where the director went overboard for an authentic performance from their lead actress.

He also convinced costars to ignore her off-camera and admitted that the pair raged at each other often. She says she was ready to quit the project several times but felt it was worth it in the end.

David Fincher vs. Robert Downey Jr.

Personalities clashed when this actor and director attempted to work together. David’s frequent retakes didn’t match Robert’s quick style. He once told his director that he couldn’t handle working 14 hours a day and allegedly left mason jars of urine around the set as a silent protest.

The film did eventually get made. Robert saw David as a dictator and wanted to choke him several times but got over it in the end.

Otto Preminger and Roman Polanski vs. Faye Dunaway

Faye and Roman clashed several times on the set of the 1974 film Chinatown.

She once asked him about her character’s motivation and he responded that her salary is her motivation. He allegedly pulled a hair out of her head when it got in the way of a shot. The film’s cinematographer later described an incident where she asked to go to the bathroom and threw a coffee cup full of urine at him when he refused.

Another famous actor and director feud became a court case. Faye Dunaway wanted out of her 6-picture contract with Otto Preminger. She said that he was just as dictatorial as Roman but less talented.

Faye resents being labeled a difficult actress. She insists that Otto and Roman are the only directors she hasn’t gotten along with.

Werner Herzog vs. Klaus Kinski

This actor and director worked together in 5 films, but their relationship was extremely complicated. It was even the subject of 2 documentaries, one called My Best Friend and the other called Burden of Dreams.

The first documentary chronicled the troubled production of Aguirre, the Wrath of God. Arguments over how to portray his character lead to violence. Klaus threatened to walk off the set. Werner threatened to shoot him and then turned the gun on himself. Both were unharmed.

Tony Kaye vs. Edward Norton

American History X was Tony Kaye’s film debut. He had a difficult relationship with Edward Norton during filming. He hadn’t even wanted to hire him. The problems reached their peak during post-production.

New Line Cinema didn’t like Tony’s 95-minute rough cut. Edward offered some notes, but it made the director so angry he punched a wall and broke his hand. He even asked to have his name replaced with the pseudonym Humpty Dumpty.

A final version was eventually released with Tony’s real name on it, but Edward went uncredited. It went on to win an Oscar within a week. After seeing Tony’s next film Detachment, he vowed to never work with him again.

Like and subscribe to Facts Verse for more on the complicated relationships between the cast and crew of your favorite films. Keep watching to learn about more actor and director enemies who vowed to never work together again.

Henri-George Clouzot vs. Brigitte Bardot

Brigitte worked with several difficult directors, including Jean-Luc Godard, but working with Henri-George Clouzot on the 1960 film La Verite was one of the worst.

The director went overboard for several scenes. He drugged her during an overdose scene character was meant to overdose and she had to have her stomach pumped. He also got her drunk and slapped her in another scene.

Brigitte did attempt to fight back. He once said “ I don’t need amateurs, I want an actress” and she retaliated by slapping him and saying “I need a director, not a psychopath!”

Sidney Pollack vs. Dustin Hoffman

Sidney alleges that Dustin fights with most directors he works with. They got into it on the set of Tootsie. They couldn’t agree on whether it should be a gentle love story or an outrageous comedy.

These disagreements sometimes lead to ideas that helped the film. What would it be without the casting of Bill Murray as the lead’s roommate George Slader or Sidney himself as his agent George Fields?

Bill Murray vs. Harold Ramis

This pair didn’t start as enemies. They worked well together on several comedies such as Ghostbusters, Stripes, and Caddyshack.

Their feud began while filming Groundhog Day in 1993. Bill was going through a divorce and unhappy during the production. He’d often show up late and argue with Harold.

The pair didn’t speak until 2010. They never worked together again but did make up 4 years before Harold’s death in 2014.

Gene Hackman vs. Wes Anderson

The 2001 film The Royal Tenenbaums is still a beloved part of cinema history, but there were plenty of struggles behind the scenes. Gene allegedly assaulted his director often. Bill Murray was also involved in this feud because he had to prevent fights between the two.

Wes praised Gene for his work, but their relationship is still on the rocks. It’s unlikely that the acclaimed but now retired director will ever work with him again.

Katherine Heigl vs. Judd Apatow

Katherine expressed her distaste for her character in Knocked Up in an interview for Vanity Fair in 2008. She called the film sexist, saying it painted women as shrews and men as fun-loving. Judd hoped for an apology, and even her costar Seth Rogan felt hurt and betrayed.

Katherine did apologize in the press in 2016, but she told Vulture in 2017 that she hasn’t spoken to Judd since then. She’s also since developed a reputation as a difficult actress.

Ray Fisher vs. Joss Whedon

Joss Whedon replaced Zack Snyder as the director for Justice League. Ray Fisher played Cyborg and claimed he made the production more difficult thanks to abusive and unprofessional behavior.

The allegations even lead to an official legal investigation. Ray was so burned by the experience that he refused to work with the director again playing Cyborg on The Flash.

Val Kilmer vs. Joel Schumacher

This wasn’t Val’s first feud with a director, but it was one of the most vitriolic. It even lead to physical punching matches and 2 weeks where they refused to speak to each other. George Clooney stepped in to replace him.

The feud continued after that. Joel said in a 2019 interview with Vulture that Val was psychotic but a fabulous Batman. He died in 2020, and it’s unclear if the pair ever reconciled.

Keira Knightley vs. John Carney

Keira admits that shooting the 2013 film Begin Again was a difficult experience. Keira admits that she didn’t get along with her director but doesn’t think it drastically affected the film.

John spoke about his true feelings in a 2016 interview with The Independent. He insulted Keira’s acting skills and said he’d not only refuse to work with her again but supermodels in general.

Other directors defended her on Twitter, and he used the platform to apologize the same year. She said he’d also given her a private apology and she’d accepted it.

Paul Thomas Anderson vs. Burt Reynolds

The 1997 film Boogie Nights was a critical hit. Burt won a Golden Globe for his performance but never ended up watching it.

He said in a 2015 QC interview that he clashed with his director several times, calling him egotistical and full of himself. Paul attempted to bury the hatchet with an offer of a part in his next film Magnolia, but Burt refused.

Who’s your favorite actor and director pair? Let us know in the comments below. Like and subscribe to Facts Verse for more on the worst behind-the-scenes fights in the history of cinema.

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