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Scenes That Were Cut Because The Actor Was Too Drunk

Acting is a job that requires the heavy dedication to become somebody else for the sake of telling a story. There are lots of examples of actors and actresses deep-diving into the livelihoods of the people they are attempting to portray in order to give the best performance possible. Commonly known as method acting, these performers will work similar jobs, behave in similar ways, and absorb themselves into certain lifestyles. The technique can also include becoming inebriated for scenes that call for their characters to drink alcohol.

There is a long history of actors drinking on the job to get the right performance out of themselves. Unfortunately, and inevitably, this has resulted in some actors taking things a bit too far. Below are some examples of occasions in which directors were forced to pull the plug on a performance or take out whole scenes because the actors were completely hammered. Continue reading to discover some hilarious, and some not-so-funny moments when booze halted a film's production.

The following article includes discussions of alcohol use and abuse.

Jason Mewes: Clerks

"Clerks" star Jason Mewes owes an entire career to his good friend, co-star, and director Kevin Smith. Joining the celebrated director for his first low-budget project all those years ago resulted in Mewes appearing in nearly every one of Smith's subsequent films. Unfortunately, Mewes admits that he was wildly irresponsible when positioned to portray the foul-mouthed Jay, a character written explicitly for him. "I was either drinking or smoking the whole time," Mewes revealed in a 2016 interview with Metro. "They had to send me home sometimes. I was drinking blackberry brandy — I passed out on the floor. I was so drunk I was slurring during a scene with Randal, so they had to send me home."

Thankfully, Mewes gained better control for Smith's sophomore project "Mallrats." "I didn't even drink or anything," the actor said. "They had Seth Green on standby [to play Jay] in case I didn't get the audition." Years later, Mewes has turned his life around. After recovering from addiction, the actor has since become a responsible father and maintains his close relationship with old friend Kevin Smith, most recently appearing in "Clerks 3," which brought the original characters' stories full circle.

John Leguizamo: Super Mario Bros.

These days, Nintendo fans are getting excited for the release of the upcoming animated movie "The Super Mario Bros." However, some enthusiasts may recall that the plumbing brothers have already starred in their own film, the 1993 live-action movie "Super Mario Bros." Unfortunately, most of those involved with the project would rather have everyone forget about its existence — especially star Bob Hoskins, who has called portraying Mario one of his biggest disappointments and the one thing that he would change about his career (via The Guardian). The late actor had nothing nice to say about making the Nintendo film, mentioning, "It had a husband-and-wife team directing, whose arrogance had been mistaken for talent. After so many weeks their own agent told them to get off the set," in another Guardian interview.

Meanwhile, John Leguizamo, who played Mario's green-suited brother Luigi, has since revealed how much drinking took place on the set. The failing movie and alcohol-infused talent resulted in many mishaps during production. Famously, Leguizamo accidentally accelerated a vehicle too abruptly, causing a sliding van door to break Hoskins' hand. Even further, Hoskins later told Entertainment Tonight that he was stabbed multiple times, electrocuted, and nearly drowned during the making of "Super Mario Bros."

Martin Sheen: Apocalypse Now

Best known for playing the president of the U.S.A. on NBC's "The West Wing," Martin Sheen has had a long and dynamic career. Arguably, the actor's best work came from the 1979 collaboration with director Francis Ford Coppola in "Apocalypse Now." The war film is considered one of the best of its genre; however, the production had multiple hurdles and setbacks on the way to being released. Aside from regular drug use on-set, there were financial struggles, a heart attack, and multiple psychological breakdowns.

Still, one of the most momentous collapses came in one of the movie's first scenes, when Captain Willard (Sheen) is experiencing a drunken meltdown alone in a hotel room. Unsurprisingly, Sheen was actually inebriated through the set piece whilst having a personal collapse himself. The actor cut himself open while shattering a mirror. "I bled quite a lot and Francis tried to stop the scene, and I begged him to continue rolling," Sheen said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "And he did. And he allowed me, in a sense, to wrestle with some demons that I had been wrestling with for quite a while." Much of the real-world breakdown made it on-screen, but Coppola admits that most of it was unusable.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Robert Shaw: Jaws

"Jaws" is inarguably one of the most famous movies in history. Defining the summer blockbuster, 1975's "Jaws" was one of the highest-grossing films of its era, is still imitated by genre movies today, and set off the career of one of Hollywood's most celebrated directors, Steven Spielberg. However, what many fans don't know is that one of the movie's most famous scenes had to be reshot because one of the film's leading actors was inebriated beyond comprehension.

