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From Dwayne Johnson to Meryl Streep: A look at the co-stars who famously clashed on set

 (ES)
(ES)

The movie-making process often contradicts its glamorous façade with actors and directors clashing with colleagues behind-the-scenes.

Film sets can transform into hostile workplaces, with the most severe instances quickly becoming part of Hollywood lore.

While some rifts may heal over time, others persist or worsen leading to heated debates, and, occasionally, physical confrontations on set, leaving the reputations of those involved tarnished.

Here The Standard looks back on some of the most notable fallouts in Hollywood.

Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep

Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep may have picked up Oscars for their portrayal of an estranged husband and wife at odds in Kramer vs Kramer – but it seems the tension they brought on-screen wasn’t too dissimilar to the tumultuous energy off it.

In 1979, Streep recalled her first encounter with Hoffman, who was 42 and 12 years her senior at the time, explaining how they immediately got off on the wrong foot when he touched her breast.

She told Time Magazine: “He came up to me and said, ‘I’m Dustin–burp–Hoffman,’ and he put his hand on my breast. ‘What an obnoxious pig,’ I thought.”

And things didn’t fare much better when filming got underway. During one tense scene between their characters, Streep, 73, claimed that Hoffman, 85, slapped her without warning.

She told the New York Times in 2018: “This was my first movie, and it was my first take in my first movie, and he just slapped me.”

With tensions understandably fraught, one of the film’s producers recalled to Vanity Fair how Hoffman would “goad” Streep by talking about her late boyfriend, John Cazale, and become frustrated when she made any suggestion to improve her character.

Years on, Hoffman has since claimed that he was taking out his frustrations from his own divorce on Streep, telling the Huffington Post: “I'm sure I was acting out on her [Streep] throughout the movie.

“Stuff that I was feeling toward the wife that I was divorcing in real life.”

William Shatner and George Takei

Despite being two of the three surviving cast members of the original Star Trek series, William Shatner, 91, and George Takei, 85, have been engaged in a feud spanning decades.

Several incidents on set contributed to fuelling this feud, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, one of which included Shatner being annoyed at Takei for allegedly playing recklessly with his prop fencing sword.

Clearly no love was lost as they both took jabs at each other in their memoirs. Shatner branded Takei a “loose cannon” while in George’s 1994 autobiography, he accused Shatner of intentionally not acknowledging his presence.

Despite a brief truce in the early 00s, the pair were back at odds when Takei mocked Shatner for becoming the oldest person to fly in space in 2021 and branded him a “guinea pig” to see space’s impact on an “unfit” specimen.

While fans hoped the pair would finally let bygones be bygones, Takei labelled his former co-star a “cantankerous old man” during a 2022 appearance on the Graham Norton Show.

During the same interview, the Canadian actor revealed that chat show hosts are now banned from asking about their real life feud because he finds the whole situation “tiresome”.

Terri Hatcher and Nicolette Sheridan

 (ABC)
(ABC)

According to Desperate Housewives writer Marc Cherry, Nicolette Sheridan once labelled co-star Teri Hatcher as "the meanest woman in the world."

However, reports suggest that Sheridan wasn't the only star who had issues with Hatcher, who played Susan Myers, during her eight-year tenure on the ABC series.

During the height of the show's fame, rumours were incessantly rife of trouble between the cast members, including an alleged row on a Vanity Fair cover shoot and Hatcher’s absence from leaving gifts to the crew at the end of the show.

Following the finale and amidst widespread speculation about on-set dynamics, Hatcher told the TV Guide, "I will never disclose the true and complicated journey of us all, but I wish everyone on the show well."

However, six years later, Huffman reignited the feud speculation when she shared a tribute to the series online in 2018, featuring personalised messages for each former co-star, except Hatcher.

That same year, Hatcher’s co-star Eva Longoria appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and insisted that the stars remained "very good friends," later amending her statement to "99 percent of us are”.

Vin Diesel and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson

Rumours of ongoing tension between The Fast and the Furious franchise stars Vin Diesel and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson have endured for years.

Speculation about their fallout became clear when Johnson shared an Instagram post towards the end of filming Fate of the Furious in August 2016, in which he then dubbed an anonymous male cast member a “candy ass” and “chicken s**t”, later revealed to be Diesel.

