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Has anyone ever out-Sheened Charlie Sheen?

February 24, 2011 |  8:34 pm


Yes, Charlie Sheen, you set the bar pretty high for actors badmouthing their directors or creators when you called "Two and a Half Men" show runner Chuck Lorre a "clown," a "charlatan" and a man with an "un-evolved mind" Thursday, after Lorre joked recently in a title card that he'd be upset if you outlived him.

But the actor is hardly the first star to bite the hand that feeds. (We don't count Mel Gibson, who has offended many, but, wisely, not a director he's worked with, at least not by name.) Below, some of the other incidents in recent memory that give Sheen versus Lorre a run for their money. Feel free to write in with others we've forgotten, and thoughts on His Sheen-ness himself.

Megan Fox vs. Michael Bay
Fox has fallen ill with foot-in-mouth disease multiple times. One instance had the former "Transformers" star telling Entertainment Weekly that working with Bay is "not about an acting experience" and, in a magazine called Wonderland, compared Bay to Hitler on set. Not the smartest thing to do when Bay is a) responsible for your career and b) could replace you and cut off your big payday, which he wound up doing with the next "Transformers". Bay replied by telling the Wall Street Journal, "Nobody in the world knew about Megan Fox until I found her and put her in 'Transformers.'" Coolly handled, though we're still waiting for a Decepticon to be called the Megan in this summer's "Transformers: Dark of the Moon."

Sumner Redstone vs. Tom Cruise
The mogul didn't mince words in the summer of 2006 when he ended Cruise's Paramount production deal with comments to Vanity Fair that the actor, who was not far removed from the Matt Lauer and Oprah couch-jumping incidents, was "embarrassing the studio. And he was costing us a lot of money.... He turned off all women, and a lot of men." The two since patched things up. But there's still promotion for the new "Mission: Impossible" to get through.

Kevin Smith vs. Bruce Willis
The ball-cap-wearing director is known for his brutal honesty . He had harsh words for Linda Fiorentino earlier in his career, and last year spared Willis little quarter while promoting their movie "Cop Out." "It was difficult. I’ve never been involved in a situation like that where one component is not in the box at all. It was ... soul crushing," Smith said on Marc Maron's podcast of his working relationship with Willis. "I had no ... help from this dude whatsoever." Smith's diss was tempered by the fact that he praised Tracy Morgan in the same interview. Willis was silent.

Shia LaBeouf vs. Steven Spielberg
LaBeouf set off a mini-firestorm when he dissed Spielberg to about a dozen reporters, a group of which we were a part, at the Cannes Film Festival last year after we asked him what he thought of "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" two years removed. He called the movie a four-letter synonym for excrement, then said, "There was a reason it wasn't universally accepted." He added, "When you drop the ball you drop the ball." Not so smart, but there was something honest about LaBeouf's manner that made it less stinging than it played back home. Plus some fans kind of agreed.


Shia LaBeouf: We botched the last Indiana Jones

-- Steven Zeitchik

Photo: Charlie Sheen leaves a Colorado courthouse this summer. Credit: Rick Wilking / Reuters

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Katherine Hepburn managed to finagle an interview with David O. Selznick for the part of Scarlett O'Hara. Selznick flatly said no, saying "I can't imagine Gable chasing you for 10 years!" Ouch, that must've hurt. Well, Errol Flynn said that Hollywood is where they have great respect for the dead, but none for the living. I'm sure people in Hollywood are saying scandalous things about each other, it's just a den of thieves and pickpockets.

While making the deadly-snake-in-the-house hostage thriller "Venom" (1982), Two volatile lead actors, Oliver Reed and Klaus Kinski, were reportedly at each other's throats so much that beleaguered director Piers Haggard pleaded with another notorious troublemaker, Nicol Williamson, "to please, please don't give me any trouble on this shoot" given the non-stop behind-the-scenes fighting between Reed and Kinski. Williamson showed director Haggard pity and behaved himself.

Despite their future publicly-demonstrated mutual admiration for Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, Sean Penn and Oliver Stone had a very adversarial relationship while making "U-Turn" (1997).

While filming "Neighbors" in 1981, John Belushi is said to have grown to hate director John G. Avildsen so much that Belushi refused to act if Avildsen was behind the camera. How they worked around that, I don't know.

It's pretty well known that Barbra Streisand and Walter Matthau couldn't stand one another while making "Hello, Dolly!" (1969).

Then there was the whole on-set affair turned ugly nightmare for James Woods and Sean Young on "The Boost" (1988).

Julia Roberts and Nick Nolte couldn't stand one another while making the aptly-titled "I Love Trouble" (1994).

Henry Fonda punched John Ford while filming "Mister Roberts" (1955). That presumably is why that film is credited with two directors (Ford, who left after the altercation with Fonda), and Mervyn LeRoy.

Bette Midler and Ken Wahl drove each other up the wall while making the fittingly titled "Jinxed" (1982). In addition to the Midler-Wahl hate-a-thon, there was also conflict between Midler and Rip Torn and Midler and director Don Siegel.

How about in the wake of his summer of 1993 split with Loni Anderson, Burt Reynolds going on a primetime "Good Morning America" special dressed in a purple suit and challenging Anderson to a "sodium pentathol" test over who had more extramarital affairs?

I had a boss I didn't get along with. But I've been quiet about it until now.


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