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Bizarre Reasons Actors Needed Body Doubles

Like pretty much anybody else with a job, actors are occasionally asked to do things they simply don't want to do at work. A perk of their occupation, however, is that if they don't want to do something while filming, they can simply find a lookalike to stand in and do it for them. Unfortunately for people with normal jobs, this really isn't a feasible option — an accountant probably can't hire his twin brother to complete a client's balance sheet (although it'd be entertaining to see him try!).

Often, the film's production team does a great job of making the switch hardly noticeable, but don't be fooled by moviemaking magic. While some stars only use a stand-in when asked to do things that go against their personal morals and beliefs, others use doubles for more outlandish purposes. Here are a few actors and actresses that used body doubles for bizarre reasons.

Stinky Cinderella

Ron Howard's Cinderella Man, which portrayed the uplifting true story of boxing legend James J. Braddock during the American Great Depression, is considered by some to be one of the top boxing films of all time. The movie is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and even earned three Oscar nominations in 2006. However, apparently not everyone looks back at the movie with such fondness — at least according to one of the more bizarre rumors involving body doubles.

Renée Zellweger, who played Mae Braddock, the wife of Russell Crowe's character, reportedly had a tough time on set. According to the National Enquirer, Crowe had such bad breath and body odor on set, Zellweger went to Ron Howard to try and improve Crowe's poor hygiene. The conversation didn't help, so Zellweger allegedly refused to shoot any of the film's remaining love scenes and a body double was used instead.

This isn't the only complaint about Crowe's odor. According to sources on the set of 2012's Noah, the Oscar-winning actor refused to shower or use deodorant in order to stay in character for the film. It sounds like Zellweger's choice to let a double do the Crowe kissing wasn't without merit.

Hold the breast milk, please

Before she was a staple in James Wan's Conjuring universe as paranormal investigator Lorraine Warren, Vera Farmiga earned an Oscar nomination for her performance alongside George Clooney in 2009's Up in the Air. In the travel-centric drama, Farmiga plays the mysterious Alex, who occasionally hooks up with Clooney's Ryan whenever their flight schedules coincide. When speaking with the Seattle Times, the Orphan star addressed Clooney's irresistible charm, admitting, "It's difficult not to have chemistry with that man."

It's safe to assume that if most women had the opportunity for an intimate experience with Clooney — no body doubles needed — they wouldn't hesitate. However, Farmiga had a very specific reason why she had to opt out. According to the Independent, she had given birth only weeks before shooting the film's nude scene, so her figure wasn't quite up to her on-camera standards. "I had shot this when I had six pounds more chunk on my behind. I did attempt to do the nude scene, but I think my bottom had become too large."

Then, when speaking to Entertainment Weekly (via Page Six), Farmiga further explained a more bizarre rationale behind her decision to use a butt double in the film. "The breast milk down both sides — it would have been inappropriate." Farmiga's hungry newborn doubtless appreciated the decision.

Blade vs. Goyer

Although Marvel fans are hyped for theinclusion of Mahershala Ali's Blade in the MCU, it's hard to forget Wesley Snipes' take on the vampire-slaying daywalker in the original trilogy. Although all three movies made money at the box office, the third installment, Blade: Trinity, was the lowest earner, taking home a little over $52 million domestically on a production budget of $65 million (its international pull of roughly $79 million saved it from flopping). Perhaps a feud with the star and director could explain its less-than-stellar performance.

Speaking with the AV Club, Patton Oswalt, who played Hedges in Trinity, spilled a lot of beans about the film's extremely troubled production, mainly blaming Snipes for the chaos. Oswalt recalled that the White Men Can't Jump star essentially refused to perform due to intense friction with the movie's director, David Goyer. "Wesley came down to the set, which he only did for close-ups. Everything else was done by his stand-in. I only did one scene with him." Oswalt went on to mention that Snipes even tried to strangle Goyer at one point, so Goyer hired bikers to pretend to be his personal security. 

It may not be all that uncommon for a star and a director to butt heads on set, but Snipes allegedly took it to a whole new bizarre level. Hopefully his body double got a percentage of Snipes' undoubtedly lofty paycheck.

Bond can't hold it together

Have you ever tried to tell a funny story that made you laugh so hard you could hardly get the words out? That's sort of what happened to a 20-year-old Jane Seymour on the set of 1973's Live and Let Die, the eighth film of the James Bond series

When speaking to the Daily Telegraph (via the Mirror), the Golden Globe-winning Seymour admitted that although there were a lot of stunts in the '70s action classic, she and Roger Moore only had to use body doubles for one bit. "In one of the film's final scenes, which takes place on a train, I had a truly terrible piece of dialogue and couldn't get it out without laughing. Roger and I were both weeping, giggling like schoolchildren. The crew banished me from the set and we had to use body doubles to get it done." It sounds like Seymour and her suave co-star were shaken and stirred, but at least the director had doubles ready to take their places.

