If you want big names in your movie, sometimes you have to make some concessions to give them what they want. You might be surprised to learn just how many movies were changed due to actors’ requests. Famous actors often use their star power to make particularly outrageous demands, giving us a glimpse into the mindset of people who think showing up to work deserves a reward. Here are some of the craziest demands that altered movies in ways you never would have guessed.
Clint Eastwood in The Outlaw Josey Wales
Clint Eastwood is one of the most legendary stars in Hollywood history, with the awards and global praise to prove it. Even so, Eastwood’s somewhat diva-like behavior on one of his most famous films did more than change a single movie — it helped change the entire American movie industry. Clint Eastwood starred in the film The Outlaw Josey Wales. He didn’t like the direction the shoot was going, so he requested to have director Philip Kaufman fired, and took over the direction of the movie himself.
Kaufman reportedly had a number of disagreements with Eastwood, and in the end Eastwood demanded that the director be fired. The outrage was so huge, it actually led to a law being passed in Hollywood, called the Eastwood Rule, which forbids an actor from taking over the role of director after having them fired.
Bryce Dallas Howard in Jurassic World
Jurassic World earned largely positive reviews—and a whole lot of money—but more than a few critics and fans complained that Bryce Dallas Howard’s character somehow outruns 22 tons of T-rex in high heels.
It turns out, director Colin Trevorrow asked her that same question, and she simply refused, saying that her character had to wear the heels. There were no camera tricks used either – she really did wear high heels throughout filming. Howard was surprised later on when the film was released, that her choice of footwear garnered so much attention.
Will Smith in Men in Black 3
For the epic third installment of the Men in Black series, star Will Smith wanted to make sure that he was afforded a level of on-set luxury that would allow him to reach deep within his soul and deliver the high-quality performance audiences had come to expect from the film series about a rapping extraterrestrial police force.
Even though Smith lived only a few minutes from the New York City set, he demanded a huge two-bedroom trailer with two bathrooms and even a private room for screening movies. Local residents complained that the massive $2 million trailer blocked sunlight in the neighborhood, but when Will Smith makes a request, he most often gets what he wants.
Jim Carrey in Man on the Moon
After being cast in Milos Forman’s Andy Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon, Jim Carrey was gunning hard for an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of the legendary comedian. He was somewhat less concerned with making the film’s set a comfortable working environment for his crew and co-stars.
Carrey would walk around the set as Andy – or the character he created, Tony Clifton – and refused to be addressed any other way, behaving in character at all times. Although this made Carrey famously difficult during filming, his performance as Kaufman was widely regarded as a masterpiece.
Sharon Stone in A Golden Boy
Sharon Stone agreed to fly to Italy to star in a film by the Avati brothers called A Golden Boy. In one scene, there was a kiss, when she suddenly noticed paparazzi and cameramen nearby.
She disappeared, and the Avati brothers couldn’t find her anywhere. Finally, her agent called from Los Angeles and said that she wouldn’t do the scene unless they cleared out the cameras. They did, and filming went ahead, but the question remains – why didn’t she just ask them to get rid of the paparazzi herself?
Samuel L. Jackson in Snakes on a Plane
When Samuel L. Jackson was offered the chance to star in a film called Snakes on a Plane, he agreed immediately – solely because of its title—which he loved so much that when executives considered changing it to Pacific Flight 121, he personally intervened, telling them it was “the stupidest damn thing I ever heard.”
The internet agreed, and so do we, but there’s more to a movie than its name. When Jackson found out that the studio executives were considering changing the name to Pacific Flight 121, he fought back right away, so Snakes on a Plane it remained. In addition, the film was originally supposed to be a campy PG-13 flick, but Jackson campaigned for more violence and profanity. The studio eventually agreed, even though they had to reshoot several scenes to give it the R rating Jackson desired.
Harrison Ford in Star Wars
Harrison Ford wanted his Star Wars character, Han Solo, to die for many years. In Return of the Jedi in 1983, he tried to convince George Lucas to kill him off, but to no avail.
