6 Pairs of Co-Stars Who Refused to Film Scenes Together
These castmates clashed so badly that they couldn't even be on set at the same time.
Hollywood stars are just like us: They also often hate their coworkers. But when the people who aren't getting along are famous actors, their interpersonal problems become a lot more public, often leaking out to the press in the form of rumors and innuendo. In some cases, the animosity between co-stars is so great, they refuse to even share the set. Read on for six pairs of co-stars who the scuttlebutt says have refused to film scenes together.
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Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
By the end of The Good Wife, Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) and Kalinda Sharma (Archie Panjabi) were rivals, and there's a good reason their onscreen animosity resonated with so many viewers: Their feud was apparently toned down from the drama going on off screen. It's unclear how it started, but many accounts have it that there was so much bad blood between the co-stars on CBS' legal drama that they couldn't even work together.
The feud got so bad, that by the fourth season, fans started to notice the fact that characters, who were once close friends, rarely shared the screen. The writers twisted the narrative to explain why they were never in the same room together—instead, if they needed to interact, they would talk on the phone. The seams held until a key Season 6 episode, filmed just before Panjabi left the series. Alicia and Kalinda finally appear in a frame together, having a conversation in a bar. But it's obvious the actors weren't actually in the same room. The scene was accomplished via the use of split screen techniques and body doubles, which explains why the characters never physically interact.
Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, Fate of the Furious
Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson are both known for their alpha male action hero roles, so it's hardly surprising that they butted heads on the Fast & Furious films. Johnson appeared in four of the franchise's mainline films, all of which were produced by Diesel, who considers himself the father figure (on and off the screen) of the famously family-focused franchise. The former wrestling star's arrival in Fast Five required a lot of negotiating, especially since Johnson initially played an antagonist and both actors' contracts reportedly specify that they can never lose a fight. (Note that their tussles always come to an end because they're interrupted, not because someone wins.) Fans called out the weird eye lines in one scene in Fast & Furious 6, leading to speculation that Diesel and Johnson didn't film the interaction together.
Whether or not that's true, Johnson told Vanity Fair in 2021 that he only returned for the eighth installment, The Fate of the Furious, under the condition that he wouldn't have to film scenes with Diesel. "I wanted to forgo the drama," the Black Adam star said, though their war of words continued.
Despite an invitation, Johnson chose not to return for F9 or the upcoming Fast X; his last movie in the franchise was the 2019 spinoff, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, co-starring Jason Statham.
Lena Headey and Jerome Flynn, Game of Thrones
Seven Kingdoms is a lot, but you'd think that at some point across eight seasons of HBO's Game of Thrones, Lena Headey's Cersei Lannister would have shared a word with Jerome Flynn's Bronn, considering he was her beloved brother Jamie's favorite hired mercenary. But rumors suggest there was a reason for that beyond the difficulties of adapting George R.R. Martin's sprawling novels. According to The Cut, Headey and Flynn dated at some point before the filming of the show and had a bad breakup, to the point that Headey expressed "genuine hate" toward her fellow cast member. Little birds have since whispered that there were strict orders to keep the two away from one another on set (though they did technically share the screen for a brief moment in season three). For his part, in 2019 Flynn told the crowds at a fan convention in Nashville that the rumors were just that, and that the two got along just fine.
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Lucy Liu and Bill Murray, Charlie's Angels
In the 2000 Charlie's Angels feature film reboot, Bill Murray played Bosley, a curmudgeonly sort of father figure to the titular trio of secret agents—including Lucy Liu's Alex Munday. Unfortunately, that camaraderie didn't stretch beyond the screen. Reports indicated that Murray and Liu did not get along, and that during one particularly heated day on set, he verbally attacked his co-star, going so far as to tell her, "You can't act." Liu, for her part, is proud of herself for not accepting his treatment of her quietly.
While it's unclear whether the first film had to be reworked at all in the wake of their row, Murray's character was dropped from the sequel, and the actor was replaced by Bernie Mac (playing Bosley's "brother from another mother"). The spurned star placed the blame for his departure not on Liu, but on director McG, however.
Will Smith and Janet Hubert, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Sitcom history is rife with examples of characters who were recast partway through a long run, and one of the most infamous is Aunt Vivian, from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Janet Hubert played the character through the third season, before being replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid. Hubert later complained that Will Smith ostracized her on the set, making her feel like an outcast. According to TMZ's account of a 1993 radio interview, the future megastar said that Hubert had a bad attitude and didn't like being told what to do by her younger colleagues, while Hubert claimed that it was Smith's ego that was to blame. Whatever happened, both parties stuck to their guns for decades, with Hubert telling TMZ in 2011 that she would "never reunite with that [expletive]." Happily, the two mended fences and had a heart-to-heart on the 2020 HBO Max cast reunion special, though it took nearly 30 years.
Naya Rivera and Lea Michele, Glee
Even for a show with a ton of notable behind-the-scenes drama, the feud between Glee stars Lea Michele and the late Naya Rivera still stands out. The two spent years working together on the Fox musical teen drama, but were hardly fast friends. Rumors of on-set tension swirled for years, particularly as Rivera's Santana grew more popular with fans and was given a larger role on the show. It all apparently came to a head during the filming of the final episodes of the fifth season, when a major altercation reportedly occurred between the two. It's never been publicly reported exactly what happened, but afterward, Santana was written out of the season finale and dropped from the regular cast for Season 6, though she remained a recurring character.