Movie scenes actors refused to film

Red carpets, private jets, second homes in exotic locales — the life of an actor may seem pretty plush. But don't forget that being an actor requires work, and it isn't your typical 9 to 5. Showing up for a day means long hours on set, demanding directors, uncooperative co-stars, and — of course — egos coming at you from every angle. And sometimes the script (a.k.a. an actor's job description) has something in it that A-listers just aren't willing to do for fear of harming their reputation or crossing personal boundaries.

When things go too far and a star declines to do a scene, rumors swirl and often leak, leading fans to speculate as to what kind of drama went down on set. But sometimes actors are candid about how their own beliefs and values conflict with their profession of choice. From nudes to feuds, here's a look at movie scenes that actors refused to film.

Taron Egerton's hands-off attitude

As Eggsy in the Kingsman series, Taron Egerton has skyrocketed from a relative unknown to totally in-demand leading man. But a steamy scene with Poppy Delevingne in the second installment of the spy franchise, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, was too hot for him to handle. 

Egerton's Eggsy, already conflicted about engaging in a honeypot mission with Delevingne's Clara as his target, is under pressure to place a tracking device inside her body during an intimate moment. In an interview with Screen Rant, Egerton described his apprehension, recalling, "It was a day that I was anxious about… The way it was described in the script it was like 'I'm going to do what?'"

Luckily, on the day of shooting, Egerton saw his way out after realizing director Matthew Vaughn wanted to shoot the up-close-and-personal scene from a POV angle. Egerton confessed, "I said to Matthew 'I'm not comfortable doing this'. So it's not my hand — it's Poppy [Delevingne]'s husband's hand. He saved the world."

The director defended his choice in an interview with Uproxx, saying "I wanted to see a spy with an emotional and moral dilemma of having to do something he really doesn't want to do…Some people laugh and cheer. Other people are like, "Oh my God." Some people are disgusted about it. But nobody doesn't notice it — and, afterwards, they'll talk about it."

Isla Fisher's double vision

Isla Fisher's breakthrough role as "stage-5 clinger" Gloria Cleary in 2005's Wedding Crashers catapulted her to fame — and earned her a reputation as a comedic force. The film was a huge hit at the box office, thanks in part to raunchy R-rated gags, including 54-year-old Jane Seymour casting off her robe for her first-ever nude scene. But as far as Fisher was concerned, nude scenes were an absolute dealbreaker. In an interview with Hello Magazine shortly after the movie premiered, she said, "I totally hate the puritanical approach to the whole nudity thing, but then when it comes to me I have double standards."

In a later interview with Entertainment Weekly, she elaborated on just how many scenes she skipped…and how many stand-ins her shooting contract stipulated. "I had a hand double for the under-the-table scene. I had a breast double for the boob-in-the-face and I had a butt double," she said. "My argument was, if you see a character's breast, she's no longer funny. You see her as someone sexual rather than as someone funny. I lost that argument with the producers."

Fisher further explained how that conflict influenced her performance as sweet and lovable, yet ultimately conniving Gloria. "I amped up the reality of my character even more," she told EW. "I thought, to combat the fact that you're going to see her boobs, I have to make her even more extreme for us to still get a laugh."

Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel, 2 Furious

The Fast and the Furious franchise is a juggernaut, but production on the eighth installment, The Fate of The Furious, was less than full-speed ahead thanks to the competing egos of two of the franchise's biggest stars — Dwayne Johnson (who joined the franchise in Fast Five as bounty hunter Luke Hobbs) and Vin Diesel (car thief Dom Toretto). In fact, it was ultimately revealed that the beef was so bad, the two totally refused to film together.

It all started in 2016, when Johnson went on a social media rant during filming. In a since deleted Instagram post, he wrote "Some [men] conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals, while others don't. The ones that don't are too chicken s— to do anything about it anyway. Candy asses."

TMZ reported that the day after, Johnson and Diesel had a hush-hush meeting — which pretty much confirmed that Diesel was the subject of Johnson's social media vent session. The tension allegedly stemmed from decisions Diesel made as a producer that didn't sit well with the former People's Champ. Sources reported that things were so uncomfortable on set that it was "impossible to shoot scenes."

