8 Movie Sets That Were Allegedly “Torture” To Work On, And 9 That Were An Absolute Delight

    Megan Fox publicly criticized director Michael Bay after working with him on Transformers, saying, "He wants to be like Hitler on his sets, and he is."

    1. Difficult on-set experience: James Cameron

    Cameron may be known for directing iconic films such as Titanic, The Terminator, and Avatar, but he's also developed quite a reputation for his demanding behavior on set. Kate Winslet famously shared her experiences on the set of Titanic, which included a long and hard filming schedule, her almost drowning, and even suffering from hypothermia from being in cold water.

    close up of Kate in the flooding

    2. Great on-set experience: Jordan Peele

    close up of Jordan

    The Get Out and Us director has gotten tons of praise from those he works with. In an interview with The Washington Post, Keke Palmer shared what it was like working with Peele on set for his latest film, Nope: "He’s just so thoughtful, and he has something to say," she said. "He empowers the other people on set. He has a clear vision, but he also trusts the people that he’s hired. ... It’s just a very cool and genuinely collaborative process."

    close up of Keke in Nope

    3. Also a great on-set experience: Sofia Coppola

    close up of Sofia

    The daughter of director Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia has made a name for herself directing numerous films, such as Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette, and The Bling Ring. In an interview shared by Netflix, Kirsten Dunst shared how working with Coppolla in the '90s on The Virgin Suicides "empowered" her, especially as Hollywood producers tried getting her to "fix" her teeth as a young actor.

    close up of Kirsten

    4. Difficult on-set experience: Michael Bay

    close up of Michael at an event

    Megan Fox didn't hold back when it came to criticizing the reportedly demanding Transformers director: "He’s like Napoleon and he wants to create this insane, infamous mad-man reputation. He wants to be like Hitler on his sets, and he is," she told Wonderland Magazine.

    close up of Megan in Transformers

    5. Great on-set experience: Tim Burton

    close up of Tim

    Working with Burton on Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, star Eva Green shared, "It is a happy set," she told Parade. "He is just a child on set, so passionate and full of ideas, full of energy…It is like a real family." Ella Purnell also added just how fun and spontaneous working with Burton was — like when he once brought water guns on set.

    close up of Eva Green using an old wooden weapon to shoot

    And Danny DeVito, who's worked with Burton in movies like Dumbo and Batman Returns shared his deep appreciation and admiration for Burton and his work: "I love Tim and I would do anything to be in a movie with him," he said. "I get emotional thinking about how much I care about him."

    close up of Danny

    6. Difficult on-set experience: David Fincher

    close up of David

    The director, known for his "perfectionist" tendencies, had tension with Jake Gyllenhaal on the set of Zodiac, including a time he made Gyllenhaal do a three-second scene over 30 times. The actor said Fincher "paints with people," adding "It's tough to be a color. And Robert Downey Jr. apparently called Fincher a "disciplinarian."

    Robert Downing Jr and Jake in a scene for Zodiac

    7. Great on-set experience: Chloé Zhao

    close up of Chloe smiling

    Zhao revealed she only had Harry Styles in mind when it came to casting him as Eros/Starfox. And she even treated the Eternals cast to a Harry Styles concert in London after they heard about his casting. Lia McHugh, who plays Sprite, told ScreenRant, "...one day she was like, 'You wouldn't want to go to a Harry Styles concert with me, would you?' And I was like, 'Is that even a question?!' It's funny. He had a smaller, private one in London and we got special seats up in a lounge. A few of the Eternals went and it was great."

    close up of Harry

    8. Difficult on-set experience: Oliver Stone

    Oliver sitting at a press conference

    While promoting George W. Bush's biopic, W, on The View, Richard Dreyfuss, who played Dick Cheney, criticized the movie and called Stone "a fascist." Stone addressed Dreyfuss' comments and claimed that working with the actor was "the single worst experience" he's ever had. Stone also claimed Dreyfuss couldn’t remember his lines and shared, "I walked him outside, and I read him the Riot Act. I said, ‘You’re going to read these f—ing cue cards, and if you don’t read them, this scene is over.’ So, yeah, I was a fascist."

    scene from the movie with characters walking in the hallway of the white house

    9. Great on-set experience: Steven Spielberg

    close up of Steven

    In his memoir, Independent Ed, Edward Burns shared his experience working with the Academy Award-winning director on Saving Private Ryan, noting how he would allow actors to make mistakes to work out their own process instead of putting pressure on them to get it right immediately. According to Business Insider, Burns wrote, "He allowed us several takes to figure things out for ourselves." The actor mentioned that through working with Spielberg, he learned that being a director is "about knowing when to give direction."

