Generally, actors tend to get along well with their co-stars, and this tends to shine through on-screen. They may become close friends, and a Romance on the Set may ensue in some cases. This is not about those actors. In some cases, some actors may be at each other's throats during filming, or even a director with one or more actors. While this does not always show on the big screen, it can cause issues like lack of chemistry between the actors. On the other hand, if the characters they are playing are antagonistic to each other, this can help add authenticity to their performances. This may occur due to, or even be the cause of a Troubled Production, and/or Creative Differences. It can also be caused by a Creator Breakdown on the part of one or more actors, or the director.
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Real Life Examples
Films — Live-Action
- During the filming of Black Swan, director Darren Aronofsky would try to pit Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis against each other to make their antagonistic scenes together more authentic. Unfortunately for him, both of them caught on to what he was doing very early and instead sent congrats to each other by phone when Darren told one of them the other was doing great.
- During filming of I Love Trouble, Nick Nolte and Julia Roberts began to dislike each other, and it got to the point that reviews of the film said that they had no chemistry on-screen. Roberts eventually stated that Nolte was the worst actor she had to work with.
- The Lord of the Rings: There was something of a rivalry between the extras playing Elves and the extras playing Uruk-hai. The Uruks coined the nickname "cupcakes" for their Elven counterparts. This apparently started because the Elven extras (who were largely local college students) weren't getting into character as soldiers, so the Uruk-hai decided to start taunting, jeering, and otherwise acting like actual members of an opposing army. This got the Elven actors riled up enough to be in character.
- Mad Max: Fury Road: Charlize Theron claimed that Tom Hardy and George Miller "went at it." Hardy would later apologize to Miller at the film's Cannes premiere.
- It's a miracle that Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams had great chemistry in The Notebook, as they did not get along well on set. However, unlike some other cases, they were able to patch over their differences enough to become a real-life couple for some time.
- By all accounts, Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones were so hostile on the set of Ocean's Twelve that they eventually had to be kept completely separate, never even being on the set at the same time. It's perhaps one of the reasons the film is a Sophomore Slump, and why neither actress returned for Ocean's Thirteen.
- Actress Loretta Young was notoriously high-maintenance and had several examples of this with her costars, especially due to her insistence on using a Swear Jar on set. After shooting his final scene with her in Rachel and the Stranger, Robert Mitchum dropped a $20 bill into the jar, saying "This should just about cover everything I've been wanting to say to Loretta."
- Castle: There have been a lot of behind-the-scenes rumors that Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion were not getting along with each other and have not been for at least several seasons, possibly going as far back as Season 4. This was apparently so bad that it was the cause of Katic's departure from the show.
- Desperate Housewives star Teri Hatcher did not get along well with her co-stars, and it got to the point that her name was absent on the stars' farewell gift to the crew.
- Before ever being part of Game of Thrones, Jerome Flynn (Bronn) and Lena Headey (Queen Cersei) were in a relationship that did not end well. At all. The result is that the two are never on the set at the same time in order to prevent any hostility from occurring.
- Another notorious example was the dislike between Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi during later seasons of The Good Wife, which led to them refusing to be on set together to the point that a pivotal scene in the show's finale had to be created using green-screen.
- Vivian Vance and William Frawley, who played Ethel and Fred Mertz on I Love Lucy.
- The contempt grew to such extremes that Vance would often memorize her scripts just to see how much screen time she had with Frawley.
- Despite the hostilities, both were said to be professionals on the set and were noted for their amazing chemistry with each other on screen, to the point that when it first came out, fans of the show could not believe it. However, part of why they worked on screen together was in part because the pair played an embodiment of Like an Old Married Couple.
- During Fleetwood Mac's notoriously volatile period when everyone was breaking up with and/or cheating on everyone else in the band, the music videos for "Hold Me" and "Gypsy" were both filmed when various band members couldn't stand to be around each other. The latter especially since Stevie Nicks was at one point made to dance with Lindsey Buckingham, who she didn't want to be in the same room with, and she looks visibly uncomfortable doing so.
Anime and Manga
- In the manga Skip Beat!, actors Ren Tsuruga (disguised as the actor Cain Heel) and Taira Murasame have been at each other's throats since the script reading for their film Tragic Marker. Ren's "Cain Heel" persona is aloof and disinterested (the director has asked him to keep his distance from the cast and crew, in order to make his performance as an undead serial killer terrifying and unexpected), while Taira is a hot blooded ex-gang leader who thinks Cain isn't taking his work seriously.
- They get into numerous verbal sparring matches that culminate in an incident where Ren nearly kills Taira: what starts out as stage combat practice turns into an all-out brawl, during which Ren puts Taira in a choke-hold while suspended over an unsecured ledge on the film set. Taira is convinced he's about to die and pulls Ren off the ledge with him, but a last-second intervention from Kyoko convinces Ren to throw Taira into a safety net and use the momentum from the throw to land safely.
- Feud: Bette and Joan covers the rivalry between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford during the filming of Whatever Happened To Baby Jane.
- In-universe (sort of), invoked, and Played for Laughs in Supernatural, in an episode in which Sam and Dean are sent to our real world to become the actors playing them on the show (It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context). Pretty much every person they interact with who works on the show with them will mutter "at least they're speaking to each other again."
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