Articles, Blog

Horror Movie Actors Who Went Too Far

An actor isn’t usually actually in harm’s
way when performing horrific scenarios for our entertainment. But some stars throw caution to the wind,
going above and beyond to ensure their performance conveys pure terror. Is it worth it? You decide. How do you remake a Dario Argento classic
like Suspiria? If you’re Dakota Johnson, the star of the
remake, the answer is that you commit. To an unhealthy degree. As Johnson told Elle, her experience of playing
the dancer: “… f—ed me up so much that I had to go
to therapy.” The shooting conditions were brutal. The primary location was an abandoned hotel
atop a mountain. The weather was dry and cold, resulting in
constant discomfort among the cast. Plus, due to the 30 telephone poles on the
building’s roof, there was supposedly electricity pulsing through the building to the point
that everyone was shocking each other. What’s Johnson done since then? She’s starting her own production company,
hoping to create projects that showcase what she wants to do… Which, presumably, include non-electrified
sets. When film critic Roger Ebert asked Shelley
Duvall what it was like working with master director Stanley Kubrick on The Shining, Duvall
responded bluntly, calling it “almost unbearable.” Kubrick’s film is an acclaimed horror classic,
but it arguably came at the cost of Duvall’s sanity, who called shooting it “excruciating.” For nine months, she put in at least 12 hours
a day, screaming and crying, bearing the brunt of Kubrick’s artistic impulses, one Hollywood
legend goes that Kubrick asked for over 120 takes of a scene involving Duvall and a baseball
bat. “Give me the bat.” “Stop it!” “Give me the bat.” “Stay away from me!” “Stop swinging the bat.” “Please stop!” “Give me the bat.” And after her trials were complete, and the
film was released? Critics wrote of the film’s genius in every
way, except for Duvall’s performance. She told Ebert: “The reviews were all about Kubrick, like
I wasn’t there… Perhaps with a star director such as Kubrick,
I said, critics get mesmerized by his name and forget the actors.” Tobe Hooper’s exploitation classic The Texas
Chainsaw Massacre is steeped in grimy authenticity. It really looks like Marilyn Burns was stuck
in a slaughterhouse full of rotten corpses and tortured until she screamed. The reason it looks like this is… well,
she was. The dinner scene when she was tied up and
taunted? Hooper tied her up and set the other actors
mercilessly on her. In fact, an absurd number of the horrible
events that her character endures happened to the actress herself. The heroic moment when Burns escapes by jumping
through the window? Burns actually jumped through a window.Thankfully
she didn’t get placed on a hook or have to fight off actual cannibals. The Exorcist is, to this day, such a picture
of absolute horror, your body might hurt from all the tension carried while watching. But it still wouldn’t compare to what Ellen
Burstyn went through to play Chris, the poor mother of a possessed little girl. In one scene, Chris’ daughter Regan pushes
her to the floor, hard. After take one, Burstyn complained to director
William Friedkin that the stunt coordinator was pulling a rope tied to Burstyn too strongly. Burstyn told HuffPost Live: “And Billy said, ‘well it has to look real.’ And I said, ‘I know it has to look real, but
I’m telling you, I could get hurt.’ And so he said, ‘Okay, don’t pull her so hard.'” After that, Friedkin called action, and Burstyn
was slammed to the floor so hard she suffered permanent spinal injuries. Burstyn suspects Friedkin wanted a good-looking
take at all costs. During production on the 2003 horror film
Gothika, Robert Downey Jr. and Halle Berry were in the middle of an intense scene. Downey was supposed to grab Berry’s arm in
a certain, choreographed way, but instead, he grabbed it about as wrong as you could
grab it, and it snapped. “Noooo! Nooooo! Noooo!” “Alright!” “Owww! Nooooo!” Director Mathieu Kassovitz found it to be
a lucky break, as the pause in shooting gave him a chance to prep for upcoming action scenes
he didn’t have time to plan. Poltergeist is riddled with controversy. Was the production really cursed? Did Tobe Hooper or Steven Spielberg really
direct it? All of these questions may never have official
answers. But we do know one thing for certain: actor
JoBeth Williams, who played Diane Freeling, had a hauntingly miserable time making the
movie. In a Reddit Ask Me Anything session, Williams
called the shoot “physically very hard,” especially the moments when she was dropped into a pool
full of a gross, slimy concoction. During one particularly yucky scene, Williams
shared the screen with some skeletons. She told Reddit: “When we were shooting, I thought the skeletons
were fake, I thought the prop department made them. But later I found out they were REAL skeletons
bought very cheaply. That really grossed me out.” The supernatural seemed to have followed Williams
home away from the film as well. When she returned to her rented apartment
after a day’s shooting, all of the pictures were crooked. So she straightened them. However, the next day, the pictures were crooked
once again. That’s almost spookier than just about anything
that’s actually in Poltergeist. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
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  1. Daniel Pérez Author

    Wait… They used REAL skeletons? Seriously, thats fucked up and highly unnecessary. So disgusting, hope they AT LEAST disinfected them or something.

  2. Matt Henderson Author

    I know this video is supposed to be about the mistreatment of actors by directors (although it might be titled as something else) but you cant talk about the mistreatment of actresses and not mention how badly Judie Garland was treated on the set of The Wizard of Oz

  3. Rick Kinki Author

    JoBeth Williams was a serious hottie! The movie showed her in her panties, and he looked spectacular! The original Poltergeist was one of the great horror films of all time.

