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7 Directors Who Displayed Nightmarish Behavior

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Some bosses can be difficult to work for, and that’s especially true in the film industry. Being a director is very stressful, and some people don’t handle their emotions about it well. Sure, being difficult can still result in a classic, but there’s really no good excuse to ever behave as poorly as the following directors did. Here are the movie directors who became absolute nightmares on-set:

Werner Herzog, Aguirre, The Wrath Of God

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It’s important to know that the star of Aguirre, The Wrath of God was Klaus Kinski, a notoriously violent actor. After a series of incidents in which Kinski lost his mind for no good reason, he attempted to leave the film. Herzog responded by telling Kinski that he had a rifle with nine bullets; if Kinski left, eight bullets would be for him, and the ninth would be for Herzog himself. Kinski believed so deeply that his director would commit a murder-suicide that he was well behaved from that point on.

Stanley Kubrick, The Shining

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If you’re wondering why Shelley Duvall is so good at being unhinged in this film, it’s because Stanley Kubrick literally tortured her emotionally during the shoot. He would tell staff not to sympathize with her, to ignore her, and then he had her do one scene 127 times. 127! She ran out of tears to cry during the scene! SHE RAN OUT OF TEARS, YOU GUYS!

William Friedkin, The Exorcist

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The ’70s were a time when directors were empowered in Hollywood like never before, and they responded by abusing that power as much as they could. Coming off a bunch of Oscar wins for his film The French Connection, William Friedkin was a general terror on the set of The Exorcist. He held up production so they could find the exact kind of bacon he wanted for a shot, ignored the safety concerns of his lead actress (who ended up getting hurt), and slapped a damn priest in the face, because he thought it would get him the performance he was looking for.

Josh Trank, Fantastic Four

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I think most of us remember the horror stories about director Josh Trank on the set of Fantastic Four, his first big studio film. Trank reportedly yelled at cast members, fought with the studio, and then trashed his hotel room. He might have survived all of that, but even worse than all of those things (as far as his bosses were concerned) was that the movie was awful and flopped unbelievably hard at the box office. It was such a disaster that he got fired off Star Wars: Rogue One, and who knows if he’ll ever work again.

Michael Bay, Transformers: Dark of the Moon

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Michael Bay reportedly got into a fistfight with the star of the film, Shia LaBeouf, and… actually, you know what? I get it.

David O. Russell, Like, All His Movies?

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Pick a film, and David O. Russell was a total piece of garbage on set. He tried to ruin Amy Adams’ life, he pushed George Clooney to the point of trying to choke him to death, and a video of him losing his mind and trashing the set because he was mad at Lily Tomlin is up on YouTube. And those incidents are all from different films. Imagine being so consistently an awful person.

Michael Cimino, Heaven’s Gate

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The only person who seems to have anything positive to say about this recently deceased director is Oliver Stone, who’s also a notoriously difficult person to work with. One film critic compared Cimino to a Nazi propagandist — not the highest compliment in the land…

Are you encouraged to be a better boss after reading this? I hope so, but either way, let us know on Twitter @Smosh!

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