A crew member’s cell phone video was uploaded Friday of Dennis Quaid ranting and raving on the set of James Vanderbilt’s (yes, the Anderson Cooper Vanderbilts) Truth (2015). The film-in-progress is an upcoming biopic about former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather (Robert Redford), and his pre-Brian Williams fall from grace after problematically reporting on President George W. Bush’s military service. Quaid is not the first high-profile lost temper to be caught on camera, and, in the high-pressure entertainment industry, he won’t be the last, so, in honor of these stars’ hilarious blowups, here are the top ten Hollywood meltdowns of all time.
I don’t count celebrities like Charlie Sheen or Lindsay Lohan because their blowups aren’t so much “isolated incidents” as they are “personality disorders.”
- Mel Gibson
It’s almost become a cliché at this point to call out Mel Gibson on 2006’s drunken, anti-Semitic tirade, or 2010’s racist and abusive phone call to ex Oksana Grigorieva… or the homophobia on display in Braveheart (1995)… or the negative Jewish stereotypes showcased in The Passion of the Christ (2004)… These incidents of his are isolated in nature, but they’re severe enough that it’s hard to watch Lethal Weapon anymore. What makes him all the more unbearable is his 2010 interview with Dean Richards, when he figuratively rolls his eyes at being called to task over… oh, you know… anti-Semitism and woman-hating.
- Matt Damon
Who knew that Boston tough Matt Damon could get so bitchy and catty? Whilst filming a 2009 PSA, Damon gradually (and hilariously) loses his patience. He doesn’t say anything bigoted, but his words are still dripping with sass.
- Joan and Melissa Rivers
Melissa is the one who gets fired from The Celebrity Apprentice in 2009, but it’s her mother’s reaction we’re waiting to see, and Joan’s righteous fury cements the comedienne’s status as the reigning queen of everything (still, even after her Oscars-snubbed death). Melissa is fun to watch as she angrily runs around in her boot, and, as soon as Joan says, “You have now got a Nazi and a follower,” you know you’re in for a treat. “Poker players are trash, darling, trash!”
- Michael Richards
Kramer, why? The Seinfeld alum was doing standup in 2006 when he took on a group of hecklers and things got… racial. Richards apologized, but it doesn’t make the outburst any less disturbing coming from his lovable persona.
- Meat Loaf
Meat Loaf is a rock star with a revolting stage name who made an appearance in the peak of cinematic triumph, Jim Sharman’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). He went on to compete in The Celebrity Apprentice in 2011, where he does the impossible and out-crazies Gary Busey over sponges and paints. Busey’s blank expression, while Meat Loaf foams at the mouth, is always good for a laugh.
- Alec Baldwin
Baldwin so famously assaulted a paparazzo in 1995 whilst defending the honor of his then wife, Kim Basinger, that Whoopi Goldberg referenced it in her opening monologue as host of the Sixty-Eighth Annual Academy Awards ceremony. However, it’s the 2007 voicemail he left to his and Basinger’s then eleven-year-old daughter, Ireland, calling her “a rude, thoughtless, little pig,” that’s far less honorable. Baldwin has since then apologized.
- David O. Russell and Lily Tomlin
While shooting I Heart Huckabees (2004), the director and the actress had their own respective rage fits. Tomlin’s is verbal, and Russell’s is physical. According to the critics, the outcome wasn’t worth the trouble.
- Britney Spears
Spears is obviously a pop star, not a film star, but, in a world where cameras are everywhere, everybody’s a film star. A bald Spears was recorded in 2007 attacking paparazzi with her umbrella. There’s a reason my life’s motto is, “If Britney Spears can make it through 2007, I can make it through this day.”
- Christian Bale
Actor breakdowns are either pre-Christian Bale or post-Christian Bale. While filming McG’s Terminator Salvation (2009), Bale crucifies a set guy for throwing off his performance… for Terminator Salvation, the third sequel to a James Cameron movie about time-travelling cyborgs. Not exactly the most soul-searching performance in the history of the screen.
- Left Eye
Again, Left Eye was a musician, not a filmmaker. Regardless, a documentary was made about her – Lauren Lazin’s The Last Days of Left Eye (2007) – and who can compete against that one time she burned down NFL player Andre Rison’s mansion? Kreayshawn dropped a song about her, one’s that’s been featured in both Paul Feig’s The Heat (2013) and David Fincher’s Gone Girl (2014).