Scenes Actors and Directors Regret Shooting
A lot goes into making a movie and it’s not all fun and games on set. Actors and directors alike often shoot scenes that they’re not entirely comfortable with, going above and beyond to make the movie a success. Although audiences would never be able to tell, it’s not uncommon for Hollywood’s elite to walk away from the set with a sour taste in their mouths…and not just from craft services.
Take a look at some scenes actors and directors regret shooting. You might be surprised what gems we’ve pulled from the archives.
The Scientology Joke – Friends with Benefits (2011)
Will Gluck may not be the most prominent director in modern-day Hollywood, but he’s done more than you may think. With six feature films under his belt, Gluck has worked with some of the best in the biz, including Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake on 2011’s Friends with Benefits. In one particular scene, JT makes a joke about Scientology, calling it “great science fiction.”
According to Gluck, the quip was made off the cuff and left in the final cut. No one seemed to remember that co-star Jenna Elfman is an incredibly active Scientologist. “I feel really bad because I didn’t tell Jenna about it,” Gluck told Indiewire. The first Elfman knew of it was when the movie was premiered. Awkward.
Rey’s Hug – The Last Jedi (2017)
2017’s Star Wars offering The Last Jedi caused a lot of controversy, with some fans hailing it as the best installment yet and others calling it a travesty. One scene, in particular, rubbed viewers up the wrong way, and it all comes down to a hug. After Hans Solo is killed by Kylo Ren, Rey returns to the Resistance base justifiably upset.
General Leia (the formidable late, great Carrie Fisher) comforts her with the hug. The big question? Why was Rey offered affection when Solo’s BFF Chewbacca wasn’t? JJ. Abrams addressed the scene in an interview with Slashfilm, calling it a mistake on his part. “It almost felt like a slight,” said the award-winning director. “Which was definitely not the intention.”
The Chair Scene – Basic Instinct (1992)
Sharon Stone’s infamous chair scene in 1992’s Basic Instinct is possibly one of the most controversial in movie history. As her character is being interrogated, she purposely opens her legs to throw the officer off, leaving nothing to the imagination. While most people were under the impression that the shot was one with Sharon’s consent, the actress said otherwise.
“When we did it, it was going to be an innuendo and the director said, ‘We’re seeing the white of your underwear, I need you to take them off.’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t want you to see anything and he’s like, ‘No, no you’re not going to’,” explained the actress in 2014. “So when I saw it in the theatre, with a bunch of other people, I was like (in shock). When the film ended I went in the booth and I slapped him (Verhoeven) and I said, ‘You could have shown me this to me by myself.'”
The Bomb Scene – Sabotage (1936)
Back in 1936, Alfred Hitchcock was already pushing the boundaries of what was acceptable in cinema. The “Master of Suspense” would later become synonymous with spine-chilling thrillers Psycho and The Birds, but he was already making waves by the mid-’30s.Unfortunately for him, Sabotage didn’t do so well.
In one sequence a terrorist hands a hidden bomb to an unknowing schoolboy who takes it aboard a bus, blowing himself (and everyone else on it) to high heaven. In one of his interviews with Francois Truffaut many years later, Hitchcock said the scene should never have been shot, calling it a “grave error.”
The Evil Spirit Girl – Annabelle: Creation (2017)
David F. Sandberg did pretty well with the follow-up to the first Annabelle movie, but he wasn’t 100% happy with the entirety of the sequel. In one scene, Janice stumbles across the ghost of a girl killed in a car accident, but it turns out the ghost is actually an evil spirit.
Sandberg wasn’t pleased with the overall look of the character — which would’ve been better suited to an ’80s B movie — or the way she spoke her line. “I never quite got that scene right,” he said. “I think of ‘I’ll swallow your soul’ every time I see it.”
The Baseball Scene – The Shining (1980)
Actress Shelley Duvall came to regret ever participating in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. It’s no secret that Kubrick was particularly hard on Duvall, often criticising her acting and putting her under extra pressure. In the scene where Jack Nicholson is menacing Duvall with a baseball bat, Kubrick made the actors retake it 127 times. By the end, the young actress was hysterical.
