On Set Feuds
Co-Stars Who Hated Each Other: Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams in 'The Notebook' and More
It recently made headlines that Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, the co-stars (and later, real life lovers) of The Notebook, feuded big-time on set. They’re not the first. Here are the biggest co-star feuds, from C-3PO and R2-D2 on Star Wars to Romeo + Juliet.
Film: The Notebook
Co-stars: Ryan Gosling vs. Rachel McAdams
“If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.” Apparently not. Filmmaker Nicholas Cassavetes handpicked a then-unknown young actor by the name of Ryan Gosling to star as Noah, the tortured romantic in the 2004 weepie The Notebook, while Rachel McAdams won the role of Allie thanks to a mesmerizing audition. And, while the couple eventually dated for nearly three years after the film was released, things weren’t so lovey-dovey on set; in fact, at one point Gosling wanted her kicked off. “Maybe I’m not supposed to tell this story, but they were really not getting along one day on set. Really not,” Cassavetes told VH1. “And Ryan came to me, and there’s 150 people standing in this big scene, and he says, ‘Nick come here.’ And he’s doing a scene with Rachel and he says, ‘Would you take her out of here and bring in another actress to read off camera with me?’ I said, ‘What?’ He says, ‘I can’t. I can’t do it with her. I’m just not getting anything from this.’” He continued: “We went into a room with a producer; they started screaming and yelling at each other. I walked out. At that point I was smoking cigarettes. I smoked a cigarette and everybody came out like, ‘All right let’s do this.’ And it got better after that, you know? They had it out… I think Ryan respected her for standing up for her character and Rachel was happy to get that out in the open. The rest of the film wasn’t smooth sailing, but it was smoother sailing.”
Film: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Co-stars: Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) vs. Kenny Baker (R2-D2)
The two pro-Jedi robots in the original Star Wars trilogy—the effete, pompous C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and the cute lil’ beeper R2-D2 (Kenny Baker)—constantly bickered back-and-forth on-screen and, according to Baker, off as well. “Anthony doesn’t mix at all—he keeps himself to himself,” said Baker. “He never wants to have a drink with any of us. Once when I said hello to him he just turned his back on me and said, ‘Can’t you see I’m having a conversation?’ I was blazing with rage. It was the rudest thing anyone had ever done to me. I was furious. It was unbelievable.”
Later, in an interview with UK’s The Mirror, Daniels said of Baker, “I never saw him. I mean, R2-D2 doesn’t even speak. He might as well be a bucket.” The Force was apparently not strong with these two.
Film: Romeo + Juliet
Co-stars: Leonardo DiCaprio vs. Claire Danes
In Baz Luhrmann’s SoCal update of the Shakespeare classic, you could literally feel the heat emanating from hot, young, and sweaty stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes—aided, of course, by one of the better movie soundtracks ever. But apparently the two did not get along at all during filming. The story goes that Natalie Portman was originally cast as Juliet, but they shot some footage and the production team agreed it looked as though DiCaprio was “molesting” her on-screen, since Portman was only 14 and looked too young (while DiCaprio was 21). So, they cast 16-year-old Danes in the role. Danes would later call DiCaprio, who enjoyed playing pranks on the cast and crew, “very immature,” while DiCaprio thought the young actress was too uptight. Danes, the story goes, actively ignored DiCaprio and avoided speaking to him when the cameras weren’t rolling.
Co-stars: Rip Torn vs. Norman Mailer
In this colossal 1970 misfire, written, directed by, and starring Norman Mailer, a megalomaniacal film director (Mailer) runs for U.S. President while directing his next film, but is weighed down by his troubled younger brother (Torn). The film was highly improvised, and Torn got so wrapped up in his character—along with, presumably, some natural hysteria—that he struck Mailer in the head with a hammer during an improv fight, intending to “kill his character.” A massive fight ensued, with Mailer putting Torn into a headlock, biting a piece of Torn’s ear off, and the two strangling each other on the ground. Mailer’s wife and children, who are seen screaming in horror, eventually broke it up. But the cameras kept rolling, and part of the fight even made it into the film. You can watch the entire video of the madness above.
Show: The X-Files
Co-stars: David Duchovny vs. Gillian Anderson
Sorry, X-Files superfans, but off-screen, despite rampant speculation that Duchovny and Anderson were romantically involved, Mulder and Scully were NOT the biggest fans of one-another. “Familiarity breeds contempt,” Duchovny told Metro. “It’s nothing to do with the other person. All that fades away and you’re just left with the appreciation and love for the people you’ve worked with for so long. We used to argue about nothing. We couldn’t stand the sight of each other.” Anderson, too, harbored resentment—and justifiably so—against Duchovny and X-Files creator Chris Carter after she discovered that he was being paid twice her salary. “Was it sexism? Maybe,” she told The Telegraph. “It’s like the way we were directed by the studios, I was to walk behind him, never side by side. I mean, that is fucking priceless when I think about it now. When we would get out the car and walk towards the house I would have to be behind him, even though I had equal dialogue.” The two have since buried the hatchet, and appeared to be all smiles when they attended a Paley Center event celebrating the show’s 20th anniversary last year. They’re even, apparently, interested in doing another X-Files movie together.
