15 Actors Who Are A Delight To Work With And 15 Actors Who’ve Been Called A Nightmare On Set

·18 min read

Acting is serious business, but it can also be pretty fun.

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The consensus from those in the business is that a set is about as much fun as the actors working there. Those rising through the ranks (or even casually stopping by as extras) get to come in contact with some big names. Some of them make for a really pleasant experience.

Actors can come with egos though.

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Over the years, actors have been encouraged to lose the diva-like behavior. Peers in front of and behind the camera don't want to work with someone difficult, and when they do, they talk about it. Queue the internet, making it easy for frustrated PAs and minor characters in films to air their frustrations.

Tom Hanks is perfect, but you probably already knew that.

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Tom Hanks has been a mainstay in the entertainment industry for so long that countless different amateurs and pros have gotten to work with him. Some even consider themselves fans, like Emma Watson, who gushed about working with Hanks on The Circle.

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Emma was worried Tom wouldn't be all she'd built him up to be.

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"I'm like, ‘there's no way this guy is going to live up to his reputation,' right?" she explained to E! News.

"There's no way he's going to be as nice as everyone says he is and whatever else. And then he was! He's so generous and funny and easy-going and he's all the things you would want him to be. So I'm very happy to be able to report that to you sincerely because it would have broken my heart, I think, if Tom wasn't Tom."

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But for every Tom Hanks, you've got an Edward Norton.

Edward Norton appearing to look pensive while sitting down

Edward Norton has been known to take his craft very seriously, to the point that it makes him difficult for everyone around him to deal with. His need to assert creative control has put him at odds with more than one filmmaker. It even cost him his role as the Incredible Hulk.

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Marvel wasn't feeling Edward's attitude.

Edward Norton speaking into a microphone

While Norton's Hulk film was great, when it came to seeing out the future of the Avengers, he wasn't interested. It led him to leave the project, which Kevin Feige commented on in a statement.

"The Avengers demands players who thrive working as part of an ensemble, as evidenced by Robert, Chris H, Chris E, Sam, Scarlett, and all of our talented casts," he said of Norton's departure.

"We are looking to announce a name actor who fulfills these requirements, and is passionate about the iconic role in the coming weeks."

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Clint Eastwood is an industry vet who is still down to Earth.

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You don't get the years and respect that Clint Eastwood has under your belt without knowing how to work with others. A redditor who was friends with a video editor who worked with Eastwood opened up about the experience.

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"He said most people come in with assistants and have general demands like food, coffee, room temperature, and with attitudes that others have to work around," the redditor explained. "Not Clint Eastwood."

Clint Eastwood in a film scene from his early career

"He drove himself in his own pickup and sat down with you to get the work done and was always nice."

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No amount of time in the spotlight is enough to make some actors behave, like Charlie Sheen.

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Who can forget Charlie Sheen's infamous blowup at the height of his Two and a Half Men fame? After the showrunners showed patience with Sheen as he was in and out of rehab and in the midst of a pretty public meltdown (remember Tiger Blood?), Sheen repaid the favor by going off on creator Chuck Lorre in a series of interviews.

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It got him fired and, he would later argue, blacklisted from working in Hollywood.

Charlie Sheen holding up a California Strong shirt and smiling

Sheen hasn't done much acting since Two and a Half Men. The actor, who is living with HIV, has kept a relatively low profile, minus his ongoing custody drama with ex-wife Denise Richards.

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Ed Helms is a sweetheart who treats everyone as equals.

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An actor without a superiority complex is hard to come by, but Ed Helms is reportedly one of those rare few who has stayed down to Earth.

"Ed Helms is a total gem. Quiet, dedicated, efficient," one redditor reported. "He cracked jokes with the crew and extras when not on camera and was super enjoyable to hang around."

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Bill Murray is not a great time on set.

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He's one of the most beloved actors out there, but Bill Murray can reportedly blur the lines between funny and rude while on set. Richard Dreyfuss called him "an Irish drunken bully" after working together on What About Bob? He also butted heads with Harold Ramis, Anjelica Huston, and Lucy Liu on different films throughout the years.

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Keanu Reeves will make personal sacrifices to make great movies.

