Movie Stars Who Admitted to Being Drunk on Set
Actors are almost always pretending to be drunk on TV and in movies. But occasionally an actor looks wasted because they actually are. Most stars deny imbibing before filming. But here are the cases where they confessed to drinking on set. One actor admitted he got wasted before one awkward, “full-frontal” scene (page 10).
1. Jennifer Lawrence — Passengers
In the 2016 movie Passengers, Jennifer Lawrence has a sex scene with Chris Pratt. There isn’t much nudity, but Lawrence was still nervous, especially since Pratt was married. Lawrence told The Hollywood Reporter she got drunk before filming the scene, but it only made things worse. “I got really, really drunk,” Lawrence said. “But then that led to more anxiety when I got home because I was like, ‘What have I done? I don’t know.'”
Next: This young actor was drunk while filming an iconic movie franchise.
2. Daniel Radcliffe — Harry Potter
Daniel Radcliffe shocked Harry Potter fans in 2012 when he told Heat Magazine he had a drinking problem and was drunk from the nights prior during filming. “I drank a lot and it was daily — I mean nightly,” Radcliffe said. “I can point to many scenes where I’m just gone. Dead behind the eyes.”
Next: These Star Wars actors partied too hard.
3. Carrie Fisher — The Empire Strikes Back
Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford were drunk in The Empire Strikes Back scene where Han Solo and Leia meet Lando Calrissian in Cloud City. Fisher told The Daily Beast that while filming, she and Ford partied with the Rolling Stones. She said, “We never went to sleep, so we weren’t hungover — we were still drunk when we arrived in Cloud City the next day.”
Next: This actor got wasted to become his drunk character.
4. Billy Bob Thornton — Bad Santa
To play a drunken conman in Bad Santa, Billy Bob Thornton got drunk to film certain scenes. In fact, he didn’t just drink a little; he got wasted.
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? You have to go completely into it.
Next: An actress uses tequila to her benefit.
5. Margot Robbie — The Wolf of Wall Street
A drink or three actually helped Margot Robbie, who played Jordan Belfort’s wife in The Wolf of Wall Street. Her first risqué scene involved standing fully naked in front of the camera. Robbie told The New York Times a crew member offered her tequila at 9:00 am. “I did three shots of tequila and then took my clothes off and did the scene,” Robbie said. “It really helped stop my hands shaking, and gave me a little boost of confidence.”
Next: Two heartthrobs got wasted in this iconic 1999 movie.
6. Brad Pitt and Edward Norton — Fight Club
There’s a scene in Fight Club where Tyler Durden and the unnamed narrator get drunk and hit golf balls. The reason they’re so believable? Brad Pitt and Edward Norton are truly drunk. Pitt admitted this in the DVD commentary. “As I recall, we were semi-trashed here,” he says.
Next: Tequila was “magic” for these two witches.
7. Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman — Practical Magic
In the 1998 film Practical Magic, Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman play witch sisters. There’s a scene where they get drunk with their aunts. On the DVD commentary, Bullock reveals while filming this scene, the actresses drank a lot of tequila that Kidman had brought to set.
Next: The Sheen patriarch had an on-set drinking problem.
8. Martin Sheen — Apocalypse Now
At the start of Apocalypse Now, Captain Willard has a mental breakdown in his hotel room. And Martin Sheen was wasted during filming. When his character punches a mirror and bleeds, it’s real. Sheen explained:
At the time, I was a drinker. Hell, I was an alcoholic. It was my 36th birthday and I’d been drinking all day … couldn’t hardly stand up. Francis tried to stop me when I hit the mirror — myself, the enemy — and I said, ‘No, stay away. I want this for me.’ I felt I wanted to wrestle this demon. It was planned, but unplanned.
Next: One of the most risqué scenes ever — thanks to margaritas.
