15 Epic Movies Scenes That Pushed Actors Too Far

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Being an actor is a dream job for anyone who had at least a mild fascination with the glitz and glam of Hollywood lifestyles. From an outsider’s perspective, the acting life beats a basic 9-to-5 day job any day of the week. The truth is, an actor’s job and a regular old job are not entirely different because, at the end of the day, an acting job is still a job regardless. The only difference is, actors get golden “employee of the year” trophies called Oscars. Being an actor is great until it starts to feel like a job and when an actor is an actor long enough, that tends to happen.

As with any job, an actor is going to run into situations where they are unhappy with what they do and hate a scene they are filming. Usually, it may be because of harsh working conditions, a ridiculously meticulous director, and/or an ever-changing script. Actors are sometimes put in situations where they are consistently uncomfortable or feel like they are forced to do something on camera that they do not want to do. There have been countless occasions where an actor helped produce a tremendous scene that audiences around the world loved, but deep down in their heart, the actor hated filming every second of it. Here are 15 of our favourite scenes that actors hating filming.

15.  Ronin

This Robert De Niro vehicle, Ronin, is often hailed as one of the best car-chase movies ever made because all the chase scenes were so realistic. Long before CGI became a staple of Hollywood cinema, director John Frankenheimer insisted that his actors partake in death-defying stunts behind the wheel all across Paris. One actor among the cast who was more than up for the challenge was Skipp Sudduth. Sudduth actually requested that he do his own stunts. Frankenheimer obliged him on the condition that Sudduth never use his brakes. This proved to be more intimidating than Sudduth expected as every time he thought he would crash or was going too fast, he would hit the brakes. Every time he did, they had to re-film the scene from scratch.

14. Last Tango In Paris

Perhaps the most controversial film of Marlon Brando’s illustrious career might just be Last Tango in Paris. The most difficult scene to film on the set was the scene where Brando’s character assaults Maria Schneider’s character. During the attack, Brando’s character uses a stick of butter as lubricant. Before she died in 2011, Schneider would reveal that the scene was not in the script and neither Brando or director Bernardo Bertolucci told her about it beforehand. So she didn’t know at all that Brando would attack during filming, nor that he would apply butter between her legs. Understandably, Schneider felt humiliated that day as if she was actually assaulted.

13. The Exorcist

If there’s one scene that viewers find themselves talking about the most and remembering the most when walking out of The Exorcist, it would have to be the vomit scene. That scene was not the easiest scene for the actors to film by any means. Pea soup was used for the vomit effect and when thrown, it was supposed to hit actor Jason Miller in the chest. Instead, it hit him in the face. His shocked reaction made it into the final cut of the movie and behind the scenes, Miller was even more furious. The scene was not any easier for Linda Blair who hated the taste of pea soup so much, she could not help herself but to vomit for real. Not a fun time for anyone on the set that day.

12. The Expendables 3

When it came time for the third instalment of The Expendables, everyone behind the production figured that it was time to kick things up a notch with some major death defying stunts. Too bad one of these stunts might have been a little too death-defying for Jason Statham, who literally almost died on the set. While filming a scene where Statham drives a truck into the Black Sea, the brakes suddenly stopped working and he actually crashed 60-feet deep into the water. Luckily for Statham, he has experience as an Olympic diver and managed to make it out alive after nearly drowning. We wonder if Statham thinks the stunt was worth it for the film, given that The Expendables 3 was the lowest grossing film in the franchise.

11. The Shining

It has been well documented by now that filming The Shining left a heavy emotional toll on Shelley Duvall. She and director Stanley Kubrick frequently butted heads regarding Duvall’s acting and how he constantly changed the script. Duvall became so stressed, she starting losing her hair. Perhaps the hardest scene for Duvall to film was where she found herself swinging a bat at Jack Nicholson. For a record 127 takes, Duvall had to appear emotionally hysterical with tears pouring down her face. She did so much crying that day, she found herself dehydrated and needed to be constantly supplied with bottles of water.

10. Premium Rush

Not a lot of people remember that Premium Rush was a movie that actually happened back in 2012. After all, a story about a cop chasing a bike messenger around town isn’t the most exciting or memorable plot in the world. However, it was a film experience that the film’s star, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, will not soon forget as it had to be the most gruelling experience he ever had on a movie set. While Levitt did only some of his own stunts for the film, he did all of the bike riding. Granted, riding a bike at 30mph doesn’t sound all that dangerous, but when Levitt crashes into the back of a taxi cab windshield, it sure does look a whole lot dangerous. The nasty bump sliced Levitt’s arm open and he bled profusely, but he took his 31 stitches like a champ, laughing the altercation off.

