When Costars Clash: 14 Onscreen Pairs Who Were Allegedly Feuding Offscreen
Charlize and Tom, Jennie and Shannen, Nicki and Mariah — these celebs weren't afraid to speak their minds about their co-workers
Tom Hardy & Charlize Theron
The Mad Max: Fury Road stars addressed the tension between them both on screen and off when they participated in an oral history about the film published in The New York Times.
The pair did not get along while filming the 2015 action film directed by George Miller, mostly due to the challenges that came with filming.
"In retrospect, I didn't have enough empathy to really, truly understand what he must have felt like to step into Mel Gibson's shoes," Theron said of Hardy. "That is frightening!" Hardy was taking over a role played by Gibson in the first three of Miller's Mad Max films.
Theron admitted that she was was also "putting up walls." She told The New York Times, "I think because of my own fear, we were putting up walls to protect ourselves instead of saying to each other, 'This is scary for you and it's scary for me, too. Let's be nice to each other.' In a weird way, we were functioning like our characters: Everything was about survival."
She continued, "The biggest thing that was driving that entire production was fear. I was incredibly scared because I’d never done anything like it. I think the hardest thing between me and George [Miller] is that he had the movie in his head and I was so desperate to understand it."
For his part, Hardy "would agree" with Theron, adding, ""I think in hindsight, I was in over my head in many ways. The pressure on both of us was overwhelming at times. What [Theron] needed was a better, perhaps more experienced, partner in me. That’s something that can’t be faked. I’d like to think that now that I’m older and uglier, I could rise to that occasion."
Megan Mullally & Debra Messing
The Will & Grace costars reportedly don't get along as well offscreen as they do on. Fans were in a tizzy when they noticed that the pair had unfollowed one another on Instagram, and that they were rarely seen in photos together. The rumor mill began churning again when it was announced that Mullally would not be in two of the final 18 episodes of the beloved series.
TVLine reported on Oct. 24, 2019, that Mullally took a temporary leave of absence from the NBC sitcom, causing her to miss two episodes. It is tension on set, according to a source at EW, that contributed to the decision to end the series.
In April 2020, the creators of the show addressed the tensions on set in an interview with EW. When asked how they were able to wrap the series after Mullally stepped away for a few episodes, creator Max Mutchnick said, "We always work under this kind of motto that everything's about the work. It's just about the work. And so if we stay true to that, then we just keep you guys out of whatever happened on the set this year because it would have done nothing but get in the way of the stories that we wanted to tell.:
He added, "It was not an easy year, but the permanent legacy of the show is much more important to us than any temporary squabble that would take place on the stage."
Sarah Jessica Parker & Kim Cattrall
Much-rumored tension between the longtime Sex and the City costars came to a head when Cattrall discussed scrapped plans for a third film in October 2017. "We've never been friends. We've been colleagues and in some way, it's a very healthy place to be," she said of Parker. "I never asked for any money. I never asked for any projects, to be thought of as some kind of diva is absolutely ridiculous," the actress added of reports her negotiations had delayed a possible movie. "And this is really where I take to task the people from Sex and the City and specifically Sarah Jessica Parker in that I think she could have been nicer."
Parker responded to Cattrall's interview during a February 2018 Watch What Happens Live episode. "I found it very upsetting," she said. "That's not the way I recall our experience. So it's sad."
Shortly after her former costar's WWHL appearance, Cattrall's brother, Chris, was found dead. "Dearest Kim, my love and condolences to you and yours and Godspeed to your beloved brother. Xx," Parker commented on her post confirming Chris's passing.
Susan Sarandon & Julia Roberts
Leave it to Sarandon to drop some truth bombs. She took to social media to quash old rumors once and for all that she and Roberts battled on the set of the 1998 movie Stepmom. "Press printed that Julia & I hated each other during Stepmom," the actress tweeted. "Found out it was my PR person creating rumors." Sarandon also shared a link to a 1998 EW article about the alleged feud. "If you make a movie with a male star everyone assumes you're f——," she declared at the time. "If it's a female star, everyone assumes you're fighting."
Susan Sarandon & Jessica Lange
When you star on a show called Feud, you and your costar are bound to be on the receiving end of, well, rumored feuds. This was exactly the case for Sarandon and Lange, who act alongside each other on the docu-drama about the famous 1960s rivalry between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. "The #1 question I get in interviews is whether Jessica & I get along. Jess & I not only got along great during filming, we're now dating," tweeted Sarandon, before following up her message with a second tweet: "…I mean, staying in touch. She's one of the reasons I agreed to do the series. Working with brilliant actors only makes you better."
