Everyone wants to make it big in Hollywood – the glitz, the glamour and the fame all appears like the ultimate dream. However, behind the scenes and far away from the glare of the spotlight lies a dark place that isn’t “entertainment” at all. Hollywood wants you to see the industry as a magical place where dreams come true – the last thing they need is anyone finding out just how ruthless the industry really is.
There is big money to be made in every new movie release and studios are now pushing stars to their ultimate limit. Actor Benicio Del Toro told Red Bulletin that Hollywood could be compared to a battlefield. He revealed, “It can be pretty extreme at times. An actor’s life is simply brutal. When I first started in the business, all I received was rejection. I was either too Latin or not Latin enough, too tall, too short. Whatever fault they wanted to find in me, they found it.” Actress Zoe Saldana also revealed that she almost quit Hollywood before her career had begun after she was treated badly on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean. She told The Hollywood Reporter, “It was very elitist. I almost quit the business. I was 23 years old, and I was like, “F*** this!” I am never putting myself in this situation again. People disrespecting me because they look at my number on a call sheet and they think I’m not important.”
If stars think making it through a casting is tough – it only gets worse after that. Even when the cameras stop rolling there is still plenty of scandal, trauma and heartbreak to write a hundred movie scripts about. Here are the darkest secrets Hollywood doesn’t want you to know about.
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16 There Has Been A Lot Of Animal Cruelty
This history of animal abuse in Hollywood has continued even most recently to 2011. American Humane Association monitor Gina Johnson had a shameful moment when emails were leaked about the star Bengal tiger, named King, in Ang Lee’s Life of Pi. The Hollywood Reporter discovered an email from Johnson to a colleague that read: “This one take with him just went really bad and he got lost trying to swim to the side. Damn near drowned.” According to the email, King had to be caught with a rope as he scrambled for air. She continued: “I think this goes without saying but DON’T MENTION IT TO ANYONE, ESPECIALLY THE OFFICE! I have downplayed the f— out of it.”
Just one year later, Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey caused the death of 27 farm animals, including sheep and goats, when the animals were left unattended after the crew took a break from shooting for a few days – leading to fatal dehydration. During filming for Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl the production team failed to take precautions when it came to protecting marine life from the explosive special-effects. When filming wrapped, dozens of squid and fish washed up dead on the shoreline.
Bob Ferber, an L.A. City Attorney’s office prosecutor who founded the Animal Protection Unit told THR, “It’s fascinating and ironic: From being the protectors of animals they’ve become complicit to animal cruelty. They told animal control to f**k themselves. This is worse than doing nothing. This is like a cop not just ignoring a crime but helping cover it up.”
15 Illegal Substances Would Be Included In The Production Budget
Drugs in Hollywood are rife, when a celebrity is embroiled in a tabloid cocaine scandal the only people who would be shocked are the public – for everyone else in Hollywood it’s not really news. One source told Fox News it’s easy for celebrities to get hooked up with class A drugs. He said, “All it takes is one phone call. The celebrities are rarely the designated drivers, and they like to have fun inside the clubs. So you know there’s definitely some ‘partying’ going on.” He added, “A lot of the time you’ll see people doing it in the bathroom or celebrities even doing it out in the open. Most people in Hollywood don’t find the need to be discreet about it.”
Dr. David Sack, CEO of Promises Rehab Facility in Malibu, told Fox News, “The drug problem is growing, but what is certainly true is that the media no longer shields celebrities by not publicizing their problems with drugs and alcohol. Similarly, the criminal justice system no longer is ‘star struck’ and prosecutors are no longer reluctant to pursue a celebrity whose drug related behaviors threaten public safety.”
One Hollywood rumor was that Jack Nicholson was so addicted to cocaine, when he shot the Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining; his “fix” was included in the production budget. In a controversial interview with People magazine in 1980, he claimed, “Drugs ain’t no big thing. I still love to get high, I’d say, about four days a week. I think that’s about average for an American.”
14 Celebrities Are Most Likely To Cheat When Filming
Actors spend a lot of time of set, quite often in a far off location isolated from the public. Their only chance of interaction comes from their co-stars or the production crew, so it’s no surprise they eventually get close. After all what do you expect to happen when you put together some of the most beautiful and charismatic people in the world?