Now – spoiler alert! After 30 years, Ford’s request has finally been granted and Han Solo was killed off at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Ford believes that the character’s death made it into a better film, but fans wonder: if Ford didn’t argue so adamantly, would Han Solo have survived?
Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek
In Star Trek, Vulcans are known for their logic. So when Leonard Nimoy’s Vulcan character, Spock, was supposed to subdue an enemy violently with his weapon or a karate-chop, he didn’t think it fit.
Instead, he came up with the idea for the Vulcan Nerve Pinch, shown here, an efficient way to knock someone unconscious by pinching a nerve on their neck. The production team let him try it out, and it looked great! After that, the Vulcan Nerve Pinch was used over and over throughout the Star Trek series.
Jim Caviezel in High Crimes
Actors often have to deal with stripping down when filming movies. Jim Caviezel, however, will have no part of that. Due to his religious faith, and out of a sense of loyalty to his wife, he refuses to shoot scenes in which he has to be nude.
During filming of the movie High Crimes, Caviezel demanded that co-star Ashley Judd wear more layers during a love scene, or he would quit the film. The director agreed, and both Caviezel and Judd wore clothes.
Ben Affleck in Gone Girl
Ben Affleck spent a large part of his childhood in Massachusetts, developing a clear loyalty for the Boston Red Sox baseball team. Now, if there’s one thing Red Sox fans are known for, is their distaste for the New York Yankees.
So when director David Fincher wanted Affleck to wear a Yankees cap during a scene in the film Gone Girl, Affleck flat out refused, shutting down the production for four days. Finally, the actor and director compromised and Affleck agreed to wear a New York Mets hat, shown here.
Angelina Jolie in Wanted
Spoiler alert! Angelina Jolie wanted to be sure that there would be no sequel to her 2008 thriller, Wanted. So, she put an end to the franchise by demanding that her character die in the end.
Although her character was supposed to survive in the original script, she insisted that the only way her character would react to events in the movie would be to end her life. So, eventually, the producers agreed. Now, even if there is a Wanted sequel, Jolie will not be a part of it.
Mike Myers in Shrek
Shrek’s signature Scottish brogue went through a couple of major changes before audiences fell in love with the big green ogre. Saturday Night Live vet Chris Farley was originally supposed to voice the character, but died before he could finish recording his lines; after his passing, Farley’s fellow SNL alum Mike Myers stepped in. It wasn’t until after roughly a third of the movie had been animated, however, that Myers decided Shrek should be Scottish.
He felt that since the villain, Lord Farquaad, had an upper-class English accent, a Scottish Shrek would make a fitting contrast. Plus, the banter sounded great with an accent. Reworking the part of the film that was already animated would cost $5 million, nearly 10% of the film’s budget. But DreamWorks agreed, and it paid off – we can’t even imagine Shrek sounding any other way.
Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean
Johnny Depp was paid $20 million-plus a huge percentage of the backend profits for his fifth outing as rascally Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which is as exhausting a sentence to write as it is to read. Depp reportedly did not want to memorize his lines anymore, so he hired a sound engineer to read him his dialogue through a hidden earpiece.
According to Depp’s former managers, he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on sound engineers for this purpose. During Pirates of the Caribbean, he had all of his lines read to him, sometimes to the point of bothering other members of the cast. Sure, it’s a bit untraditional, but we’re pretty impressed that we couldn’t even tell.
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
As the face that made the Terminator series so iconic, it’s perhaps not much of a surprise that Arnold Schwarzenegger had a fair share of demands when it came time to film Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.
In fact, Arnie went above and beyond in making demands – requesting a gym in his trailer, a personal chef, and a three-bedroom hotel suite as a condition of his appearing in the movie. While those demands might seem unreasonable, it wouldn’t really be a Terminator film without Arnie, would it?
Jennifer Lawrence in X-Men
When Jennifer Lawrence played Mystique in X-Men: First Class, it took seven to eight hours every day to turn her into the character, with six makeup artists painting her blue from head to toe.
