People often look at the life of an actor and dream about all of the perks that come with living the good life as one of the rich and famous. The media often depicts actors in their most glamorous moments, whether it's wearing couture on the red carpet or wearing the best-known designers at Hollywood hotspots. While the public enjoys seeing their favorite actors on the big screen, not much is thought about the actual conditions the actors have to go through in order to get the perfect shot. Moviegoers often get caught up in watching a storyline play out on the big screen and the best films have allowed the actors to truly embody a character.
Yet, not all actors went through the same experience when venturing off to their movie locations. While some films were shot in pretty benign locations, not every actor had the most ideal conditions while filming a movie. There have been a number of grueling locations that actors have had to endure while filming, from frigid temperatures to scorching hot conditions. Yet, there are even more reasons why some of these film locations weren't exactly ideal. Check out our list of the 25 places actors had to travel to for a movie that they didn't want to and see how much work goes into being one of Hollywood's elite.
25 Waterworld - Off the coast of Hawaii: Kevin Costner got seriously injured
There have been a number of films that have depicted an apocalyptic future but the 1995 film starring Kevin Costner was definitely putting a twist to it. With the storyline involving a world completely covered in water, the majority of the film was shot in the middle of the water. The seawater enclosure was located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Hawaii. There were a number of issues that arose during filming and People magazine reported on a particular event including Kevin Costner. In the feature, People stated, "Costner, one of the movie's producers and its star, was strapped 40 feet in the air to the mast of a sailboat. Suddenly, ferocious winds whipped up and Costner was pelted with seawater, his body hammered against the mast. For 30 minutes, the crew stood by helplessly, knowing it was too dangerous to lower Costner to safety." Joss Whedon was flown to the set for a number of rewrites and he was quoted by Den of Geek as describing it as "seven weeks of hell."
24 Titanic - Pacific Ocean: Kate caught pneumonia
Despite the fact that James Cameron's Titanic was released in 1997, it still remains one of the most memorable films on the big screen. Audiences couldn't get enough of Rose and Jack's love story and both Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio were heralded for their performances. A big portion of the film was shot in the Pacific Ocean at the Baja California Mexico set. There were some portions that had heated water but not all of it was the feeling of a warm bath. Simple Most reported on the water temperature and stated, "In the film when Rose is looking for Jack through the corridors of the ship, her reaction to the water is genuine-it was from the Pacific Ocean and was very cold. Kate Winslet did not wear a wetsuit while filming the scenes with the colder water and, in turn, came down with pneumonia" (dazzlingnews).
23 The Revenant - Canada and Argentina: Low Temperatures were unbearable
When the 2015 film, The Revenant, was released, people really seemed to resonate with the way Leonardo DiCaprio portrayed the main character. While he had starred in a number of memorable films, this was the role that earned the actor his very first Academy Award. Although the incredible storyline was definitely a huge draw to the film, it was the environmental conditions and story of survival that really seemed to appeal to the audience. DiCaprio touched on this during his acceptance speech at the Oscars. In an interview with The Seattle Times, DiCaprio was asked about the grueling nine-month ordeal that involved the "frigid tracts of Canada and Argentina." The feature also stated, "Temperatures at some locations in the Canadian Rockies reached 40 below."
22 Mad Max: Fury Road - Namib Desert: Lead actors didn't get along at all
When Hollywood was set to create a reboot of Mad Max, it was Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron that were chosen for the lead roles. The majority of the film was supposed to take place in a desert setting, even though the original film showcased an Australian setting. Mad Max: Fury Road was filmed in the Namib Desert and it wasn't exactly the easiest shoot. There were reports that neither Theron or Hardy seemed to get along with one another during their filming scenes together and it doesn't seem like the desert setting would help them much. The Daily Mail ran a feature on their time together and stated, "The South African beauty spent nine months making the hit film and the relationship with her co-star was clearly difficult." Perhaps she will think again when choosing a role that requires such a long time in a desert setting with someone she may not get along with in the end.
21 Clouds Of Sils Maria - a number of locations in Europe: Kristen had to try and dodge Robert Pattinson the whole time
Kristen Stewart is an actress that has starred in a number of big budget films and is often thought of as the character, Bella Swan, in the Twilight film series. However, she's actually appeared in a number of smaller films over the years and she's never been opposed to delving into an Indie flick. When she appeared in Clouds of Sils Maria, she was required to travel to a number of locations throughout Europe (including Switzerland, Germany, and Italy). However, promotion for the film was set to take place at the Cannes Film Festival in France and this was around the time when there was a lot of publicity surrounding her strained relationship with Robert Pattinson. Although she was forced to travel to France for the promotion of this film, Travel Pulse reported that she went to great lengths to try and avoid their run-ins whenever possible.