In a 36th anniversary interview with Ain't It Cool, Spielberg discussed much of the behind-the-scenes workings of "Jaws." The director shared some secrets about the famous Indianapolis speech delivered by the hired shark hunter played by Robert Shaw. "We shot it twice," Spielberg said. "The first time we attempted to shoot it Robert came over to me and said, 'You know, Steven, all three of these characters have been drinking and I think I could do a much better job in this speech if you let me actually have a few drinks before I do the speech.' And I unwisely gave him permission." Reportedly, Shaw went overboard, "I had two cameras on the scene and we never got through the scene, he was just too far gone." Thankfully, the actor was better prepared the next morning, delivering the momentous scene as shown in the film in just a few takes.

Anna Kendrick: Drinking Buddies

The 2013 comedy-slash-drama "Drinking Buddies" is a unique film that was reportedly championed by alcohol-infused inhibition. Starring Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, and Anna Kendrick, the dialogue was almost entirely improvised, with the actors only required to hit certain plot points. Meanwhile, the film takes place mostly in a brewery swimming with beer that the actors would start drinking early in the day. "We were hammered the entire movie because it was real beer because beer on that set was cheaper than water," Wilde told "Off Camera with Sam Jones" (via People). Things got so crazy on the set that Wilde went skinny dipping in the cold ocean.

It is natural that many of the off-the-cuff scenes fueled by too-many brewskies would be unusable; however, none struggled more to make the unique film work than "Pitch Perfect" star Anna Kendrick. "I was like, 'I'm super drunk right now,'" said the movie's lightweight in an interview with Vulture. "I had to announce to everybody that I was drunk at work. I was horrified by the idea that I was going to be the next troublesome star who got drunk and started flipping over tables or whatever. I just tried to sit quietly until I sobered up."

Lindsay Lohan: The Canyons

Former child actress Lindsay Lohan is infamous for her fall from grace. The once big-name actress faced a plague of addictions, criminal mishaps, and a tarnished reputation around Hollywood long before she signed on to portray the lead role in the 2013 erotic thriller "The Canyons." The film had a minimal budget but featured celebrated talent behind the cameras. It seemed like the ideal project for Lohan to either restart her career or prove once and for all that she was no longer capable of heading a Hollywood film.

"We don't have to save her," film director Paul Schrader is on record saying as production began. "We just have to get her through three weeks in July." Ultimately, Lohan would show how long three weeks can be. As reported by the New York Times, the actress built a habit of being inebriated on set, showing up late, or not arriving at all. In fact, Lohan was nearly fired from the project shortly before it began. Despite the controversy, most of the filming went on without too much turbulence. Unfortunately, three weeks was a long stretch for Lohan and the final days of shooting are filled with rumors of drunk driving, scenes of her toppling over, and an all-night party with Lady Gaga. Subsequently, Lohan's drinking caused many of the scenes in "The Canyons" to be unusable and the movie was released to unfavorable reviews.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

John Candy: Splash

By all accounts, the late comedic actor John Candy was a professional on the set of his many films. However, the "Canadian Bacon" star did get in some trouble on one of the most unlikely films, "Splash." The Tom Hanks romantic-comedy about falling in love with a mermaid was the first film produced under Disney's Touchstone brand and was concocted by up-and-coming director Ron Howard. Still, as the director would recount in Josh Gad's YouTube series "Reunited Apart," there was one day of filming that almost never made it onto the big screen, and it's all Jack Nicholson's fault.

"John, totally professional guy, but he's late one day and he finally pulls up and rolls out of the car and he says, 'Ron, I'm so sorry,'" says Howard. "I said, 'It's okay. You're late, but we'll get going.' He said, 'No, no, no. Look, I'm drunk. Here's what happened, I'm telling you the truth: I'm at the bar and Jack Nicholson is at the bar. Jack Nicholson knew my name, Ron! And he starts buying me drinks." Unfortunately, with filming continuing on "Splash" the next morning, Candy paid a price for his late-night run-in with Nicholson, "I never went to bed, Ron. I never went to bed!"

Norm MacDonald: Billy Madison

Unforgettable for his time hosting the "Weekend Update" segment on "Saturday Night Live," comedian Norm MacDonald went on to have a successful career in film and television before his untimely passing. However, the actor's first appearance in a major motion picture started on wobbly footing as he joined "SNL" alum Adam Sandler as the best friend to the titular "Billy Madison."

