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8 Actors and Directors Who Did Not Get Along

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When two highly paid creative visionaries work together, things don’t always go smoothly. Here are a few of the most memorable bust-ups between Hollywood directors and actors.

1. GEORGE CLOONEY AND DAVID O. RUSSELL

After reviewing the script for Three Kings, David O. Russell’s Iraq War action-comedy, George Clooney—who was angling for film industry legitimacy at the time—desperately wanted in. But the feeling wasn’t mutual. “Russell hated Clooney’s style of acting, which he considered a lot of head-bobbing and mugging for the camera,” Sharon Waxman wrote in Rebels on the Backlot. After Nicolas Cage—Russell’s first choice for the role of U.S. Army Special Forces Major Archie Gates—declined, and Warner Bros. nixed the director’s other choices (including Dustin Hoffman), Russell awarded the part to Clooney.

The relationship, which wasn’t great to begin with, deteriorated as the actor struggled with Russell’s constant coaching and improvisational directing style. Things finally came to a head when Russell, whose behavior toward the crew Clooney severely disliked, threw an extra to the ground (Russell would claim he was demonstrating how he wanted the extra to treat Ice Cube in the scene they were filming). The details that followed differ from one account to the next, but what’s certain is that the two ended up brawling and had to be dragged apart.

“It was truly without exception, the worst experience of my life,” Clooney would later say. Russell, for his part, said he would never again make a film with Clooney. In 2012, they reportedly buried the hatchet. In 2013, Russell told The New York Times that, "George and I had a friendly rapport last year. I don’t know if we would be working together. I don’t think we would rule it out. But the point is, much ado was made about things long passed.”

2. FAYE DUNAWAY AND ROMAN POLANSKI

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Faye Dunaway, who vaulted to A-list status through a string of memorable roles in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s—most notably as Bonnie Parker in Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde—was used to having a collaborative relationship with directors. That wasn’t the case with Roman Polanski, who directed her in 1974’s Chinatown. In response to Dunaway’s inquiries about her character Evelyn Mulwray’s motivation, Polanski would bark, “Your salary is your motivation!”

If Polanski had a reputation for being a dictator on set, Dunaway was known for putting on airs. “She considered herself a ‘star,’ and did not go out of her way to ingratiate herself with the director or the crew,” wrote Peter Biskind in Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. The relationship took a hit after Polanski snuck up behind Dunaway and plucked a stubborn hair that he claimed was ruining his shot. And it went off the rails after Dunaway threw what was reportedly a cup of urine in the director’s face. The actress refuses to talk about the incident these days, while Polanski has called Dunaway “unhinged.”

3. MARLON BRANDO AND FRANK OZ

Even in his old age, the legendary Marlon Brando could deliver a great performance. But he’d put a director through hell to get it. Nobody knew this better than Frank Oz, who memorably clashed with Brando while filming the 2001 heist movie The Score. According to reports, Brando frequently tried to change the shooting schedule and stubbornly clung to his own interpretation of his character, an aging mobster named Max. The Godfather actor became so incensed with Oz, a Muppets veteran who was directing his first drama after several successful comedies, that he refused to take direction from him. He would also refer to Oz as “Miss Piggy,” in reference to the Muppets character Oz voiced.

Things would have deteriorated further if not for Robert De Niro, who took over in the director’s chair when Brando refused to work with Oz, and who soothed the actor’s ruffled feathers on numerous occasions.

4. SHELLEY DUVALL AND STANLEY KUBRICK

Shelley Duvall, who had scant formal training as an actress, spent her early career working with freewheeling directors like Robert Altman and Woody Allen. This did little to prepare her for collaborating with a perfectionist like Stanley Kubrick, who directed her in 1980’s The Shining. Duvall’s role as Wendy Torrance, who tries desperately to protect her son as her husband slips into madness, was a demanding one. And Kubrick’s antagonistic attitude toward her—captured in glimpses in the making-of documentary above, shot by the filmmaker’s daughter, Vivian—didn’t make things any easier.

