7 Actor/Actresses Who Were Fired During Filming

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We all know that actors and actresses can be difficult to work with. But some famous thespians are such divas that they can’t even keep their jobs until their show or movie is finished filming! Here are seven different stars who were fired during filming because of bad behavior or other reasons.

7. Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv on Fresh Prince of Bel Air)

Nothing’s more awkward on TV when a new actor is suddenly playing the part of a character you love. It happened in a big way on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, when Janet Hubert was replaced as Aunt Vivian in 1993. Janet says that she refused to bow down to Will Smith, who was becoming quite a diva on set, but Will says that Janet was the one who was difficult to work with and so it was her own fault that she got fired. In a 2013 interview, Janet said she’d be down to put the past behind them. “We need to have a reunion, we have to end this horrible, 21-year war,” she said. “I think we all owe each other an apology.” Will, are you listening?

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6. Eric Stoltz (Marty McFly, Back to the Future)

Did you know that the main role in Back to the Future was originally played by Eric Stoltz, not Michael J. Fox? Eric didn’t get fired because of bad behavior, but because director Robert Zemeckis wanted to go in another direction. After seeing a few scenes of Eric, Robert decided to replace him with Michael because he wanted to bring more humor to a role that Eric was making very serious. “You know, it was twenty-something years ago and I rarely look back, if at all; but in retrospect, I think just getting through that difficult period helped me realize how freeing it really was,” Eric said of the lost role in a 2007 interview. “I went back to acting school, I moved to Europe, I did some plays in New York and I actually invested in [pause] myself in a way that was much healthier for me. If I had become a massive star, I don’t know if I wouldn’t have gone into therapy. On the other hand, I would’ve been exceedingly rich which would’ve been wonderful!”

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5. Edward Norton (Bruce Banner, The Avengers)

Edward Norton played Bruce Banner in the 2008 move The Incredible Hulk — but when director Joss Whedon was planning to bring the character back for The Avengers, he cast Mark Ruffalo even though Edward expressed interest in reprising the role. Some sources say Edward was difficult to work with, while others claim the decision was mostly financial, because The Incredible Hulk didn’t make as much money as the studio hoped. Edward told NPR, “My feeling was that I experimented and experienced what I wanted to. I really, really enjoyed it. And yet, I looked at the balance of time in life that one spends not only making those sorts of films but then especially putting them out, and the obligations that rightly come with that…I think you can sort of do anything once, but if you do it too many times, it can become a suit that’s hard to take off, in other people’s eyes.”

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4. Shannen Doherty (Beverly Hills 90210 and Charmed)

Shannen Doherty has been fired from TV shows not once but twice! On Beverly Hills 90210, Shannen was constantly getting into arguments with other cast members — and Tori Spelling eventually had her removed. Since Tori’s father Aaron was running the show, Tori just had to ask dear old dad to get rid of her nemesis. “I felt like I was a part of something…a movement…that cost someone their livelihood,” Tori wrote about the firing in her 2014 memoir, Deep Thoughts From A Hollywood Blonde. “Was she a horrible person? No — she was one of the best friends I ever had.” Fellow cast memoir Jason Priestly also wrote about Shannen’s firing in his book, saying that Shannen “really and truly did not give a sh–.” Then on Charmed, Shannen was allegedly fired after having a big fight with her fellow diva co-star Alyssa Milano.

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3. Cheryl Cole (The X Factor)

When Simon Cowell brought the British reality competition show The X Factor to the United States in 2011, he brought TV host Cheryl Cole with him. But when they were just two weeks into filming, Simon sent Cheryl a text message saying that she was fired. Apparently, Simon and people at the network worried that American audiences wouldn’t be able to understand her thick accent. Simon also said in an interview that Cheryl had “lost her confidence” and that there was “something not quite right” about the show. Bummer!

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2. Stuart Townsend (Lord of the Rings)

The original Aragorn in Lord of the Rings was Irish actor Stuart Townsend — but after just a couple of days of filming, director Peter Jackson fired him because he didn’t have chemistry with the actor. Maybe it was an age thing, too; Viggo Mortensen, who was 43 at the time, was hired to replace Stuart, who was just 29. The role became a life-changing one for Viggo, who needed a little convincing from his son Henry, who was a fan of the book series.

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1. Megan Fox (Transformers: Dark of the Moon)

After playing the love interest in the first two Transformers films, Megan Fox was fired and replaced with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley on Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Megan told the British magazine Wonderland that she didn’t get along with director Michael Bay because he “wants to be like Hitler on his sets, and he is. So he’s a nightmare to work for.” Michael fired back in GQ magazine, saying, “She was in a different world, on her BlackBerry. You gotta stay focused. And you know, the Hitler thing.” When fellow director Steven Spielberg heard about Megan’s “Hitler” comment, Michael says that Steven told him, “Fire her right now.” Megan’s co-star Shia LaBeouf also shared his opinion on the scandal: “Criticism is one thing,” he said. “Then there’s public name-calling, which turns into high school bashing. Which you can’t do. She started s***-talking our captain.”

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Amanda Young

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