9. The Revenant

Leonardo DiCaprio is renowned for being a devout vegetarian. He has always been extremely apprehensive about even touching meat, yet alone indulging in it. So much so that Gwyneth Paltrow once recalled during a 2013 interview with The Guardian that when she first met Leo 20 years ago, he would always rant to her about how dirty meat was and why factory farming was bad. All things considered, he must have felt awful having to eat a real bison liver while filming The Revenant. It’s hard to deny the actor’s dedication to the role, and that dedication was rightly rewarded in the form of his first Oscar.

8. The Gold Rush

For his whole career, Charlie Chaplin was always thought to be one of the most meticulous workers in Hollywood, both as an actor and director — maybe too meticulous. This is, after all, the same guy who had his co-star Virginia Cherrill repeat the line “Flower, sir?” a whopping 340 times in City Lights. Apparently, he didn’t like how she said the line, even though they were making a silent film and how she said any line was irrelevant to the production. Years earlier, Chaplin put himself through 63 takes of eating a shoe for The Gold Rush. It wasn’t a real shoe, but a fake one made of liquorice. Because he consumed so much sugar in one sitting, he was rushed to the hospital. Talk about a perfectionist.

7. 12 Rounds

Professional wrestler John Cena portrays a fearless character on WWE television. In reality, Cena has one very specific fear: a fear of heights. That fear became very real during the filming of the movie 12 Rounds. There is a scene in the film where he dangles from a rope in mid air off the side of a high building. Filming the scene became so intensely harrowing on the 16-time World Heavyweight Champion that he strongly considered quitting the film. Thankfully, Cena stuck it out and made it to very end of production. The film turned out to be a solid hit at the box office, racking in close to $30 million, proving that Cena’s stress was not done in vain.

6. Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 

For many viewers, the sewer scene in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 was the most memorable scene in the movie. As plenty of the actors themselves have noted, this turned out to be the most difficult scene for them to shoot. For three weeks in a boiling hot sewer, the actors had to commit to some of the most physically and mentally demanding work they ever had to do. It was especially hard for Liam Hemsworth, who was too tall to even stand up straight in the sewer. Speaking of Hemsworth, he once admitted in an interview with MTV that the struggles during filming decreased morale on set and the actors were “very wet and upset.”

5. Some Like It Hot

For much of her career, Marilyn Monroe was iconized as some ditzy blonde. Turns out that the character, which Hollywood continually highlighted her, might not have been far off from her actual personality. On the set of Some Like It Hot, it took several takes to recite one line. It took Monroe 47 takes to say, “It’s me, sugar,” and another 59 takes to remember the line, “Where’s the bourbon?” Both she and the director kept getting frustrated. The director in question, Billy Wilder, had to resort to writing the line down and placing it somewhere on the set where Monroe can see it. Monroe still messed up her lines because she forgot where to look for her cue cards.

4. Unbroken

Many people might not know that Angelina Jolie directed the movie Unbroken. It was just as much of a gruelling piece of cinema to watch as it was to film for the actors. This was especially the case for the film’s star Jack O’Connell who took a brunt of the punishment on set. During an interview with Yahoo!, O’Connell revealed that the climactic plank scene was one of the hardest scenes for him to film. The scene saw him carry a giant wooden plank, which is a difficult feat in itself. It was made even harder by the fact that they were filming in the scorching Australian heat during the country’s hottest season. The conditions were so unbearable for O’Connell that he passed out on the set. Thankfully, he recovered and was able to finish filming.

3. The Birds

In recent years, Tippi Hedren revealed information about director Alfred Hitchcock that positions him in a light that makes him sound just as psychotic as some of his films’ antagonists. A prime example would be how she recalls her experience in filming The Birds under the director’s watch. She’s said before that right up until it came time to film a scene where she gets attacked by birds, Hitchcock promised Hedren they would use mechanical birds. On the day of filming, she was told that since the fake birds weren’t working, they would have to use real ones. For five days straight, Hedren endured hours of being pecked to death by ravens, doves, and pigeons. It was a brutal experience for the actress who wound up traumatized from it all.

2. Guardians Of The Galaxy

Dave Bautista managed to become one of the few professional wrestlers to make it into Hollywood. It’s all thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy, and with good reason. Not only did Big Dave steal the show in every scene that he was in, he withstood horrendous circumstances on the set. There is a scene where the film’s supervillain Ronan chucks Bautista’s character Drax in a pool of yellow liquid. Drax almost died, and so did Bautista. That day, Bautista was dealing with a bad cold and being soaking wet on set did not help. He was so sick at the time, he found it difficult to speak, yet alone act.

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The scenes in Star Wars: The Force Awakens which are set on the desert planet of Jakku are noted with being some of the most visually-striking scenes in the film, and arguably all of the franchise. Too bad they were not very easy for the actors to film — not when the conditions involve the scorching heat of Abu Dhabi. Since they had to do a lot of running for their scenes, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega had to commit to seemingly endless training on treadmills. When it finally came time to film those scenes, things turned out to be even harder because they had to run on the ever-changing hard and soft surfaces of desert sand. This had to be a pain to shoot.



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