Film: Charlie’s Angels
Co-stars: Bill Murray vs. Lucy Liu
When Bernie Mac replaced Bill Murray as Bosley in the sequel Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, it emerged that Murray had a huge row with co-star Lucy Liu while filming the first Charlie’s Angels. As the story goes, they were rehearsing a scene and Murray took a nasty swipe at her acting ability, and then Liu began throwing punches and had to be restrained. Murray claims it went down a bit differently. “We began rehearsing this scene and I said, ‘Lucy, how can you want to say these lines? These are so crazy,’” recalled Murray. “She got furious with me because she thought it was a personal assault, but the reality is she hated these lines as much as I did. But for 15 or 20 minutes there, we went to our separate corners and threw hand-grenades and sky-rockets at each other.” Later, when asked about the incident by the Times of London, Murray said, “Look, I will dismiss you completely if you are unprofessional and working with me. When our relationship is professional, and you’re not getting that done, forget it.”
Film: Any Given Sunday
Co-stars: Jamie Foxx vs. LL Cool J
In Oliver Stone’s football drama Any Given Sunday, Jamie Foxx plays the new star QB who thinks his shit don’t stink, while LL Cool J plays the team’s star running back, whose thunder gets stolen. On Feb. 27, 1999, while filming scenes for the movie at Miami’s Pro Player Stadium, the two came to blows. According to the Miami-Dade Police, who were called to the scene, LL began pushing Foxx and then punched him in the face while he was wearing a helmet (LL claimed it was just acting, and he was pushing Foxx to make their rivalry look more organic). After that, they agreed that LL would warn Foxx before striking him again. But according to Foxx, LL struck him in the back of the head as he was walking away from filming the scene, so Foxx turned around and punched him in the face. But the pair has since made up, and even featured on a handful of songs together.
Co-stars: James Franco vs. Tyrese Gibson
Annapolis, Justin Lin’s film about a young cadet at the U.S. Naval Academy (Franco) who butts heads with his company commanding officer (Gibson), was a disaster for many reasons—including the reported acrimony between the film’s two stars on set. On the second to last day of shooting, Gibson reportedly took issue with Franco’s method acting, and believed he was punching him for real during a boxing match. He told Franco to cool it, but the actor stayed in character and continued giving him the business. When Elle asked Gibson if there was one celebrity whose house he’d blow up, Gibson replied, “James Franco,” and went on to say, “James Franco is a method actor. I respect method actors, but he never snapped out of character. Whenever we'd have to get in the ring for boxing scenes, and even during practice, the dude was full-on hitting me. I was always like, ‘James, lighten up, man. We're just practicing.’ He never lightened up.” Franco later apologized to Gibson, telling GQ, “I take full blame for any problems on that film. If he had a bad experience working with me, I was probably a jerk. I was not purposely cruel to him, but I was probably so wrapped up in my performance that I was not as friendly as I could have been.”
Film: Kramer vs. Kramer
Co-stars: Dustin Hoffman vs. Meryl Streep
In the classic film, two of acting’s finest play warring parents battling over custody of their young son. Streep, then Hollywood’s next big thing, felt uncomfortable with the way her character was written, viewing it as a bit misogynistic and one-sided. “She was elucidating concerns that we all had but she gave them words,” writer/director Robert Benton later recalled. So, Streep rewrote much of her dialogue, which led to tension with her co-star, Hoffman, who felt she was trying to upstage him. “I hated her guts. Yes, I hated her guts,” said Hoffman. “But I respected her.” In the 2001 documentary Finding the Truth: The Making of Kramer vs. Kramer, Hoffman blamed his negative attitude towards Streep on the divorce proceedings he was going through at the time—an example of art imitating life. “I’m sure I was acting out on her throughout the movie,” Hoffman recalled. “Stuff that I was feeling toward the wife that I was divorcing in real life.” In one scene, Hoffman improvised and threw a wine glass into a wall, which managed to piss off Streep. “I found out much later while we were doing the publicity, that he was mad at me. He, Dustin, was mad at me, Meryl,” Streep recalled in doc. “I still don't know why.”
Later, on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, Streep was asked to play a game of Fuck, Marry, Kill, and the three acting co-stars host Andy Cohen gave were: Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford, and Dustin Hoffman. A game Streep chose to shag Jack, marry Redford, and kill poor Hoffman.
Co-stars: Shia LaBeouf vs. Tom Hardy
This one isn’t that surprising given LaBeouf’s recent antics. While filming the Depression-era western Lawless, LaBeouf admitted that he struggled to get on the same page as his co-star Hardy, and a bad joke led to a brawl between the two of them and that afterwards he “never did that roughhouse stuff with me again.”
Hardy addressed the incident later, saying, “I got knocked out by Shia LaBeouf, actually.” He added, “[It was] behind the scenes. No, he did. He knocked me out sparko. Out cold. He’s a bad, bad boy. He is. He’s quite intimidating as well. He’s a scary dude… He just attacked me. He was drinking moonshine. I was wearing a cardigan, and er, went down. I woke up in Pnut’s [Hardy’s trainer’s] arms.”