10 Times Actors Were Caught Off Guard by the Director

To make a high-quality movie, Hollywood scriptwriters have to spend months or years studying what each character in the plot will say and do. But things don’t always go as planned during filmmaking. Many directors would rather improvise and modify the script on the spot, bringing more drama or comedy to the films. And sometimes, these improvisations can even catch the actors off guard.
So, you’d probably be surprised to know that some of the most memorable scenes in movie history were unexpected! For example, in the last scene of "Die Hard", Alan Rickman was instructed to be dropped from around 25 feet after the count of one. But while filming, the director tricked Rickman by letting go unexpectedly, which caused the actor to have a shocked expression of panicked astonishment. Actors Were Caught Off Guard by the director all the time.
Here we rounded a list of 10 fantastic unplanned-but-memorable movie moments that even the actors have to surprise. Scroll down to see times when actors let their guard down before the director. 

#1 Daniel Radcliffe was underprepared for his dance in Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire

Actors Were Caught Off GuardSource: © Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire / Warner Bros. and co-producers

If you thought Daniel Radcliffe’s dancing scene in "The Goblet of Fire" was awkward as hell to watch, you’re not wrong. Daniel Radcliffe admitted that because of his busy shooting schedule, he didn’t have time to attend choreography classes like his co-stars. In the end, he spent way less time learning the choreography than the rest of the cast. The actor said, ’’Everyone else had about 3 weeks, and I only had about 4 days to learn because I was doing another scene." It was awkward for both the viewers and the actors in the scene too.

#2 Jennifer Lawrence was surprised on the set of in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Actors Were Caught Off GuardSource: © The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 / Lionsgate and co-producers

Director Francis Lawrence captured and edited a test video of Peeta’s interviews to be shown during Jennifer Lawrence's sections in "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1". During an interview, he said that having Josh Hutcherson appear during Lawrence's scenes would just need a short amount of time to film and would help spark her emotions because Lawrence really missed working with him.

#3 In Avengers: Endgame, Tom Holland and Mark Ruffalo thought Tony’s funeral was a wedding scene

Actors Were Caught Off GuardSource: © Avengers: Endgame / Marvel Studios and co-producer

After the release of "Avengers: Endgame", Tom Holland and Mark Ruffalo said they mistakenly believed they were filming a wedding scene when they were really filming Tony's funeral. Holland said, "I guess when Barry said no cameras we all heard bring your cameras. Hands down the most memorable day of my career and still, to this day, the strangest wedding I’ve ever been to.’’ Gotta give them a round of applause for that. 

#4 When shooting Titanic, Kate Winslet wasn’t prepared for the cold water

Actors Were Caught Off GuardSource: © Titanic / Twentieth Century Fox and co-producers,

In fact, the water used in the scene when Rose is searching for Jack was from the Pacific Ocean in Baja California, Mexico. Kate Winslet couldn't stop trembling since the water was so chilly. She had multiple bruises, and her elbow was chipped. The icy water even gave the actress a slight case of hypothermia. However, Kate still thought the cold was necessary for the scenes to be as realistic as possible.

#5 Jim Carrey was irritable on the set of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for having to act out an unexpected dramatic scene

Source: © Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind / Focus Features and co-producers

Jim Carrey was regularly annoyed on the set of the movie "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" because the director Michel Gondry constantly say things that were the opposite of what he was telling other cast members. Gondry said, “I had to talk to Kate Winslet in a different room to tell her, ’Go as big as you want! This is a comedy!’ And to Jim, I’d say, ’This is a drama, not a comedy.’”

#6 Reese Witherspoon revised her role of Kathryn in Cruel Intentions

Source: © Cruel Intentions / Columbia Pictures Corporation and co-producers

Reese Witherspoon initially turned down the role of Annette in the movie "Cruel Intentions" because she didn't like how the screenwriters had portrayed the young woman. Witherspoon thought Annette was too timid and careless. Therefore, the actress developed a unique and interesting character that pleased the director after working on the character and redoing a number of lines.

#7 On The Office, Steve Carell and Oscar had a surprise kiss

Source: © The Office / NBC Universal Television Studio and co-producers

In this episode of "The Office", Michael, played by Steve Carell, intended to hug Oscar, then kiss him on the forehead. Carell, though, deviated from the plan and created his own scenario. Oscar Nuñez had no idea he was about to receive a kiss on the lips, and it shocked the entire cast.

#8 In the Glee series, Naya Rivera was secretly asked by the director to slap Cory Monteith

Source: © Glee / 20th Century Fox Television and co-producers

When filming "Glee", director Eric Stoltz privately asked Naya Rivera, who played Santana, to slap Cory Monteith hard when Santana accuses Fin of exposing her as a lesbian. The actress stated she felt terrible for slapping Monteith (played as Fin) and was scared he would be angry with her. But Monteith handled it so skillfully the second time that he urged her to strike him again on camera.

#9 Alan Rickman was genuinely petrified in Die Hard’s falling scene

Source: © Die Hard / Twentieth Century Fox and co-producers

The death of Hans Gruber was one of the most iconic scenes in the "Die Hard" series. Alan Rickman did a fantastic job of portraying the pure horror on the character’s face when he fell to his death. His secret? Well, it was a 100% genuine reaction. Director John McTiernan instructed Alan Rickman that Hans Gruber would be allowed to fall out when he counted down from 3. But McTiernan tricked Rickman by letting go to throw him from around 25 feet above into an airbag when Rickman least expected it.

#10 Samuel L. Jackson asked the director for a purple sword when filming Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones.

Source: © Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones / Lucasfilm and co-producers

In the "Star Wars" universe, the bad guys used red lightsabers and the good guys used blue or green ones. Samuel L. Jackson asked the filmmaker for a purple lightsaber, particularly for his Mace Windu character. In the pivotal sequence of “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones”, the actor said that this would help his character stand out among the other characters in battle. The result pleased Jackson, and Lucas approved.
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