    actors in military uniforms in the movie

    10. Difficult on-set experience: Terrence Malick

    Terrance outside directing next to a camera

    After The New World, Christopher Plummer swore to never work with Malick again. During Newsweek’s annual Oscar roundtable in 2012, Plummer criticized Malick for his controlling ways while filmmaking, which included rewriting scripts: "I love some of his movies very much, but the problem with Terry is he needs a writer, desperately. He insists on overwriting until it sounds terribly pretentious," he said, "...and he edits his films in such a way that he cuts everyone out of them."

    close up of actors on the set

    11. Great on-set experience: Ryan Coogler

    Ryan at a Disney event

    The Black Panther director, who had a team of women in leadership roles on set, received high remarks from the crew. In an interview with the New York Times, costume designer Ruth E. Carter complimented Coogler for his collaborative attitude. "We cut past any of the normal bureaucracy of male dominance, where they may want to overtake the conversation or need to be leader of the idea," she said. "You don’t have to be overbearing to get your point to him — he’s open in that way. With that calmness and humility, the gate opens: ‘Hello, I have this to offer.’"

    Coogler and Ruth on set looking over costumes

    And prior to the Black Panther premiere in 2018, director Ava DuVernay tweeted her own praise for Coogler, sharing what it was like working near each other: "We edited our films across the hall from each other for 8 months," she wrote. "We talked in our edit bays, on walks around the lot. About our films, our dreams. Tonight, his comes true. On my way to the #BlackPanther premiere with a full heart for my fam, director extraordinaire #RyanCoogler!"

    We edited our films across the hall from each other for 8 months. We talked in our edit bays, on walks around the lot. About our films, our dreams. Tonight, his comes true. On my way to the #BlackPanther premiere with a full heart for my fam, director extraordinaire #RyanCoogler!

    Twitter: @ava

    12. Difficult on-set experience: Ridley Scott

    close up of Ridley

    A self-described "tough nut," Scott notoriously had tensions with Harrison Ford while filming Blade Runner. Plus, the director's perfectionist ways meant long, exhausting days of filming — which included the cast and crew working more than 50 nights. "It took a few weeks to get into full vampire mode," Ford said, according to Vanity Fair.

    close up of Harrison in the film

    13. Great on-set experience: Joel and Ethan Coen (aka, the Coen Brothers)

    the brothers on the red carpet

    From O Brother, Where Art Thou? to Hail, Caesar! George Clooney has collaborated with the famous brothers on a few projects and had plenty of positive things to say about them. "They are great writers. They are incredibly imaginative directors, and on top of everything else, they are the most fun to work with. Any time they call, I just say — 'Tell me where to be and I’ll be there,'" he told Variety.

    close up of george in a scene with a woman holding a baby

    14. Difficult on-set experience: Stanley Kubrick

    close up of Stanley looking stern

    Scatman Crothers' famous "shining" speech to young Danny Torrance was miserable to film because of Kubrick. The director made Crothers do over 100 takes before he was satisfied — and apparently, the process was so debilitating that Crothers broke down into sobs between takes.

    Scatman and Danny sitting at a table

    15. Great on-set experience: J.J. Abrams

    J.J on the red carpet

    In an interview with Cinemablend, Daisy Ridley shared how collaborative Abrams is as a director; he was even open to her input when it came to Rey's storyline in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. "I will say the great thing about J.J. is I've felt authority like that from the get-go. ... He always listened to what I had to say, even if for the most part it's wrong," she said. "We would try things and do different lines and whatever it was so it always felt new, and like everyone was really involved in the collaborative process."

    close up of Daisy with other Star Wars characters in the background

    16. Difficult on-set experience: Alejandro González Iñárritu

    close up of Alejandro

    Iñárritu's The Revenant may have won multiple Oscars, but filming the movie was brutal. According to The Hollywood Reporter, cast and crew had to deal with numerous challenges such as filming in subzero temperatures and crew members being fired or quitting mid-production. One crew member called making the film "a living hell."

    close up of Leo DiCaprio in the film

    And finally...

    17. Great on-set experience: Ava DuVernay

    close up of Ava at an event

    Storm Reid gushed about her experience working with DuVernay — who's been a mentor to her — on A Wrinkle in Time while chatting with Bustle. "...we had the most amazing days together," she said. "Just being able to work with her and seeing that she has so much love and passion for what she's doing, on and off the camera."

    close up of Storm in a scene

    The cast of Queen Sugar also gave endless appreciation for DuVernay in an interview with OWN — highlighting her passion behind her work and her attentiveness to the needs of cast and crew on set. Nicholas Ashe, who plays Micah West, said, "She's sensitive to the actor but sensitive to what the production assistant needs, with the DP. She's everywhere at once, and it's a magical thing to be a part of."

    Queen Sugar scene with Nicholas sitting on a bed while another actor stands in front of him while putting her hand on his cheek

    Did any of these on-set experiences surprise you? Which "loved" or "hated" directors would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.