  4. Donnie Hagy Author

    I will NEVER understand why people thought "The Shining" was so great. The only thing bearable in the movie WAS Shelley Duvall. The movie was supposed to be about a man's GRADUAL descent into madness. Nicholson's portrayal went from asshole to hemorrhoid. It is all well known that Kubric originally wanted to kill EVERY character in his version of the movie, which (I think) Stephen King talked him out of.

  5. Wess Reiley Author

    The Poltergeist story gave me the chills I’m serious. Definitely one of my favorite horror movies of all time. My 6 year old daughter even likes to watch it with me.

  6. John Wilson Author

    Telephone poles on a roof is not going to shock people the f**** grounded and you're in a building where it's cold outside put a sweater on whiner

  7. kryer981 Author

    How is Hitchcock not mentioned here? Janet Leigh in "Psycho" and Tippie Hendren in "The Birds" both became damaged after shooting their legendary scenes.

  8. JR sandoval Author

    marilyn burns was so convincing by the end of chainsaw masacre i feel that she is truly mentally crazed when she maniacally laughs over and over and over again. GTop notch scream queen all the way!!

  9. Jesse Harrington Author

    I refuse to like this video based on mislabeling. This is directors who took it to far. And it seems the comment section agrees with me.

  10. Greig Mccormack Author

    why do people bang on about how scary the exorsist is…at the time yes. watch it now and its really not that scary…good but not as scary as you would have been lead to believe

  11. Manalapan Murkowski Author

    Sounds like some of those actresses straight out got abused by the directors. Shame on them!
    How about a clip of sadistic directors because an awful lot are plain assholes to especially actresses….now that I'm thinking about it…it's always directed at actresses, why is that?

  12. Liberty Sirekis Author

    Anyone else notice how actresses seem to be abused more than actors? Or maybe men try to play it off, I know when filming the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) broke at least two toes filming the final and used take of him kicking a helmet in anguish and also nearly drowned AND had a real dagger accidentally thrown to at him. Orlando Bloom (Legolas) cracked some ribs when he fell off a horse and the body double for Gimli fell on top of him. Said double I think injured his knee at some point. keep in mind all three had to do that big sequence when they're all running over hills and shit.

  13. Extra White Sweet Mint Author

    You know what this is saying? That all of these were female and they have weak minds that can't tell apart real life from act. Women are weak creatures. Did you know 25% of women walk around medicated for their mental illness. That's actually pretty scary when you realize 75% walks around untreated.

  14. Cinema_Chic Author

    This is more about directors caring more about the scene than the actors. You forgot to mention the woman in the beginning of jaws who was almost pulled in half because of the men yanking the ropes for that scene and that Linda Blair was also injured when her body was being jerked by the contraption used for the effect, but still managed to get her lines out despite the pain.

  15. ETNova 164 Author

    I always felt like Shelley Duvall almost ruined the movie with her acting, and growing up and hearing all the crap she dealt with I felt bad for thinking that. Lol

  16. Alexis Marino Author

    Hey Looper. This video glorifies abusing women and doesn’t hold the male directors accountable nor cast their abuse in a negative light.

  17. JBubuD Author

    Marilyn Burns gave a true iconic performance in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but she doesn’t get the recognition she deserves! One of the original final girls and scream queens. Rest In Peace, icon.

  18. Jimothy Snooker Author

    wait some of these actors have released statements about being tormented on-set. making them feel actually terrorized. Duvall for sure, they felt in actual danger. I know you're running out of material, but this video is unfair.

  19. Alex Benavidez Author

    Really should be renamed to: horror movie directors who pushed their actresses too far

    Male actors in horror films absolutely aren't immune to abuse and toxic conditions, but it's almost always the female leads who get rhe brunt of it

  20. Fred Baggs Author

    what a stupid title for a video. this video has NOTHING to do with "actors going too far". this all about what directors made actors do……… idiots.

  21. Jacqui G Author

    The stunt coordinator on The Exorcist also gave Linda Blair spinal injuries for life because of the dangerous ways they used the stunts.

  22. Ultimate Koreaweeb Author

    usually the directors pushed the actors too far, but there are times when the actor will push themselves. i dont think the title is completely misleading, but there might be actors that fall into either of those categories, so we honestly don’t know.

  23. Chelsea Melissa Author

    Shelley Duvall wasn't good in the shining, that's why she wasn't praised. Sorry not sorry

    The way she was treated was shitty though.

  24. Jude Samson Author

    I've heard the rumors about the 100+ takes with the bat scene but that scene also has Jack and I can't imagine him tolerating that many takes. In Exorcist Linda Blair also injured her back with the bed scene where she's flipping up and down. They jerked her around on the rig so hard it caused permanent back injuries. Most of these aren't the actors going too far – it's the directors pushing their actors too far so you might want to relabel the video.

  25. MsStarlet21 Author

    “Some actors through caution to the wind” ? Fuck it should be called “directors who will go to no lengths…” most of these were the directors who went too far and pushed and pushed and pushed the poor actors… fuck… I don’t think I’ll complain anymore about how much they make… but still agree people in the service should be paid the same amount!

  26. deadmxney Author

    About Texas Chainsaw Massacre
    The film had virtually no budget it was filmed in a normal house so the fact that they tortured the actress somewhat makes sense (not that they should have in anyway) it just makes sense


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