Ryan Phillippe couldn’t resists Abbie Cornish on the set of Stop Loss and the pair hooked up, despite the fact Phillippe was married to Reese Witherspoon, who he had two children with. Johnny Depp hooked up with Amber Heard on the set of Rum Diaries, even though he had been in a relationship with the mother of his two children Vanessa Paradis for 17 years. Also who could forget Kristen Stewart getting caught out by the paparazzi kissing the face off Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders, leading to the inevitable breakup of her and Robert Pattinson.
Then there is the notorious home wrecker that is Angelina Jolie. Jurassic Park actress Laura Dern was in a long-term relationship with Billy Bob Thornton until he was cast in Pushing Tin alongside Jolie – the pair got married shortly after. Dern told Talk magazine, “I left our home to work on a movie, and while I was away, my boyfriend got married, and I’ve never heard from him again. It’s like a sudden death.” After divorcing Thornton, Jolie turned her attention to Mr and Mrs Smith co-star Brad Pitt, who was married to Jennifer Aniston. Once again, Jolie snared her man, but the pair have since split this year – after (shock) Brad was accused of cheating again, this time with his Allied co-star Marion Cotillard.
13 Actresses Normally Starve Before Award Shows
When Jennifer Lawrence took to the red carpet for the 2013 Oscars, she told Ryan Seacrest, “I’m starving. Is there food here?” Lawrence was just one more victim who starved herself of food throughout award season, knowing the world’s press would be there ready to scrutinize her figure. Actress Naomi Watts also confirmed the fad, that has been dubbed “Oscarexia”, as she also told Seacrest, “‘I’m hungry on days like today because you usually have starved yourself.”
The Middle actress Eden Sher told The New York Times that the big craze before award shows is a treatment called “Slim Wrapping.” She explained, “A technician wraps you, toes to neck to wrists, in 15 to 20 tight Ace bandages, which are squirted with a cloudy, warm mineral solution. And then you are instructed to bounce on a trampoline for 50 minutes.” The pressures of young actresses to stay slim in Hollywood can be brutal. Sher said, “It’s terrifying that everyday people across America – the world – look to Hollywood to tell them what is pretty and how they should attain it. It’s completely unattainable, of course. But rather than saying that, the magazines and tabloid TV shows buy in. It’s an awards-season staple, whatever that means, so you had better get busy doing it out in El Paso.”
12 Casting Calls Can Be Dangerous For Women
In 1937, 20-year-old dancer Patricia Douglas answered a casting call for MGM. She arrived and was asked to wear a skimpy cowgirl outfit and that she would be used as “female entertainment” for over 300 executives and salesmen. She claimed in her lawsuit that she was sexually assaulted throughout the ordeal. However guests at the party were paid to say Douglas was “uncontrollably drunk” and the case was thrown out.
Another casting call horror story came from Thandie Newton who told CNN, “The director asked me to sit with my legs apart, and the camera was positioned where it could see up my skirt. (He asked me to) put my leg over the arm of the chair, focusing his camera between (my) legs. The unnamed perpetrator allegedly circulated the video at parties.
Gwyneth Paltrow also told Elle magazine of an incident that happened to her when she was a teenager. She recalled, “When I was just starting out, someone suggested that we finish a meeting in the bedroom. I left. I was pretty shocked. I could see how someone who didn’t know better might worry, ‘My career will be ruined if I don’t give this guy a b**w job!’”
11 A-List Stars Also Have A Criminal Past
With a great PR team on their side – actors can brush almost any scandal under the carpet. In some cases they might even need to hide their criminal record or at least stop this from leaking to the press. Nowadays, with thanks to the Internet, this isn’t so easy.
Aged just 16-years-old actor Mark Wahlberg left one man blind after he assaulted him with a wooden stick; he was sentenced to two years in prison but served only 45 days. Christian Slater also has a long criminal history – in 1989, he was arrested for drunk driving, in 1997, he assaulted his girlfriend after a session on the booze, the same year he was arrested again after attempting to board a plane with a loaded gun and in 2005 he was charged with third-degree assault for grabbing a woman’s bum.
More haunting is when actor Matthew Broderick was 25-years-old, he caused a car crash Northern Ireland, while on holiday with his then-girlfriend, Dirty Dancing actress Jennifer Grey. Broderick killed the mother and daughter in the other car as his hired BMW crossed into wrong lane causing a direct collision. He was charged with careless driving and fined just $175, which the victim’s family called “a travesty of justice”.
10 Some Stars Have A Past In Adult Movies
Some stars will do anything to be centre stage in front of the cameras – even if that involves starring in an adult movie. Sylvester Stallone starred in Party at the Kitty for $200, he believed the movie was long forgotten but when he became internationally famous after starring in Rambo the movie was re-released to cash in on his new found fame.