In a 2018 interview with Rolling Stone, Johnson himself confirmed that his scenes with Diesel in The Fate of The Furious were the product of clever post-production work. "We were not in any scenes together," he said, adding, "What I came to realize is that we have a fundamental difference in philosophies on how we approach moviemaking and collaborating. It took me some time, but I'm grateful for that clarity. Whether we work together again or not."

This was the end for Emma Watson

Emma Watson has demonstrated serious range in a variety of roles since breaking through as a child actor in Harry Potter…but none of it prepared her for her uncomfortable cameo in This Is the End.

The dark comedy was pretty much exactly what you'd expect from Seth Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg, whose over-the-top sensibilities were established with Superbad. Like the rest of the all-star cast (including Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, and James Franco), Watson played an exaggerated version of herself — but she didn't exactly feel welcome in the boys' club atmosphere during filming.

According to an extra, Watson walked off the set over a scene featuring Channing Tatum in a surprise cameo, doing the full-on Magic Mike. PopFocal picked up the since-deleted blog post, which alleged, "Channing decided to do some of his breakdancing in front of her but alas he was in nothing but a thong… Emma storms off set… So we wrapped the night 5 minutes later."

James Franco seemed to confirm the story in conversation with Interview magazine. "So a funny thing happened on this movie I'm doing," he said. "The movie is a comedy, but it's kind of an outrageous one, and this actress — I won't say who, but she had a smaller role in the film — walked off the movie in the middle of a scene."

He continued, "What was going on around her was, I guess, too extreme for her. So Seth was like, 'Well, what can we do to fix it?' And she said, 'There's nothing you can do to fix it. It's just everything.'… And he said, 'Do you want to leave?' And she said, 'Yeah, I've got to leave.'"

Watson has never commented on the alleged kerfuffle. "This is my first ever comedy," she gushed in a press interview when the film came out. "When I got the script I was like this is not my normal type of thing and not really always my type of humor, but how could I miss out on the chance to work with the best comedians there are, basically in the world right now?"

Wesley Snipes, absentee Blade

The Blade trilogy was Marvel's first three-quel, spawned from the 1998 original starring Wesley Snipes. But the final installment, Blade: Trinity, didn't exactly wow audiences when it premiered in 2004. Panned by critics as being shallow and scattered, it left fans disappointed and confused — especially after Snipes filed a lawsuit against the production company after the film's release.

Eight years after the film came out, cast member Patton Oswalt shed some light on what went down — namely that Snipes was barely around. Calling him "crazy in a hilarious way," Oswalt told the A.V. Club, "He wouldn't come out of his trailer, and he would smoke weed all day…he only [came to the set] for close-ups. Everything else was done by his stand-in. I only did one scene with him."

Oswalt also revealed that Snipes had big beef with writer-director David Goyer, stemming from an argument during a night out in Vancouver while filming. "Wesley sat down with David and was like, 'I think you need to quit. You're detrimental to this movie,'" he recalled. "And David was like, 'Why don't you quit? We've got all your close-ups, and we could shoot the rest with your stand-in.' And that freaked Wesley out so much that, for the rest of the production, he would only communicate with the director through Post-it notes. And he would sign each Post-it note 'From Blade.'"

Later on the Pete Holmes Show, Oswalt rehashed the difficulties adding, "The fact that that movie exists puts it above Citizen Kane."

Anna Kendrick's 'Pitch' fit

Anna Kendrick found international superstardom in Pitch Perfect as Beca, The Bellas' rebellious soprano with a steel will and a heart of gold — and it sounds like her real-life personality isn't far from the tough-talking undergrad she played on the big screen.

Kendrick spoke out about putting her foot down on a potential storyline that had Beca getting romantically involved with a record executive who was trying to get the Bellas' master of the mash-up to sign with his label.

"Originally the music executive was supposed to be my romantic interest but I said no to that, because I thought that would be kind of f—ing problematic," she told Harper's Bazaar UK. "I was like, 'Can no one else [see it]?' Once I said it, everybody was like, 'I guess so.' And they still wanted to have a version at the end when we kissed, and I still said no."

In the same interview, Kendrick revealed that she pushed back on producers who asked the Bellas to step into sexier wardrobes. "It's funny," she said. "Whenever we do the wardrobe fittings I feel like we get notes from the top saying they should be tighter and sexier and show more skin. And I'm like, that's not why people are coming to see the movie. They definitely aren't showing up because of our sex appeal…. It's nice that audiences are interested in seeing a movie of misfits and girls of different shapes and sizes."

