Created By: NightShade96 on May 9, 2017 Last Edited By: NightShade96 on May 14, 2017
Troped

Hostility on the Set

Two (or more) actors are hostile to each other during filming.

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trope
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."

     Live-Action TV 
  • 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.

     Music 
  • 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.

In-Universe Examples

     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.

     Live-Action TV 

     Video Games 
  • In Hitman (2016), during elusive target #7, Gary Busey and Gary Cole had a tense relationship while both stared in a film project. This was mainly caused by Busey's antics, so the film's producer hired 47 to kill him.

Community Feedback Replies: 41
  • May 9, 2017
    Chabal2
    Enforced Method Acting has a few examples about actors kept apart from the rest of the cast so it'd be easier for them to be unfriendly towards each other on camera.
  • May 9, 2017
    NightShade96
    ^ Okay, thanks.
  • May 9, 2017
    eroock
  • May 9, 2017
    NightShade96
    ^ Lily who?

    PS: Never mind.
  • May 9, 2017
    Koveras
  • May 9, 2017
    NightShade96
    ^ Possibly in some cases.
  • May 10, 2017
    hszmv1
    • Vivian Vance and William Frawley, who played Ethel and Fred Mertz on I Love Lucy. The causes is thought to be Vance's vocal complaint about playing a character married to a man 22 years her senior and Frawley being quite hurt and never forgiving her. 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.
  • May 10, 2017
    LondonKdS
    Another notorious recent example was the reported 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.
  • May 10, 2017
    CactusFace
    • An in-universe example in Hitman 2016: During elusive target #7 Gary Busey and Gary Cole had a tense relationship while both stared in a film project. This was mainly caused by Buseys antics, so the films producer hired 47 to kill him.
  • May 10, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    Does this also include the opposite of Romance On The Set? I got inspired by that question from watching a video (don't ask which) about film love teams who hate each other off set, and what I had in mind was Dirty Dancing.
  • May 10, 2017
    NightShade96
    ^ Yeah. Romance On The Set actually inspired the title for this TLP, too.
  • May 10, 2017
    MitchellProductions
    Does this only apply between actors?
  • May 10, 2017
    hszmv1
    I would be hesitant to say yes... but if that is the case "You can't scare me, I work for James Camron" might be this. I would also say that the Blair Witch Example is Enforced Method Acting, not hostility because of an innate personality clash between people on the set.
  • May 10, 2017
    MitchellProductions
    I had ideas of the Christian Bale meltdown being listed here.
  • May 10, 2017
    Leporidae
    Would this include an in-universe section, for works that feature disgruntled co-actors in the Show Within A Show?
  • May 10, 2017
    NightShade96
    ^^^^ I've included some examples between directors and actors. It's also mentioned in the description.

    ^^^ If you could add some more details, that would be great. The Blair Witch example was from Enforced Method Acting.

    ^^ Details?

    ^ If there are enough in-universe examples to warrant it.
  • May 11, 2017
    NightShade96
    Bump
  • May 11, 2017
    Leporidae
    Let me be the first to add an in-universe example (sorry if this gets a little long winded):

    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.
  • May 11, 2017
    hszmv1
    • One addendum to the second point of the I Love Lucy example: Part of why they worked on screen together was in part because the pair did play an embodyment of Fights Like A Married Couple.
  • May 11, 2017
    NightShade96
    ^^ That's fine. And you're not the first to suggest an in-universe example (there's one in the video games folder).

    ^ Thanks for the info. Added it.
  • May 11, 2017
    NightShade96
    Any other indices which this could fit under?
  • May 12, 2017
    AmourMitts
    I fear this will soon turn into a complaint magnet.
  • May 12, 2017
    NightShade96
    ^ It's trivia, though. There's not much room for complaint.
  • May 12, 2017
    ErikModi
    Film:
    • By all accounts, Julia Roberts and Caterine Zeta-Jones were so hostile on the set of Oceans 12 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 Sophmore Slump, and why neither actress returned for Oceans 13.

    Live-Action TV
    • In-universe (sort of), invoked, and Played For Laughs in Series/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."
  • May 12, 2017
    Leporidae
    Maybe it could fit on the Production Process index?
  • May 12, 2017
    NightShade96
    ^ Yeah, it'd probably fit well under "Interference". Thanks for the suggestion :)
  • May 12, 2017
    alnair20aug93
  • May 12, 2017
    Katsuhagi
    Would examples of band members not getting along during production fit? Because I know of a few.

    • 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.
  • May 12, 2017
    WaterBlap
    Anything in the real life section that says "reported" or "thought to be" is just gossip. It'll probably be brought up to the RL section maintenance thread and cut completely. I would suggest pre-emptively cutting those specifically gossip examples before launch.

    Also, someone in RL just happening to snap at someone while being recorded doesn't seem tropeworthy. Just to be safe, I'd cut those examples from the RL section.
  • May 12, 2017
    NightShade96
    ^^^ Put that under the In-Universe section of Live-Action TV. Correct me if I'm wrong about its placement.

    ^ Will do. Thanks for the suggestions.

    However, some of those examples you described were taken from Troubled Production, like the Mad Max example.
  • May 12, 2017
    eroock
    May be caused by a Creator Breakdown.
  • May 12, 2017
    NightShade96
    ^ Good point.
  • May 12, 2017
    DustSnitch
    I would put the In Universe examples over the real life ones, since troping media takes priority over trivia, since troping is the mission of the site.
  • May 12, 2017
    NightShade96
    ^ You have a point. However, in some trivia and YMMV pages (the ones with both real life and in-universe examples), the real life examples are placed above the in-universe ones.
  • May 13, 2017
    Getta
    ^^ Too attached about this "mission" thing...
  • May 13, 2017
    NightShade96
    Does this seem ready for launch for you guys?
  • May 13, 2017
    NightShade96
    If there are no issues, I'll launch in three hours.
  • May 13, 2017
    Katsuhagi
    • Actress Loretta Young was notoriously high maintenance and has several examples of this with her costars, especially due 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."
  • May 13, 2017
    TheWanderer
    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 the two are never on the set at the same time in order to prevent any hostility from occurring.
  • May 14, 2017
    NightShade96
    Bump
  • May 14, 2017
    NightShade96
    If there are no objections, I'll launch this TLP. Thank you, everyone, for your contributions.
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