That water's too cold

When Oscar-winning star Natalie Portman agreed to sign on for 2011's medieval-themed comedy Your Highness, Danny McBride was admittedly hesitant about giving his prestigious co-star a taste of the film's raunchiness. "I honestly was really embarrassed to hand Natalie the script for the first time. I was like, 'Should I just go through and take out all this dirty stuff?' I'm nervous to show her this... And she was a total champ. The stuff I thought would make her blush, that's the stuff she thought was funny, and totally embraced it... She wasn't intimidated by any of it."

Thus, when the script called for a particularly lascivious shot of Portman's backside in a thong bikini, she didn't shy away from the challenge; however, she did allegedly draw the line when it came to completing the scene by diving into a lake. When speaking to the Sun (via Daily Mail), film student Caroline Davis, who doubled for Portman on Your Highness, dished that the Black Swan star didn't want to jump into the Belfast lake because the water was too cold. Seizing the opportunity to make an easy $385, Davis volunteered to strip down and take the plunge. "I'm a film studies student so I jumped at the chance to be on set." If you can rock a g-string as well as Natalie Portman, why not flaunt it?

Too gross to kiss

The rise and fall of Lindsay Lohan is one of the most well-documented examples of how too much fame can ruin a person. The former child star who blew up after 1998's The Parent Trap remake has experienced incredible highs, such as the successes of 2003's Freaky Friday and 2004's Mean Girls, and despondent lows, including a crippling drug addiction in her twenties.

In 2013, Lohan played herself in Scary Movie 5. In her small part, she and Charlie Sheen, also well known for his hard living, share a bed in a scene that spoofs the horror hit Paranormal Activity. Although that may seem like a suitable match on paper, Lohan apparently had issues with the pairing. According to TMZ, she absolutely refused to lock lips with Sheen, despite the fact that allegedly both stars signed releases stating that they didn't have cold sores. The report goes on to mention that a body double was used for kissing parts that weren't written out of the movie. Kind of embarrassing for all concerned, but it's good that Lohan learned to be more vigilant about her health.

Multitasking is hard

Ron Howard's A Beautiful Mind cleaned house at the 2002 Academy Awards, taking home four Oscar wins and being nominated for another four, one of which was a Best Actor in a Leading Role nomination for Russell Crowe. Although he certainly did a brilliant job playing the real-life genius/asocial math wiz John Nash, he actually wasn't the only person deserving praise for the performance.

In a 2002 piece published in the New Yorker, it was revealed that Dave Bayer, a Barnard College math professor, was chosen by Howard for a bizarre job. "We noticed that Russell Crowe and I had very similar handwriting, and then Ron says, 'Put your hands out,'... At which point Ron said, 'You're the hand double.' And I didn't know what that meant." Essentially, that meant that Bayer, who started with the film as the on-set math consultant, wrote the equations on the board while Crowe delivered his lines. Thus, when the film cuts to a closeup on Nash's hands writing on the blackboard, it's actually Bayer's hands in the shot. 

This implies that Crowe couldn't convincingly write complex equations while delivering lines at the same time, which is a rather humorous, yet understandable, reason to need a double. As Bayer recalls, "In the Pentagon scene... the closeup where you can actually make out the name of the city — that was my hand." Quite a surreal experience for a math professor.

No tats, please

In E.L. James' hot and heavy romance Fifty Shades of Grey, Anastasia Steele, the novel's main protagonist, starts out as a self-conscious, timid college student. Although everything changes after she gets a taste of the BDSM culture thanks to her new beau, the financially successful Christian Grey, the casting department for the 50 Shades film adaptation needed to find an actress that embodied Ana's genuine innocence. They hit a home run by nabbing Dakota Johnson, an actor who nailed the description in all areas... except one rather bizarre one.

Given that Ana is such a prude in the source material, it's hard to imagine her having tattoos, especially on her backside. Johnson, however, does. In an interview with the New York Times, Seamus McGarvey, the film's cinematographer, admitted that they had to get a stand-in for one of Johnson's many nude scenes due to an unfortunately placed tattoo. "We did have a butt double for Dakota. I had the pleasure of casting a nontattooed bottom — Surreal Scenario No. 2."

Hypothermia phobia

Kevin Costner has never been one to shy away from a challenge. This includes stunts, of which he has performed many, even as he's aged. One of his most dangerous stunts was in 1995's Waterworld: When speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Costner shared his dangerous experience filming a bungee stunt, a decision not without consequences. "I hurt my back really bad doing the shot... [director Kevin Reynolds] wanted another take. I just kind of shook my head and said, 'I can't.'" Still, props to Costner for being brave and doing it.

Despite his reputation of doing his own stunts, Costner actually utilized a body double some four years prior, for 1991's Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. However, he didn't need the stand-in for any kind of dangerous stunt; he just didn't want to go naked on camera. In the DVD commentary, Costner admitted that during the scene in which his Robin Hood goes skinny-dipping in a lake, you don't actually see his buttocks on camera. He opted to sit the scene out because he had a fear of catching hypothermia. That's a pretty weak excuse if he was really just worried he had a flat butt, but maybe the guy really is a hypochondriac.