Top 10 Actor On Set Outbursts Caught On Tape

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Top 10 Actor On Set Outbursts Caught On Tape

VOICE OVER: Callum Janes WRITTEN BY: Jordy McKen
These actors struggled to keep their cool in stressful situations. For this list, we'll be looking at times where famous performers were recorded while ranting or fighting while at work. Our countdown includes Joaquin Phoenix, Ewan McGregor, Michael Richards, and more!
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Top 10 Actor On-Set Outbursts Caught On Camera


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Actor On-Set Outbursts Caught On Camera.

For this list, we’ll be looking at times where famous performers were recorded while ranting or fighting while at work. We’re only focusing on actors today, since other film crew members deserve a list of their own.

Which actor’s outburst was the most justified? Let us know in the comments!


#10: Orson Welles


Welles didn’t have the best time when recording narration for advertisements for food company Findus in 1970. Behind-the-scenes audio showed Welles going on a rant after being asked by the sound director to emphasize the word “in”. During the same job, the "Citizen Kane" actor has the same issue when he’s asked to emphasize “beef”. Wells also complains about the script after stumbling on the name of a Norwegian fisherman. In the end, he’s completely overcome by his frustration. While the recording crew may have found this session to be seriously disappointing, many shows, like “Animaniacs”, have parodied this incident.



#9: Clayne Crawford & Damon Wayans


Whenever you see two characters on-screen who are besties, you expect them to be chummy off-screen. But that definitely wasn’t the case for Clayne Crawford and Damon Wayans while they worked on “Lethal Weapon”. It got so bad that Crawford was fired and replaced by Seann William Scott. After the announcement, on-set audio between the original duo was leaked. Fans of the show heard the two bickering moments before shooting a scene. Crawford clearly attempts to goad and humiliate his co-star. To make matters worse, this happened the day after Wayans was injured during a stunt that Crawford directed. According to reports, numerous crew resigned from the show due to them regularly butting heads.


#8: Joaquin Phoenix


Over the years, Phoenix has been known to really get into the roles he plays. The world thought he got way too dedicated during an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” During the show, a video is shown where Phoenix argues with the cinematographer Larry. It appears as if the actor lost it while he was in full makeup. Initially, Phoenix is then embarrassed for being blind-sided with this outtake. However, there was more to the clip than meets the eye. It turns out that Phoenix was pranking the director by pretending to be upset at “Larry”. The unsuspecting crew happened to capture it all. After all was said and done, Phoenix decided to use his fake outburst to promote “Joker” in a unique way.



#7: Lindsay Lohan


Since bursting onto our screens in “The Parent Trap”, Lohan has had a bit of an up and down career. By 2013, things were looking up with news of her role in “The Canyon”. But her image was tarnished once again when audio of a rehearsal between Lohan and her co-star James Deen got out. An annoyed Lohan is heard taking serious shots at Deen. Judging by the profane language, the two were clearly having communication issues. According to Deen, Lohan wasn’t thrilled that he was taking a break from adult films to star in a Hollywood picture. It’s unclear if they ever overcame their behind-the-scenes drama. But the film definitely bombed after release.


#6: Casey Kasem


When Casey Kasem wasn’t voicing famous characters like Shaggy in the “Scooby-Doo” franchise, he could likely be found working as a radio D.J. The content of one of his broadcasts really sparked a really heated reaction. In 1985, Kasem was asked to read a dedication request about a listener’s dog passing away. But he was upset that this statement was expected to follow a relatively happy song. Kasem didn’t hold any of his feelings back about how angry the situation made him. During the rant, he made it clear incidents like this had happened before. Hopefully, his producers learned from the mistake and avoided triggering another angry response from the legendary Kasem.


#5: Ewan McGregor


The last thing an actor wants during filming is the press coming up and getting involved or distracting the cast and crew. Unfortunately, that was the case for McGregor as he shot a scene for the Netflix series “Halston”. While shooting in New York’s Central Park, the actor seemingly approaches photographer Steve Sands for being too chatty and distracting. McGregor then lets out some uncivilized language to express his true feelings. After losing his cool for a moment, the actor goes right back to filming a scene with co-star Kelly Bishop. Sands reportedly said afterwards that he “didn’t hold anything against him”. While we don’t know all the details, we wouldn’t recommend messing with McGregor on set.


#4: William Shatner


In 2007, “The Howard Stern Show” released an audio clip of Shatner doing narration for an advertisement. After the first take, the producer asks Shatner for another with more enthusiasm. The former “Star Trek” actor initially tries to laugh off the criticism in a condescending way and do it again. When Shatner senses the next take didn’t work, he then asks the producer to set an example. But this was a huge mistake. Instead of trying harder, Shatner decides to shift focus fully to make fun of the producer. It’s uncomfortable to hear the actor lay into the producer without relenting. Shatner rudely went to a place that we hadn’t heard the man go to before.


#3: Michael Richards


At one point, Richards was one of the biggest comedy stars around due to his role as Kramer on “Seinfeld”. It only took one comedy gig in 2006 at the Laugh Factory for all that goodwill to be lost. During the performance, Richards allegedly got mad because a few members of the audience were being disruptive. The comedian eventually lost his cool and went on a racist rant full of horrendous language, slurs and references to violent acts. Richards attempted to put the fire out with an apology on “Late Show with David Letterman”. But that unbearingly uncomfortable appearance arguably made the situation worse. In the years since the incident, Richard’s career has not recovered.


#2: Christian Bale


When Bale was shooting “Terminator Salvation”, director of Photography Shane Hurlbut apparently moved into the actor’s eye-line during a scene. This caused the star to unleash an infamous verbal tirade. Although it was directed at Hurlbut, anyone who tried to calm him down faced the full weight of his wrath. Bale was upset enough to bounce between his natural accent and the American voice he was putting on for the “Terminator” film. After the audio was leaked, Bale fully apologized and asked for people to honor his crew’s work and dedication. The intense rant honestly may be more memorable than the movie itself.


#1: Tom Cruise


Production on “Mission: Impossible 7” was occurring in England during a fairly tense part of the pandemic in 2020. Due to the risks involved, there were plenty of safety measures in place on set. Cruise showed how seriously he took the rules when he spotted crew members standing closer than they were supposed to. The star verbally lay into them and other people on set with severe language and rough reminders of what was at stake if the regulations were not observed. While Cruise acknowledged the rant was intense, he didn’t seem to have many regrets for speaking out. He’s one of the few actors that have fully owned their outburst.
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