20 Into The Wild - Grand Canyon rapids: it got too real
When the real-life story of Christopher McCandless was being shopped around to be adapted onto the big screen, it was Sean Penn that ultimately stood up to the challenge. He embarked on telling this real-life story of strength and survival and it was Emile Hirsch that was chosen to appear as the lead character in the film. The New York Times detailed the storyline by stating, "In the spring of 1992, after vagabonding around the country for two years, Christopher McCandless, a 24-year-old Virginian and Emory graduate, hitchhiked to Alaska." A book about this real-life story had a portion where Christopher paddled through rapids in the Grand Canyon. Penn wanted to shoot at real locations that were visited by Christopher and he even asked Emile to go through a stretch of rapids in a kayak. Emile was reportedly more than just a tiny bit hesitant and the New York Times reported that Penn had to go through the rapids in the kayak first in order to "reassure Mr. Hirsch that he wouldn't drown."
19 Adrift - Pacific Ocean: a lot of seasickness
The 2018 film, Adrift, starred Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin, and told the real-life story of Tami Oldham and Richard Sharp. The young couple was sailing together and wound up getting caught up in one of the biggest hurricanes in history. While there was a love story aspect to the film, the heart of the plot revolved around survival and perseverance. Because the bulk of the storyline of the film revolved around the voyage on their sailboat, the majority of the film was shot on the Pacific Ocean. Shailene Woodley gave an interview with USA Today and spoke about the grueling work conditions while shooting. The feature stated, "Shailene Woodley found out on Day 1 of shooting the ocean adventure, Adrift, that seasickness was going to be an unwelcome part of her immediate film future." After dealing with numerous bouts of seasickness, Woodley undoubtedly regretted her decision to star in this water-based film.
18 Cast Away - Fiji: Some scratches and bruises
The 2000 film, Cast Away, was seen as a huge success and it further perpetuated the notion that Tom Hanks could pretty much play the role of any character on the big screen. Not many actors are able to carry an entire film on their own, especially when the biggest side character is a mute volleyball. Yet, Hanks was able to pull it off in a big way. Filming was on one of the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji and it created a picturesque location for the island shots. Yet, the rigors of filming weren't exactly a walk in the park. In fact, Hanks reportedly endured a number of scratches and bruises while filming on the island. CinemaBlend reported that one of the scratches caused a leg infection called Staphylococcus, which required immediate medical attention and a postponement in filming.
17 Romeo + Juliet - Mexico City and Veracruz: crew member taken and ransomed
When Hollywood set out to produce a modern-day telling of Romeo and Juliet, it was Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio that took on the main roles. This 1996 film became a huge hit with moviegoers and featured numerous scenes that became ultra-memorable to audiences. The majority of the film was shot in Mexico in order to depict the fictional city of Verona. Mexico City and Veracruz were a few of the locations that were featured in the film and that came with its own plethora of issues (Screenrant). Aldo Signoretti was a hair stylist on the film and he was taken and ransomed while filming. As if that wasn't bad enough, there was an actual hurricane that occurred and it damaged the set and forced the actors to work under severe weather conditions.
16 The Deer Hunter - Thailand and Washington: serious delays and issues occurred on location
While there are a number of films that have included the biggest names in the entertainment industry, few can boast the same stellar combination as the 1978 film, The Deer Hunter. It starred Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, and Meryl Streep and featured a storyline that appealed to a plethora of moviegoers. However, the actual filming process didn't exactly go as planned. A portion of the film was shot at North Cascades National Park in Washington (taskandpurpose) but that was definitely a walk in the park compared to the cast's experience while filming the other portions of the film. The scenes that depicted Vietnam were filmed in Thailand and filmmaker, Michael Cimino, was quoted by LA Times as saying “It was a logistical nightmare." The budget became hugely inflated and there was a student uprising that postponed production, which forced the cast and crew into a tricky situation.
15 30 Days Of Night - New Zealand: Freezing and acting with Mono
The 2007 film, 30 Days of Night, told the story of a small town in Alaska that endures an entire month of darkness every year. It's during this time that the residents of the town are set upon by a group of vampires. The lead role was given to Josh Hartnett and he gave an interview with Rotten Tomatoes regarding his ordeal while filming. In the interview, he stated, "There were 20 days of cold shooting and 33 days of night shoots. We shot the first bit of the film in a snow farm in Wanaka which is on the South Island of New Zealand. We were on top of a mountain a couple of hundred meters away from where the US snowboard team was practicing. It was horribly cold and I actually had Mono at the time – I was sick as a dog – so that made it even more chilling."
