The worst actor/director feuds in movie history

In a 2012 interview, Bryan Cranston openly spoke about his relationship with director Tony Kaye and said: “I don’t believe that I’ll be working with him again.” And this is definitely not the only case of an actor – director feud. Here are some of the most notorious fights between Hollywood actors and directors.

Faye Dunaway and Roman Polanski

Faye Dunaway and Roman Polanski on the set of Chinatown.







On the set of 1974 classic, Chinatown, things got very bad. When Dunaway asked for her character’s motivation, Polanski would shout, “Say the f*cking words. Your salary is your motivation.” Their enmity escalated into one of the most infamous on-set incidents of all time: Polanski wouldn’t let the actress take a break during a scene in her car, although she desperately needed to pee, so Dunaway threw a coffee cup full of urine in the director’s face.

Bruce Willis and Kevin Smith








Director Kevin Smith, who worked with Bruce Willis on the 2009 film Cop Out, has not been shy about his hate for the actor. Smith said: “He (Willis) turned out to be the unhappiest, most bitter, and meanest emo-bitch I’ve ever met at any job I’ve held down.”

Edward Norton and Tony Kaye








Kaye famously clashed with Edward Norton while making the 1999 film American History X, and later claimed that the actor helped studio New Line Cinema “rape” his film. “A narcissistic dilettante,” is how Kaye described Norton. Kaye said he never wanted Norton for the part but didn’t have time to recast. Norton’s response: “If Tony Kaye hadn’t wanted to make the movie with me, the studio wouldn’t have made the movie with Tony Kaye.”

Megan Fox and Michael Bay







Megan Fox didn’t waste a chance to bash director Michael Bay. It all started with an interview Fox gave to the British magazine Wonderland to promote Transformers 2. She said: “He’s like Napoleon and he wants to create this insane, infamous mad-man reputation. He wants to be like Hitler on his sets, and he is. So he’s a nightmare to work for but when you get him away from set, and he’s not in director mode, I kind of really enjoy his personality because he’s so awkward, so hopelessly awkward. He has no social skills at all. And it’s endearing to watch him. He’s vulnerable and fragile in real life and then on set he’s a tyrant.” When it was time to make Transformers 3, Fox was replaced.

George Clooney and David O. Russell








George Clooney got into a physical shoving match with director David O. Russell during a shoot for 1999’s Three Kings. Clooney was upset over Russell’s treatment of an extra. Clooney later said he had tried to cool down the situation, which led to Russell exploding: “Why don’t you just worry about your f*cing acting?! … You want to hit me? Come on, hit me.” Russell then grabbed Clooney by the throat, and the actor admitted he “went nuts” on the director. Filming continued after Russell apologized, but Clooney said it was “… the worst experience of my life.” Asked if he’d work with Russell again, Clooney answered, “Life is too short.”

Dustin Hoffman and Sydney Pollack








While filming the famous 1982 comedy Tootsie, Hoffman and Pollack fought bitterly, dueling over not only Dustin’s character, but the overall tone of the film and the style of its humor. During the promotion of the movie, Pollock said: “For whatever reason, I think Dustin feels that directors and actors are biological enemies, the way the mongoose and the cobra are enemies. He sees every picture as what he calls a ‘silent war.’ And he’s fought with most of his directors. I think if he would give a director half a chance, and not assume that the director is trying to kill him, he would see that most directors want exactly what he wants, which is the best possible picture.”


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One response to “The worst actor/director feuds in movie history”

  1. Tina says:

    Well, this is life and acting is a part of it, a professional field. We all meet enemies in life at this or that stage or this or that field of life, many hate their bosses, colleagues and why not a feud between a film director and an actor. I believe the more the actor or director thinks of him/herself the more strained the relationship will be. It is not easy to find compromises all the time. It was fun to get to know what feuds my favorite actors have with not less loved film directors.)