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Actors That Messed Up Their Lines With Hilarious Results

It's a relatively cushy job that seems to pay pretty well, but that doesn't mean being a movie star isn't hard work. Multi-million-dollar productions ride on an actor's ability to act, so there's a lot of pressure to do a good job. But what does pressure do, but lead to cracks. 

On a movie set, that means an actor is going to occasionally, for whatever reason, forget their lines. Virtually all actors do it, but each flubs their lines in different ways, and they deal with the minor embarrassment in just as many ways, often hilariously. Here are some actors who were caught on film bungling their dialogue, and how they reacted in the aftermath.

Laurence Fishburne - Passengers

Puerile, juvenile, bathroom humor is the great equalizer of all people. The young and old, rich and poor, smart and dumb, Oscar-nominated and non-Oscar nominated actor alike, can all get behind a good butt pun. (Ha-ha, "behind"!) 

This is precisely what happened on the set of the 2016 science-fiction epic Passengers. In a very wordy scene, Laurence Fishburne, who plays the spaceship's Chief Deck Officer, briefs supposed-to-be-hibernating passengers Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence on the craft's movements, and he makes a mention of Uranus. Fishburne, an actor of stature and renown, is easily cracked up by a mere mention of the name of that planet—as are Pratt and Lawrence. (Ha-ha, he said Uranus!)

Bradley Cooper - The Hangover

Getting a line not quite right is par for the course in a movie, an expected little bit of human error that's factored into the process of movie-making—directors tend to want multiple takes of every line of every scene for a reason. Messing up and tripping all over their own tongues will usually cause an actor to break character, and then they'll laugh or lightly curse, get back to their mark, or go back to the start of their dialogue chunk, and give it another try. But some actors are just too cool for that. 

Bradley Cooper is undoubtedly cool, because when he flubs his lines during a rooftop monologue in The Hangover, he doesn't actually bust up laughing, but instead stays in the mindset of his character, maintaining posture and facial expressions even as he delivers utter gobbledegook.

Christina Applegate - Anchorman

In Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's wonderfully silly of spoof of horrendously sexist 1970s workplaces, Christina Applegate plays glass ceiling-shattering news anchor Veronica Corningstone. She faces extreme and open hostility from other members of the Channel 4 news team, including sports guy Champ Kind (David Koechner) and reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd). 

In this scene, the audience watches as Champ and Brian attempt to distract Veronica from off-screen as she reads the news on the air. Veronica is supposed to maintain her composure and focus; ironically, it's Applegate who can't get through the scene without blowing her lines because of the goofy distractions.

Paul Rudd - The 40-Year-Old Virgin

The comedy films of Judd Apatow maintain an almost impossible balance between strong characters driven by earnest emotion and over-the-top ridiculousness. This scene from The 40-Year-Old Virgin looks like it's going to be one of the movie's more serious and heartfelt, but with plenty of jokes peppered in. It's in trying to maintain that high-wire balancing act that Paul Rudd messes up. He can't help but laugh at his own weird, overly fussy pronunciation of the name of artist "Edvard Munch."

Kristen Wiig - Bridesmaids

They've probably got loads of tricks to do it, but it still must be hard for actors to learn their lines. To get every word and nuance down correctly until it's second nature takes a lot of time, work, and practice. But even then the brain can waltz right in and take over and do what it's most naturally comfortable with when it comes time to actually deliver those lines. While making Bridesmaids, Kristen Wiig's autopilot overpowered the "acting" center of her brain and made her identify herself on a phone call not by her character's name, Annie, but by "Kristen." Wiig instantly and hilariously notices her mistake.

Ben Stiller - Along Came Polly

It seems like pretty much every romantic comedy ever made has some variation of the "don't get on that plane—I love you!" speech. The 2004 Ben Stiller/Jennifer Aniston vehicle Along Came Polly is no exception. When it comes time for Stiller to gush forth with his true love feelings for Aniston's character, he can't quite remember the specifics of this particular romantic monologue. Rather than walk away or try it again from the top, Stiller instead tries to ad lib—and fails. And he has to keep going because Aniston amusingly refuses to totally let him off the hook.

Timothy Dalton - Hot Fuzz

You've got to be smooth and cool in order to play James Bond, which Timothy Dalton did in two movies back in the late 1980s. Years later he took on the role of a villain in the Simon Pegg cop spoof Hot Fuzz, playing against type and betraying his 007 image of calm and in-control. 

Dalton messes up a line almost immediately when the shooting of a scene starts, and he swears profusely, mutters a bit, and walks around. While that's all mildly amusing, the blooper becomes truly funny when Dalton realizes that he's still being filmed, and that his whole weird breakdown was caught on film.

Mila Kunis - Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Movie characters generally have easy-to-remember, easy-to-say names. In other words, common ones. In Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Jason Segel plays Peter Bretter who is, as you can probably guess, trying to forget his old girlfriend Sarah Marshall. 

Peter Bretter retreats to a resort where he gets over Sarah with the help of a resort staffer played by Mila Kunis. Initially, Kunis' character has to call him Mr. Bretter. To Kunis, this is seemingly not a common name at all, as her brain tries to overrule, calling him everything that sounds somewhat like Bretter but isn't quite Bretter, such as Brenner and Brighton.

Rob Riggle - Step Brothers

A fight, or at least the possibility of a fight, ought to be one of the most serious things in the world. On the other hand, it's completely absurd for one grown man to stare down another grown man and tell him that he is going to hurt him. It's also completely absurd to have to do this with a comedy legend like Will Ferrell, so it makes total sense that Rob Riggle has such a hard time threatening Ferrell while filming a scene for Step Brothers. (And he was once an active Marine!) His promises of violence quickly turn into garbled nonsense.

Harrison Ford - Star Wars

This Star Wars scene is supposed to be a moment of triumph for Han Solo, one of giddy celebration, big smiles, and exultations. All that celebrating is supposed to be followed by some lines, but Harrison Ford totally blanks on what those lines are supposed to be. Quick on his feet, he apparently tries to find something to stuff into his mouth before he can mess up more, and he nearly swallows the mic piece jutting out from his headset. That Han Solo, always the rogue.