14 The Grey - British Columbia: staying in shape in -40 degrees
Liam Neeson is an actor that has starred in a number of ultra-memorable roles throughout his time in Hollywood and he's continued to prove that he can act as any sort of character. The 2011 film, The Grey, showcased Neeson's ability to truly carry a film on his own and audiences really resonated with his story of survival. Neeson was quoted by IndieWire when talking about what it was like to film The Grey in Vancouver and Smithers, British Columbia. The article stated, "But the harsh cold of the film's production in British Columbia led Neeson to a different kid of prep work." According to IndieWire, it was minus forty degrees on their first week and that definitely doesn't seem like the most relaxing work condition.
13 Apocalypse Now - The Philippines: Health issues for the cast
Francis Ford Coppola received a huge amount of acclaim after the success of The Godfather Part II and there were high hopes for his film, Apocalypse Now. While the film had a plotline that surrounded around Vietnam, the actual filming took place in the Philippines. Den of Geek reported on the issues that arose during filming and stated, "A shoot initially expected to last for five months swelled to more than a year." Undoubtedly, the actors did not expect to spend that amount of time in this film location and it came with even more hardships. Martin Sheen endured a heart attack while filming and the rest of the cast had to deal with the numerous weather issues, with a number of storms affecting the ability to film.
12 The Abyss - South Carolina: Not fun to make
The 1989 film, The Abyss, came from the masterful artistry of James Cameron but that doesn't mean that all of the actors were ready for the grueling conditions in filming. James Cameron chose to film the movie at an unfinished Cherokee Nuclear Power Plant in South Carolina (weburbanist). In 1989, The Chicago Tribune ran a feature on the filming experience of The Abyss and quote Cameron as saying, "I knew this was going to be a hard shoot, but even I had no idea just how hard. I don't ever want to go through this again." The lead actress, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio was quoted by Mental Floss as saying, "The Abyss was a lot of things. Fun to make was not one of them." This might have been referencing the fact that there was numerous difficulties onset, including submerged shots that resulted in long and grueling days spent underwater.
11 The Mountain Between Us - British Columbia: The crew revolted
The 2017 film, The Mountain Between Us, was far more than just another love story brought to the big screen. Idris Elba starred as the male lead character and Kate Winslet portrayed the female lead. Combining their star power for the big screen brought a huge amount of appeal to the film but it was the environmental factors that really put a twist to the storyline. Business Insider reported on the grueling filming location and stated, "In an era where practically anything can be created with the most realistic detail in a soundstage, Abu-Assad felt if he was going to put the audience in a harrowing situation like surviving an airplane crash, he would have to also put his cast and crew in that same kind of setting. That meant shooting for a month on a mountain at an elevation of 11,000 feet." The actual location was the Purcell Mountains in British Columbia and Business Insider claimed that the conditions were so cold that the crew almost revolted in the snow.
10 Platoon - The Philippines: brought flashbacks
When the 1986 film, Platoon, was set to start filming, none of the actors could have predicted what the conditions would be like onset. The film was shot in the Philippines and one of the stars, Charlie Sheen, couldn't help but look elsewhere for some advice. His father, Martin Sheen, had famously shot in the Philippines during his time onset with Apocalypse Now. Uproxx ran a feature on the filming process and stated, "Charlie had spent eight months there as a 10-year-old when his father made Apocalypse. 'I stepped off the plane and stopped,' Charlie recalls. 'That smell hit me immediately: burning rubber, that poverty, that stench, that malaria that's always in the air. I thought, 'I'm back. I'm back here doing it again.'"
9 Sicario - Mexico: Some real-life hairy situations
While Emily Blunt is often thought of as an acclaimed actress that has starred in a number of period dramas and family-friendly flicks, that doesn't mean that she's the least bit hesitant to dive into something with a bit more grit. The 2015 film, Sicario, revolved around a special team of U.S. undercover operatives in Mexico and Blunt starred as a character within that team. The filming of Sicario required the actors to go to one of the dangerous locations in the world due to the issues regarding the cartel. The Hollywood Reporter ran a feature on the dangerous filming conditions and spoke about an area they visited and stated, "They told us this is where they dump the bodies." This wasn't exactly a luxury vacation in Mexico and all of the actors were affected by it.
8 Noah - Iceland: Cast members fell ill
When Hollywood was geared up to produce the epic story of Noah and his arc, it was Russell Crowe and Emma Watson that received the starring roles. Noah was released in 2014 but stories were released about the filming conditions for the actors and crew. According to The Guardian, director, Darren Aronofsky, reportedly wanted to push the film's environmental concerns and put that onto the cast and crew. The film was shot in numerous locations, including Iceland and the Planting Fields Arboretum in New York. There were storms that the cast needed to film around and some scenes were shot between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. Since no bottled water was allowed onset, some individuals reportedly became sick due to overwork and dehydration. The Guardian reported, "Emma Watson fell ill on the set."
