Bad Chemistry: 12 Movie Co-Stars Who Hated Each Other While Filming

Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey

When the chemistry between actors is off, people can tell. Sometimes, though, it's more than just a lack of chemistry. Some co-stars seem to absolutely despise each other. Here's a list of actors who allegedly hated each other so much that it showed on-screen.

1. Debra Winger and Shirley MacLaine

Terms of Endearment
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

A moviegoer wrote, “Debra Winger and Shirley MacLaine hated each other so much that it added to the tense relationship Emma and Aurora had in Terms of Endearment and it made the movie better than just a saccharin sweet tearjerker.”

Debra Winger and Shirley MacLaine had a mother-daughter relationship in the 1983 American family comedy-drama film Terms of Endearment. The relationship, strained as it was on set, was so much worse between the co-stars in real life. They have been very open about the difficulties they had working with each other — difficulties they claim stem majorly from their different acting styles.

2. Will Ferrell and James Caan

Elf James Caan, Will Ferrell, Amy Sedaris
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

While they may not have had actual hatred for each other, comedian Will Ferrell was able to get under the skin of legendary actor James Caan. 

“While filming Elf, Will Ferrell irritated James Caan on set to the point that the cast was concerned that Caan was going to lose his temper. Caan’s annoyance shows up on screen a bit,” one fan mentions. 

Another Elf fan points out that it makes Caan's performance that much better. 

3. Uma Thurman and Daryl Hannah

Kill Bill: Vol. 2 Uma Thurman
Image Credit: Miramax.

Uma Thurman and Daryl Hannah were co-stars in Kill Bill Volume 2.

“Apparently they hated each other even after they wrapped on the film, because at Cannes 2004, they had to be put in separate hotels and were kept apart by hotel employees so they didn’t cause a scene with their arguments. That dynamic definitely showed in their sword fight in the Budd’s trailer,” a fan wrote.

4. Nicol Williamson and Helen Mirren

Image Credit: Orion Pictures / Cinema ‘84.

One film fan explained the embittered relationship between the co-stars of 1981 film Excalibur: “John Boorman cast Nicol Williamson as Merlin and Helen Mirren as Morgana, precisely because they utterly loathed one another. He wanted that animosity to bleed through into their roles and onto the film.”

“The story goes that when each of them learned that the other had been cast, they pleaded with Boorman to change his mind. To their credit, it is reported that they behaved with impeccable professionalism on the set, but in those scenes where they had dialog together, the intense dislike is palpable.”

“The reason behind the hatred is allegedly down to a play they were in some years previously, which got panned by the critics. They both took a professional knock after that, and each of them blamed the other for it.”

5. Bill Murray and Chevy Chase

Bill Murray and Chevy Chase
Image Credit: Orion Pictures.

Bill Murray and Chevy Chase had a huge brawl that even made headlines. The SNL stars engaged in an infamous physical altercation behind the scenes when Chase confronted Murray before the show and challenged him to a fight in a dressing room. It resulted in tension between both stars on the live show, and even though they claimed to have buried the hatchet, their performance in the 1980 comedy Caddyshack would prove otherwise.

“Bill Murray and Chevy Chase only have one scene together in Caddy Shack, and that almost didn't happen,” said one filmgoer. Someone else joked, “Chevy Chase doesn't even get along with himself.”

6. Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw

Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

This time, it's Dreyfuss guilty of double-dipping when it comes to not getting along with co-stars. During Jaws, there was serious tension between him and Shaw. 

“Apparently Shaw would pester Dreyfuss to the point where he almost got Dreyfuss to jump off the mast of a ship to prove his manhood before Spielberg stepped in,” said one person in the know. 

7. Jonah Hill and Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Superbad Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Image Credit: Columbia/TriStar.

The on-screen characters of these Superbad stars do not get along. As it turns out, there may be a reason for that. 

“Apparently, Jonah Hill did not like Christopher Mintz-Plasse,” said one film buff, “and that was a reason specifically that they ended up casting him as McLovin. It definitely adds to the hate Hill's character has for McLovin in the movie.”

8. Bette Davis and Joan Crawford 

All About Eve Movie
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

The co-stars in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? are some of the most famous examples on our list. 

When the studio tried to reunite the two for Hush Hush, Sweet Charlotte, they had to use Olivia de Havilland instead of Crawford. She and Davis “were poison to each other at that point.”

9. Burt Reynolds and Paul Thomas Anderson

Boogie Nights Mark Wahlberg, Burt Reynolds, Ricky Jay, Jack Wallace
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

Here, we reach an example of an actor hating a filmmaker. This was during the making of Boogie Nights. Reynolds fired his agent due to the movie, only to be nominated for an Oscar for his performance. 

“Burt Reynolds’ well-established extreme dislike of Paul Thomas Anderson during the filming of Boogie Nights is relevant here,” said one moviegoer. “Word is that Burt just couldn’t stand Paul Thomas Anderson, wasn’t a huge fan of the script, and kind of phoned in his performance, which probably contributed to the greatness of that role. He was so relaxed and calm and cool and even-keeled in just about every scene.”

10. Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel

Fast & Furious 6 Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

The hostility between veteran actors Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel is no secret to fans or anyone who keeps up with pop culture.

Reportedly, Johnson's dislike for his co-star on the action franchise Fast & Furious runs so deep that before he parted ways with the franchise, he agreed to the eighth installment of the film on the condition that they shared no scenes together. Johnson also turned down a personal invitation from Diesel to return to the franchise. The two have been feuding for about six years.

11. Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey

Batman Forever Jim Carrey, Tommy Lee Jones
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey were co-stars in the 1995 film Batman Forever, with Carrey playing Riddler and Jones playing Two-Face.

While Jones has not spoken up on his feelings towards Carrey, Carrey claims that he (Jones) openly told him he hated him. Carrey said he approached Jones at a restaurant and tried to sit with him, but he saw the blood on Jones' face drain on seeing him. “I cannot sanction your buffoonery,” he said to Carrey.

12. Jason Alexander and Heidi Swedberg

Seinfeld, The Invitations, Jason Alexander, Heidi Swedberg
Image Credit: NBC.

Swedberg originally debuted as Susan Ross in Season 4 of Seinfeld. She was added back full-time in Season 7 as George's fiancée before meeting an unfortunate death by licking toxic envelopes. However, Alexander wasn't the biggest fan of Swedberg and didn't feel like she played well off the rest of the cast. 

“Apparently, she initially got cast on the show not because she was funny,” said one fan, “but because she looked a certain way for a very small role, but then they started bringing her back as George's girlfriend. When Jason found out their characters were getting engaged, Jason begged Larry David to reconsider because he felt like it just didn't work with her, and LD told him “that's why.”

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