Every once in a while, a director decides that there’s no point relying on actors to do their job and play professional pretend when the production could always just blindside them with an unexpected dash of real life danger or surprise, or just fail to inform them of something vital in order to provoke a more "authentic" performance from them onscreen.
Whilst some actors decide to utilize method acting and stay in character between takes in order to make their performances more believable, others are… less enthusiastic about the technique and need a little extra encouragement. Famously, Hamlet actor and Shakespearean hero Laurence Olivier once told Dustin Hoffman on the set of Marathon Man, when the star had stayed up for three days to play a sleep-deprived character, that he ought to “try acting, my boy.”
In cases like this, directors have been known on occasion to use a little deception in order to provoke the reaction that they’re after. In some cases it’s a little white lie, in others outright deceit, but in every case listed here, the results speak for themselves.
9. Hank Azaria Flashed Simon Pegg For Real - Run Fatboy Run
Poor Simon Pegg. As if it wasn’t bad enough to be given the title role in a movie titled Run Fatboy Run, the former Spaced star went on to be doubly humiliated thanks to a wardrobe malfunction onset and co-star Hank Azaria deciding to leave him in the dark.
Playing the love-to-hate-him Gordon, who takes Pegg’s place as a father to his son and lover to his former fiancée, the Simpsons star has a great time as the sleazy, too-good-to-be-true antagonist. However for one of the film’s more memorable scenes, Azaria opted to go au naturale and, befitting the villains he’s accustomed to playing, decided against informing Pegg beforehand.
So that locker-room scene where Pegg stares in shock as a nude Gordon towels off in front of him, displaying his manhood? Yeah, that’s Pegg’s real reaction—when Azaria’s prosthetic cover-up wouldn’t work he tossed it aside and declined to inform his co-star, resulting in Pegg’s very authentic surprise.