“For a person who can be so likeable, he can do some pretty cruel things,” Duvall said in the documentary Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures. Kubrick shot scenes again and again—as many as 127 times, according to reports. Many believe Kubrick was intentionally wearing down Duvall in a way that would heighten her character’s desperation. But as Emilio D’Alessandro, Kubrick’s longtime assistant, recently recalled in an essay for Esquire, Kubrick was also annoyed with Duvall’s insecurities as an actress. “I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything,” said Duvall. “But I wouldn’t want to go through with it again.”

5. EDWARD NORTON AND TONY KAYE

Considering American History X was Tony Kaye’s first film directing gig, you’d think he would avoid ruffling too many feathers. Well, think again. Apparently Kaye didn’t want Edward Norton for the lead role—Joaquin Phoenix was his first choice—and only agreed to the actor because he didn’t have time to cast someone else. The shoot, which lasted a quick 45 days, went off amicably enough. Afterwards, Kaye produced a rough cut of the film that pleased Norton and the studio, New Line. But then things went south.

Norton, along with New Line, gave pages of notes to Kaye on how to make his cut better, which the director did not take well. The two sides fought so bitterly that Kaye was banned from the editing room. New Line let him back in for a year, but then gave the reins over to Norton after Kaye said he wanted to completely rework the film. “I was so staggered by what [Norton] was doing to my film, and by the fact that New Line approved, that I punched the wall and broke my hand,” Kaye wrote in an essay for The Guardian.

What Kaye did next is the stuff of Hollywood legend: He took out ads in trade publications disparaging the project, scuttled the film’s premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, and ultimately fought to remove his name from the picture altogether. Norton, for his part, was incensed. “Let’s not make any mistake: Tony Kaye is a victim of nothing but his own professional and spiritual immaturity,” Norton told Entertainment Weekly. In the years since American History X came out, Kaye seems to have mellowed. In a 2007 interview with The Telegraph, he owned up to his bad behavior. “I did a lot of very insane things,” he said.

6. KLAUS KINSKI AND WERNER HERZOG

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There was likely no actor-director relationship more tempestuous than the one between Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski. Herzog was—and still is—an uncompromising filmmaker who gravitates toward risky projects, while Kinski was unstable and given to prolonged fits of rage. Put together, the two fought relentlessly. While filming Fitzcarraldo in the jungles of Peru, Kinski threatened to leave the set, and Herzog replied that he would shoot him dead if he tried. Later, an extra who was fed up with Kinski’s tyrannical behavior offered to kill the actor for Herzog. Their acrimony is the stuff of moviemaking legend, and yet both seemed to thrive off the energy it produced.

In an interview, Herzog said the actor’s rages were often his way of getting into character. After Kinski died in 1991, Herzog frequently expressed admiration for his acting skill and devotion. “I think he needed me as much as I needed him,” Herzog said in My Best Fiend, a 1999 documentary the director made about their relationship.

7. WESLEY SNIPES AND DAVID GOYER

Despite the success of the first two Blade films, audiences just couldn’t get behind the third installment in the series, Blade: Trinity. Many observers chalked up the movie’s blandness to a troubled production, which included a bitter feud between star Wesley Snipes and writer/director David Goyer. Details were difficult to pin down during filming, but became clearer in a $5 million lawsuit filed by Snipes a year after the film released. In it, Snipes claimed that he never approved of the director or the script, which he claimed had a “juvenile level of humor,” and that this was a breach of his contract. Snipes also claimed racial discrimination during the casting process. So Snipes was not a happy camper before filming started, and according to costar Patton Oswalt, things really went downhill during filming.

In a memorable interview with The A.V. Club, Oswalt said that Snipes choked Goyer after they had a disagreement on set. Goyer, in response, enlisted a biker gang to act as his security detail, which unnerved Snipes to the point that he refused to interact with the director. According to Oswalt, Snipes would only communicate with Goyer by Post-It notes, which he would sign, “From Blade.”

