20 Intense Movie Scenes That Pushed Actors To The Point Of Quitting

You’d be forgiven for thinking that starring in a blockbuster movie is a pretty easy gig. Fame, fortune and legions of adoring fans doesn’t sound too tough, right? But the truth is, life behind the camera isn’t always all fun and games. In fact, some on-set experiences have been so challenging that actors have almost thrown in the towel. Featuring everything from overdemanding directors to nightmarish bird attacks, here are 20 scenes that pushed their stars to the brink.

20. Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay

Even though she’s one of the most bankable stars of the 21st century, Jennifer Lawrence still found herself up against it during filming for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. Indeed, she and the rest of the cast agreed that spending three weeks in waterlogged costumes filming the sewer scene was a thoroughly miserable experience.

19. Faye Dunaway in Chinatown

Remember the scene from Chinatown in which Jack Nicholson’s character surprises Faye Dunaway’s Evelyn in her car? Well, director Roman Polanski certainly does. The story goes that he refused to let Dunaway use the bathroom while filming it, so she had to pee in a cup. As a consequence, the actress was so annoyed that she then threw the fluid in Polanski’s face.

18. Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Rising star Daisy Ridley had a tough start while filming Star Wars: The Force Awakens. During an early desert scene, her performance was labeled “wooden” by director J.J. Abrams, consequently leaving her close to tears. “I was petrified,” she told Glamour magazine. “I thought I was gonna have a panic attack.”

17. Zoe Saldana in Pirates of the Caribbean

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Zoe Saldana has become one of the biggest box office performers in recent years, but she considered giving up on acting after filming her small part in Pirates of the Caribbean. “It was very elitist,” she subsequently told The Hollywood Reporter. “I almost quit the business.”

16. Carl Weathers in Rocky IV

Carl Weathers, who played Apollo Creed in Rocky IV, actually got into a real brawl with co-star Dolph Lundgren during filming. After Weathers was thrown into a corner of the boxing ring by Lundgren in their fight scene, punches were thrown by both men, with Weathers quitting the production for four days as a result.

15. Brad Pitt in Interview with the Vampire

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If you sign up to play a vampire, you should probably assume that you won’t be seeing much of the sun during filming. But try telling that to Brad Pitt. He informed Entertainment Weekly that spending “six months in the f***ing dark” while working on Interview with the Vampire almost broke him. Indeed, he would have walked if it hadn’t been for the $40 million get-out clause.

14. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio in The Abyss

During the scene in The Abyss in which Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio’s character is resuscitated, her movie husband repeatedly slaps her face. What’s more, after several grueling takes, it was discovered that the camera had broken. And when the actress found out that she would have to film the scene again, she almost walked.

13. Michelle Rodriguez in The Fast and the Furious

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On the other hand, there are instances where actors call the shots. For example, Michelle Rodriguez took issue with scenes in The Fast and the Furious that saw her have an affair with undercover cop Brian. Baffled by the idea, Rodriguez threatened to leave if the storyline wasn’t altered.

12. John Cena in 12 Rounds

You’d think WWE superstar John Cena wouldn’t be scared of anything, but during filming for the action movie 12 Rounds, that turned out to be far from the truth. Yes, the brawling badass’ fear of heights became very clear during a scene that required him to scale a skyscraper. In fact, his terror was so acute that he almost left the production.

11. Mike Myers in Wayne’s World

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Mike Myers certainly stuck to his convictions when filming Wayne’s World. His plan to have Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” play in the infamous car scene was contested by the studio, which suggested something less costly. But the actor refused to budge, threatening to leave the film if the song wasn’t included. Thankfully, he got his wish.

10. Kate Capshaw in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

One of the grossest scenes to watch in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is the one in which actress Kate Capshaw has to deal with thousands of bugs. Well, it seems that she didn’t enjoy filming it much, either. “The bugs were really gross, really bad. I think I took a Valium,” Capshaw later told Empire.

9. Emma Watson in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1

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Emma Watson found the demanding work schedule on Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 hard to cope with. Above all, she disliked the cold and wet conditions that many of the outdoor scenes were filmed in. Watson told Entertainment Weekly, “This has definitely been the most intense, grueling period of film-making I’ve ever done.”

8. Gene Hackman in The French Connection

The infamously demanding Gene Hackman met his match in director William Friedkin when filming The French Connection. The scene of dispute? The one in which Hackman chases a criminal while wearing a Santa costume. After Friedkin re-shot it 27 times, the movie’s star came close to throwing in the towel.

