12 Movie Actors Who Did Awful Things To Their Co-Stars

Hollywood can be a cruel place...

Gothika (2003) - Robert Downey Jr.
Warner Bros. Pictures

When a studio commits to a movie, they take a gamble that their lead actors are going to behave in a professional manner and get along with one another. Even if said actors don't quite see eye to eye, the film-makers have to hope they'll put their differences aside for the good of the picture.

It shouldn't really be that much of a gamble, to be honest, because human decency should prevail, but Hollywood seems to breed monsters like nowhere else. It is, after all, a place where egos run higher than anywhere else on the planet.

Movie sets are notoriously stressful places, and the pressure involved in shooting a film can bring out the worst in anyone, resulting in on-set feuds, creative arguments, and halts in production. Generally, though, these are things that nobody wants to happen and the actors will try to avoid them.

And yet there is something of a Hollywood Black List of actors who seem to have consciously defied the common goal to make a good movie by going out of their way to abuse, annoy or put off their co-stars.

Whether it's down to jealously, resentment, ignorance of duty, outright contempt, an inferiority complex, a desire to "go method," or just no discernible reason at all, it happens more than you'd think...

12. Dustin Hoffman Slapped Meryl Streep - Kramer Vs. Kramer

Gothika (2003) - Robert Downey Jr.
Columbia Pictures

It isn't exactly unusual for an actor to slap another actor for real when a scene calls for it, but usually such things are discussed first, if only so the other actor knows what to expect when the director calls "Action!"

Not so in Dustin Hoffman's book though. He slapped Meryl Streep for real without telling her he was going to do so during the filing of 1979 divorce drama Kramer vs. Kramer.

"I think [Hoffman is] very, very gifted, [but] it wasn't the most fun I've ever had on film," she later said of the incident.

Sure, one could argue that Meryl's reaction to her co-star's surprise attack brought way more authenticity to the scene, but on the other hand Dustin Hoffman just outright slapped Meryl Streep in the face. And that's just not on, is it?


Sam Hill is an ardent cinephile and has been writing about film professionally since 2008. He harbours a particular fondness for western and sci-fi movies.