Scenes That Pushed Actors Too Far

lauren cohen
the walking dead

Lauren Cohen almost didn't make it through the birth of Lori's baby. Fortunately, Steven Yeun convinced her that this is exactly how Maggie would feel, and Cohen pushed herself to complete the scene.

ian mckellen
the hobbit: an unexpected journey

Thanks to the height difference between Gandalf and the hobbits, Ian McKellen was forced to do nearly all of his work in front of a green screen. After getting severely frustrated, Peter Jackson held a "Gandalf Appreciation Day" to boost the actor's morale.

al pacino
the godfather

Al Pacino almost didn't stick around for the "Godfather" trilogy. Studio executives were not impressed by him, but thankfully, Francis Ford Coppola insisted that he stick it out and finish the film.

jim carrey
the grinch

Jim Carrey had to endure three and a half hours per day getting his makeup applied, along with razor-thin contact lenses. He was ready to return his salary, but the producer of the film brought in a CIA and Green Beret trainer to help keep Carrey on board.

jessica alba
the fantastic four

Jessica Alba's issues with the director of "The Fantastic Four" nearly made her give up acting. She said that Tim Story insisted she keep her facial expression normal while in a crying scene so that she would retain her good looks.

brad pitt
interview with the vampire

Brad Pitt got his chance to work with Tom Cruise in "Interview with the Vampire," but Pitt hated his experience so badly that he considered buying himself out of his contract. It would have cost $40 million, which was enough for Pitt to stay.

russell crowe
robin hood

Russell Crowe wasn't going to play the famous folk hero unless the script met his approval. Originally titled "Nottingham," the entire screenplay was reworked and became another take on "Robin Hood."

daisy ridley
star wars: The force awakens

After J.J. Abrams called her performance "wooden" on her first day, Daisy Ridley had a panic attack. She managed to put herself together after realizing how much her role brought to the franchise.

mike myers
wayne's world

"Wayne's World" was such a popular "SNL" sketch that it eventually spawned its own film. The script called for a scene in a car with "Bohemian Rhapsody" playing, but Myers threatened to quit after the studio tried substituting a "Guns N' Roses song. 

tippi hedren
the birds

Tippi Hedren was told she would only be attacked by mechanical birds during the filming of Hitchcock's movie. However, Hitchcock used the real thing after all, and the actress needed a week to recover from the trauma.

john cena
12 rounds

John Cena has a massive fear of heights, and he nearly walked off the set when he had to perform a stunt while dangling from a rope. He managed to power through it and complete the scene without any issues.

shelley duvall
the shining

Shelly Duvall was forced to endure over 100 takes of her character swinging a bat at Jack Nicholson. She became dehydrated and traumatized afterward, and she was never the same after filming "The Shining."

carl weathers
rocky iv

Carl Weathers had been through several rounds of "Rocky" movies, but the fourth entry got a little too violent for his taste. After Dolph Lundgren threw him into the corner of the ring, Weathers told his agent he would quit.

zoe saldana
pirates: curse of the black pearl

Zoe Saldana was still an unknown when she appeared in the first "Pirates of the Caribbean" film. Her time on set was terrible, with people ignoring her because of her position on the call sheet.

michelle rodriguez
the fast and the furious

Michelle Rodriguez insisted that her character stay true to her heart. When the script showed that Letty would leave Dom for Brian in the first "Fast and Furious" movie, Rodriguez refused to comply. Her stubbornness worked out well for the franchise. 

jake gyllenhaal

David Fincher subjected everyone to an enormous amount of takes, including Jake Gyllenhaal, during the filming of "Zodiac." Some scenes required as many as 90 attempts before going to the editing room.

jeremy renner
the avengers

Jeremy Renner felt stir-crazy while everyone else got to do more with their characters. He lashed out in every scene he was in while under the enslavement of Loki, and figured he would give the writers an easy path to killing him off if needed.

roger moore
several 007 films

Despite his memorable portrayal of James Bond, Roger Moore hated using guns. A childhood incident with a BB gun scarred Moore for a while, and he was not thrilled with the prominent use of violent firearms as more "007" movies were produced.

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Scenes That Pushed Actors Too Far