7. Vanessa Hudgens in Spring Breakers

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When Vanessa Hudgens came to film a racy three-way romp with co-stars James Franco and Ashley Benson in Spring Breakers, she almost quit the film. Eventually, she got the job done – but says the experience has put her off filming sex scenes for life.

6. Jamie Foxx in The Soloist

When Jamie Foxx took on the most demanding role of his career in The Soloist – an inspirational movie about a schizophrenic cello player – he paid a high price emotionally. In fact, he became so entrenched in the part that he required therapy even before filming had finished.

5. Tippi Hedren in The Birds

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Never one to go easy on his performers, Alfred Hitchcock put Tippi Hedren through the mill while filming his horror classic The Birds. Hedren had been assured that for the climactic attic scene, mechanical birds would be used. But when it came to filming, real birds were used instead, resulting in the terrified Hedren having a nervous breakdown.

4. Christian Bale in Terminator Salvation

Of course, this one is as highly publicized as they come. When a member of the crew walked into Christian Bale’s line of sight during filming, Bale embarked on an expletive-laden rant and threatened to quit if the culprit wasn’t fired. The actor later apologized for his outburst.

3. Russell Crowe in Gladiator

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The finale to Gladiator is one of the most iconic endings in film history, not least because of the immortal line, “And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.” What’s less known, however, is that Crowe hated the line so much that he stormed off the set twice while filming the scene.

2. Shelley Duvall in The Shining

Poor Shelley Duvall. The actress had a tough time while shooting The Shining, particularly the scene in which she fends off a crazed Jack Nicholson with a baseball bat. It took 127 takes to perfect with Stanley Kubrick at the helm, and Duvall almost quit from exhaustion as a result.

1. Jessica Alba in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

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Although Jessica Alba was among the hottest stars in Hollywood around the time of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, one confrontation during filming caused her to consider leaving the film industry. The scene in question required her to weep, and the director subsequently demanded that she “cry prettier.” In an interview for Elle magazine, Alba later said the incident almost made her quit acting altogether.

But it’s not just problematic scenes that have left actors wanting to walk away from movies. Sometimes, a nightmarish costume can be enough to send a star over the edge. And for these 20 superhero actors, that was certainly the case. Here, we take a look at Hollywood A-listers who have been particularly vocal about their catastrophic closet experiences while on set.

20. Rebecca Romijn (X2: X-Men United)

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Rebecca Romijn was left feeling blue in more ways than one during her body-paint sessions for 2003 sequel X2. Indeed, it took four women and eight hours to transform the ex-MTV host into the azure shape-shifting baddie Mystique. However, speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Romijn admitted it was the nudity required that concerned her the most.

19. Jennifer Lawrence (X-Men: First Class)

Jennifer Lawrence was subjected to the same grueling treatment when she took on the role of Mystique in 2011 prequel X-Men: First Class. However, it wasn’t the nudity that bothered her. The star told Entertainment Weekly that she was much more worried about the toxins she inhaled every time her body was painted from head to toe.

18. Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad)

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Margot Robbie stole the show as Harley Quinn in 2016’s Suicide Squad. Nevertheless, the Australian actor wasn’t exactly enamored with how she looked while doing so. Indeed, she told the New York Times that the hot-pants and soaking-wet-white-T-shirt look made her feel self-conscious. None more so than when she’d just eaten a burger.

17. Michael Chiklis (Fantastic Four)

Michael Chiklis’ childhood dream of playing The Thing came true in 2005’s Fantastic Four. However, it soon turned into a nightmare thanks to his heavy prosthetics and latex costume. In fact, the actor later admitted to The Star that he hated his rocky outfit. Nevertheless, it also helped him to understand why the character is so hugely popular.

16. Paul Bettany (Captain America: Civil War)

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Promoting Captain America: Civil War in 2016, Paul Bettany told Cinema Blend he’d been fine with his Vision costume on the first day of shooting. And the second, and the third, and the fourth. However, by the fifth time he’d worn it for 12 hours straight, Bettany was finding it hard to summon up the motivation to get out of bed.

15. Chadwick Boseman (Captain America: Civil War)

What’s more, Bettany wasn’t the only Captain America: Civil War star to have complaints about his costume. Chadwick Boseman told Comic Book Movie he had to get himself into a “Zen space” each time he put on the Black Panther outfit. Particularly when he had to do so in sweltering 90° F weather.