8. BRIGITTE BARDOT AND HENRI-GEORGES CLOUZOT

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Although not well known these days, Henri-Georges Clouzot was a highly regarded director in the ‘50s and ‘60s. His suspense movies were so well-crafted, Alfred Hitchcock reportedly worried that Clouzot would unseat him as the “Master of Suspense.” Clouzot’s methods, however, were quite controversial. In one film, he made his lead actor undergo an actual blood transfusion. In another, he smacked an actress in order to get her angry for a scene.

In La Vérité (The Truth), Clouzot’s film about the trial of a woman accused of killing her boyfriend, the director slipped sleeping pills to an unwitting Brigitte Bardot in order to make her appear exhausted. He overdid it, and Bardot’s stomach had to be pumped. At another point, according to Jeffrey Robinson in his book Brigitte Bardot: Two Lives, Clouzot took the actress by the shoulders and shook her. “I don’t need amateurs in my films,” he said. “I want an actress.” Bardot slapped him. “And I need a director, not a psychopath!” she replied.

In later years, Bardot would say that La Vérité was her finest performance. But she still hated Clouzot, describing him as a “negative being, forever at odds with himself and the world around him.”

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8 Tricks to Help Your Cat and Dog to Get Along
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When people aren’t debating whether cats or dogs are more intelligent, they’re equating them as mortal foes. That’s a stereotype that both cat expert Jackson Galaxy, host of the Animal Planet show My Cat From Hell, and certified dog trainer Zoe Sandor want to break.

Typically, cats are aloof and easily startled, while dogs are gregarious and territorial. This doesn't mean, however, that they can't share the same space—they're just going to need your help. “If cats and dogs are brought up together in a positive, loving, encouraging environment, they’re going to be friends,” Galaxy tells Mental Floss. “Or at the very least, they’ll tolerate each other.”

The duo has teamed up in a new Animal Planet series, Cat Vs. Dog, which airs on Saturdays at 10 p.m. The show chronicles their efforts to help pet owners establish long-lasting peace—if not perfect harmony—among cats and dogs. (Yes, it’s possible.) Gleaned from both TV and off-camera experiences, here are eight tips Galaxy and Sandor say will help improve household relations between Fido and Fluffy.

1. TAKE PERSONALITY—NOT BREED—INTO ACCOUNT.

Contrary to popular belief, certain breeds of cats and dogs don't typically get along better than others. According to Galaxy and Sandor, it’s more important to take their personalities and energy levels into account. If a dog is aggressive and territorial, it won’t be a good fit in a household with a skittish cat. In contrast, an aging dog would hate sharing his space with a rambunctious kitten.

If two animals don’t end up being a personality match, have a backup plan, or consider setting up a household arrangement that keeps them separated for the long term. And if you’re adopting a pet, do your homework and ask its previous owners or shelter if it’s lived with other animals before, or gets along with them.

2. TRAIN YOUR DOG.

To set your dog up for success with cats, teach it to control its impulses, Sandor says. Does it leap across the kitchen when someone drops a cookie, or go on high alert when it sees a squeaky toy? If so, it probably won’t be great with cats right off the bat, since it will likely jump up whenever it spots a feline.

Hold off Fido's face time with Fluffy until the former is trained to stay put. And even then, keep a leash handy during the first several cat-dog meetings.

3. GIVE A CAT ITS OWN TERRITORY BEFORE IT MEETS A DOG.

Cats need a protected space—a “base camp” of sorts—that’s just theirs, Galaxy says. Make this refuge off-limits to the dog, but create safe spaces around the house, too. This way, the cat can confidently navigate shared territory without trouble from its canine sibling.

Since cats are natural climbers, Galaxy recommends taking advantage of your home’s vertical space. Buy tall cat trees, install shelves, or place a cat bed atop a bookcase. This allows your cat to observe the dog from a safe distance, or cross a room without touching the floor.

And while you’re at it, keep dogs away from the litter box. Cats should feel safe while doing their business, plus dogs sometimes (ew) like to snack on cat feces, a bad habit that can cause your pooch to contract intestinal parasites. These worms can cause a slew of health problems, including vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and anemia.

