6 Celebrities Who Tried to Get Their Co-Stars Fired
These stars were so unhappy with their colleagues that they resorted to drastic measures.
During press tours for movies and TV shows, you usually hear actors raving about how well they got along on set. But of course, no one who wasn't there can know whether or not they're exaggerating about that camaraderie. In fact, know that co-stars have seriously clashed when they were working together. (The battle between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford on the set of 1962's What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is legendary, for example.) And sometimes it escalates from a cold shoulder to an actor actually trying to get their co-star (or co-stars) fired from the project. Read on for six stars who lobbied for their castmates to lose their jobs, from teen drama divas to family sitcom icons.
Shannen Doherty and Tori Spelling co-starred on the massive hit 1990s teen series, Beverly Hills, 90210 series, playing friends Brenda and Donna, respectively. While the entire ensemble became famous thanks to the show, certain cast members generated more drama and gossip than others. Most notably, Doherty reportedly did not get along with many of her colleagues and even got into a physical fight with Jennie Garth, who played Kelly.
In the 2015 Lifetime special Tori Spelling: Celebrity Lie Detector, Spelling admitted that the fight between her co-stars prompted her to call her dad, series producer Aaron Spelling, to talk him into firing Doherty. "I remember. I could hear the door fly open and everyone screaming and crying. That's when I was told the boys just had to break up Jennie and Shannen. It was like a fistfight," she said on the show, as reported by Us Weekly.
It's not clear whether Tori's phone call was the main reason for Doherty being written off after Season 4, but she revealed on the VH1 show that she still felt guilty about it either way.
"I felt like I was a part of something, a movement, that cost someone their livelihood," Tori said. "Was she a horrible person? No. She was one of the best friends I ever had."
Meanwhile, Doherty and Garth eventually buried the hatchet. In a 2008 joint Entertainment Weekly interview, they confessed that the fight had occurred and gotten physical, but that it wasn't nearly as bad as the rumors made it out to be. They appeared together (without incident) in both the reboot, 90210, and the sequel series BH90210, which starred most of the original cast.
Fans swoon over Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams' chemistry in the 2004 romantic weeper The Notebook, but the two famously did not mesh behind the scenes. with Gosling going as far as to refuse to shoot scenes with her. In fact, the film's director Nick Cassavetes told VH1 in 2014 (via Vanity Fair) that Gosling flat-out refused to continue filming a scene with his co-star, demanding that another actor step in.
"[T]hey were really not getting along one day on set. Really not. And Ryan came to me, and there's 150 people standing in this big scene, and he says, 'Nick come here.' And he's doing a scene with Rachel and he says, 'Would you take her out of here and bring in another actress to read off camera with me?' I said, 'What?' He says, 'I can't. I can't do it with her. I'm just not getting anything from this,'" Cassavetes recalled. He went on to say that he put his leads in a room together to finally have it out.
"The rest of the film wasn't smooth sailing, but it was smoother sailing," the director said.
Gosling and McAdams more than got along once the movie was made—the two dated from 2005 to 2007 and have spoken about each other kindly since.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen became extremely famous and wealthy after getting their start (as babies!) on the family sitcom Full House. But though fans loved their character Michelle Tanner, one of their co-stars initially was not very happy with the little girls themselves.
The 2015 Lifetime movie The Unauthorized Full House Story includes a scene in which John Stamos, who played Uncle Jesse, goes to producers to try to get the Olsen twins fired from the show. The actor confirmed during a panel, as reported by Entertainment Weekly, that the scene was based in fact. "It's sort of true that the Olsen twins cried a lot. It was very difficult to get the shot. So I [gesturing], 'Get them out…!' That is actually 100 percent accurate," the star said. "They brought in a couple of unattractive redheaded kids. We tried that for a while and that didn't work. [Producers] were like, all right, get the Olsen twins back. And that's the story."
Stamos and the now-grown-up twins are basically family today, though he wasn't able to successfully appeal to them to make an appearance on the Netflix revival series, Fuller House.
Charlie Sheen was fired from Two and a Half Men amid a feud with creator Chuck Lorre and some erratic behavior, but a few years later, he was threatening to leave another show if his co-star wasn't the one to go.
In June 2013, TMZ reported that his Anger Management castmate Selma Blair went to executives to complain about Sheen's behavior, including his frequent tardiness. After he learned that Blair had complained about him, Sheen refused to film with her and even promised to quit the show if she wasn't fired.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sheen fired Blair in a text in which he also called her a vulgar word, and production company Lionsgate subsequently put out a statement confirming that Blair would "not be returning," though they wished "her the very best." Sheen minimized the feud in an appearance on The Tonight Show, making it sound as though jettisoning Blair was a creative decision, so that his character would not longer have a consistent love interest. As for Blair, her sole public response was a tweet that read, "I thank you for support and love." There were rumors reported by TMZ that she intended to sue Sheen and Lionsgate, but nothing ever came of it.
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In 2013, Shia LaBeouf was let go from the Broadway play Orphans after getting into it with co-star Alec Baldwin. Speaking to Vulture in 2014, the older actor gave his account of the fight, saying that it began because LaBeouf (who has been accused of abuse by former partner FKA Twigs) had memorized all of his lines in advance and became frustrated with Baldwin's very different process.
"I, however, do not learn my lines in advance," Baldwin said. "So he began to sulk because he felt we were slowing him down. You could tell right away he loves to argue. And one day he attacked me in front of everyone. He said, 'You're slowing me down, and you don't know your lines. And if you don't say your lines, I'm just going to keep saying my lines.'"
He went on to say that he then took the stage manager and director Daniel Sullivan aside and said that one of them had to leave the production. "I said don't fire the kid, I'll quit," Baldwin later explained. "They said no, no, no, no, and they fired him." LaBeouf was replaced by Ben Foster.
Speaking with Interview in 2014, LaBeouf gave his own version. "Baldwin and I butted heads hard," he said. "I came in method. I was sleeping in the park. I'd wake up, walk to rehearsal. I was so scared to do the play that I had memorized it before ever coming to rehearsal. And my whole goal was to intimidate the [expletive] out of Baldwin. That was the role. That was my job as an actor. And it wasn't going to be fake. I wanted him to be scared. So I went about doing that for three weeks of rehearsal, to the point that, in the end, it was unsustainable."
LaBeouf also noted that he and Baldwin buried the hatchet and that he was in the front row of the audience for their first performance.
Back in 2019, RadarOnline reported that there was more drama than usual behind the scenes of The Real Housewives of Orange County, and that Tamra Judge was actually trying to get Kelly Dodd kicked off of the reality show.
"Tamra is desperately trying to get Kelly fired right now because she thinks that Kelly is the only person standing in her way of staying on the show forever," their anonymous source "close to the cast" said.
The source also said that Judge feared being demoted to a "friend" of the Housewives and believed that fighting with Dodd is what led to Vicki Gunvalson getting downgraded.
It was Judge who ended up taking a hiatus after Season 14, though she will return in 2023 for Season 17. Dodd was fired from the show after Season 15—and making some controversial comments about the COVID-19 pandemic on social media.