14. Channing Tatum (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra)

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“The devil’s condom.” That’s how Channing Tatum described the rubber suit he had to wear in 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. In fact, the actor hated it so much that he told Vanity Fair in 2015 that he wouldn’t wear it ever again. Even if a gun was held to his head.

13. Malin Akerman (Watchmen)

Malin Akerman also compared her Watchmen costume – particularly its smell – to that of a condom in an interview with Maxim. The actress, who played the Silk Spectre in the 2009 movie, also said the skintight yellow and black outfit was “really f***ing uncomfortable.”

12. Ryan Reynolds (The Green Lantern)

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Ryan Reynolds has repeatedly expressed his dissatisfaction with his CGI costume in The Green Lantern. For example, the actor later described the experience of wearing a motion capture suit as “brutal.” What’s more, in another interview he admitted that he didn’t like the 2011 film, period.

11. Mickey Rourke (Iron Man 2)

“Brutal” was also how Mickey Rourke described his Whiplash costume in Iron Man 2. The veteran actor, who played the villain in the 2010 sequel, told Showbiz Spy that sporting the half-suit was torture. He went on to explain that it was just as agonizing to take on and off as it was to wear.

10. Jessica Alba (Fantastic Four)

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Jessica Alba may have played the Invisible Woman, aka Sue Storm, in the mid-’00s Fantastic Four movies. However, that didn’t mean she escaped the curse of the uncomfortable superhero costume. Indeed, the actress told reporters in 2007 that donning her skin-tight outfit was comparable to wearing head-to-toe pantyhose.

9. Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns)

Michelle Pfeiffer unarguably remains the greatest Catwoman in the character’s history. Nevertheless, the actress, who played the feline villainess in 1992’s Batman Returns, didn’t enjoy one particular aspect of the experience. Pfeiffer later complained that it took an hour to get her costume back on every time she needed the bathroom.

8. Chris Evans (Captain America)

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Chris Evans wasn’t permitted to take any of his Captain America outfits home in case they were needed for reshoots. Not that the star was particularly cut up about it. Evans told Irish Central in 2011 that his character’s famous red, white and blue costume was extremely uncomfortable to wear.

7. Ron Perlman (Hellboy)

Ron Perlman is renowned for hiding his face behind elaborate prosthetics. However, 2004’s Hellboy appeared to be one step too far. In fact, the actor had to undergo the four-hour wardrobe session a whopping 86 times for the first instalment. Despite returning for a sequel, he subsequently ruled out a third film, reportedly due to the arduous makeup process.

6. Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man)

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Andrew Garfield always appears to have been uncomfortable about press intrusion. Indeed, this was never more conspicuous than when he was filming 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man. Speaking on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the Brit complained about how paparazzi regularly took embarrassing photos of him in his unflattering red and blue suit.

5. Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers)

“It was so hot I would wring out my socks at the end of the day.” Scarlett Johansson didn’t paint a pretty picture of shooting the first The Avengers movie during an interview with Nightline. The actress, who played the Black Widow in the Marvel film, also admitted to hallucinating because her wetsuit was so unbearably warm.

4. Christian Bale (Batman Begins)

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Christian Bale didn’t particularly enjoy wearing his outfit in the Dark Knight trilogy. In fact, he told Vanity Fair in 2012 that it was so uncomfortably tight that he had to diet just to fit into it. However, the Brit’s weight loss plan was also aided by the costume itself, as it caused Bale to shed so much sweat each day on set.

3. Val Kilmer (Batman Forever)

Of course, Bale wasn’t the only Batman to hate his outfit. Val Kilmer, who starred in 1995’s Batman Forever, told Conan O’Brien that playing the Caped Crusader turned him into an old man. Indeed, the actor had to be helped to get dressed and go to the bathroom, as well as having trouble hearing.

2. Ben Affleck (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice)

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The most recent Batman, Ben Affleck, went even further, telling Total Film that his outfit was “the most humiliating, ridiculous thing in the world.” Affleck, who played the Caped Crusader in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, didn’t actually sport a Batsuit during filming. Instead, he wore a motion capture suit that he subsequently described as “visual effects pajamas.”

1. Burt Ward (Batman: The Movie)

Nightmarish superhero costumes aren’t just a thing of the 21st century, however. Burt Ward, who played Batman’s sidekick Robin in the cartoonish ’60s series and spin-off movie, told Slice of Sci-Fi that his colorful outfit caused him multiple problems. Indeed, not only did his cape give him a sore neck, but his tights also constantly itched his genitals.

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