Actors, despite their incredible talent and craft, are just like regular people—they tire. A movie set can be one of the most grueling, exhausting places in the whole world, and more often than not, things get a little out of hand.
So out of hand the conditions, in fact, that the actors we’ve listed below almost quit completely. Check out the most horrendous on-set situations that almost made actors “nope” out.
Zoe Saldana in Pirates of the Caribbean
Before her breakout roles in “Avatar” and “Star Trek”, Zoe Saldana had a small part in “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”, filming which was so horrible that she almost doubted continuing with an acting career entirely.
“It was very elitist. I almost quit the business,” she explained. “People disrespecting me because they look at my number on a call sheet, and they think I’m not important.”
Shelley Duvall in The Shining
Filming this iconic movie proved taxing for Shelley Duvall because of both the heavy material and Stanley Kubrick’s unbearably perfectionist directing methods. The famous “baseball bat” scene took 127 takes to get right, at which point Shelley was just over it. “Going through day after day of excruciating work was almost unbearable,” she said.
Johnny Depp in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?
Given the similarities between him and his drunkard character at the time, Johnny Depp had a tough experience with “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?”, not only because it reminded him of his alcoholism, but also because there was a lot of tension between him and director Lasse Hallström.
Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Daisy Ridley almost quit “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” after J.J. Abrams said her acting was “wooden,” which sent her into a panic frenzy and almost convinced her she should just quit. Good thing she went against those self-doubts, otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to witness her memorable turn as Rey in the “Star Wars” franchise.
John Cena in 12 Rounds
In a scene where John Cena’s character had to rappel down a skyscraper and hang there in mid-air via a rope, John’s fear of heights almost made him so anxious that he almost quit the film.
Brad Pitt in Interview With The Vampire
Filming “Interview with the Vampire” was just as gloomy for Brad Pitt as the film, as he recounted how miserable it made him, being “in the dark” for six months. Shooting in rainy London didn’t help, either. He asked producers if he could walk away, but ended up staying upon realizing it would cost him $40 million to walk away.
Ian McKellen in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Classically trained acting legend Ian McKellen found it so tiring performing in front of green screens that he almost quit the film entirely. “I felt pretty miserable,” he said. “I thought perhaps, has the time come for me to stop acting altogether if I can’t cope with these difficulties?”
Al Pacino in The Godfather
Though he nabbed himself an Oscar for his performance in “The Godfather”, shooting it was super difficult for Al Pacino—not only did the studio want to fire him, he almost quit because of the set’s hostile environment. Director Francis Ford Coppola eventually convinced him to stay. Wise choice!
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