"Who Are The Celebrities? I Hope It’s Not A Kardashian" – 15 Times Actors Had Wild Demands On Set Or Flat Out Refused To Do A Scene

2 months ago 17

"There was a guy who held his chocolates in a little Tupperware. Whenever he needed chocolate, he’d come running over and give him a chocolate."

Whether it's outlandish riders or changing their own characters, actors often give quite specific demands when they're on a show or in a movie.

DreamWorks Pictures

So here are 15 times actors have demanded specific things on-set or outright refused to follow certain directions:

1. Ben Affleck

20th Century Studios

Ben managed to grind production of Gone Girl to a halt in a dispute over a hat. That's right, the actor, who is into his sports big time – particularly his beloved Red Sox, got into a dispute with the director that paused production. When director David Fincher asked him to don a Yankees cap while evading recognition in a scene, it was simply something Ben couldn't do. 

“I said, ‘David, I love you, I would do anything for you, but I will not wear a Yankees hat. I just can’t. I can’t wear it because it’s going to become a thing, David. I will never hear the end of it. I can’t do it.’ And I couldn’t put it on my head.”

You'd think this would be an easy thing to resolve, but apparently not. The two butted heads for four whole days before they could reach a compromise when they finally agreed that a Mets cap would suffice. 

On the argument, David had this to say: 

“I really wanted it to be a Yankees cap but, being from Boston and not being very professional as an actor, Ben refused to wear a Yankees cap. I mean it did not come to blows but we had to shut down production for four days.”

2. Prince


New Girl attracted huge numbers of fans including the late superstar Prince. He clearly enjoyed the show so much that he reached out to request a cameo. Well, this became a reality during season three, but there was a catch: no Kardashians. 

This became a bit tricky for the production team because they'd actually already invited two members of the clan to come and film scenes for the same episode as attendees of Prince's party. Zooey Deschanel spoke about the frantic day on set:

Zooey said how the PA came in, took all of their scripts away from them and subsequently burned all the proof of the Kardashian's involvement. Zooey said, "It turns out that someone from Prince’s camp said like, 'Who are the celebrities? I hope it’s not a Kardashian.'"

Lamorne Morris also mentioned this incident, but he recalled Prince actually seeing the two Kardashians, who Zooey named as Khloé Kardashian and Kris Jenner, but Lamorne called "blank blanks". He said: 

"Prince shows up early, so he’s sitting in video village, and he’s watching the screen, and he goes, 'What are the blank blanks doing here?' They said, 'Well, they’re in the show. They’ve been invited to a Prince party.' He goes, ‘They would never be invited to a Prince party.’” 

3. Jennifer Lawrence

Paramount Pictures

On the subject of the Kardashians, and on a slightly more favourable note, Jennifer Lawrence has always been a Kardashians fan – so much so that she included them in a request while filming Mother!. No, it wasn't them in real life, but she did request her own personal Kardashians tent that had a computer playing Keeping Up With The Kardashians. 

She explained why she needed the tent, and what it was like: 

"I had to do this one scene, and I hadn't gone that dark before, I had never done something that horrifying. I started getting scared a couple days before so I was like, I need a tent to keep away from all the extras because I didn't know what I would do. It was just a computer that was playing the Kardashians and had headshots, and it also had notes to me from them, that I had written."

Jennifer's love of the show clearly reached the group, as she later appeared in an episode while having dinner with Kris in 2019.

4. Marlon Brando

New Line Cinema

The Island of Dr Moreau is famously one of the most chaotic films ever made, both in terms of the movie itself, but also the shooting process. Part of this was the behaviour of Marlon Brando, who would mostly just stay in his trailer eating copious amounts of pizza and not opening the door to anyone. 

When he did come out to shoot some scenes, however, he insisted on doing things his way, which included him wearing all-white face paint, wearing a dress, and having an ice bucket strapped to the top of his head. He also got very attached to actor Nelson de la Rosa who was one of the shortest men of the last two centuries, measuring under 28 inches tall. 

