Top 10 Movie LADS
#10- Dennis Hopper
Dennis Hopper may have been genuinely out of his tree, but he was sharp enough to know how to make a comeback. During the 80’s his career was in the toliet, so he held an exibition of his art in Texas that was to culminate in him blowing himself to smithereens. Playing to a packed crowd at a speedway track in Houston, Dennis stood surrounded by twenty or so sticks of dynamite. The idea was that, when detonated, a vacuum would be created, leaving him unscathed. On the other hand, he might kill himself, a prospect he seemed only too willing to embrace. This was to be the artist’s ultimate statement, literally dying for his art. Dennis survived the explosion, although his tongue was left so numb he lost the power of speech for several days.
#9- Warren Beatty
At the peak of his powers in the 80’s, Rolling Stone magazine printed some of the legendary womanizer’s favourite chat-up lines: ‘You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met who’s not a model or an actress,’ or ‘Your grandmother was one of the sexiest women I ever knew.’ When English writer Trevor Griffiths arrived in L.A. he’d heard the rumours surrounding Beatty’s sex-life, and during their first outing together they pulled up at traffic lights next to a Mercedes being driven by a beautiful blonde. According to Griffiths, their eyes met, Beatty mouthed the word ‘hello’ and they exchanged phone numbers. ‘That’s a very strange life to lead,’ Griffiths said later. Yeah, strange. That’s the word.
#8- Jack Nicholson
When it came to the business of making movies Beatty was a self-confessed control freak. Nicholson, on the other hand, had a reputation for professionalism and curtesy, and despite partying into the small hours five nights out of seven, would turn up on set not just knowing his own lines but everyone else’s as well. When working with Nicholson on The Shining, Kubrick was thrilled at Jack’s willingness to try anything, unlike Shelly Duvall, who almost suffered a nervous breakdown at the hands of the notoriously demanding director. Jack, however, was in his element, and after one take inspired a spontaneous round of applause from cast and crew alike. To this day, John’s Pizza palour in New York have a special section set aside where Jack, and only Jack, can smoke. On account of how, you know, he’s Jack Nicholson and we’re not.
#7- Shia LaBeouf
Shia may seem like an unlikely candidate for this list, but in actual fact the Transformers star has a history of what can only be described as unlawful, if not downright laddish behaviour. Hard to believe, I know, but just look at the facts: when he was only nineteen he had a run in with a neighbour who bad-mouthed his mother. Armed with a knife and a buddy for back-up, Shia approached the dude, only to get a kicking from him and six of his friends. Nasty. Then there was a late night altercation with a security guard in a fast-food restaurant in 2007 (although all the charges were dropped), his famous car-crash in 2008, an unlawful smoking charge the same year (that’s California for you), and a bar-brawl in 2011. Phew. All in all, not bad going for a guy who’s only just turned twenty-five.
#6- Sean Penn
During his marriage to Madonna, Sean Penn seemed to spend almost as much time punching out the paparazzi as he did making films. He even spent thirty-three days in jail for flooring one pesky photographer, and was rumoured to have dangled another from the balcony of his ninth-floor hotel room. He was also a bar-room buddy of the poet and writer Charles Bukowski, a man who could drink most mortals under the table without pausing for a bathroom break. Penn himself, however, is quoted as saying, ‘I’m not an alcoholic, I’m just a heavy drinker.’ I’m with you on that one, Sean. I could stop anytime, too. If I wanted to.
#5- Colin Farrell
You’ve got to hand it to Ireland’s 57th richest man. Since landing in Hollywood just over ten years ago he’s certainly made an impression. Bruce Willis threatened to punch his lights out during the making of Hart’s War, and whilst filming Alexander Val Kilmer threw him down a flight of stairs and broke his wrist. Then there was the sex tape, his very own stalker, an incident with a 6’2 transvestite (‘I don’t kiss and tell,’ the tranny told a number of journalists), the night he propositioned a seventy year-old actress, followed by a not-altogether unexpected trip to rehab. All of which he talked candidly about on the Jonathan Ross show. Colin? We salute you. But we’ll never forgive you for London Boulevard. Not a fackin’ chance, mate.
#4- Richard Harris
When Harris arrived in Hollywood in the 70’s he was already making the front pages of the UK tabloids, usually staggering out of a London nightclub with a bottle of Champagne under his arm. During his first week in LA he bought a white Rolls Royce and drove it up and down Sunset Strip waving at all and sundry like the Queen. ‘Nobody knew who I was,’ he said afterwards. ‘But I didn’t care. It was bloody marvellous.’ Later, on the set of The Wild Geese, Harris and his old friend Richard Burton smoked so much of the local weed they began speaking their lines as though reciting Shakespeare. They reportedly took to ganja because their doctors had told them that if they ever touched alcohol again it would kill them. Harris continued drinking Guinness until his death in 2002, which he didn’t class as booze, but referred to as ‘milk.’
#3- Charlie Sheen
What is there left to say about Hollywood’s ultimate bad-boy (or, in the imortal words of Charlie Kaufman: The Ma-Sheen)? The hookers, the drugs, the talk of ‘Warlocks’: it’s all been thorougly documented of late. There was, however, the press conference in 1994 where instead of promoting his skydiving thriller Terminal Velocity Charlie ate a packet of cigarettes, box and all, in front of a room full of stunned journalists. And yet somehow the worst was yet to come. Two and a Half Men, for example.
#2- Peter O’Toole
Whilst performing Shakespeare at the Royal Court, Peter O’Toole would habitually booze it up in and around Sloane Square before he was due on stage. This would invariably prompt a panic-stricken stage manager to scour the local pubs in the hope of finding him before the curtain went up. Once he’d been located O’Toole would down his pint and sprint to the theatre. He’d then throw on his costume and arrive on stage anything up to forty minutes late. As his reputation began to proceed him, a director banned him from drinking during the rehearsal process, so O’Toole injected orange segments with vodka, which he would then suck on throughout his working day.
#1- Oliver Reed
Reed’s friends would often point out that, when sober, he was the most softly spoken of gentlemen. He was, however, rarely sober. Director Ridley Scott said, ‘There’s a moment in the evening when Ollie gets this look in his eye, and after that it’s time to leave.’ At his mansion in Surrey, Reed was known to throw drinking parties that went on for anything up to a week, where the sole aim of the invited guests was to keep up with their host. He was also known for getting journalists trashed, before brandishing an assortment of medieval weaponry and challenging them to a duel. To the death. During the filming of Gladiator he spent a night drinking, and after challenging a bunch of sailors to an arm-wrestling competition, died of a heart attack. Not before he’d won the competition, though. Lad.