Freddie Prinze Jr. & Kiefer Sutherland
Jack Bauer may be everyone's favorite badass, but his IRL counterpart, Sutherland, still gets some hate. After joining 24, Prinze was vocal about how much he disliked the show's lead actor, and really, his entire time on the program. "I did 24, and it was terrible. I hated every moment of it," he told ABC News. "Kiefer was the most unprofessional dude in the world. That's not me talking trash. I'd say it to his face. I think everyone that's worked with him has said that." Prinze also took a break from acting after his stint on 24, saying that the experience made him want "to quit the business."
Lea Michele & Naya Rivera
In her 2016 memoir, Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes and Growing Up, Rivera confirmed her rumored feud with her Glee costar was very real — though she stressed it was "blown out of proportion" in the media. "If I'd complained about anyone or anything, she'd assumed I was bitching about her," Rivera wrote. "Soon, she started to ignore me, and eventually it got to the point where she didn't say a word to me for all of Season 6. Lea and I definitely weren't the best of friends, and I doubt we'll ever sit on her couch and eat kale together again."
Chelsea Handler & Heather McDonald
They shared laughs for nearly seven years on Chelsea Lately, but it turns out things were a lot less funny between Handler and McDonald off-camera. "I lived in fear, 100 percent lived in fear," McDonald said of her time on the show. "I enjoyed my time there, I was happy, but I mean something would happen and my heart would be beating and I would be like, 'Is this it?' – you know? And then somehow I just managed to keep surviving." Handler, however, had little sympathy for her former colleague: "It's not an internment camp," she told Howard Stern. "If you're living in that much fear, go get another job."
Patrick Swayze & Jennifer Grey
On screen, they were one of the greatest movie love stories of all time – I mean, that lift. But off-screen, there was tension – and it wasn't romantic. Swayze wrote in his memoir The Time of My Life that he found Grey to be overly emotional during filming. "We did have a few moments of friction when we were tired or after a long day of shooting. [Grey] seemed particularly emotional, sometimes bursting into tears if someone criticized her," he wrote. "Other times, she slipped into silly moods, forcing us to do scenes over and over again when she'd start laughing." Things didn't stay sour between the two, however: he also said that she did a "truly phenomenal job" in the film.
Nicki Minaj & Mariah Carey
After the original American Idol trio of Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell broke up, there were bumps along the way to finding the show's flow again. The biggest one? The season-long tiff between Minaj and Carey, who couldn't go a minute without bickering, it seemed. The two didn't try and deny their bad blood, either: when asked about their never-ending feud at the TCAs, Carey responded, "It was sort of a one-sided thing," to which Minaj said, "No, it wasn't." And there you have it.
Will Smith & Janet Hubert
This Fresh Prince feud was so bad that it actually resulted in Hubert leaving the show's cast. "[Smith] said, 'We're just gonna replace her and act like nothing happened,' " Hubert said years after her departure. "Well honey, that is not what happened, is it? The world has let me know that my place on that show was very, very, very loved ... I felt demonized and beaten up and crucified for many many years, no one came forward in my defense." And things are still tense between the two, nearly 23 years after her exit: Hubert called out Smith and his wife Jada, saying their 2016 Oscars boycott was self-motivated.
Julianna Margulies & Archie Panjabi
Throughout the first two seasons of The Good Wife, Margulies' Alicia Florrick and Panjabi's Kalinda Sharma were practically inseparable. But after (SPOILER) Kalinda revealed she had slept with Alicia's husband Peter, things got seriously chilly between the two on-screen. And after they hadn't appeared in a scene together for 30 episodes, audiences started to wonder if the tension wasn't extending off-screen, too. Things came to head when it was revealed that the goodbye scene between Kalinda and Alicia in the sixth season finale – their first together in years – was spliced together, and that the two weren't actually in the same room to film it. Margulies claimed that it was because Panjabi was shooting her other show, The Fall, at the time – but Panjabi tweeted, "@TheFallTV was not even in production at that time and I was in New York ready to film the scene!" Seems suspicious …
Shannen Doherty & Jennie Garth
High school always comes with drama – even fictional high school. And for West Beverly Hills High "classmates" Doherty and Garth, there was lots of it. "We were locked in this sound stage for 14 to 16 hours every day," Garth said. "There were times when we loved each other and there were times when we wanted to claw each other's eyes out." And it seemed for the two Beverly Hills, 90210 stars, life imitated art: "Brenda and Kelly began as best friends but turned into bitter rivals, and Shannen and I did, too, at least for a time while we were working together," Garth added.
Ryan Gosling & Rachel McAdams
They ended up dating – and breaking our hearts when they split – but it wasn't all romance for Notebook stars Gosling and McAdams, who had their share of rough patches while filming the now-iconic love story. "They were really not getting along one day on set," director Nick Cassavetes told VH1. "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.' " The animosity, as we all now know, soon subsided.