It was an uncomfortable and grueling process, and she reportedly said that the paint irritated her skin. But in X-Men: Days of Future Past, she requested a better process. They made her a blue skin-tight body suit, cutting down the time it took to get her into character to three or four hours.
Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln
Daniel Day-Lewis’s unquenchable need to completely occupy the body and soul of every character he portrays suggests that he bears some supernatural curse that doesn’t allow him to simply make-believe like his acting peers. For his role in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, Day-Lewis stopped just short of traveling back in time and abducting the American president to run lines with him.
He asked everyone on set, including director Steven Spielberg, to call him “Mr. President” – all the time. He also refused to use any words or phrases that Lincoln wouldn’t have actually used in the 19th century. But perhaps most outrageous of all, the English actor refused to speak to anyone British, for fear that it might “throw him off.” Luckily, everyone followed his strange requests, and he went on to win an Academy Award for his performance.
Dolph Lundgren in Masters of the Universe
The 1987 film Masters of the Universe is a fun, campy romp made all the more endearing for its slip-ups. The main character, He-Man, is played by Dolph Lundgren, who had a unique demand written into his contract.
Lundgren, whose first language is Swedish, wasn’t doing a great job of pronouncing his lines. However, he didn’t want them to be dubbed over. As such, Lundgren had a clause in his contract giving him three tries to get his lines right before they would be dubbed by someone else.
Tom Cruise in The Mummy
The more famous the actor, the more demands they seem to be able to get away with. In this case, Tom Cruise had a lot of requirements for starring in The Mummy.
Cruise’s biggest demand: more screen time than the mummy. In the original script, the star and the mummy were reported to have about equal screen time – which was not okay with Cruise – so his presence was boosted. It didn’t work out so well according to critics, and the film ended up being a box office flop.
Bruce Willis in The Expendables 3
Fans of the Expendables franchise noticed that Bruce Willis was missing from the third installment. The reason? He reportedly demanded at least $1 million for each day of work, even though his role in the film was quite small.
This was too much money for the production, so instead of giving him what they wanted, they replaced him with Harrison Ford. So even though his excessive demand was not met, it changed the casting entirely.
Michelle Rodriguez in The Fast and the Furious
The relationship between Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty Ortiz and Vin Diesel’s Dominic “Dom” Toretto is the heartֿ of the Fast & Furious franchise, but their love story nearly crashed right out of the gate.
In the original storyline, Letty was supposed to cheat on hey boyfriend, Dom. But Rodriguez was so strongly opposed to this twist that she threatened to quit the franchise. Vin Diesel, who plays Dom, took her side, and eventually the director agreed. It seems to have worked out well for the franchise, too, because Letty and Dom’s devoted relationship has become an important part of the story.
Samuel L. Jackson in Star Wars
Samuel L. Jackson’s Mace Windu was undoubtedly one of the best characters in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Jackson himself requested that his Jedi master have a purple lightsaber, in order to stand out during the big battle scene in Attack of the Clones.
Traditionally, lightsabers come in two colors: red for villains and green for heroes, but Samuel L. Jackson didn’t care. Although George Lucas resisted at first, he eventually gave in, and Mace Windu’s unique purple lightsaber, now an important part of the character’s identity, came into being.
Crispin Glover in Charlie’s Angels
Crispin Glover thought that the script of the Charlie’s Angels reboot, released in 2000, was terrible. In fact, he hated it so much that he refused to say any of his lines.
Instead of changing the script or casting another actor, the production team just let Glover stay silent. You have to be a pretty good actor to get away with a stunt like that! The film went on to be successful despite the script, because, let’s be honest – people weren’t lining up to see it for the storyline.
Liam Neeson in A Million Ways to Die in the West
Accents can be problematic for actors, who have to learn to speak differently for certain roles. The comedy series Family Guy joked about how ridiculous it would be for Liam Neeson to play a cowboy, because of his Irish accent.
So when Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane asked Neeson to star in the western A Million Ways to Die in the West, Neeson said that he would accept only if he could speak in his Irish accent. And now there’s a cowboy with an Irish accent.