Speaking about Brando just doing whatever he wanted, director John Frankenheimer, said: “Brando absolutely fell in love with this guy. He put him on his chest in the hammock and sang ‘Frog Went A-Courting’ to him. There was 90 minutes of that. This is all I can persuade Brando to do.’”

5. Tom Cruise

Paramount Pictures

Being a very hands-on actor, Tom has been doing his own stunts for decades now, so he clearly has a formula for how to be comfortable when flipping, jumping, rolling, or whatever move it is. Well, what works for Tom, and other stuntmen is to wear G-strings or thongs thanks to the stretchy soft material. 

Since this happy discovery, he asks wardrobe departments to stock 50 or so thongs so he'll always have a fresh one to jump into and around in when he needs to. 

6. Lea Michele and Ariana Grande


Both Ariana and Lea's voices have certainly propelled them to fame, and they're naturally very protective about how much pressure they put their voices under. When the pair were filming the show Scream Queens, they full-on refused to actually scream when they were supposed to.

Lea recalled what she said to creator Ryan Murphy: 

"'I’m screaming like twice and then you’re going to have to use it the whole season,’ because I’m a singer and I was there with Ariana Grande and we were like, ‘We can’t scream, this is our gift.’ So I don’t scream, they just dub it in.”

7. Lindsay Lohan

IFC Films

You know when you're performing to people, and you may be a bit nervous, so you're supposed to picture people in their underwear? Well, Lindsay Lohan went a step further. 

During a scene for her movie The Canyons, Lindsay was about to shoot a topless scene. Before she removed her clothes, however, she requested that the 10-man crew who were in the room with her strip down to their underwear, to make her feel more comfortable.

Apparently, they were a bit hesitant at first, but eventually agreed, and the filming of the scene went off "without a hitch." 

8. Paris Hilton

Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images

Paris reportedly did have some extravagant demands when she was supposed to spend one day filling a cameo for The Other Guys. According to a source, the production team were shocked when Paris' team delivered them a three-page list of demands. 

The list included live lobsters that were to be freshly prepared whenever Paris wanted to eat them, and a bottle of Grey Goose vodka.

A representative of Paris did respond to the story, saying that it was "totally ridiculous and untrue.” 

I guess the sad thing is a celebrity doing this is highly believable, but also ridiculous...

9. Zendaya

Disney Channel

Zendaya's request was actually very sweet, and one I'm sure she's grateful she made now that she's older. It was back during the filming of the Disney show Shake It Up when she was a young teen. There was a scene where she was supposed to kiss someone, but, as she hadn't had her first kiss yet, she refused. 

Looking back, here's what she said about it: “I remember being on Shake It Up and being like, ‘I’m not gonna do this. I’m going to kiss him on the cheek because I haven’t been kissed yet so I don’t want the kiss to be on camera.’"

10. John Krasinski


John's refusal was actually to do with a plot that was written for his character, Jim, in The Office. During season eight of the show, it was written that Jim would cheat on Pam with her Maternity leave replacement, Cathy. 

After reading the plotline, John simply refused to shoot it. He went to creator Greg Daniels right away to express his concerns, as he remembered: 

“That’s the only time I remember putting my foot down. I remember saying things that I never thought I’d say before, like, ‘I’m not going to shoot it.’ My feeling is there is a threshold with which you can push our audience, they are so dedicated. We have shown such great respect to them."

He believed that if they showed Jim cheating then the fans would "never come back." Thankfully, Greg backed down, and the plan to have Jim cheat was removed, because that would have caused uproar amongst the fans. 

11. Mike Myers

DreamWorks Pictures

We all know and love Shrek and can't imagine the big green ogre sounding any different from the Scottish brogue that Mike Myers dons for the role. Well, without one costly request from Mike, our beloved ogre could have sounded a whole lot different

The making of the movie was already disrupted by the tragic death of Chris Farley, who'd originally been cast as Shrek, so Mike came in and asked for the script to be rewritten to fit his comedic style. After this was done, he recorded pretty much all of his lines for the movie in 1999. When a rough unanimated version was shown to Mike though, he had one major request: to re-record all of his dialogue.

