Hollywood is something of a small town when you think about it. The number of people making major studio projects at any given time isn’t that big. That means it’s all the more important to stay on the good side of the people you work with. It was recently revealed that Brad Pitt apparently has a list of actors he avoids working with, and it turns out he’s not the only one. There is a “long list” of actors who will never be in a James Gunn movie.
James Gunn frequently answers questions from fans about filmmaking on Twitter and during a recent thread of answers a fan asked about the decision to recast an actor while on set, when it appears the performance isn’t working for some reason. While James Gunn says sometimes a performance just doesn’t work for any number of reasons that have nothing to do with talent, when an actor isn’t working out because they are unprepared or otherwise temperamentally unsuited, it’s a different story. Gunn explains…
So it appears that both Brad Pitt and James Gunn have a list of actors they avoid, in both cases because they’ve each reached a point in their career where they just don’t have the time to deal with this stuff on set. And both are also in positions where they can dictate such things. Not every actor or director will be able to control who appears in their films, but these guys certainly can.
While we don’t often hear about actors or directors having such lists, when you think about it, most major filmmakers probably have something similar. Any actor or director who has a sufficiently bad experience on the set is not going to want to repeat that experience.
We know actors and directors have people that they work with again and again because they like that experience, think Scorsese and De Niro, or the fact that Brad Pitt and Channing Tatum recently appeared in each other’s films, so the opposite is probably also true. Gunn clearly doesn’t feel this way about any of the Guardians of the Galaxy cast. He wouldn’t have made it to three movies, a holiday special and a pair of Disney attractions if he did.
If these situations resulted in recasting or heated issues on set, then the people on these lists probably know they are on them. Perhaps with other people they have fewer issues and have been successful elsewhere. Sometimes certain people just don’t get along.