Many have speculated that Kubrick’s treatment of her has contributed to her declining mental state. For all of her effort and persecution, Shelley felt she was overlooked entirely by audiences. “After all that work, hardly anyone even criticized my performance in it, even to mention it, it seemed like. The reviews were all about Kubrick like I wasn’t there.”
Rose’s Drawing – Titanic (1997)
Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio are two of Hollywood’s brightest stars, but when James Cameron picked them up for his 1997 blockbuster they were relatively unknown. While there are many perfectly constructed scenes in the movie, viewers are always reminded of the sequence where Rose gets naked and asks Jack to draw her like one of his “French girls.”
Now much wiser, Kate would’ve done things a little differently. “I wish I hadn’t shown so much flesh but I was young and I knew I had things to prove,” said the Oscar winner. Regardless, it’s still an iconic part of the movie.
The Mothership – Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
Directors are notorious perfectionists, but it’s not always up to them to decide what’s in the final product. Studios possess a lot of say when it comes to deadlines, and Columbia Pictures rushed Spielberg to release Close Encounters. When the movie turned out to be a box office smash, the director asked if he could go back and tinker around with it.
The studio agreed on one condition — the inside of the
Jacob’s Topless Scenes – The Twilight Saga (2008-2012)
Taylor Lautner had quite the glow-up as the Twilight movies unraveled. Every time that Jacob had to transform into his werewolf alter-ego, he had to casually strip down. Hoards of young fans were kept glued to the screens, but it’s not something the actor looks back on fondly.
“If I had to choose, I would never take my shirt off again in a movie,” he said, going on to elaborate that he doesn’t want to be seen as “just a body,” but an actor that is skilled at his craft. We can’t say we blame him, but it was good while it lasted.
The Final Kiss – Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
Rob Rodriguez’s 2003 flick is a star-studded affair, with the likes of Antonio Banderas and Selma Hayek playing pivotal roles. Johnny Depp plays a convincing corrupt CIA agent that is betrayed by beautiful but sadistic AFN operative Eva Mendes, and it’s the latter that has a sweet regret about her time on set.
During one scene, Mendes kisses a blinded Depp before killing him, but the actress wishes she had made it last longer. As it turns out, she had a secret crush on the actor but completely clammed up around him. “I was so intimidated by him,” she later confessed.
The Vulcan Mind Meld – Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
There have been more Star Trek films than you can shake a stick at, but director Nicholas Meyer directed some of the most prominent original ventures. Although Meyer is largely proud of his work on the 1991 outing, one scene plays on his mind.
Spock (Leonard Nimoy) deviates from his docile nature by performing a mind meld on his Starfleet student Valeris. As he delves deeper into her thoughts, the youngster begins to scream out in pain. “It sort of looks like waterboarding to me,” said the director 25 years on, likening the scene to torture practices. “It doesn’t make me very happy to see it.”
Colonel Star’s Violent Temper – Kick-Ass 2 (2013)
Although it’s a comedy, Kick-Ass 2 contained a fair amount of action. Initially, Jim Carrey was on board with the premise of the movie and shot his scenes along with his co-stars. However, the Sandy Hook Massacre took place just weeks after Carrey finished wrapping his part, causing the actor to rethink his involvement.
“I did Kick-Ass 2 a month [before] Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence,” wrote Carrey. “My apologies to others involved with the film. I am not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change in my heart.”
Queen Amidala and Chancellor Valorum – Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
British born actor Terence Stamp only agreed to the cameo role of Chancellor Valorum in The Phantom Menace because he really wanted to meet Natalie Portman (Queen Amidala). In fact, Stamp was so keen to meet the young actress that he wasn’t even fussed on payment, later describing his fee as “2 and 6 and a toffee apple.”
