The Most Infamous Blow Ups and Diva Moments From Famous Actors

From Tom Cruise to Mel Gibson, a rundown of some of the worst behavior on and off the set.

May 7, 2018 5:00 am
Director Mel Gibson attends the premiere of 'Hacksaw Ridge' during the 73rd Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 4, 2016 in Venice, Italy. (Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images)
Director Mel Gibson attends the premiere of 'Hacksaw Ridge' during the 73rd Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 4, 2016 in Venice, Italy. (Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images)
Claudio Lavenia

These actors need no introduction — and neither do their outbursts and demands, which range from ridiculous and hilarious to downright terrifying. Take a look.

Christian Bale, Terminator Salvation (2009)

After a profanity-laced clip of Christian Bale having an epic meltdown during the filming of Terminator Salvation was released in early 2009, the actor apologized during the movie’s promotion. 

“What the f— are you doing? Are you professional or not?” Bale is heard screaming at crew on the tape.

“No! No! Don’t shut me up,” he shouted. “What don’t you f-cking understand? You got any f-ckin’ idea about ‘Hey, it’s f-cking distracting having somebody walk up behind Bryce in the middle of the scene.’”

“F-ck’s sake man, you’re amateur.”

Bale later apologized on KROQ 106.7, saying: “I was out of order, beyond belief. I was way out of order. I acted like a punk. I regret that,” Bale said, “and there is nobody that has heard that tape that was hit harder by it than me. I make no excuses for it; it is inexcusable.”

Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel and Yaphet Kotto, Blue Collar (1978)

Richard Pryor and Harvey Keitel in “Blue Collar” (YouTube)

These three co-stars routinely got into fist fights between takes on the set of Blue Collar, according to director Paul Schrader’s DVD commentary, who recalled that Pryor once took it a step further, punching Keitel before hitting him with a chair. But that’s just a glimpse into the violence that regularly occurred on set — the Chicago Tribune reports that Pryor actually pulled a gun on Schrader because of the work he was making him do.

“I’m not going to do any more than three takes on a scene and if you make me do a fourth I’ll kill you,” Pryor, who many have speculated was high during much of the filming, reportedly said.

Mel Gibson, DUI Arrest and Threatening Ex-Girlfriend (1995, 2006, 2010)


Actor Mel Gibson saw his career careen off a cliff after the transcript from a 2006 police report showed he made anti-Semitic and sexist remarks to the officers arresting him for a DUI.

“F-cking Jews,” the father of nine said. “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world… Are you a Jew?” He asked the male officer. He then asked the female officer, “What are you looking at, sugar t-ts?”

This wasn’t the first or the last horrific outburst from the former leading man. Gibson has also been recorded using the term “w-tbacks,” the n-word, didn’t deny striking his ex-girlfriend in the face while she was holding their baby — “You know what, you f-cking deserved it” — and said he’ll apologize for his disparaging comments about gay and lesbian people “when hell freezes over.”

 Marlon Brando, The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)

Actor Marlon Brando wasn’t supposed to appear in his Island of Dr. Moreau scenes wearing an ice bucket on his head — that was something he randomly found, put on, and refused to take off. He also insisted that a dwarf he met during the film’s production had to appear in all of his scenes, despite the fact that this character wasn’t written into the book or the script, and was fed many of his lines through a radio earpiece that sometimes crossed over into police frequencies. As a result, Brando would randomly act out lines that had nothing to do with the movie, like “There’s a robbery at Woolworth’s!”

He also didn’t wear pants throughout filming, forcing the director to shoot him from the waist up. The upside? Audiences were treated to the “Mini-Me” character in the Austin Powers movies, which was inspired by scenes in Dr. Moreau.

Dennis Quaid, Funny or Die (2015)

Dennis Quaid appeared to join Christian Bale’s ranks as a high-profile actor who lost his mind on set, but Quaid’s expletive-filled rant in 2015 was actually part of a Funny or Die skit that was done purposefully — though the media didn’t initially realize it.

“It turned out to be one of the most fun times I ever had,” Quaid told Jimmy Kimmel, but noted he quickly called his mother after the story broke because he hadn’t yet told her about his prank.

Rob Lowe and Tom Cruise, The Outsiders (1983)

Rob Lowe and Tom Cruise famously got into an on-set scuffle while rehearsing one of their fight scenes in The Outsiders.

“We all beat the living sh-t out of one another. We really did,” Lowe told the Independent. “I got one clean shot on Tom, and Tom is such a competitive lunatic—which is what I love about him—but the next thing you know he’s ready to kill me!”

He continued: ”We were all competitive. It wasn’t just Tom. We were hardcore. But Tom. Listen, he was up for my part and I thought he was going to get it. And Tom’s Tom. He’s a whole lot of guy. It’s like the United States and China right now. If you treat China like a foe surely she will become one. It was all good. But he was the one I was worried about.”

Russell Crowe, BAFTA Fury (2002)

Russell Crowe isn’t known for being nice—he’s been documented throwing phones at hotel walls, being rude to fans and going on furious Twitter rants about the Jewish practice of circumcision—but for the purpose of this list, we’ll stick to the time that he reportedly screamed at a BAFTA Awards producer in a storage closet after parts of his A Beautiful Mind Best Actor speech were cut for time. Later apologizing for his “inappropriate” and “overbearing” verbal abuse, Crowe reportedly told an Australian newspaper he was so angry because his public thanking of John Nash, the mathematician who he portrayed in the film, was cut from the telecast.

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