Actors who flat out refused to work together
It seems every job has at least one—the annoying coworker that everybody in the office avoids like the plague. Perhaps they like to play “pranks” that only they find hilarious, or they steal lunches out of the communal refrigerator, or maybe they like to show off for management at every possible opportunity by stealing credit for other people’s work.
In a lot of ways, it often turns out that working in Hollywood is just like any other job, and unfortunately, this is just one more. Over the years, some celebrities have earned a serious reputation among their co-stars—so much so that other actors don’t ever want to work with them again. From simple personality conflicts to deranged name-calling and everything in between, let’s take a look at some of the most infamous co-star beefs, and how they got started. These are actors who all flat out refused to work together.
Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones
When Jim Carrey starred as the Riddler in Batman Forever, he was at the height of his more “comedic” career in film. His co-star Tommy Lee Jones—who played Harvey Dent—was definitely not a fan of Carrey’s slapstick style. Director Joel Schumacher confirmed that Jones had an attitude on the set, telling Entertainment Weekly in 1996, “Jim Carrey was a gentleman, and Tommy Lee was threatened by him. I’m tired of defending overpaid, over-privileged actors.”
The night before filming a scene together, Carrey and Jones ran into each other at a restaurant. When Carrey approached Jones’ table to say hello, he didn’t get quite the greeting he expected. “He got up, kind of shaking, and hugged me and said, ‘I hate you. I really don’t like you,'” Carrey told Howard Stern. “And I was like, ‘Wow. What’s going on man?’ And he said, ‘I cannot sanction your buffoonery.'” We’re going to save that line for the next time we need to tell some kids to get off of our lawn.
Julia Roberts and Nick Nolte
In 1994, Nick Nolte and Julia Roberts starred together in the romantic comedy I Love Trouble. The two didn’t mesh well on the set, and their lack of chemistry definitely shows onscreen. Reportedly, the constant quarreling got so bad that director Charles Shyer resorted to filming some of their scenes separately to keep them apart as much as possible.
While filming I Love Trouble, Roberts told the New York Times that Nolte is “completely disgusting,” and that he “seems go out of his way to repel people.” Nolte later shot back, “It’s not nice to call someone ‘disgusting.’ But she’s not a nice person. Everyone knows that.” The off-screen feud wasn’t forgotten in 2009, when Roberts appeared on The Late Show and gave a profanity-laden impression of a former co-star—which turned out to be Nolte.
James Franco and Tyrese Gibson
Much of the 2006 military drama Annapolis centers around a planned boxing tournament for the recruits and officers of the U.S. Naval Academy. But when star James Franco took method acting a bit too far, things soon turned ugly between him and co-star Tyrese Gibson. According to Gibson, Franco would actually land his punches as they rehearsed the boxing scenes. “The dude was full-on hitting me,” Gibson told Elle. “I was always like, ‘James, lighten up, man. We’re just practicing.’ He never lightened up.”
For his part, Franco denies ever hitting Gibson, but admitted to GQ that “I was probably a jerk.” The admission wasn’t good enough for Gibson, who told Playboy in 2007, “I never want to work with him again, and I’m sure he feels the same way. It felt very personal. It was f—ed up.”
Will Smith and Janet Hubert
If you’re a dedicated Fresh Prince of Bel-Air fan, you’re probably aware that the actress who played Aunt Vivian was replaced halfway through the series, but you might not know why. Janet Hubert portrayed Aunt Viv on the show until 1993, when she was replaced with Daphne Reid, who continued in the role until Fresh Prince ended its run in 1996.
According to accounts from show insiders and even Hubert herself, Smith and his other younger co-stars were needlessly cruel to her on the set. “some heinous, horrible things to me—they were like bad kids, Will and Alfonso [Ribeiro].” For his part, Smith knocked down Hubert’s allegations in a 1993 interview with an Atlanta radio station, claiming she had a bad attitude while filming and adding, “No matter what, to her I’m just the Antichrist.” In 2011, Hubert fired back, even going so far as to tell TMZ that she’d never work with Smith again. “There will never be a reunion … as I will never do anything with an a**hole like Will Smith,” she ranted. “He is still an egomaniac and has not grown up.”
Shannen Doherty and everyone
Shannen Doherty has something of a history when it comes to on-set feuds with her female co-stars. She reportedly nearly came to blows with her Beverly Hills 90210 castmate Jennie Garth. Fellow 90210 vet Tori Spelling revealed in a 2015 Lifetime special that she got her father Aaron Spelling (who produced the show) to fire Doherty from the teen drama.
Four years later, Doherty and castmate Alyssa Milano developed a real beef on the set of another Aaron Spelling production, Charmed. According to Milano, “there were definitely some rough days,” and “it was very much sort of like high school.” A source inside the show told TV Guide in 2001 that “it eventually became clear that [either Doherty or Milano] had to go.” Over a decade has passed since Doherty’s departure from Charmed, and it seems she and Milano have finally buried the hatchet: Milano reached out to Doherty in 2016 after her former co-star was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the two are now friendly again.
Richard Gere and Sylvester Stallone
For years, there’s been an apparent behind-the-scenes feud between Richard Gere and Sylvester Stallone. Stallone finally explained the beef between the actors during a 2006 Q&A session with Ain’t It Cool News, saying Gere had originally been cast as lead character Chico in the 1974 coming-of-age drama The Lords of Flatbush. Unfortunately, Gere and Stallone clashed immediately during filming, and Gere was replaced by Perry King.
Stallone recalls Gere being a complete jerk on the set, including getting too rough during fight rehearsals and spilling greasy food all over Stallone’s pants: “The director had to make a choice: one of us had to go, one of us had to stay. Richard was given his walking papers and to this day seriously dislikes me. He even thinks I’m the individual responsible for the gerbil rumor. Not true… but that’s the rumor.”
Robert Downey Jr. and Terrence Howard
Terrence Howard isn’t shy about talking about his falling out with Iron Man co-star Robert Downey Jr. In 2013, Howard appeared on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, and claimed that while the studio had initially signed him to a three-movie deal, “they came to me with the second and said ‘Look, we will pay you one-eighth of what we contractually had for you, because we think the second one will be successful with or without you.” He went on to put the blame firmly on Downey’s shoulders: “I called my friend, that I helped get the first job, and he didn’t call me back for three months.” It would take another three years for the pair to finally patch up their differences, when they reunited at the 2016 wedding of director Brian Grazer.
Kevin Smith and Bruce Willis
While Kevin Smith and Bruce Willis had no issues acting together on the set of Live Free or Die Hard, the two had a very uneasy working relationship on the set of the 2010 police comedy Cop Out, in which Willis starred and Smith directed. Prior to working together on the underwhelming buddy-cop film, Smith had greatly admired the Die Hard superstar and actually took a massive pay cut in order to work with Willis. Unfortunately, superstars sometimes come along with super egos.
Smith later described the Cop Out directing experience with Willis as “soul-crushing” and credits Willis’ co-star Tracy Morgan with helping him get through filming: “Were it not for Tracy, I might’ve killed myself or someone else in the making of that movie.” In his 2012 memoir Tough Sh*t, Smith goes into more detail, saying Willis “turned out to be the unhappiest, most bitter, and meanest emo-b*tch I’ve ever met at any job I’ve held down. And mind you, I’ve worked at Domino’s Pizza.” Ouch.