Actors Who Fell Asleep Watching Their Own Movie

If life is anything, it's two things: hard, and very tiring. Between work and family obligations, it's pretty exhausting, so even when something fun happens, the sleepies still doth beckon. This can especially be true at a place like the movie theater, where it can be hard to stay awake, what with the darkness, comfy seats, and what could charitably be called a ... less-than-riveting film playing on the big screen. The same factors apply to movie stars—except that the following have copped to dozing off at their own movies.

Michael Shannon

Shannon is a bit of a prickly character, who does what he wants and says what he wants. He's refreshingly honest for a movie star, and he won't praise a movie he doesn't feel like praising. Even if it's one of his own movies, in this case a movie he didn't see, because he fell asleep when he tried to watch it.

In the role of General Zod, Shannon was one of the better parts of the critically unpopular Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. That's not saying much, because a character he played in Man Of Steel briefly appeared as a dead body. And that was the best part. But don't ask him how the rest of the film turned out, because he slept through the thing. Shannon told Fandango that the first time he tried to watch the film, he fell right asleep: "I watched it once and [I] fell asleep. I was on an international flight and I was tired." Well, at least he didn't waste nine bucks on a ticket.

Shia LaBeouf

Former child star-turned-ill-fated-Indiana-Jones-saver-turned-self-styled performance artist, Shia LaBeouf, held a film festival in his own honor in December 2015 at the Angelika Film Center in New York. Titled, and simultaneously (and conveniently) hashtagged #ALLMYMOVIES, this was another one of LaBeouf's little art projects, in which the point was to get people to look at Shia LaBeouf. (One time he hitchhiked across America — another time, he attended a movie premiere wearing a paper bag over his head upon which he'd written, "I am not famous anymore." If only.)

With #ALLMYMOVIES, LaBeouf sat in a movie theater and invited the public to join him as he watched every movie he ever starred in, in reverse chronological order. That's a solid day's worth of films, so it's understandable for LaBeouf to have fallen asleep at some point. Indeed, he claims to have napped, to escape his own presence in the films unspooling before his eyes. The one film that caused LaBeouf to finally doze off would be his 2012 bootlegging drama, Lawless. He didn't fall asleep out of fatigue, but embarrassment. He later recalled some of the thoughts going through his head at the moment: "I'm gonna go take a nap 'cause I hate myself, not 'cause I'm tired, but because I'm dying right now. And nobody had a problem with that." Indeed, as he probably wasn't the only one to take a nap through Lawless.

Johnny Depp

In 2015, Depp earned praise from a number of film boards for his performance as legendary Boston crime boss Whitey Bulger in Black Mass. The drama went on to gross a respectable $62 million at the box office, shortly after a high-profile screening at the Venice International Film Festival. Depp was in attendance for that—or at least his overly-scarfed, physical form was. He later declared on Jimmy Kimmel Live that he fell asleep during the movie "about 15 times."

In a very charitable addendum, Depp notes that it's nothing personal about Black Mass—he just has "a problem watching films of any kind, unless it's a documentary. I become narcoleptic." The guy who makes movies hates watching movies. That being said, he should at least try Mortdecai. That film's surprisingly awesome.

Brenton Thwaites

Jeff Bridges had been trying to bring Lois Lowry's young adult dystopian classic The Giver to the big screen for more than two decades. When he began the process in the mid-90s, he envisioned his father, Lloyd Bridges, in the title role. So much time passed that, when the movie was finally released in 2014, Jeff was old enough to play the titular elder. (Also, Lloyd Bridges died in 1998, so he wasn't about to play anybody.)

The role of Jonas, the Young Person Who Will Save the World, went to Australian actor Brenton Thwaites. Despite the history and career-making potential of the part, Thwaites actually dozed off the first time he watched The Giver. "They set up a screening with me and Jeff Bridges," Thwaites admitted. "I was so tired that I kept falling asleep, during my own movie." The true waste here was that Bridges didn't put Thwaites' hand in a bowl of warm water. Could've been a classic prank.

Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan burst onto the scene in 1998 as a child star, playing twins in Disney's latest remake of The Parent Trap. Lohan, who was only 12 at the time, attended the star-studded premiere in Hollywood ... and the overworked young star promptly fell asleep. Apparently not even the star power of Dennis Quaid can compete with being all tuckered out. Also, it's interesting to note that Lohan's rumored interests in adulthood include a familiarity with a substance or two that precludes sleep.

Bryan Singer

Yes, Singer is a director, not an actor like everyone else we're discussing, but that means he's got even more ownership — and authorship — over the movie that nearly bored him straight to Dreamland.

Singer only had a few movies under his belt when he was picked to helm the first X-Men movie in 2000. As he told Total Film in 2011, the first test screening was an unmitigated disaster. Singer said his initial cut of the film was so "languid and terrible" and he "almost fell asleep during it, my own movie." That undeniably visceral reaction (along with some nasty online reviews of the movie) inspired Singer to recut and trim the movie's running time to make it better. Sadly, by X3, he apparently responded to languid terribleness with "eh, it's cool, whatevs."

Falling asleep on the set

Movie sets are a classic example of "hurry up and wait," where actors may wait around for hours while the camera and lighting crews set up a shot, leading to a lot of boring downtime. Forget napping in a dark movie theater—these performers wound up falling asleep on the set of their own movies, right in the middle of a busy day of moviemaking.

Norm Macdonald and Adam Sandler were part of a group interview on Conan in 2016. They talked about their time filming Billy Madison in 1994—including a day when Norm dozed off. While shooting a scene, Sandler fed Macdonald a line and waited for his reply — he kept waiting and kept waiting, finally realizing that Norm had fallen asleep. Macdonald thinks it probably happened because he was playing a drunk character, and he'd done some method acting by, well, actually getting drunk.

James Phelps took an accidental nap while filming one of the most pivotal and saddest moments of the entire Harry Potter series: the death of his character, Fred Weasley, in Deathly Hallows, Part 2. Since all he really had to do was lay there with his eyes closed while his co-stars did all the emoting, it's not too surprising that he checked out.

Sleeping through your own death scene is one thing — sleeping through your own sex scene is quite another. Yet, this happened to rapper Gucci Mane on the set of Spring Breakers. While he remained seated and his female co-star climbed aboard (he asked director Harmony Korine for that particular arrangement so he "wouldn't have to do any physical labor"), the crew suddenly heard snoring. To be fair, Korine explained, Gucci Mane had apparently been smoking marijuana on the set all day, a drug which — fun fact — has been known to occasionally lead to laziness and lethargy.