Sam Worthington in Clash of the Titans
Clash of the Titans, released in 2010, was a remake of a classic 1980s movie. Sam Worthington starred in the action flick, but he took issue with some aspects from the original.
Despite the fact that it takes place in ancient Greece, Worthington refused to wear a toga. In addition, one of the memorable characters in the ‘80s film was a creepy mechanical owl, which Worthington absolutely hated. He reportedly threatened the creature with violence and screamed at it, until the owl got cut entirely, except for a small cameo.
Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction
Samuel L. Jackson played Jules in the classic 1994 film Pulp Fiction. In the script, Jules was supposed to have an afro, so the production sent someone to buy Jackson a wig.
The person they sent, however, didn’t know what an afro was, and so returned with a glossy, loose curled wig. Jackson reportedly thought it was entertaining, and insisted on using that wig instead. And so, instead of buying a new afro wig, the character Jules ended up with a different hairstyle.
Shia LaBeouf in Fury
Shia LaBeouf’s antics have often gotten him a lot of attention. He’s known for taking things too far and did just that during the production of the World War II film Fury.
His character was supposed to have cuts on his face, so the makeup team set him up with fake scars, but that just wasn’t realistic enough for LaBeouf. Instead, he used an actual knife on his face to make it more realistic. The cuts sure looked real, but it seems a little extreme to us.
Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man
Iron Man was a hit, and nearly everyone agrees that Robert Downey Jr. makes a fantastic superhero. But after the first Iron Man film came out, Downey became aware of exactly how much computer generated effects it was possible to use.
The Iron Man suit is extremely uncomfortable, so the actor opted out of wearing it. Instead, he insisted that they add the suit in post production, which they did. It created a great deal of extra work for the animation team, but what Robert Downey Jr. asks for, he receives.
Bill Murray in Ghostbusters
Ghostbusters was a huge hit, a blockbuster comedy that launched a franchise. And we can’t imagine this film without Bill Murray, who starred as Peter Venkman.
But Murray reportedly only agreed to be in Ghostbusters on the condition that the studio financed the making of another film which he co-wrote, called The Razor’s Edge. Although Ghostbusters was massively successful, The Razor’s Edge went on to be a huge flop, and Murray was so dismayed that he took four years off from acting.
Jack Nicholson in The Departed
When an actor as respected as Jack Nicholson makes character suggestions, directors do well to listen.
During production of The Departed, Nicholson had a few demands for his role as crime boss Frank Costello: he asked that he be made more evil, adding a scene with women and illicit substances to illustrate his hateful personality. The film was a hit, and Nicholson certainly was a memorable character. In addition to his character changes, Nicholson banned all Boston Celtics gear from set since he is a staunch LA Lakers supporter.
William Shatner in Star Trek
During production of Star Trek: The Original Series, William Shatner reportedly always wanted to make sure the plot revolved around his character, Captain Kirk.
He demanded that certain storylines and dialogues be altered, in order to make sure that the captain was in fact the real focus of the scene. The actor got his way, and Captain Kirk became the main character, but it led to some serious clashes with Leonard Nimoy and other members of the cast.
Jamie Foxx in Miami Vice
Director Michael Mann decided to adapt his hit TV show Miami Vice into a movie in 2006 because Phil Collins and linen suits are timeless. For his big-budget reboot, he cast Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx to play Detectives Crockett and Tubbs. Jamie Foxx had many demands while shooting Miami Vice. Since he had recently won an Academy Award, Foxx wanted to be paid more than co-star Colin Farrell.
Then, Foxx refused to shoot any scenes on boats or planes. We’re not sure why, but they gave the star what he asked for. Finally, while the team was filming in the Dominican Republic, shots were heard nearby, and Foxx refused to film outside of the U.S. He forced the rewriting of the film’s ending, which was supposed to take place in Paraguay.
Denzel Washington in The Pelican Brief
Denzel Washington starred in the 1993 film adaptation of the book The Pelican Brief, opposite Julia Roberts. The original plot features a love story between the two characters, but Washington refused, saying he didn’t want to offend his black female fans.
