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Legendary Directors Who Made The Actors Suffer By Taking Perfection Too Far

Directors are said to be the captain of the production. And movies are the vision of the directors. There are some who are known as legendary directors because of their auteur. Their auteur and filmmaking style makes them stand out from the rest. But sometimes in an attempt to achieve perfection, these directors can resort to extreme measures.

Sometimes, in an attempt to make their vision real, the directors make their actors suffer. In the search for that one perfect shot like the one in their head, they adopt extreme measures or make the actor repeat the same scene hundred times. And this is not even an exaggeration, some directors do that. Here is a list of legendary directors who made the actors suffer by taking perfection too far.

William Friedkin slapped William O’ Malley during the making of The Exorcist

William Friedkin legendary directors who took perfection too far
William Friedkin

The director William Friedkin is a man who could take any risks for his art. The legendary director has delivered a number of masterpieces like The French Connection and To Live and Die in LA. One of the biggest hits by the director has to be The Exorcist. We can all agree that it turned out to be one of the scariest movies ever made. During its making, the director adopted some extreme measures. Like shooting an empty cartridge shot next to Jason Miller to get the surprised look. And he also slapped William O’ Malley to get the right look from him. Also, Linda Blair and Ellen Burstyn suffered back injuries because the director pulled their harnesses too hard.

Alfred Hitchcock bullied Tippi Hedren while shooting The Birds

Alfred Hitchcock legendary directors who took perfection too far
Alfred Hitchcock

The legendary director, Alfred Hitchcock is known for his great contributions to cinema. Remembered for masterpieces like Vertigo and Psycho, took things to the extreme with actress Tippi Hedren. Even the actor later confessed that he made sexual advances towards her and asked the rest of the crew to not talk to her. During the making of The Birds, there is a scene where the actress was to be chased by birds. Instead of using props, the director made real birds charge at the actress that too for five days, and she was severely injured. And spent a week bedridden. But she had a two-year contract with the director and was forced to work with him for another movie – Marnie.

Stanley Kubrick scared Shelley Duvall to shoot The Shining

Stanley Kubrick legendary directors took perfection too far
Stanley Kubrick

One of the scariest movies ever to be made in Hollywood is The Shining. And we all credit the legendary director Stanley Kubrick for his direction. But behind the scenes of movie show tells a different story. The way the director treated Shelley Duvall was scarier than the movie. He would yell at her for her performance in front of the entire crew, till the actress would come close to a breakdown. Though the actress had said that it was worth it in the documentary made by Vivian, the director’s daughter but the measure was extreme. And anyone who saw it would agree. The director said he did it to make Shelley Duvall’s performance more convincing and real.

Alejandro G Iñárritu made the entire cast suffer while making The Revenant

Alejandro G Iñárritu legendary directors who took perfection too far
Alejandro G Iñárritu

To shoot his most memorable survival movies, the legendary director Alejandro G Iñárritu adopted some extreme measures. The acting of the cast is highly appreciated in The Revenant and that is because of the director. Leonardo DiCaprio called it one of the harshest experiences in his entire career as an actor. The actor said in an interview with Yahoo, Whether it’s going in and out of frozen rivers, or sleeping in animal carcasses, or what I ate on set. I was enduring freezing cold and possible hypothermia constantly.” He was even made to eat raw liver on the set. DiCaprio told that most of the cast and crew quit or were fired during the making. Though the actor did get an Oscar, so maybe it was worth it.

Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick terrified the main cast during The Blair Witch Project

Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick legendary directors who took perfection too far
Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick

Making horror movies can sometimes be a challenging task, even for legendary directors. As sometimes the main cast might not appear as terrified as the characters are supposed to be in a particular scene. To ensure this doesn’t happen to them while making The Blair Witch Project, Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick adopted some extreme measures. The actors Heather Donahue, Josh Leonard, and Mike Williams received only a 35-page outline of the script and were asked to improvise. And they were made to shoot most of their scenes on their own. Making the cast go deeper into the woods alone and terrify them in the night. They even had to be dead during the promotion of the movie.

Related: Iconic Movie Scenes That Were ‘Mistakes’ Supposed To Be Reshot But The Directors Kept It

Written by Gargi Mishra

I am Gargi Mishra, an aspiring filmmaker. I look at the world through the viewfinder and love to study films. Write them and write about them.