Kirk Cameron: from Growing Pains to kissing pains

Kirk Cameron's strict Christian faith means that he considers even the smallest onscreen romantic gesture to be risqué — which is why he told producers of the 2008 faith-based family drama Fireproof that he wouldn't be kissing his co-star.

As Cameron claimed during an appearance on the Today Show, it wasn't just the kiss — he clashed with producers over several storylines he felt were immoral, mainly that his firefighter character spends much of the film contemplating divorce. "The reason this movie was important to me personally is because I love my wife dearly," he said. "In a day and age where marriage is falling apart, we want to make movies and projects that really uphold and have a high view of that which is beautiful and wonderful in our culture."

That commitment to marriage meant that kissing his co-star was out of question. Luckily, the film crew was able to make it work with some low lighting, tight angles, and a very special co-star. Chelsea Noble, Cameron's wife, was dressed up in the female lead's costume and shot in silhouette.

"When I'm kissing my wife, we're actually husband and wife honoring marriage behind the scenes," said Cameron of the finished product.

Awww. And they say romance is dead.

Samuel L. Jackson isn't big on nude scenes

Samuel L. Jackson has never been one to to shy away from violence or vulgarity onscreen — after all, he's made six movies with Hollywood's king of expletives, Quentin Tarantino. In his prolific career, Jackson's cleaned brains out of the back seat of a Chevy Nova, been eaten by dinosaurs, and tangled with a plane full of snakes. But there's one thing that scares this fearless actor — dropping trou on camera.

In a raunchy interview with — who else? — Howard Stern, Jackson revealed that it isn't modesty but self-confidence that's kept him from stripping for the camera. "I don't know if it's formidable enough," he admitted in reference to his genitalia. "My aura's so big, I don't know if [it's] big enough to fill my aura."

He also expressed his discomfort regarding the "extremely awkward" process of filming sex scenes in general, and explained why he's only agreed to strip down a handful of times in his 40-year career, including with Juliette Binoche for In My Country and Naomi Watts in Mother And Child.

"You ask before you start, 'Where can I touch you? Where shouldn't I touch you?'" he explained to Stern. "Then you apologize for both reasons. 'I'm sorry if I get excited' and 'I'm sorry if I don't.' Because sometimes it just ain't happening!"

We get what you're saying, Sam.

Reese won't play nice or get naughty with Vince

Back in 2008, Four Christmases sounded like the best idea since Christmas tree cakes and rum-spiked eggnog. Put America's sweetheart Reese Witherspoon and America's favorite funnyman Vince Vaughn together as a couple that's forced to spend Christmas with their disapproving, divorced relatives. Hilarious holiday hijinks ensue! While the movie brought in a bundle, the reviews were abysmal, with many critics panning the lack of chemistry between the leads. Oh, if only they knew.

It was a Christmas miracle the film got finished at all, given Witherspoon and Vaughn couldn't stand each other. Honestly, these two not getting along shouldn't have surprised anybody. She arrived bright and early to the set; he would wander in looking like he partied the night before. She wanted to rehearse and block scenes; he wanted to ad-lib. Their relationship grew so cold that Reese is reported to have refused a sex scene with Vaughn. After pushing back, she got her wish — the scene was scrapped.

Isn't it nice when fake movie couples bicker and fight as much as real-life ones? Ah, the power of love.

Wilson rebels against going nude

If you've ever seen Borat, Bruno, or basically any of Sacha Baron Cohen's work, you know the dude has zero issues with filming in his birthday suit… or with doing anything in poor taste, for that matter. So it's no surprise that he expects the same nonchalance about nudity from his co-stars, but one of his famous female scene partners flat-out refused to go nude, despite Borat's badgering.

Rebel Wilson is known for her bawdy, anything-goes brand of humor. As ribald as Rebel is, she does draw the line when it comes to dropping her drawers. She refuses to go nude and has it written into her contract that her clothes stay on. In 2016's The Brothers Grimsby, Wilson played the girlfriend of Cohen's screw-up turned spy character, and one scene called for full-frontal nudity. Despite having a body double — a South African burlesque dancer — Cohen wanted Wilson to be the one to bare all.