Cameron Diaz had previously shot a bondage movie, Marilyn Monroe did nude photo shoots (when she was still known as Norma Jean), Jackie Chan starred in a 1970s adult movie All In The Family, David Duchovny took part in soft core scenes before he hit the big time with The X Files and Kevin Costner also had a part in a top-shelf special. Luckily for Barbara Streisand, the nude scenes she shot in an adult movie titled The Owl and the Pussycat didn’t make the final cut and never saw the light of day – phew!
9 Paid “Fixers” Can Make Scandals Go Away
In Hollywood, image is everything but stars just couldn’t stop themselves from running into trouble. One of the original “Fixers” was Eddie Mannix who served as vice president for MGM. Hollywood golden age actress Joan Crawford, then named Lucille LaSueur, starred in two highly explicit movies, Velvet Lips and The Casting Couch, but MGM executives denied these existed. Mannix spent thousands tracking down and buying every copy they could find so the reputation of their leading lady wasn’t tainted.
Mannix also defused several scandals using his own private network of crooked lawyers, cops and journalists. It’s rumored that he covered up the alleged murder of Paul Bern, husband of the MGM star Jean Harlow, whose death was ruled a suicide in 1932. In 1935, Mannix arranged for actress Loretta Young to adopt her own baby secretly, after she became pregnant with Clark Gable’s child as the result of an affair they were having. Fixers are still very much present in Hollywood today and they will stop at nothing to make bad news disappear.
8 Some Celebrity Relationships Are Just Career Boosters
One of the newest buzzwords to hit the scene has been “showmance” where celebs hook up just to get noticed in the press and boost their own public image. In 2013, The Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco began dating the fairly-unknown Superman star Henry Cavill – the pair who were represented by the same PR firm were photographed holding hands everywhere but nobody was buying it. At least for Cavill he was now recognizable after the brief affair.
Another example was Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn’s romance, they latest all the way through the promotional tour of their 2006 movie The Break-Up, the movie premiere and the DVD release – but ended swiftly after. Katie Holmes was also rumored to have married Tom Cruise to boost her own acting profile. Then there are the stars that become romantically linked just because they have a movie to promote – ie. Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron, and Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart.
7 Hollywood Has It’s Own Mafia Connections
In the 1930s, Jewish gangster Mickey Cohen was the mob king of Los Angeles and he practically ran Hollywood. He worked closely with other high-profile mobsters such Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel and Al Capone. Since this time, many stars in Hollywood have been (allegedly) connected to the mob.
Debbie Reynolds has been long connected to the Chicago crime family, when asked in an interview if she ever felt scared she might be killed, she replied only those who “needed killing” should be scared. Before he became a famous crooner and sang with Lady Gaga, musical legend Tony Bennet was closely tied to the Bonanno crime family. Liza Minelli once dated Gianni Russo who served as middleman for Joe Colombo, Sr., a New York mafia boss and figure head at Paramount Studios. Even The Rat Pack was famously tied to the mafia and Frank Sinatra was on first name terms with the Lucky Luciano family.
6 Many High-Profile Stars Have Love Children
Since 1986, Hollywood tough guy Arnold Schwarzenegger has been married to his wife Maria Shriver and the pair had four children together. Then in 2011, the Los Angeles Times exposed that Schwarzenegger had fathered a son, 14-year-old Joseph Baena (who looks the absolute double of the Terminator star), after he had an affair with their former housekeeper, Mildred Baena. Schwarzenegger said in his official statement: “After leaving the governor’s office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago.”
Actress Liv Tyler also had no idea her father was Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler until she grew up and noticed a startling resemblance between them both. In April 2007, former Spice Girl and America’s Got Talent judge Melanie Brown gave birth to Eddie Murphy’s daughter, Angel. Although he denied the child was his own a DNA test proved otherwise. Hollywood love children are nothing new – who knows how many more have slipped under the radar over the years.
5 Diversity Is Still A Problem During Award Season
A newly released study suggested diversity in TV and film is so bad the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite was born. Stacy L. Smith, founding director of the Media, Diversity and Social Change Initiative at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, told NPR online, “We’re seeing that there’s not just a diversity problem in Hollywood; there’s actually an inclusion crisis.”
Her study found that just 33.5% of speaking characters were female, despite the fact that women represent just over half the population in America. Just 28.3% of speaking characters with dialogue were from non-white racial/ethnic groups, though such groups are nearly 40% of the U.S. population.
