12 Rebellious Actors Who Decided to Own Their Characters and Not Follow the Director’s Orders
Behind every movie or series we’ve ever watched, there is a whole world of planning and hard work. One might think that the actors and actresses in these projects just follow the director’s orders, but the truth is that, on many occasions, celebrities take an active role in the development of their characters and even get a bit creative with the script.
1. Emma Watson refused to wear a corset in Beauty and the Beast.
Emma Watson decided to make her character more active and agile. To make it easier for Bella to ride and dance, the actress refused to wear corsets. Her costumes were nice and loose, they were not tight around the waist, nor did they hinder her movements.
2. Gerard Butler wasn’t supposed to shout: “This is Sparta!”
King Leonidas’ cry “This is Sparta!” was not scripted. Gerard Butler just had to whisper these words. However, the actor asked for another take, and his shout almost caused the crew to laugh. But the director liked it, and that’s how the unplanned take came into the scene.
3. During the filming of Titanic, Kate Winslet decided to spit on her character’s fiancé.
Kate Winslet offered her own version of how the heroine should behave during the panic that ensued on the ship. When Rose came to Jack’s rescue, Cal tried to stop his fiancée. According to the script, Rose gets rid of Cal with a pitchfork. Instead, she spat at her fiancé’s face. The director thought Kate’s decision was appropriate as Jack had previously taught Rose to spit, so the skill suited her.
4. In the script of Casino Royale, there was no scene in which Daniel Craig came out of the water. The actor just wanted to cool off.
During the filming of a scene on the beach, Daniel Craig decided to have some fun. The actor pretended to swim in shallow water and then abruptly stood up and got out of the water. It turned out to be a spectacular shot, which was later included in the film. And some shots were taken from this scene for the promotional campaign of the film.
5. Mike Myers insisted on changing Shrek’s accent.
Mike Myers first voiced Shrek in his Canadian accent. However, after seeing the draft version, Myers decided to change the character’s accent to Scottish. The actor believed that Shrek belonged to the working class, and, according to him, this accent sounds exactly like that.
This decision cost the animators many extra hours of work, and the producers a lot of money. But it all paid off in the end; producer Steven Spielberg was satisfied with the film, and Shrek became one of the most famous Scots in 21st-century pop culture.
6. Reese Witherspoon “rewrote” her character before the filming began on Cruel Intentions.
Reese Witherspoon didn’t want to play Annette in Cruel Intentions because the actress wasn’t happy with the character the writers had created. Witherspoon thought Annette was too modest and insipid. The actress worked on the character herself, rewrote some lines, and eventually created a deep, multifaceted personality for Annette.
7. Jason Isaacs changed the look of his character Lucius Malfoy.
The Harry Potter costume makers had originally chosen a pinstriped suit and a black and white wig for Lucius Malfoy. Actor Jason Isaacs rejected the look and suggested replacing it with a wizard suit and long white hair.
The actor later admitted that he tried to keep his hair perfectly straight, so he would always tilt his head back. This added arrogance to his character, one of Lucius Malfoy’s most famous traits.
8. Joaquin Phoenix got the idea to get into the fridge during the filming of Joker.
While filming a scene in the kitchen, Joaquin Phoenix suddenly started emptying the contents of the refrigerator, then went inside and slammed the door shut. The film crew was surprised but did not stop shooting since they wanted to know what Phoenix would do next. This is how one of the most powerful moments in the film came to be.
9. Samuel L. Jackson asked the director for a purple lightsaber during the filming of Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones.
George Lucas had established the following rule: good guys get a blue or green lightsaber, and bad guys get a red one. Samuel L. Jackson asked the director to give his character Mace Windu a purple lightsaber. According to the actor, this would help his character stand out from the rest of the warriors at the end of Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones. Lucas agreed, and the rest is history.
10. In Dumb and Dumber, the line “No way... We’ve landed on the moon!” was an improvisation by Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey often improvises on set, and Dumb and Dumber was no exception. According to the script, the scene where Lloyd comes out of the cafeteria and sees an old newspaper framed on the wall was not accompanied by such an intense reaction from the character. However, Jim Carrey’s reaction was so over the top that the shot made it into the movie and became one of the funniest moments.
11. In The Avengers, Robert Downey Jr. gave the character his own habits.
Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr., shared the actor’s love for snacks. For example, the actor would hide snacks all over the set and would sometimes eat them during filming. In this shot, he graciously offered them to the Hulk and Captain America.
12. David Harbour suggested Jim Hopper’s makeover.
In season 4 of Stranger Things, Jim Hopper, played by David Harbour, had a very different hairstyle from the previous seasons of the series. The actor proposed that the Hawkins policeman should wear his head and beard completely shaved. He didn’t want Hopper to be confused with his role as the Red Guardian in the Black Widow movie, since both characters were incarcerated in prisons under very similar conditions. Moreover, the actor confessed to having taken photos of the sets to make sure the Duffer brothers did something very different for the series.
Bonus: David Schwimmer invented the phrase “I, Ross, take thee, Rachel.”
Many probably remember Ross’ line during his wedding to Emily. The writers didn’t know how to end the fourth season, but they got some help from David Schwimmer. In one scene, the actor accidentally substituted Emily’s name for Rachel’s in the line: “Emily, the taxi’s here.” The series creators liked this mistake so much that they recreated it in the season finale in the legendary wedding scene.
Can you think of other celebrities who have changed aspects of their characters? Do you prefer their version or the original idea?