Reportedly, Washington said that since black women were not often portrayed in Hollywood as the love interest, he felt it wasn’t fair. Since his contract said that he didn’t have to do anything that contradicted his morals, his decision was final.
Marlon Brando in Superman
One of the most memorable parts of 1978 film Superman is the presence of Marlon Brando as Superman’s father Jor-El. It was a coup to get as prestigious an actor as Marlon Brando involved, but he turned out to be far from what was expected.
Brando was uninterested in the movie itself, only filming it for the paycheck – and as such, demanded that his scenes be filmed within 12 days. He also refused to learn his lines, so cue cards were present throughout all his time on set.
Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil
Before the Resident Evil franchise became a huge success, Milla Jovovich reportedly threatened to walk off the set of the first Resident Evil movie.
Jovovich was cast as Alice, the star of the film, but felt threatened when Michelle Rodriguez was cast as Rain. Due to Rodriguez’s growing popularity, the script was reworked to give her a larger role. Jovovich wanted none of that, however, and demanded for the script to be changed back or she was out. The director agreed, and went back to fix the script, page by page.
Michael Douglas in The Ghost and the Darkness
Michael Douglas was already a big star in the ’90s, so when he expressed interest in his production company producing the film The Ghost and the Darkness, they were willing to make a few changes to accommodate him.
Douglas accepted a small part in the movie, but then changed the script to expand the role, making him one of the main characters. Although Val Kilmer was originally supposed to be the star, by the time the script was finished, Douglas and Kilmer had equal billing.
Sigourney Weaver in Alien 3
Alien is one of the most beloved sci-fi franchises on the market. Sadly, Sigourney Weaver learned pretty early on that the production team had plans to turn the movies into a crossover movie in the form of Alien vs. Predator.
The actress was so annoyed by the move that she asked for her character, Ellen Ripley, to be written out of the films. Ripley’s end was hugely emotional for many fans, but she did later return to the movies in Alien: Resurrection as Ripley’s clone.
Edward Norton in The Incredible Hulk
Edward Norton is another one of those actors who are known to be full of demands. He agreed to play the Hulk in The Incredible Hulk only if he would be able to alter the script.
And so, he was constantly changing dialogues, right up until they shot each scene. He also insisted on adding 20 minutes to the film, so he would have more screen time. And in perhaps his weirdest demand, he created a new character for Michael Kenneth Williams, who played Omar on the series The Wire.
Lena Heady and Jerome Flynn in Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones is all about cutthroat characters making tenuous alliances with other cutthroat characters who can barely stop hating each other long enough to agree that an army of ice zombies is a bad thing, so it makes sense that some of the show’s politics bleed over into the real-life relationships between the actors.
But what they may not know is that it’s because of a clause in the contracts of the actors who play them, Lena Heady and Jerome Flynn. The two stars dated in real life, and things ended badly. So now, the two cannot be in the same room as each other, forcing the writers to keep the characters apart.
Dwayne Johnson in Rampage
We’ve already seen a number of stars who demand that their characters die at the end of the movie, but this one is something different.
Dwayne Johnson starred in Rampage, an action film where Johnson’s character teams up with a giant albino gorilla named George to save Chicago. Spoiler alert – in the original script, George was supposed to die in the end. But Johnson wanted a happier ending, threatening to walk off the film if it wasn’t changed. The production team had no choice, and they rewrote the script.
Wesley Snipes in Blade: Trinity
Wesley Snipes was unhappy with the choice of director David S. Goyer to helm Blade: Trinity, the third installment of the film series about the Marvel Comics character who, much like Snipes himself, nobody had been paying attention to until the first Blade movie came out. So Snipes decided to take his frustration out on the entire production by being as difficult as possible.
As such, Snipes became legendarily difficult to deal with on the set – often refusing to shoot scenes altogether, resulting in his being inserted into scenes with CGI. Snipes would also refuse to talk to people, and anyone wanting to communicate with him would have to pass notes under the door of his trailer.