The two actors reminisced about their time making the cult classic comedy during an appearance on "Conan." "I'm doing a scene with Norm at the pool," Sandler recalled. "I say my line and I think I did it very well. And I'm like, 'Let me see how Norm ping-pongs this line back.' So, there was a little bit of a delay, and I was like, 'Old Norm likes to take his time.' Then I'm waiting longer and going, 'Wow, he's really milking this one.' And a few more seconds later I noticed old Norm was sleeping." Hilariously, MacDonald admitted that he was taking method acting a bit too seriously, "They wanted to me to play a drunk, so I said, 'You got some booze?'"

Shia LaBeouf: Lawless

Once a budding star in Hollywood, Shia LaBeouf became a household name when he starred in the first few outings of the "Transformers" franchise. Unfortunately, after multiple legal issues and struggles with addiction, LaBeouf is better recognized today as a movie wildcard. The former child actor has been at the center of multiple rumors of on-set controversy, including getting into an altercation with Alec Baldwin. Yet it was LaBeouf's first steps outside the big-budget productions of "Transformers" and "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" that began his degraded reputation around Hollywood.

"Lawless" was one of the first projects the actor landed after quitting his most popular franchise in search of more serious work. Unfortunately, LaBeouf's method acting would be challenged by co-star Mia Wasikowska, who said his drunken behavior was dangerous and scary. "Mia was ready to walk away from the movie," LaBeouf shared with NY Daily News (via Indiewire) while admitting to drinking moonshine during the production. "I was really pretty aggressive about it, and not in any kind of weird, strange way, but I don't think she had ever experienced anything like that." Things got so out of hand that director John Hillcoat was forced to set boundaries, not allowing the actor to appear on set liquored-up any longer.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Fred Astaire: Holiday Inn

In the list of all-time greatest Christmas movies, 1942's "Holiday Inn" is a special inclusion to festive celebrations. Starring some of the biggest names in Hollywood at the time, including Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, the war-time movie is celebrated for giving future audiences a glimpse at life, and Christmas, in the mid-century. The movie remains an important part of cinema history.

Meanwhile, one of the film's most unforgettable dance numbers is one of the best examples of alcohol-infused debauchery for the times. Coined as the "Drunk Dance" the segment features Astaire wobbling and two-stepping off-balance while relying on dance partner Marjorie Reynolds to keep him up at times. According to the book "Christmas in the Movies" by Jeremy Arnold, Astaire was doing less acting when it came to the drunken part of his dance, relying heavily on booze to help throw him off balance. Notably, the actor started the day of filming with two shots of bourbon and would follow up with more with each subsequent shot. Seven takes later, Astaire was at the perfect moment between being too drunk and the proper amount of inebriation.

Sacha Baron Cohen: Borat

Sacha Baron Cohen is a comedian recognized, and sometimes not recognized, for his outrageous characters that he drops into real-world scenarios. The English star hosted his own television series "Da Ali G Show," and has starred in a collection of dynamic movies, from the children's picture "Madagascar" to the feature film adaptation of "Les Misérables." Still, the comedian's most iconic moments have stemmed from his satirical movies like "The Dictator" and "Borat."

Cohen has made a career out of putting himself in-character and not breaking, no matter how terrible things get. Unsurprisingly, his dedication has put him in some scary situations. However, one of his most hilarious stories comes from performing as "Borat" during a wine tasting. Unable to fake it, the actor, who admittedly does not drink often, was forced to drink more than his fair share of glasses. "I think I had 21 glasses of wine," admitted Cohen during an appearance on "Conan." "After a while, I went, 'Please, I need toilet' [in Borat voice]. And they came in there after a while 'cause I didn't return. I had passed out in the toilet." Thankfully, the persistent comedian managed to wake up in character without missing a beat.

Graham Chapman: The Life of Brian

The essential British comedy troupe Monty Python developed quite a name for themselves through the 1970s and most of the '80s. Boasting multiple films and the beloved "Monty Python's Flying Circus" television show, the collective of comedians is still celebrated today for their delightfully warped, utterly distinct style of humor. Unfortunately, not everything was always on the bright side for all the Pythons.

The 2012 film "A Liar's Autobiography" was a semi-biographical comedy about the late Python star Graham Chapman, best known for starring as King Arthur in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and as Brian in "The Life of Brian." During the feature, many of Chapman's former co-stars and friends openly speak about the comedian's over-the-top drinking. Reportedly routinely finishing off a bottle of vodka by 10 in the morning during a particularly ruthless period, Chapman often caused live performances and film shootings to be canceled, postponed, or, worst of all, fail. Still, the movie is a loving tribute to the late comedian, for all of his flaws.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).