A common misconception is that famous people don’t have to worry about keeping their jobs. Before they were famous, these A-listers had to take on weird roles to get where they are. It takes time, effort and real talent to get to where they are since it is not easy to reach the top. Climbing up the ladder, these A-lister might think that once they get to the top, they can get picky or at least show some negative attitude while filming.
These might lead to some misunderstanding with the staff which can lead to being fired entirely from the production. While it’s true that A-list performers have it easier than the rest of the world, nobody is immune to job loss in the entertainment industry. Here are ten A-listers who got fired from massive productions.
10 Megan Fox – Transformers
Transformers director Michael Bay compared Megan Fox to Adolf Hitler on production, as reported by Wonderland in 2009. So after Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Fox was let go. Eight years later, Megan Fox told Cosmopolitan UK that the incident was the shallow point of her career. She claims she wouldn’t have progressed so rapidly in her education without being fired from the film franchise.
She continued that it would have been enough for her to apologize, but she refused to. At 23, she was so full of herself that she couldn’t see the bigger picture, she said. Since then, Bay and Fox have patched things up and collaborated on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies.
9 Colin Firth – Paddington
At first, Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth was set to lend his voice to the cuddly bear Paddington in the 2014 film. Firth finished all the film’s voice-over work, but when they viewed the final result, they decided that his more mature vocal tone didn’t work for the role.
It appears everyone was on the same page; reports have indicated that Firth was unhappy with his performance and gave his blessing for Ben Whishaw to take over.
8 Ryan Gosling – The Lovely Bones
Ryan Gosling is one of the most sought-after actors in the film industry. Among his many notable film roles is the award-winning performance as Sebastian in the blockbuster musical La-La Land. His charisma was the deciding factor in his winning the Golden Globe. Moreover, the actor who has kept his personal life private was nominated for several additional honors, including the BAFTA. Ryan Gosling may be a beloved star, but he hasn’t always had it easy. In the film,
The Lovely Bones, the director’s original vision for the lead character’s appearance was quite different. Ryan’s goal was to portray a 210-pound man in his early 40s. Initial speculation suggested that Ryan’s dismissal had something to do with his youth. On the other hand, the film’s producers admitted that Peter Jackson was unhappy with his chubby appearance.
7 Judy Garland – Valley of the Dolls
Judy Garland, arguably best recognized for her role as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, was one of the greatest actresses of classic Hollywood. Her personal life, however, was everything but glamorous, marked by several failed marriages and extensive substance problems, even though she was often a revelation onscreen. When Mark Robson cast her as Helen Lawson in his film adaptation of Jacqueline Susann’s novel Valley of the Dolls, Garland was already on the downward spiral that would ultimately lead to her dismissal from the production.
As a result, the show decided to cut her from further involvement. After this public shaming, Garland’s career never recovered, and on June 22, 1969, at the age of 47, she committed suicide by overdosing on barbiturates.
6 Kevin Spacey – House of Cards
The Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey who once hit on Tina Fey was let go from his show in 2017 after charges of sexual harassment were made against him by members of the production staff. Spacey has consistently rejected the allegations.
Since his dismissal, the writers have shifted the season six plot to center on Robin Wright’s Claire Underwood, reducing the number of episodes from 13 to 8.
5 Terrence Howard – Iron Man 2
Even though Terrence Howard was not technically let go from his part as Lt. Colonel James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes in Iron Man 2, the backstage drama between him and Marvel Studios was so nasty that he might have been. At the time, Howard was making more money than Robert Downey Jr. from his three-picture agreement with Marvel.
After the massive success of Iron Man, Marvel reportedly approached Howard and offered him 1/8th of what he was expected to receive for Iron Man 2, saying that the picture would be a financial success even without his participation. Understandably insulted, Howard walked away from the project and claimed Marvel offered the money he was meant to get to Downey.
4 Edward Norton – The Avengers
Even though Mark Ruffalo’s portrayal of Bruce Banner/Incredible Hulk in the MCU is the only one that matters now, the part was first played by Edward Norton in the series. In an interview with The New York Times published this year, Norton who has not appeared in recent films has finally explained why Marvel recast the role of Hulk for The Avengers.
He added that there were differences of opinion on the artistic front, adding that he had envisioned a more somber and extended arc for the protagonist. Norton criticized Marvel’s denial of financial motivation for his resignation as ‘cheap brand defensiveness,’ although he acknowledged that it played a role in Marvel’s decision.
3 Anne Hathaway – Knocked Up
Knocked Up, directed by Judd Apatow, was a smashing success upon its 2007 debut. The R-rated comedy made over $200 million around the world. Actress Katherine Heigl, who plays a freelance journalist who gets pregnant after a drunken one-night encounter with slacker Ben Stone (Seth Rogen), had her career boosted by the film’s success. So, it’s safe to assume that Anne Hathaway deeply regretted her decision to leave the movie.
Hathaway was supposed to play journalist Alison Scott, but director Judd Apatow fired her because she found the film’s depiction of childbirth disturbing. The rest, as they say, is history after Katherine Heigl was brought in. Anne Hathaway suffered a setback in her career in 2010, but she recovered and won an Oscar for her supporting role in the 2012 film Les Misérables.
2 Stuart Townsend – Lord of the Rings
Stuart Townsend may be unfamiliar to most moviegoers, but some Lord of the Rings fans may be better familiar with the Irish actor. The three Lord of the Rings films, released successively from 2001 to 2003, are widely considered among the most successful and adored cinematic trilogies of all time. The third installment, The Return of the King, was deemed the best of the trilogy and awarded the Academy Award for Best Picture. However, after being replaced by actor Viggo Mortensen as the noble Aragorn, it’s a safe guess that Stuart Townsend doesn’t appreciate being reminded of the trilogies’ success. He could been a part of the of cast of The Lord of The RIngs, unfortunately he was replaced.
Stuart Townsend signed on to play Aragorn and immediately began preparing for the role by learning to use a sword and ride a horse. Producers of the film versions ultimately concluded that Townsend, then 29 years old, was too young for the role of Aragorn and instead selected Viggo Mortensen. The latter is 14 years older than Townsend. Since then, Stuart Townsend’s primary career focus has been on the small screen.
1 Eric Stoltz – Back to the Future
Despite his lack of fame and notoriety, Eric Stoltz is a respected actor whose career has included roles in several good films like Mask, Jerry Maguire, and Pulp Fiction. After losing the part of Marty McFly in Back to the Future to Michael J. Fox, Stoltz was never again a starring man. The fact that the film’s actors and crew had to go back and reshoot nearly half the movie after Michael J. Fox was hired because of Eric Stoltz’s dismissal is particularly heinous.
Producers, among them was Steven Spielberg, who saw early footage of the film and decided that Eric Stoltz wasn’t funny, so they fired him and replaced him with Michael J. Fox. The latter was then starring in the television comedy Family Ties. Director Robert Zemeckis acknowledges that Stoltz gave the part his all. Michael J. Fox returned for two more sequels to Back to the Future and hasn’t looked back since.
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