When it came to this year’s annual Oscars; Jada Pinkett Smith boycotted the awards following a video she posted online reading: “Today is Martin Luther King’s birthday, and I can’t help but ask the question: Is it time that people of colour recognise how much power, influence, that we have amassed, that we no longer need to ask to be invited anywhere? Begging for acknowledgement diminishes dignity and diminishes power. And we are a dignified people, and we are powerful. So let’s let the Academy do them, with all grace and love. And let’s do us, differently.” Her husband Will Smith and director Spike Lee also turned their back on the prestigious award ceremony.
4 Most Child Stars Burnout Before Adulthood
In 1981, actress Martha Plimpton made her own big screen debut aged just 11-years-old but soon after her career died out. She told The NY Daily News, ” When children’s lives become all about external validation, that can set them up horribly. Because what’s adorable when you’re 12 isn’t when you’re 25.” She added, “So when you wake up one day and realize the phone isn’t ringing, what happens? You start thinking, ‘How do I replicate that high?’ And you do anything necessary to keep yourself in the spotlight.”
This would explain the wild child behaviour displayed by Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes and Edward Furlong – all three stars turned to alcohol and drugs when directors started ringing less and less. Plimpton also revealed, “The second you put (younger people) in the spotlight, you’ve exploited them. That’s the very nature of show business, and sadly some are sacrificed to our need to watch, explore and enjoy – and Hollywood’s need to make money.”
3 Stars Were Often Secretive About Mental Illness
Many golden age Hollywood stars suffered from mental illness but chose not to speak out about it – or their publicist would advise them against it. Over the years, this has fortunately changed and unlike those in the past who kept their darkest days to themselves – they are now more open.
Halle Berry revealed she had once contemplated suicide after she told Parade magazine, “I was sitting in my car, and I knew the gas was coming, when I had an image of my mother finding me. She sacrificed so much for her children, and to end my life would be an incredibly selfish thing to do.” Other stars including Drew Barrymore and Owen Wilson had also attempted suicide. Catherine Zeta Jones who went public about her bipolar diagnosis in 2011 said, “There is no need to suffer silently, and there is no shame in seeking help.”
Sadly for stars like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, they were from an era where actresses had to be perfect and nothing else. Both struggled with eating disorders and Monroe suffered from what we now know is bipolar disorder. There may have been many other golden age stars suffering but they never allowed this to become public.
2 A-List Stars Sue Magazines That Question Their Intimate Preferences
The sexuality of some stars has been questioned over the years by the media but this can land the publication in hot water. John Travolta, who has been married to his wife Kelly Preston for 25 years, has always had to fight away rumours he is secretly gay. His lawyer threatened to sue now-defunct website Gawker when they published the report: The Secret Sex Life of John Travolta. Their “source” reported: “His preference is Middle Eastern or guys with dark features. His taste has changed over the 15 years that I’ve seen him visiting (male hook-up) spas.”
Tom Cruise has also sued a French magazine that claimed he left his wife Nicole Kidman following a glad fling with a wrestler. Cruise secured damages of $10 million and his lawyer Ricardo Cestero said of the decision, “(We) are very pleased with getting this judgment. He is very concerned and very protective about his personal reputation.” Also in 2001, Cruise sued Hollywood publisher Michael Davis for $100 million after Davis claimed to have a videotape of Cruise engaged in acts with another man. Davis quickly retracted his claim and stated that Cruise “is not, and never has been, homosexual and has never had a homosexual affair.”
1 There Is A Dark History Of Child Abuse
Only a few months ago, Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood revealed during an interview with the Sunday Times that although he had been protected from child abuse growing up – other actors he knew were “preyed upon.” He added, “There are a lot of vipers in this industry, people who only have their own interests in mind. There is a darkness in the underbelly – if you can imagine it, it’s probably happened.”
1980s child star Corey Feldman, another former child actor who found fame with the Goonies and Stand by Me, also admitted as a young teenager he was “surrounded” by abusers who would pass their victims “back and forth to each other.” He confirmed, “We’re not talking about huge executives and directors that I am aware of that were involved in this. The people that I knew doing it were publicists, they were photographers for teen magazines, things like that.”
Feldman said that he regrets keeping quiet about the crimes since the statute of limitations has now passed. He said, “We should be talking to the district attorneys and the lawmakers in California, especially because this is where the entertainment industry is and this is a place where adults have more direct and inappropriate connection with children than probably anywhere else in the world.”