7 Twister - Oklahoma: unpredictable weather
The 1996 film, Twister, was predominantly filmed in various locations throughout Oklahoma. However, there were a number of other locations that were used due to the ever-changing seasons in Oklahoma. The ever-changing seasons in Oklahoma made it incredibly difficult to shoot certain shots that were intended to look dark or stormy. Entertainment Weekly reported that special lights needed to be used in order to make the Oklahoma setting believable in the film. In the scene where Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt were sitting in a truck required bright electric lamps to shine in on them. Entertainment Weekly reported, "Both Paxton and Hunt had been temporarily blinded by the enormous outpouring of illumination." Obviously, these actors would have undoubtedly preferred a film location that came with its own light, rather than an artificial one.
6 Three Kings - Arizona, California and Mexico: Director very fiery on set
When Hollywood set out to release a film about Saddam Hussein in the aftermath of the Gulf War, it was David O. Russell that stood up to the challenge (ew.com). Yet, not everyone was thrilled to travel to Arizona, California and Mexico to star beneath this well-known director (movie-locations.com). While Russell has been heralded for a number of his films, he's also garnered quite a reputation for being fiery onset. Rumors surrounding Russell having an altercation with George Clooney emerged and CinemaBlend reported on it by saying, "Amid all of the stress of filming the movie, Clooney approached the directors as he seemingly scolded extras on set." Being stuck out in a desert setting with an extremely passionate director ultimately resulted in a "perfect storm" of sorts.
5 Tremors - Nevada: unforeseen issues
The 1990 movie, Tremors, was definitely questionable when it comes to films on the big screen that have done well at the box office and has resonated with moviegoers. The cast of characters (including the lead actor, Kevin Bacon) traveled to the Owens Valley area of California, despite the fact that the film was set in Nevada (in a town that truly existed). Bacon famously voiced qualms about traveling for this film and gave an interview with The Mirror Online about the issues that arose following his acceptance of the role in Tremors. While filming in California, his wife had to deal with her pregnancy on her own and Bacon stated "he began to fear that his career had already peaked."
4 Frozen - Utah: lead had never been to a ski resort before
The 2010 film, Frozen, was far from the magical snowman film that hit Disney. Instead, it featured a group of friends being stuck on a chairlift and having to endure frigid temperatures, a dangerous fall and a pack of wolves. While the film was depicting a New England ski resort, the actual filming was at Snowbasin near Ogden, Utah (skimag). Shawn Ashmore was one of the lead actors and reportedly had never been to a ski resort prior to filming this movie. He undoubtedly regretted taking the role once he realized that the film wasn't going to implement any CGI or green screen for the scenes involving the ski lift. Instead, the actors were actually suspended 50 feet about the ground (horrorfreaknews.com).
3 The Thing - L.A., Alaska, and British Columbia: varying temperatures and constant traveling
When Hollywood set out to reboot the 1951 film, The Thing from Another World, it was John Carpenter that took on the challenge to bring this shape-shifting alien film to the big screen (collider). Kurt Russell was the lead actor in the film and the cast was required to shoot scenes in a refrigerated set in Los Angeles. As if that wasn't bad enough, the cast also shot scenes in Alaska and British Columbia. A number of issues arose during filming, including an issue for the cast to move the filming to the Universal lot that had an exterior temperature of over 100 degrees and an interior temperature of 28 degrees (laweekly). The constant traveling and the obscure temperatures didn't make for the best filming experience for any of the cast.
2 Cold Mountain - Romania: Charlie Hunnam stuck out like a sore thumb
The 2003 film, Cold Mountain, depicts an actual location in the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina. However, the majority of the film was actually filmed in Romania. Charlie Hunnam was one of the actors in the film and he spoke with The Baltimore Sun about what it was like to shoot the film in Romania. On top of having to travel far from home, the actor spoke about what he had to face as an outsider in Romania (especially considering his albino look). He stated, "We were shooting in Romania, and of course, Romanian people are very, very dark-featured. My hair, eyelashes and beard had been bleached white... When we'd go into the nightclub, I'd walk under the strobe lights, and I'd actually glow. People would turn around and walk away from me. It was interesting to encounter that kind of reaction."
1 Alive - British Columbia: too much like the real story
The 1993 film, Alive, retold the true story of a 45 passenger and crew flight of an amateur rugby team that crashed a Fairchild aircraft in the Andes. The actual film was shot in the Purcell Mountains in British Columbia and there were numerous issues that came with telling the story of this struggle to survive (independent.co.uk). The main goal was to show the actual conditions the survivors needed to endure in their 70 days out on the mountain. This required the actors to spend long hours in the frigid temperatures and it wasn't exactly a walk in the park for the young actors, Ethan Hawke, Josh Hamilton, and Vincent Spano.
Sources: Mental Floss, Hollywood Reporter, Business Insider, USA Today, The Guardian, Entertainment Weekly, Movie Locations, Independent, Travel Pulse