9. Neve Campbell and Denise Richards — Wild Things
The 1998 movie Wild Things features a threesome scene with Neve Campbell, Denise Richards, and Matt Dillon. Right before shooting, the producers decided Campbell and Richards should kiss on camera. In her book Real Girl Next Door, Richards reveals she and Campbell got drunk before the scene because they were so nervous:
Neve and I went into her trailer and shared a pitcher of margaritas before we did the scene. Neither of us had ever kissed another girl. We shrugged, clinked glasses, and went for it on-screen.
Next: This actor went full-frontal — and drunk — in this memorable scene.
10. Jason Segel — Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Jason Segel went fully nude for Forgetting Sarah Marshall, both in the first and last scenes, when his love interest sees him naked and laughs. To get comfortable doing full-frontal nudity, Segel got drunk. He told Girl he was so wasted he didn’t take direction well and yelled at the director.
Next: This actor made an exception just once.
11. Nicolas Cage — Leaving Las Vegas
There’s a moment in Leaving Las Vegas when Nicolas Cage’s character flips out at a blackjack table. Cage told Inside the Actors Studio he was truly wasted during this scene, which he doesn’t usually do. “I never drink when I act, but I wanted to incorporate some scenes actual drinking,” Cage said. “So that scene in the casino when I’m freaking out, I’m really drunk.”
Next: Nobody thought to tell this actress the beer on set was real.
12. Anna Kendrick and Olivia Wilde — Drinking Buddies
In a movie about friends who work at a brewery and drink together, Anna Kendrick and Olivia Wilde said they were drunk for much of Drinking Buddies. “We were hammered in the entire movie because it was real beer, because beer on that set was cheaper than water because we were shooting in a brewery,” Wilde said.
But no one warned Anna Kendrick, who took a huge swig of beer on her first day thinking it was fake. “She was like, ‘What’s happening? What are you guys doing?’ and we were like, ‘Oh, we forgot to tell you — the beer’s all real and everyone’s drunk,'” Wilde said. “‘It’s 10 a.m., welcome to Drinking Buddies.’”
Next: This character seems like he’s constantly inebriated.
13. Jason Mewes — Clerks
In Clerks, Jason Mewes plays Jay, a slacker who is constantly hanging outside the store and selling weed. If he seemed to be realistically inebriated during the movie, that’s because he legitimately was.
“I was either drinking or smoking the whole time,” Mewes told Metro. ‘They had to send me home sometimes. I was drinking blackberry brandy — I passed out on the floor. I was so drunk I was slurring during a scene with Randal so they had to send me home.”
Next: These co-stars hated the movie so much they drank during filming.
14. Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo — Super Mario Bros.
Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo were as unhappy with the disastrous 1993 movie Super Mario Bros. as anyone else. Leguizamo, who played Luigi, has repeatedly said that he and Hoskins hated the experience so much that they drank all throughout filming.
“We were drinking too much because we were all miserable,” Leguizamo told Vulture. “So we drank a lot between takes.”
Later, Bob Hoskins said in a 2007 interview, “The worst thing I ever did? Super Mario Bros. It was a f***in’ nightmare. The whole experience was a nightmare.”
Next: This actor drank 21 glasses of wine during filming.
15. Sacha Baron Cohen — Da Ali G Show
Technically, this one concerns TV and not film, but it’s too good of a story to not mention. There’s an episode of Da Ali G Show in which Sacha Baron Cohen, playing Borat, goes to a wine tasting. The joke is that instead of just taking sips of wine, Borat keeps chugging entire glasses of it.
Since the premise of the show is that Cohen interacts with real people, there was no real way to fake this, so Cohen legitimately did drink all this wine and get quite drunk. Yet he’s such a master that he was able to stay in character. “They filled [the glasses] up to the top, and I had I think 21 glasses of wine,” Cohen told Conan O’Brien. “And I’m not a big drinker at all … I passed out in the toilet.”
Cohen explained that his director was worried that he would wake up and forget to be in character, but nope. Cohen woke up after being passed out and was immediately Borat again.
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