7 Movies Made By People on Alcohol or Drugs

Working under the influence is typically not allowed, but that doesn’t mean it’s never done — especially when it comes to Hollywood. There have been many movie productions in which multiple cast members, or even the director, got high or drunk in between scenes.

Sometimes drugs were used in order to get a more convincing performance out of an actor. Other times it was sadly due to someone’s addiction being out of control. So which movies have you watched that were fueled by drugs or alcohol? Here are seven movies with people who later admitted they weren’t sober while working on them.

1. The Empire Strikes Back

Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa in 'Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back'
Source: Lucasfilms

This iconic movie shows the rebels continuing their fight against the Empire, while Luke starts his Jedi training with Master Yoda. Although this movie led to another beloved sequel, the actors were reportedly out of it during production. While in Tunisia during filming, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford even partied it up with The Rolling Stones.

“I called Harrison and said, ‘Get over here! This is ridiculous!'” Fisher told The Daily Beast. “I wonder how he remembers it. I remember that we never went to sleep, so we weren’t hungover — we were still drunk when we arrived in Cloud City the next day. We don’t really smile a lot in the movie, but there we’re smiling.”

The actress also was battling a coke addiction while filming. When asked about her “difficult time” with her addiction she joked, “Actually, no, I didn’t go through a difficult time! I said I did blow a couple of times. That’s not a difficult time!”

2. Easy Rider

Easy Rider
Source: Pando Company Inc.

This counterculture movie shows two bikers Wyatt (Peter Fonda) and Billy (Dennis Hopper) riding from Los Angeles to New Orleans. It was later nominated for two Oscars, but one of the stars was in really bad shape during production. According to IMDb, Hopper was very paranoid due to drug use. He reportedly had so many tirades that the crew recorded them and sent them to the production company to explain why so many quit the film. Other people in the cast also got in on the action.

“We were all stoned the night we shot the campfire scene,” admitted Jack Nicholson according to Sabotage Times. “The speech about the UFOs looks improvised, but it was actually almost verbatim from the script. The story about me smoking 155 joints — that’s a little exaggerated. But each time I did a take or an angle, it involved smoking almost an entire joint.”

3. Pineapple Express

Pineapple Pictures
Source: Sony Pictures

This comedy shows Dale (Seth Rogen) witnessing a murder, which leads to him having to go on the run with his weed dealer (James Franco). Both of the main characters smoke a lot of weed throughout the movie, so it might not actually come as a big surprise that they were smoking off-screen as well. When asked if the two were really high, according to First Showing, Rogen said, “I can honestly say that we did. Like, we really did it. Yeah, it’s frightening that we even smoked weed. Isn’t that weird?”

4. Dazed and Confused

Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused
Source: Universal Pictures

Set in the 1970s, this movie follows junior high and high school kids on their last day of school. The characters drink and party it up so it with weed so it’s not surprising that some things also went on off-set. “It wasn’t real marijuana,” revealed Richard Linklater, according to Esquire, “although the cast does admit to being stoned in several scenes, particularly at the very end.”

5. Drinking Buddies

Source: Burn Later Productions
Source: Burn Later Productions

The improvised movie follows coworkers that work at a brewery going on a weekend trip together. Obviously a lot of the scenes involve them drinking beer. Sometimes the cast went a little “method” in their acting. “During a scene at the bar,” Anna Kendrick told Vulture. “They gave me fake beer, but then during a scene where I’m playing cards with Jake, they gave me real beer, and I didn’t realize it!” She then continued, “I was like, I’m super drunk right now! And so as soon as the take was over, I had to announce to everybody that I was drunk at work.” Olivia Wilde also admitted that she and the rest of the cast were drinking beer on set to Collider.

6. Bad Santa

Source: Columbia Pictures Corporation, Dimension Films, Triptych Pictures
Source: Columbia Pictures Corporation,

This holiday movie shows an alcoholic conman named Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) and his partner posing as Santa and his elf to rob department stores. The lead actor didn’t just act like he was drunk, he was drunk. He told Film 4, “But I’ve traditionally played really extreme characters and even in a comedy, if you’re going to play a guy like this, you can’t be sort of drunk, you know? And I wasn’t sort of drunk. You have to go completely into it.”

7. Maximum Overdrive

Maximum Overdrive
Source: De Laurentiis Entertainment Group

This horror movie is the one and only time Stephen King ever directed, and, if you’ve ever watched it, you would understand why. It tells the story about a group of people trying to survive after various machines inexplicably come alive. The movie didn’t do well, and making it sounded like a disaster. The editor of the film, Chuck Verrill, said, “[Stephen King] was gargling Listerine and popping pills,” according to The Daily Mail. “He was still a nice guy and coherent, but he did seem to be strung out.”

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