, author: Ermakova M.

Riot on the ship: actors rebelling against directors

Let's look at interesting cases when the opinion of the role players about the development of their characters did not coincide with the script, and what came of it.

Photo source: freepik.com

The ability to constructively defend one’s point of view at work is a valuable quality and always entails consequences. Positive or negative depends on the wisdom of the leader. Some people listen to criticism and fully or partially agree with it, while others categorically cannot stand subordinates who show initiative and, when the opportunity arises, tries to get rid of them. In cinema, as in any field, there are also “mutins on the ship.” Actors sometimes disagree with how their character is developing and either openly or subtly make their opinion heard. In this review, we will look at several little-known cases of such creative differences and how, in the end, they affected projects.


Matthew Perry - TV series "Friends" (1994 - 2004)

Photo source: HBO

After the sudden death of actor and public favorite Matthew Perry in October of this year, his colleague in the TV series “Friends” Lisa Cash spoke about how she was cast in the project for the role of Chandler Bing’s mistress. It was him who Perry portrayed on screen for the entire ten years that Friends aired on HBO. In the story, Bing had a romantic relationship with Monica Geller, played by Courteney Cox. In the seventh season, their characters got married. The idea of testing the strength of Bing and Geller's love with the help of Cash's character, to put it mildly, displeased the actor. "Matthew Perry went to the writers and said that the audience would never forgive him (Chandler), which, of course, had a big impact," Lisa recalled. As a result, Perry was heard and did not make Bing a “traitor.” But Cash was not left without a job, turning her into a flight attendant who flirts in-flight with Ross Geller (David Schwimmer) in front of his girlfriend Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston). “I think he (Perry) was right,” Cash noted. “As for Ross and Rachel, they broke up at that time, but Chandler and Monica did not. He would have made this decision (about cheating) when they were together.”

John Krasinski - TV series "The Office" (2005 - 2013)

Photo source: NBC Universal Television

John Krasinski did the same thing as Perry, refusing to lie to his on-screen lover, secretary at the Dunder Mifflin paper delivery company Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer). According to the script, John's character, Jim Halpert, cheats on his now-wife Pam with his new secretary while Beasley is on leave to care for their recently born child. “It was the only time in my memory that I stood my ground,” Krasinski admitted. “I said something that I didn’t think I was capable of: ‘I’m not going to do this.’ I think there’s a limit.” , beyond which you can't push the audience. They (the audience) trust us. So we have to treat them with a lot of respect. If you push them away too much, they might never come back. And I guess if you show Jim cheating, they'll never come back ".

Dylan Sprouse - TV series "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody" (2005 - 2008)

Photo source: Getty Images

14-year-old Dylan Sprouse, who played the role of Zack Martin, showed himself to be a real gentleman on the set of the sitcom. As his “on-screen mother,” actress Kim Rhodes, told reporters, Dylan was not afraid to stand up for her. “At the same time as filming, I became pregnant. And, of course, this was immediately added to the TV show in the form of fat jokes. One of my favorite memories is how Dylan missed his lines with such jokes. Usually they were inserted into the middle of the dialogue, and he missed those 'fun' moments over and over and over again," Rhodes said. When it came time to film in front of an audience in the audience and the executive producer began shouting at Sprouse to say all the lines written in the script, Dylan said: “It’s disrespectful to any woman. And I won’t do it. Leave her alone. Write something funny and I'll say it."

Zendaya - series "Dance Fever" (2010 - 2013)

Photo source: Disney Channel

Already at the age of 14, she knew what she could do in front of the camera and what she couldn’t. In a conversation with British Vogue in 2021, Zendaya said that in the script for the Disney series Dance Fever, her character Rocky Blue was prescribed a kiss with her partner, but she refused. "I remember thinking, 'I'm not going to do this. I’ll kiss him on the cheek, because I’ve never kissed him before and I don’t want to kiss on camera,” the actress noted. The producers of the TV show did not insist on following the script, since Zendaya had not reached the age of majority at that time, and given her principled position, the situation could result in legal costs.

Ben Affleck - film "Gone Girl" (2013)

Photo source: 20th Century Fox

The actor showed integrity on the set for a seemingly insignificant reason, but not for sports fans. A lifelong fan of the Boston Red Sox, he refused to appear on camera wearing a signature New York Yankees cap. This is exactly where the main character of the novel “Gone Girl” Nick Dunne wanders, trying to find his wife Amy. According to Ben, he entered into a fight with director David Fincher and called their confrontation "one man's rebellion against the Yankees." "I said, 'David, I love you, I'll do anything for you,'" Affleck recalled. - But I won't wear a Yankees cap. I just can not. I can't wear it because it will become an event... And I will never hear about its end. I can’t do this and I won’t put this on my head.” However, the parties finally reached a compromise, and Affleck’s character appears in the film wearing a cap from another New York Mets club.