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When filming The Replacements, Keanu took a pay cut so that the film could cast Gene Hackman. Later, he gushed about the experience.

"I love acting, and I love it more and more, so it’s great to have the opportunity to do it," he said while promoting the film. "And I got to have some really great acting experiences this past year, like working with Mr. Hackman."

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Sharon Stone got really diva-ish about...filming in Italy?

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Golden Boy director Pupi Avati made a point of publicly slamming Sharon Stone for what he said was unprofessional behavior. Stone allegedly wasn't thrilled about having to film in Italy and made as much known.

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"A correspondence started, enough to write a book, between her agents and our lawyers," the director told the Hollywood Reporter.

Sharon Stone going through a script on a film set

"It was a negotiation that bordered on ridiculousness, concerning embarrassing details, as if Italy was a third-world country. By the way, we do have electricity in Italy."

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The world lost a truly kind soul when Robin Williams passed.

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Robin Williams was widely regarded as a kind heart by those he worked with, both before and after his tragic death. Even in a difficult setting, Williams could find a way to light up someone's day.

"I'm good friends with a former Private Security Contractor who ran a unit out of Iraq. He was the head of Robin Williams' security detail every time Robin toured over in Iraq (which he did very often)," the poster shared.

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"From his stories, I can safely say that the world is a worse place without Robin Williams in it."

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"Kind, gentle, and always willing to help others through his humor."

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Chevy Chase is a legend and a nightmare.

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It's hard to find a story about someone who worked with Chevy Chase and wasn't a little traumatized by it.

In Jeff Weingrad and Doug Hill's Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live, Chase was described as "a viciously effective put-down artist, the sort who could find the one thing somebody was sensitive about — a pimple on the nose, perhaps — and then kid about it, mercilessly."

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There's no such thing as a short list of his offenses...

Chevy Chase posing

...but here are some highlights. He fought with years and years of SNL cast members, including Bill Murray (where things got physical) and Terry Sweeney (the first openly gay cast member, who Chase suggested should be in a sketch where he was weighed each week to see if he had AIDS). He apologized for some of his bad behavior, but he was actually banned from hosting after 1997.

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Pamela Anderson is really kindhearted.

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"Pam Anderson is a total doll," one person who encountered her at a shoot shared. "She was really sweet about taking pictures with fans, and is really gracious and polite."

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Claudia Schiffer doesn't like being spoken to directly.

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Claudia Schiffer was a little high maintenance during her time acting and modeling, as one person who met her explained.

"Claudia Schiffer is so f--king strange," they recalled. "She refused to speak to any of the staff. Instead, you had to talk to her, she'd then speak to her assistant like you weren't in the room, and then the assistant would repeat it to you."

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Paul Rudd's brand of magic is 100% authentic.

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Paul Rudd has long been known as a nice guy, but it's sweet to see his young co-stars look up to his nice-guy behavior, as Mckenna Grace did after working with the actor on Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

"Mr. Paul was really funny. Mr. Paul ... he's great. I wish that there was a gag reel. I feel like there was so much funny stuff that we did that didn't make it in. There's always going to be gag reel stuff for Paul."

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"I was chatting with him at the after-party last night, and he's just very kind," she shared.

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"He does give me advice and talk to me about the film, and it's really kind."

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One director has tried to redeem Russell Crowe's "difficult" reputation.

Russell Crowe speaking during an interview

Russell Crowe has earned a reputation for being difficult and a troublemaker on film sets over the years. One director argues it's rooted in a passion for his craft and wanting everyone to share that passion on a project.

"Russell knew that I was as committed to that character as he was. From then on, I think he would have done anything I asked him to," L.A. Confidential director Curtis Hanson theorized.

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"Russell has a reputation of being difficult, and what I speculate is that he’s difficult when he’s not trusting."

Russell Crowe attends Showtime network premiere of The Loudest Voice at Paris Theatre
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George Clooney is really as charismatic as he's been built up to be.

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George Clooney has long had a reputation for being charismatic and sweet, though some fans have wondered if years of stardom have gotten to the down-to-Earth actor.

According to The Tender Bar co-star Tye Sheridan, that is not the case. Whether he's in front of or behind the camera, Clooney is the real deal.

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"[Clooney] does a really good job of making people feel comfortable. He gets it," Sheridan told Looper.