Baby gates work in a pinch, but since some dogs are escape artists, prepare for worst-case scenarios by keeping the litter box uncovered and in an open space. That way, the cat won’t be cornered and trapped mid-squat.

4. EXERCISE YOUR DOG'S BODY AND MIND.

“People exercise their dogs probably 20 percent of what they should really be doing,” Sandor says. “It’s really important that their energy is released somewhere else so that they have the ability to slow down their brains and really control themselves when they’re around kitties.”

Dogs also need lots of stimulation. Receiving it in a controlled manner makes them less likely to satisfy it by, say, chasing a cat. For this, Sandor recommends toys, herding-type activities, lure coursing, and high-intensity trick training.

“Instead of just taking a walk, stop and do a sit five times on every block,” she says. “And do direction changes three times on every block, or speed changes two times. It’s about unleashing their herding instincts and prey drive in an appropriate way.”

If you don’t have time for any of these activities, Zoe recommends hiring a dog walker, or enrolling in doggy daycare.

5. LET CATS AND DOGS FOLLOW THEIR NOSES.

In Galaxy's new book, Total Cat Mojo, he says it’s a smart idea to let cats and dogs sniff each other’s bedding and toys before a face-to-face introduction. This way, they can satisfy their curiosity and avoid potential turf battles.

6. PLAN THE FIRST CAT/DOG MEETING CAREFULLY.

Just like humans, cats and dogs have just one good chance to make a great first impression. Luckily, they both love food, which might ultimately help them love each other.

Schedule the first cat-dog meeting during mealtime, but keep the dog on a leash and both animals on opposite sides of a closed door. They won’t see each other, but they will smell each other while chowing down on their respective foods. They’ll begin to associate this smell with food, thus “making it a good thing,” Galaxy says.

Do this every mealtime for several weeks, before slowly introducing visual simulation. Continue feeding the cat and dog separately, but on either side of a dog gate or screen, before finally removing it all together. By this point, “they’re eating side-by-side, pretty much ignoring each other,” Galaxy says. For safety’s sake, continue keeping the dog on a leash until you’re confident it’s safe to take it off (and even then, exercise caution).

7. KEEP THEIR FOOD AND TOYS SEPARATE.

After you've successfully ingratiated the cat and dog using feeding exercises, keep their food bowls separate. “A cat will walk up to the dog bowl—either while the dog’s eating, or in the vicinity—and try to eat out of it,” Galaxy says. “The dog just goes to town on them. You can’t assume that your dog isn’t food-protective or resource-protective.”

To prevent these disastrous mealtime encounters, schedule regular mealtimes for your pets (no free feeding!) and place the bowls in separate areas of the house, or the cat’s dish up on a table or another high spot.

Also, keep a close eye on the cat’s toys—competition over toys can also prompt fighting. “Dogs tend to get really into catnip,” Galaxy says. “My dog loves catnip a whole lot more than my cats do.”

8. CONSIDER RAISING A DOG AND CAT TOGETHER (IF YOU CAN).

Socializing these animals at a young age can be easier than introducing them as adults—pups are easily trainable “sponges” that soak up new information and situations, Sandor says. Plus, dogs are less confident and smaller at this stage in life, allowing the cat to “assume its rightful position at the top of the hierarchy,” she adds.

Remain watchful, though, to ensure everything goes smoothly—especially when the dog hits its rambunctious “teenage” stage before becoming a full-grown dog.

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Animals
10 Juicy Facts About Sea Apples

They're both gorgeous and grotesque. Sea apples, a type of marine invertebrate, have dazzling purple, yellow, and blue color schemes streaking across their bodies. But some of their habits are rather R-rated. Here’s what you should know about these weird little creatures.