Unfortunately, when he showed up for filming, Natalie wasn’t on set. Instead, George Lucas told him to use a strip of paper stuck to the wall as a reference point. Needless to say, the actor went on to regret his appearance in the movie, calling his experience “boring.”
Ron and Hermione’s Kiss – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
Ron and Hermione’s unspoken love was a major subplot for the latter half of the Harry Potter movies, so when they finally locked lips in the 2011 installment fans breathed a sigh of relief. For the actors, it was a different story.
Rupert Grint and Emma Watson (both in their early twenties at the time) had virtually grown up together, so the scene was particularly awkward for everyone involved. Watson has since said the kiss was her “weirdest” on-screen smooch and both of the actors were thankful that one take was enough. Grint similarly told People that the last thing he wanted to do was kiss her. Ouch.
The Demonic Plants – The Evil Dead (1981)
Sam Raimi’s cult classic horror movie The Evil Dead stood him in good stead for the rest of his career. The thriller wowed audiences and it became a defining example of B-movie horror, but there are some things Raimi would’ve done differently.
In one scene, Cheryl is raped by demonic trees in the woods. Audiences took that sequence pretty badly, and if given another chance the director would’ve left it out entirely. “It was unnecessarily gratuitous and a little too brutal,” Raimi said five years later. “My goal is not to offend people. It is to entertain, thrill, scare…make them laugh, but not to offend them.”
Murdoch’s Suicide – Titanic (1997)
It looks like Kate Winslet wasn’t the only one that walked away fromTitanic with some regrets still afloat. Director James Cameron took a lot of liberties with the movie, seeing as neither Jack nor Rose existed in real life. The epic retelling of the tragic sinking did get some facts right, but also inadvertently sullied the name of one of the officers.
The movie depicts First Officer William McMaster Murdoch shooting himself in the head, but there is no hard evidence to support this. Relatives of Murdoch’s weren’t best pleased with Cameron’s storytelling, and he later apologized for any offense he caused.
Domestic Abuse Scenes – Big Little Lies (2017)
Nicole Kidman’s portrayal of Celeste in HBO’s Big Little Lies earned her a plethora of awards, and rightly so. The role centered on the abusive relationship with her husband, played by True Blood‘s Alexander Skarsgard. While Kidman is immensely proud of her work, she told The Hollywood Reporter that the scenes left her so emotionally and physically drained she often couldn’t get up, leaving directorJean-Marc Vallee to cover her up with a towel between takes in the nude scenes.
The hard worked paid off though and the Reese Witherspoon-produced series is returning for season 2, albeit without Skarsgard’s ill-fated character.
The Bondage Scenes – Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
Although the movies grossed a pretty penny at the box office, it’s common knowledge that they’re hardly cinematic masterpieces. Actress Dakota Johnson played submissive Anastasia Steele, while Irish rouge Jamie Dornan played Christian Grey. Both actors struggled with the more intense scenes that feature prominently in the franchise, and have both expressed embarrassment that they ever signed on to do the movies in the first place.
The scenes often had to be re-shot
Man of Steel – Super and the Mole-Men (1951)
Superman is one of the best-loved characters ever created, and arguably one that children look up to. Unfortunately for George Reeves, one fan took suggestions that Krypton’s finest was bulletproof a little too literally.
When Reeves appeared at a publicity event in costume, he was confronted by a little boy with a loaded gun who wanted to see if bullets really did fly off of Superman’s abs. The actor was so shaken by the incident that he never wore the costume in public again and did multiple talks telling children that no human being was impervious to bullets, despite what the comics may tell you.
The Kiss – Some Like It Hot (1959)
Marilyn Monroe was one of the most iconic actresses of her time and remains a legend decades after her death. The blonde beauty starred alongside fellow A-lister Tony Curtis in 1959’s Some Like It Hot, but according to the actor, it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
During a kissing scene, a member of staff remarked that Tony looked like he was enjoying himself, to which he supposedly replied it was like “kissing Hitler.” Curtis denied he ever said such a thing when asked by the media, but some sources claim that he admitted to it a few years before his death, stating it was a joke.