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"It's almost like he's right there acting with you and it becomes really fun. So it had a different dynamic. I think our relationship had a different dynamic than I'd ever had with any other filmmaker before, so I really enjoyed it."

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Mike Myers isn't the funny guy you'd expect.

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Mike Myers has played some of film's funniest characters in unforgettable films, from Wayne's World to Austin Powers and countless voice projects including Shrek. Amy Hill, who worked with Myers on The Cat in the Hat, believed that Myers fame got to his head.

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"I don’t think he got to know anybody. He’d just be with his people and walk away," Hill told the AV Club.

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"People would come and then he’d stand there. There was a guy who held his chocolates in a little Tupperware. Whenever he needed chocolate, he’d come running over and give him a chocolate. That’s what divas are like, I guess. Or people who need therapy."

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Ben Affleck has had to work his way back from a complicated reputation.

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Ben Affleck has fought hard to work his way back from his reputation as unreliable and a troublemaker, and it seems like he has. After working through his struggles, many have reported that Affleck is a fun-loving, sweet guy on set and off.

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"Ben Affleck is super nice. He made a point of remembering people's names," one casino dealer who worked with the actor on a shoot shared.

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On another set, he laughed it off when someone screamed Matt Damon's name at him. "Ben Affleck immediately started laughing and you could hear him mumble 'mother f--kers' to himself as he smiled and got ready to reset the scene," an onlooker recalled.

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The same cannot be said for Casey Affleck.

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Casey Affleck earned a name for himself in acting, and also a reputation. During Oscar buzz for Manchester by the Sea, many women came forward with stories of how Affleck sexually harassed them on film sets. He was even sued by two women for his abhorrent behavior on the set of I'm Still Here, where he served as director.

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Dwayne Johnson makes people smile everywhere he goes.

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The Rock has the ultimate reputation as a Hollywood sweetheart. Sure, there are some rough stories about what he was like to work with during his earlier career, but it seems that Johnson has grown as a person and an actor.

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Zac Efron sang his praises while the two were working together on Baywatch.

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"He’s always expanding, and he just gets better as he goes, like a flower that never stops blooming," Efron told Entertainment Weekly.

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Bruce Willis has a tough attitude about his movies.

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Bruce Willis's Moonlighting co-star Cybill Shepherd was known to clash with the actor during their time on the series together. Producer Jay Daniel says that Willis became more complicated to deal with as his star got brighter.

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"In the beginning, Bruce was just a guy's guy. Let's just say he evolved," Daniel told Moonlighting Strangers Fanzine.

Bruce Willis smirking at an award show

"Over the years, he went from being the crew's best friend and just being grateful for the work and all of that to realizing that he was going to be a movie star and wanting to move on. Part of that was because of his strained relationship with Cybill. That sometimes made the set a very unpleasant place to be."

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Jamie Foxx takes his craft seriously but knows how to have fun.

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Jamie Foxx has done some serious transformations and made award-winning films, but other professionals like working with him because he doesn't take himself too seriously.

"It was beyond what I could hope for; even off set, we got to hang out," Project Power co-star Dominique Fishback told IGN SEA. "We had an amazing Halloween party together, we were all dressed up, Jaime rented a bus and we went to the zoo, a haunted house, a swamp tour, just a bunch of things that I only saw as a kid back then."

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Katherine Heigl may have derailed her movie career with her attitude.

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Katherine Heigl gained a reputation for being difficult during her time on Grey's Anatomy, where she withdrew herself from Emmy consideration because she disagreed with how her character was being written. She moved on from the show to pursue film roles, but it didn't go quite as planned.

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More recently, she's argued sexism is at the heart of her bad rep.

Katherine Heigl smoking on film set

"I may have said a couple of things you didn’t like, but then that escalated to ‘she's ungrateful,’ then that escalated to ‘she’s difficult,’ and that escalated to 'she's unprofessional,’” Heigl told the Washington Post.

"What is your definition of difficult? Somebody with an opinion that you don’t like? Now, I’m 42, and that s--t pisses me off.”

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Sally Struthers is a sweetheart.

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"Sally Struthers is one of my favorite people in the world. She's so much fun to work with," one person who worked with her shared.

