Movie Stars Who Admitted to Being Drunk on Set
It’s almost always the case that when you see drunk characters in film and on television, the actors are just quite good at pretending to be drunk. But every once in a while, an actor will legitimately get wasted before shooting begins, and the reason they look so drunk on screen is that they actually are.
Other times, actors drink before scenes where their characters aren’t even supposed to be intoxicated. Maybe they needed something to calm their nerves, or maybe they hate the movie so much that they drink to get through the terrible experience.
There are a lot of rumors out there about the star imbibing in some adult beverages before filming famous movie scenes. But here are some cases where the actors themselves have actually admitted to drinking on set.
1. 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: The lead actor in one of the biggest movie franchises of all time was drunk during many scenes.
2. Daniel Radcliffe — Harry Potter
Daniel Radcliffe shocked Harry Potter fans in 2012 when he admitted that he was drunk during some scenes of the iconic movie franchise.
Radcliffe told Heat Magazine that he had a drinking problem, and it sometimes affected his work. “I don’t want to go into details, but I drank a lot and it was daily — I mean nightly,” he said.
Radcliffe went on to say that he never actually drank on set, but he would show up to work still drunk from the night before. “I can point to many scenes where I‘m just gone,” he added. “Dead behind the eyes.”
Next: Two of the lead actors of Star Wars were wasted during a key scene.
3. Carrie Fisher — The Empire Strikes Back
It’s weird to think that in such a memorable scene in such an iconic movie, the lead actors are completely wasted. But that’s exactly the case with the scene in The Empire Strikes Back in which Han Solo and Leia Organa land on Cloud City and meet Lando Calrissian.
Fisher told The Daily Beast that one night while filming The Empire Strikes Back, she and Harrison Ford partied with the Rolling Stones. Fisher explained, “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 actress had to get drunk so she wouldn’t be so nervous during a nude scene.
4. Margot Robbie — The Wolf of Wall Street
Some actresses are so nervous about doing nude scenes that they find themselves drinking in order to calm down. This worked for Margot Robbie on The Wolf of Wall Street.
Robbie plays Jordan Belfort’s wife, and her first risqué scene didn’t just involve a little bit of nudity; she needed to stand fully naked in front of the camera. Robbie told The New York Times that she was so nervous about doing so that she was shaking, but then a crew member offered her some tequila, despite the fact that it was 9:00 in the morning.
“And I did three shots of tequila and then took my clothes off and did the scene and I was fine,” Robbie said. “It really helped stop my hands shaking, and gave me a little boost of confidence.”
Next: This movie character seems like he’s constantly inebriated, but that’s just because the actor was.
5. 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: When two characters get totally wasted in this scene from an iconic 1999 movie, the actors got wasted, too.
6. Brad Pitt and Edward Norton — Fight Club
There’s a scene in Fight Club in which Tyler Durden and the unnamed narrator get drunk and hit golf balls. The reason them being drunk is so believable is not just because Brad Pitt and Edward Norton are such good actors; it’s because they’re legitimately drunk.
This is something that Pitt himself revealed in the Fight Club DVD commentary. “As I recall, we were semi-trashed here,” Pitt says.
Next: This actor had a drinking problem during filming.
7. Martin Sheen — Apocalypse Now
At the beginning of Apocalypse Now, there’s an insane sequence in which Captain Willard experiences a mental breakdown in his hotel room. As it turns out, Martin Sheen was actually wasted when this was filmed. When his character punches a mirror and starts bleeding, that’s all real.
At the time, I was a drinker. Hell, I was an alcoholic. It was my 36th birthday and I’d been drinking all day … I was swacked — 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. When the rushes came in, I said, ‘No, I never want to see that.’ And I never did, until it was released.
Next: Nobody thought to tell this actress that the beer on set was real.
8. Anna Kendrick and Olivia Wilde — Drinking Buddies
As is appropriate for a movie about friends who work at a brewery and drink together, Anna Kendrick and Olivia Wilde have said they were drunk for much of Drinking Buddies. “We were hammered 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 apparently, no one warned Anna Kendrick, who Wilde says 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 actor got drunk before going full-frontal.
9. Jason Segel — Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Jason Segel went fully nude for Forgetting Sarah Marshall, both in the famous breakup sequence at the beginning but also in the very last scene, in which Mila Kunis’ character walks in on him naked and laughs.
Like Margot Robbie, in order to feel comfortable doing full-frontal nudity, Segel had to get drunk. He told Girl that in the last scene, he was so wasted that he wasn’t taking direction very well and yelled at the director, Nicholas Stoller.
Next: This actress felt so weird kissing a married man in this 2016 movie, she got drunk before filming.
10. Jennifer Lawrence — Passengers
In the 2016 movie Passengers, Jennifer Lawrence has a sex scene with Chris Pratt. There isn’t really any nudity since it’s a PG-13 film, but Lawrence was still quite nervous about it, especially since Pratt was married.
Lawrence told The Hollywood Reporter that she got drunk before filming the scene, although that 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: These two actresses got drunk together before filming this risqué scene.
11. Neve Campbell and Denise Richards — Wild Things
The 1998 movie Wild Things features a threesome scene between Neve Campbell, Denise Richards, and Matt Dillon. At the last minute before shooting, the movie’s producers decided they wanted Campbell and Richards to French kiss on camera.
In her book Real Girl Next Door, Richards reveals that she and Campbell got drunk before the scene because they were both nervous about it.
“Neve and I went into her trailer and shared a pitcher of margaritas before we did the scene,” she writes. “Neither of us had ever kissed another girl. We shrugged, clinked glasses, and went for it on-screen. Everyone has a first time.”
Next: This actor drank 21 glasses of wine during filming.
12. 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.
Next: This actor decided to get wasted to film a movie where his character is often quite wasted.
13. Billy Bob Thornton — Bad Santa
To play a drunken con man posing as Santa in Bad Santa, Billy Bob Thornton decided he would legitimately get drunk to film certain scenes. In fact, he didn’t just get a little drunk; 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?” Thornton told Film4 (via Uproxx). “And I wasn’t sort of drunk. You have to go completely into it.”
Next: Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman really got drunk for this 1998 movie.
14. 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 in the movie where they get drunk with their aunts, played by Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest.
Apparently, this wasn’t fully acting. On the DVD commentary for the movie, Bullock reveals that during the filming of this scene, the actresses legitimately got drunk off of some tequila Kidman had brought to set.
Next: This actor says he never gets drunk before filming, but he made an exception just once.
15. Nicolas Cage — Leaving Las Vegas
There’s a moment in Leaving Las Vegas in which Nicolas Cage’s character, Ben Sanderson, completely flips out at a blackjack table. In a 2003 interview on Inside the Actors Studio, Cage revealed that he was legitimately wasted during this scene, something he does not normally do.
“I never drink when I act, but I wanted to incorporate in some scenes actual drinking,” Cage said. “So that scene in the casino when I’m freaking out, I’m really drunk.”
We’ll just have to take Cage’s word for it that this is the only scene in his career in which he’s drunk.
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