Classic Hollywood On-screen Pairs Who Couldn’t Play Nice Off Camera
Any good partnership knows its ups and downs. If the partners are good enough, they keep the fighting behind closed doors; always the unified front to anyone who doesn’t know better.
Hollywood pairings suffer the same drama, no surprise. On-screen chemistry does not always bleed off the page. As audience members, we only hear about it when there is bloodshed.
More often than not the actors suffer artistic differences. As long as it doesn’t show when the cameras are rolling, then it’s business as usual.
These five pairs may have had what it takes to create Oscar-worthy performances on-screen, but when the cameras stopped rolling, there was no love lost between them.
Betty Davis and Joan Crawford
The man’s name was Franchot Tone, a small-time, but an attractive actor, who became the first stone in the wall between Davis and Crawford.
Davis fell for Tone when filming the movie Dangerous. They even shared lipstick [read: made out] on many occasions.
At the time, Crawford was recently divorced and wanted Tone for herself. A more powerful Hollywood figure than Davis at the time, Crawford won his affections, then married him to celebrate.
The feeding between these Davis and Crawford would extend the rest of their careers, including the fight scenes they shared in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, all the way until Crawford’s death in 1977.
When Crawford passed, Davis remarked, “You should never say bad things about the dead, only good…Joan Crawford is dead. Good.”
Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker
You know them better as C-3PO and R2-D2, the comic relief droids from the Star Wars franchise.
Perhaps it was their distaste for one another that brought out the tension between their characters. The two droids were always bickering in the movie.
Beneath all that chrome they meant those words, even though they couldn’t hear each other under their costumes. The two actors barely spoke on set. Baker’s costume was a simple in and out, whereas Daniels took an hour to get into his.
Off camera, there are accusations that Daniels called Baker “little man,” an obvious reference to his stature. Baker insists that Daniels was generally rude towards him.
Daniels has made it clear that he sees Baker’s inclusion in the credits as a formality, that there was no real acting involved with playing R2-D2. To add to the craziness of this feud, these are the only two characters that have appeared in every Star Wars movie so far.
With Baker’s death earlier this year, it seems they will not finish what they started, but Daniels won’t utter a single complaint.
Debra Winger and Shirley MacLaine
On screen, Winger and MacLaine drenched our facial tissues with their mother-daughter relationship in Terms of Endearment. On screen, the two may have bickered, but they were as close as any family members could be.
Off camera, they were not pals. Rumors maintained that Winger battled drug addiction during filming. It was also rumored she once passed gas in the direction of MacLaine, not on accident. That’ll spoil any professional relationship.
Both received nominations for their roles in that movie, but MacLaine won. Wigner did not. At the Oscar’s, MacLaine said of her award, “I deserved this.”
Yes, you did, Shirl.
Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling
The Notebook goes down in history as one of the great romance films of all time, but the online romance of McAdams and Gosling ended when the director yelled cut.
It was so bad at one point, Gosling pulled the director aside, asking that he replace McAdams because he couldn’t work with her. The director took them both into a private room with a producer to mitigate the problem.
Nobody other than those directly involved knows exactly what happened in that room, but reports from those close enough mention raised voices and at least one cigarette.
When the pair left the room, things were back on schedule for the movie. They still were in conflict much of the time, but they didn’t make everyone else pay for it.
Kim Cattrall and Sarah Jessica Parker
If this one upsets you, rest assured, it’s untrue if you believe Parker. In fact, she insists that the rumors highlight a gender-bias.
As Parker pointed out on Howard Stern’s radio show (paraphrasing), nobody would bother to ask the stars of a male cast like The Sopranos if they played nice off-camera.
According to Parker, anything that may have appeared as a feud was just the normal tension that may arise in any work situation.
She said on Stern’s show, “Were people always desperately, hopelessly in love with each other? No, but this is a family of people who needed each other, relied upon each other, and loved each other. And this sort of narrative, this ongoing cat fight, it really used to upset me for a very long time.”
Perhaps Parker missed the new about Daniels and Baker’s offscreen issues, but she brings up a good point. When people spend an enormous amount of time together, especially in an artistic capacity, people are going to battle.
It happens, even in the closest families.