10 Weird Ways That Actors Coped With Difficult Shoots

How the Grinch got CIA training...

The Revenant
Warner Bros.

It must be weird being an actor; being sent off to far-flung locations, living in someone else's head for months at a time, being isolated from friends and family. It's not as hard work as nursing or brain surgery, but the actor's life is certainly a strange one. As such, many stars come up with a multitude of ways to cope with the rigors of film making.

Peter Capaldi recently wrote an album during his downtime on the set of The Suicide Squad, whilst two Stargate cast members sat around having conversations in Ancient Egyptian. It takes all sorts. Sometimes though, more elaborate and creative coping mechanisms are required when a film shoot becomes particularly tense, awkward or grueling.

For example, the local cast and crew of Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo plotted to kill lead actor Klaus Kinski until the director said that he'd take care of it himself. This list collects a number of weird, wonderful and oddly specific coping mechanisms to deal with sex scenes, nausea, loneliness and going off into the woods with some random filmmakers that you've only just met.

10. Tom Hardy Chokes Out His Director

The Revenant
20th Century Fox

The Revenant was a notoriously gruelling shoot, tackling harsh weather conditions, spiralling budgets and crew walkouts. Director Alejandro Iñárritu maintained that the difficult conditions enhanced the film's central theme of survival. He told the New York Times that, "If we ended up in greenscreen with coffee and everybody having a good time, everybody will be happy, but most likely the film would be a piece of s**t.”

The strains of the production clearly got to Tom Hardy, who ended up wrestling in the snow with his director. The pair had apparently argued over Hardy doing a particular stunt. Their disagreement ended with the actor putting Iñárritu in a choke hold. Hardy says that it was an effort to relieve tensions, a light-hearted tussle between two colleagues. "I'd rather be the naughty boy and release that tension," he told Entertainment Weekly.

Hardy and Iñárritu's wrestling match was immortalised in a sketch, emblazoned on a t-shirt and given out to the cast and crew by Hardy. When a photo of the sketch went up on Reddit, one (unverified) commenter suggested that the pair's confrontation was less lighthearted than Hardy had suggested in the press. Whatever the truth, it's certainly one way to work through workplace tensions, but don't try it at the office.


Citizen of the Universe, Film Programmer, Writer, Podcaster, Doctor Who fan and a gentleman to boot. As passionate about Chinese social-realist epics as I am about dumb popcorn movies.