1. THEY’RE SEA CUCUMBERS.

The world’s oceans are home to more than 1200 species of sea cucumber. Like sand dollars and starfish, sea cucumbers are echinoderms: brainless, spineless marine animals with skin-covered shells and a complex network of internal hydraulics that enables them to get around. Sea cucumbers can thrive in a range of oceanic habitats, from Arctic depths to tropical reefs. They're a fascinating group with colorful popular names, like the “burnt hot dog sea cucumber” (Holothuria edulis) and the sea pig (Scotoplanes globosa), a scavenger that’s been described as a “living vacuum cleaner.”

2. THEY'RE NATIVE TO THE WESTERN PACIFIC OCEAN.

Sea apples have oval-shaped bodies and belong to the genus Pseudocolochirus and genus Paracacumaria. The animals are indigenous to the western Pacific, where they can be found shuffling across the ocean floor in shallow, coastal waters. Many different types are kept in captivity, but two species, Pseudocolochirus violaceus and Pseudocolochirus axiologus, have proven especially popular with aquarium hobbyists. Both species reside along the coastlines of Australia and Southeast Asia.

3. THEY EAT WITH MUCUS-COVERED TENTACLES.

Sea cucumbers, the ocean's sanitation crew, eat by swallowing plankton, algae, and sandy detritus at one end of their bodies and then expelling clean, fresh sand out their other end. Sea apples use a different technique. A ring of mucus-covered tentacles around a sea apple's mouth snares floating bits of food, popping each bit into its mouth one at a time. In the process, the tentacles are covered with a fresh coat of sticky mucus, and the whole cycle repeats.

4. THEY’RE ACTIVE AT NIGHT.

Sea apples' waving appendages can look delicious to predatory fish, so the echinoderms minimize the risk of attracting unwanted attention by doing most of their feeding at night. When those tentacles aren’t in use, they’re retracted into the body.

5. THE MOVE ON TUBULAR FEET.

The rows of yellow protuberances running along the sides of this specimen are its feet. They allow sea apples to latch onto rocks and other hard surfaces while feeding. And if one of these feet gets severed, it can grow back.

6. SOME FISH HANG OUT IN SEA APPLES' BUTTS.

Sea apples are poisonous, but a few marine freeloaders capitalize on this very quality. Some small fish have evolved to live inside the invertebrates' digestive tracts, mooching off the sea apples' meals and using their bodies for shelter. In a gross twist of evolution, fish gain entry through the back door, an orifice called the cloaca. In addition expelling waste, the cloaca absorbs fresh oxygen, meaning that sea apples/cucumbers essentially breathe through their anuses.

7. WHEN THREATENED, SEA APPLES CAN EXPAND.

Most full-grown adult sea apples are around 3 to 8 inches long, but they can make themselves look twice as big if they need to escape a threat. By pulling extra water into their bodies, some can grow to the size of a volleyball, according to Advanced Aquarist. After puffing up, they can float on the current and away from danger. Some aquarists might mistake the robust display as a sign of optimum health, but it's usually a reaction to stress.

8. THEY CAN EXPEL THEIR OWN GUTS.

Sea apples use their vibrant appearance to broadcast that they’re packing a dangerous toxin. But to really scare off predators, they puke up some of their own innards. When an attacker gets too close, sea apples can expel various organs through their orifices, and some simultaneously unleash a cloud of the poison holothurin. In an aquarium, the holothurin doesn’t disperse as widely as it would in the sea, and it's been known to wipe out entire fish tanks.

9. SEA APPLES LAY TOXIC EGGS.

These invertebrates reproduce sexually; females release eggs that are later fertilized by clouds of sperm emitted by the males. As many saltwater aquarium keepers know all too well, sea apple eggs are not suitable fish snacks—because they’re poisonous. Scientists have observed that, in Pseudocolochirus violaceus at least, the eggs develop into small, barrel-shaped larvae within two weeks of fertilization.

10. THEY'RE NOT EASILY CONFUSED WITH THIS TREE SPECIES.

Syzgium grande is a coastal tree native to Southeast Asia whose informal name is "sea apple." When fully grown, they can stand more than 140 feet tall. Once a year, it produces attractive clusters of fuzzy white flowers and round green fruits, perhaps prompting its comparison to an apple tree.

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