The problem for Mike was that he'd done it in an over-the-top Canadian accent, which he said came across more scary than relatable. He believed the Scottish accent would work better, and thought that it would be easier to go from sounding happy to angry. 

At this time though, they'd already started animating his character and had gotten through about a third of his scenes, which would all require mouth and hand gesture-tinkering animation. 

Jeffrey Katzenberg of DreamWorks Animation realised the amount of thought Mike had put into it, so relented, and approved the reanimation that would cost around $4 – $5 million, 10 percent of the budget. After it all came together, Jeffrey fully agreed that the accent was far better, saying that if they had junk before, they had gold now. 

12. Mike Myers

DreamWorks Pictures

Sticking with Mike, he seemingly had a bit of a powerful hold on the production of The Cat in the Hat. He was afforded a level of control and freedom to do whatever he wanted, as his costar, Amy Hill, remembered. According to Amy, Mike even had a man whose sole responsibility was to hold his chocolates for him and bring him them when he wanted some. 

Speaking about the "nightmarish experience" she had working with him, she said: 

"He’d just be with his people and walk away. People would come and then he’d stand there. There was a guy who held his chocolates in a little Tupperware. Whenever he needed chocolate, he’d come running over and give him a chocolate. That’s what divas are like, I guess." 

If I had someone bringing me chocolate whenever I wanted things would get significantly out of hand. 

13. Gary Busey


Gary once took issue with the set design of a film he was in, complaining that it wasn't realistic at all and demanding things were changed. The film in question was Quigley, in which the actor dies and comes back to life as a Pomeranian dog. 

To understand Gary's issue, you have to know that in 1988, he was involved in a motorcycle accident that left the actor needing two hours of neurosurgery. On the accident, Gary said

"I passed away after brain surgery and went to the other side – the spiritual realm where I got information. And I came back."

So when he arrived on a set that was supposed to represent heaven, Gary was not at all happy with the design. His costar Curtis Armstrong recalls the incident, and what Gary said:

"I can't play this scene It's nothing like this. I've been to heaven and it doesn't look like this. That sofa's all wrong. That mirror is ridiculous. They don't even have mirrors!"

14. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Warner Bros. Pictures

In order to persuade the actor, who was so intrinsically tied to the franchise, to return for the third instalment of Terminator, the filmmakers had to agree to a contract that contained some wild stipulations. 

First of all, Arnold would receive a $29.25 million “pay or play” fee, which essentially meant that the actor would get paid even if the film never got made. He would also be given an additional $1.6 million for every day of shooting that ran over the planned 19-week schedule. 

Added to the contract was his perk package, which included certain flamboyant conditions, such as $1.5m for private jets, a special trailer which was just a gym, 24/7 limousines, personal bodyguards, and three-bedroom suites on location. 

15. Daniel Day-Lewis

Palace Pictures

The storied actor is famous for his dedication to method acting, and the manner in which he becomes his characters has led to some pretty vigilant demands while filming. 

One example was when he was playing cerebral palsy sufferer Christy Brown in My Left Foot. During the filming, he was lifted to his car every morning and driven to the studio where he would be transported into a wheelchair and taken onto the set. They would even have to carry him in his wheelchair over the cables to get to the actual set. 

This would be repeated at the end of the day of filming, and he would be taken to restaurants around Dublin and insist on being spoon-fed. 

He also refuses to call anyone by their name, or be called by anything but his character – he even started messaging archaic, old-fashioned texts to his costar Sally Fields seven months before the began filming Lincoln. 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who played Lincoln's son, said of the actor: "I never met Daniel in person, I only ever met the president. I called him 'Sir', he called me 'Robert'."

What other wild actor demands have you heard about? Let us know in the comments below!

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