"Sacha would go, 'See, she looks good.'" Wilson recalled. "I'm like, 'I'm not doing it. I don't care what you say.'"

Wilson won the battle, not that many people would have seen her naked anyway. The Brothers Grimsby earned an atrocious $25 million total at the worldwide box office, or less than what Borat made in one weekend

Emily is blunt about not going topless

While Rebel Wilson was badgered by her famous co-star for refusing to go nude, Emily Blunt was supported by hers… as well as her breasts, evidently.

In 2015's super-scary suspense film Sicario, Blunt plays an FBI agent batting drug cartels along the Mexican border. A scene called for Blunt to go topless. While the scene was written in the script, Blunt would later tell interviewer Howard Stern that when it came time to film, she — and her breasts, apparently — refused.

"It was in there originally, but it came out because we didn't agree with it," Blunt said. She clarified that "we" meant "my t**s."

Blunt was backed up by her co-star Benicio del Toro, who agreed the scene wasn't necessary. Given that del Toro played the "sicario" of the title (Mexican slang for "hitman"), nobody wanted to mess with him. Besides he's just really intimidating and making him angry wouldn't turn out well (just watch the diner scene in Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas).

Amber Heard gets sued for not going nude

Amber Heard has gone nude on film before, but when it came time to go topless for 2018's London Fields, she flat-out refused — and consequently was sued by producers for $10 million.

Based on Martin Amis' 1989 novel of the same name, the film stars Heard as Nicola Six, a clairvoyant femme fatale who predicts she will be murdered by one of her three lovers. Hey, the heart wants what the heart wants, right? Given both the script and the novel it was based on were "salacious, provocative and contained nude scenes," producers argued that Heard was well aware she'd be asked to go nude. She still refused, meaning that "key scenes in the script had to be removed and/or rewritten to accommodate Heard's behavior."

Producers also argued that Heard didn't just disrupt the production, but that she also damaged the film's publicity. They alleged that Heard was contractually obligated to attend the premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (which she did not), and that she even tried to get the film pulled from TIFF's lineup (which it was).

The production company, Nicola Six Limited, sued Heard for $10 million, or about 40 times what it made at the domestic box office when it was finally released three years after it was pulled from Toronto. Its $250,000 take makes it one of the biggest bombs in history.

Julia Roberts Loves Trouble but hates Nick Nolte

The 1994 romantic comedy I Love Trouble is most remembered these days for inspiring one of the most notorious co-star feuds ever. Julia Roberts and Nick Nolte star as dueling Chicago reporters chasing the same scoop. Murder, mayhem and romance ensue — filmmakers were hoping for a Tracy-Hepburn spark, but what they got was a Nolte-Roberts dumpster fire.

Rumor has it Roberts so disliked Nolte's loutish machismo that she would insult him on set. Nolte grew so tired of her tantrums, he'd act up just to spite her. It got so bad the two refused to film their scenes together and acted with stand-ins instead. Roberts and Nolte played nice during promotion, but proving that time does not heal all wounds, they continued to hold a grudge years later. The gloves came off in 2003 when Roberts called Nolte a "disgusting" human being. Nolte responded "It's not nice to call someone 'disgusting.' But she's not a nice person. Everyone knows that." Roberts also referenced a foul-mouthed, temperamental co-star in a 2009 Late Show appearance, and we don't think she was referring to Richard Gere.

Nick Nolte has been nominated for an Academy Award three times, while Julia Roberts won one for 2000's Erin Brockovich. Sounds like both of them deserved an Oscar for even briefly pretending to like each other.

Jim Caviezel only has Angel Eyes for his wife

Jim Caviezel became a household name, if not a Hollywood A-lister, for his role as Jesus Christ in Mel Gibson's 2003 passion project The Passion of the Christ. Before going Biblical, he was well on his way to being the next big blockbuster heartthrob with parts in Frequency, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Angel Eyes. It was in the latter two that the devout Catholic earned his reputation for refusing explicit sex scenes.  

Tinseltown is a tough place for chastity, and Caviezel raised eyebrows when he wouldn't do a love scene with Jennifer Lopez in Angel Eyes —unless she kept her clothes on. He likewise refused to film a sex scene with his Monte Cristo co-star Dagmara Domińczyk unless she put something between her breasts and his chest. She wound up making pasties from her flesh-colored underwear.