"She makes it her mission to make every actor and crew member laugh at least once and she never fails. She also treats everyone like a respectable human being. Best actress I've ever worked with by far."

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Val Kilmer clashed with a few different directors.

Val Kilmer at Cannes Film Festival in 1999

Val Kilmer gained a reputation as being difficult throughout the '90s. "I don’t like Val Kilmer, I don’t like his work ethic, and I don’t want to be associated with him ever again," said The Island of Dr. Moreau director John Frankenheimer.

Batman Forever director Joel Schumacher called Kilmer "childish and impossible."

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Val has more recently said it was misunderstandings that caused trouble.

Val Kilmer gesturing to someone

In a Reddit AMA in recent years, Kilmer addressed his reputation in the industry.

"I only cared about the acting and that did not translate to caring about the film or all that money," he wrote. "I like to take risks and this often gave the impression I was willing to risk the money not being returned, which was foolish of me. I understand that now…I was often unhappy trying to make pictures better."

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Steve-O is a blast to work with and is great to his fans.

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Steve-O didn't always have a great reputation, but since sobering up there's been nothing but nice things said about him.

"He was the nicest person I've ever met," shared a fan who met him outside an area where he was filming. "Tried to have a legitimate conversation with everyone who wanted to meet him and stayed for hours after his show, even though he wasn't supposed to, just to meet all of his fans. I love that dude."

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Julia Roberts let her personal life make her difficult to work with professionally.

Julia Roberts smiling at The Fashion Awards 2019 held at Royal Albert Hall

Julia Roberts is one of the most beloved figures in Hollywood today, but let's just say she didn't win everyone over so easily on the set of Hook. It's believed that Julia's stress about her tumultuous relationship with then-partner Kiefer Sutherland may have made her a pain for everyone else on set.

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She was reportedly nicknamed "Tinkerhell" on the film's set.

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Steven Spielberg, who was one of those who allegedly caught the brunt of her bad behavior, later came to her defense.

"Julia probably went through the most trying times of her life [during filming]," he said. "And it was simply bad timing for all of us that she happened to start on Hook at that low point."

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Ryan Gosling is kindhearted, and he looks like that, yeah.

Ryan Gosling smiling for cameras on the red carpet

A story that emerged from casting Ryan Gosling's daughter, Holly, in The Nice Guys had more hearts melting over Gosling's sweetheart ways.

"It was really wonderful, because he showed up, and he actually knew about each of these kids,” director Shane Black told Entertainment Weekly.

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"He knew what they'd done and some of their history," Black noted.

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"He had actually taken the time to get to know the kids he was auditioning with. I thought that was pretty remarkable.”

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Lea Michele got dragged by most of the people who worked with her.

Lea Michele posing with a straight face at an event

Most of Lea Michele's Glee castmates have had something to say about their time together on the series. Samantha Ware famously called Lea out for being a bully and threatening to "s--t in" her wig.

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Adam Sandler is the chill dude he's been made out to be.

Adam Sandler laughing at a park

There have been a lot of awesome examples of Adam Sandler being ultra laid-back, but one person who has worked with his whole crew on more than one occasion hit the nail on the head about what makes him so great.

"He is the most down-to-earth and laid-back actor you'll ever meet. The first day I met him, at the Sony Athletic Center, it was just he and I in the room. He came right up, we started talking about working out, and when he found out I was from Wisconsin, we started talking about Chris Farley and how much he misses the guy," one Quora user revealed.

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Adam even helped one of the crew members when they got hurt.

Adam Sandler playing basketball

"We played basketball on the lot. I was covering him and blew my knee out. Not every day when a $20 million a picture actor helps you off of the court, fetches you water, and watches as medical examines you," he noted.

"He takes care of his Happy Madison crew and he's hilarious and soft-spoken on set at the same time. Great guy."

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Daniel-Day Lewis refused to walk while playing a paralyzed character.

Daniel-Day Lewis at the 1991 Academy Awards

Daniel Day-Lewis is a serious method actor, which can sometimes make him a serious pain to work with. When filming My Left Foot, he spent most of filming in the wheelchair his character used, despite the fact the character only used it in a small part of the movie.

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Are there any celebs you have met and have stories about? Let me know in the comments below!