Almost a year later, in April 2017, Diesel, who has both produced and acted in the franchise since it’s inception in 2001, discussed their relationship with USA Today, characterising the dynamic between the prominent stars as "two alphas”.

Then, in an interview with Rolling Stone, Johnson appeared to confirm their feud, explaining that the pair have “a fundamental difference in philosophies on how we approach moviemaking and collaborating”.

Speaking to Men’s Health, Diesel attributed his tensions with Johnson to his "tough love" method of directing his co-stars and underscored the significance of audiences recognising Johnson beyond his wrestling background, despite him acting for a decade at that point.

However by August 2019 when the Fast spinoff Hobbs & Shaw premiered, it appeared that the duo had resolved their differences with Johnson specifically thanked Diesel in an Instagram post regarding the film, stating, "I'll be seeing you soon, Toretto."

But by 2021 it appeared as though Johnson was done with playing games and announced he would not be returning to the main franchise and that his appearance in The Fate of the Furious would be his last.

In a surprising turn of events in May 2023, Fast & Furious enthusiasts were shocked to see Johnson make a cameo appearance in the post-credits scene of Fast X. This unexpected gesture led many to believe that the longstanding feud between Johnson and Diesel might have finally come to a close.

Just a month later, the Black Adam star confirmed his return to the Fast & Furious franchise, on Instagram stating, "Yes, it is true. Hobbs is back" and announced that the actors had put their differences aside.

At the time, Variety reported that besides returning as Luke Hobbs, Johnson's character will star in his own standalone film, and the spinoff will bridge the storyline between Fast X and the franchise's 12th film, Fast X: Part II, scheduled for release in 2025.

Kim Cattrall and Sarah Jessica Parker

 (WireImage)
(WireImage)

It's no secret that Sex and the City stars Sarah Jessica Parker, 57, and Kim Cattrall, 65, aren't as close as their characters are on-screen.

In fact, reports of their fallout were rife while the series was still filming amid claims of a salary dispute when Parker became an executive producer in the second season, resulting in a $300,000 salary increase.

Although initially denying any feud, things came to a head when a 2017 DailyMail.com article claimed that the third Sex and the City movie was cancelled over Cattrall’s demands.

The Canadian star had expected Parker as well as the rest of the SATC cast and crew to refute the allegations, but they didn’t, causing Cattrall to admit there was there was animosity between the pair.

During an appearance on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories months later, she remarked that Parker “could have been nicer” in her decision not to participate in the third movie and claimed the pair were “never friends".

Then in February 2018, following the passing of her brother Chris, Cattrall furiously responded to Parker's condolences under her Instagram post.

Cattrall shared a photo of a message stating, “I don’t need your love or support at this tragic time @sarahjessicaparker,” further amplifying their ongoing discord.

Despite relations still be frosty between them, Cattrall made a brief cameo on the Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That, season two much to fans’ joy.

However, her character Samantha Jones’ appearance was noticeably on the other end of a phone call and in a different country to Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw, who she was speaking to.

Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron’s feud during the filming of the 2015 post-apocalyptic drama Mad Max: Fury Road has been well-documented in the book, Blood, Sweat, and Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road.

Cast and crew members opened up about the gruelling filming process in it, with one revealing how Theron was “scared s***less” of the Legend actor after a heated encounter when he showed up to set three hours late.

Mark Goellnicht, a camera operator, recalled: “Tom turns up, and he walks casually across the desert. She jumps out of the War Rig, and she starts swearing her head off at him, saying, ‘Fine the f****** c*** a hundred thousand dollars for every minute that he's held up this crew,’ and ‘How disrespectful you are!’”

“He charged up to her up and went, ‘What did you say to me?’ He was quite aggressive. She really felt threatened, and that was the turning point.”

The Oscar winner was so shaken by the exchange that she reportedly had producer Denise Di Novi shadow her to ensure no further conflicts with her co-star.

“It got to a place where it was kind of out of hand, and there was a sense that maybe sending a woman producer down could maybe equalize some of it, because I didn't feel safe,” Theron said in the book.

Despite branding the experience “horrible”, the two stars have been able to reflect on the issue with a more objective stance. Hardy attributed the tension to the pressure of filming, while Theron expressed empathy for the British actor stepping into Mel Gibson's (the original Mad Max) shoes.