Caviezel has argued that his commitment to staying clothed is out of respect for his wife and his Catholic faith. "If it is embarrassing for people on set," he said, "if they think you're a wimp, that you're an embarrassment, talking this way — well, I'd rather be embarrassed before the whole country than before God."

The Fresh Prince refuses to french kiss a man

Will Smith was riding high in the early 1990s with a successful hip-hop career as the Fresh Prince and an even more successful TV show, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Before discovering his later penchant for making broadly appealing blockbuster movies, Smith sought to establish himself as serious actor right out of the gate with 1993's Six Degrees of Separation. Based on the play of the same name, the movie has a dense, character-driven plot and complicated themes — and while Smith was willing, even eager, to take a risk, the script called for something he refused to do.

In the film, Smith's gay character is required to share a passionate kiss with his male co-star, Anthony Michael Hall. Smith was uncomfortable with this and sought advice from Denzel Washington, who supposedly told him not to kiss a man on camera. So that's precisely what Smith didn't do: The shot was filmed from behind, allowing Smith to fake it.

By keeping several degrees of separation from his male co-star, Smith started a pattern of strategically avoiding controversial roles. It certainly hasn't hurt his box office tally, which amounts to roughly $3.2 billion in combined domestic grosses.

Lindsay Lohan gives Charlie Sheen the cold (sore) shoulder

As anyone who ever followed Charlie Sheen's Twitter account can attest, the dude has a colorful mouth. Perhaps his penchant for drinking tiger's blood was too much for Lindsay Lohan.

In the horror spoof sequel Scary Movie 5, Lohan was supposed to kiss Sheen three times in their bedroom scene. However, Lohan refused to lock lips with Sheen out of fear of germs (or worse) from his hard-partying past. Both stars had already signed releases saying that they didn't have cold sores, but even with contractual assurances, Lohan still refused to smooch. While filmmakers tried to use a body double, they ultimately just dropped most of the kissing from the scene entirely.

The lack of mouth-to-mouth didn't hurt the film (it made a respectable, if underwhelming $72 million worldwide on a $20 million budget) and it didn't damage Sheen and Lohan's relationship, either. He reportedly gave her $100,000 to help pay off her taxes. With that handout, it's clear the Scary Movie 5 co-stars didn't need to kiss and make up… although they eventually did lock lips on an episode of Sheen's Anger Management TV show.

Mike Myers saves Wayne's most famous scene

When it comes to being difficult, Mike Myers has earned mythic status. However, for all of his diva-like demands, a lot of Myers' stubbornness is actually for the betterment of the movie. Case in point: making Shrek Scottish in the middle of production cost DreamWorks millions of dollars, but was the right call. There's no better example of Myers making artistic demands than this story about the most famous scene in Wayne's World.

If you think of Wayne's World, you probably think of Wayne, Garth and the gang head-banging and lip-synching to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," right? According to Myers, it almost wasn't Queen's masterpiece they sang to, but a Guns N' Roses tune. Fortunately, he stuck to his guns and refused to film the scene unless it was "Bohemian Rhapsody." He even threatened to walk away from the film, which would have been difficult, given Wayne Campbell was his SNL character. Despite being his first movie, Myers got his way, saving the now iconic scene and establishing a reputation that follows him to this day.

The Desolation - and Isolation - of Ian

Ian McKellen is a consummate professional. So when the classically trained British thespian of stage and screen is upset, something's wrong. A widely admired actor for decades, he didn't garner movie star status (and the salary it commanded) until playing Gandalf in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy in the early 2000s. It's no surprise he jumped at the chance to reprise his role in 2012's The Hobbit.

As they say, be careful what you wish for (especially if you're a wizard). While the filmmakers had employed an in-camera technique known as "forced perspective" to make Gandalf larger than the hobbits in LotR, for The Hobbit they used a green screen. McKellen, who delights in performing with other actors, was now by himself in a sea of green. "It's not what I do for a living," McKellen said of the experience. "I act with other people, I don't act on my own."

It was pretty soul-crushing, so much so McKellen didn't simply refuse to film a scene — he nearly refused to continue his acting career. Sensing McKellen's misery, Jackson used some magic of his own, convincing him to stay and even staging an impromptu "Gandalf Appreciation Day." It apparently worked.