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When Actors Go Crazy – A Case Study of Celebrity Meltdowns

It’s hard to watch actors we once enjoyed fall so far.  But hard as it is, why do we seem to enjoy it?  Below are ten accounts of screen actors who have done terrible things.  Horrible things.  Things we can barely stomach.  But like all unsightly car wrecks, we can’t take our eyes off them.


Case: The Wack-Job

Evidence: Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, you have most definitely heard about the ridiculous saga of Charlie Sheen. But just in case you need a refresher, Carlos Irwin Estevez…
– Was arrested on Christmas Day in 2009 for pulling a knife on his girlfriend. On Christmas!
Beat up then-wife Denise Richards four Christmases earlier while threatening to kill her. What a sweetheart.
Placed a bet on the phone while Richards was giving birth.
Shot then-girlfriend Kelly Preston, now actress and wife of John Travolta. With a gun. In the arm. Oh, but don’t worry, it was an accident.
– Was hospitalized for a hernia in January 2011 after over a day straight of hookers and cocaine.
Argued about Train’s song, “Drops of Jupiter” until he held a knife to the other person’s throat.
– After sharing custody of their children when originally divorced, he changed his mind, said he didn’t want them and gave full custody to Richards. These kids are sure to have daddy-doesn’t-love-me issues.
– Put his kids in one room at the Plaza Hotel, spent time with hookers in another room, and finished the night with the police after trashing said room.
And I’m only scratching the surface.  I think it’s safe to say Charlie Sheen is a terrible person.
Status: He recently lost his $2 million per episode job, but has become a household name for his very public feud with CBS and everyone else that breathes in his direction. He is even in talks for a new sitcom. However, his case reminds me a bit of Anna Nicole Smith. After a series of public meltdowns, including a bizarre appearance at the Grammy’s, the actress/model died of a drug overdose. Given Sheen’s relentless hours spent on drugs, prostitution and an all around hard life, I, for one, would not be surprised if he is in the final years of his life.


Case: Loverboy’s Long Fall

Evidence: Tom Cruise jumped on a couch

because he was just that happy to be in love, proceeded to laugh like a hyena anytime the camera was put on him, publicly criticized psychiatry, medication and Matt Lauer, (see the second half of this video) and followed the one religion that it’s apparently okay for people to bash.  A long fall for a man who was a serious heart throb and was on the wall of many a teenage girl’s wall for much of his career.
Status: Subsequently, the general public that was once smitten by the superstar suddenly saw him as a maniacal moron. General fatigue of his face hasn’t completely warn off, but thanks to other berserk Hollywood crazies out there, he’s been demoted to an eye roll. Regardless, the man can flat out act.


Case: Church Boy’s Long Fall

Evidence: Mel Gibson made an incredibly well-judged business move to distribute The Passion of the Christ independently. No studio would support him financially and thus, he made gobs of money as the film was a gigantic hit. The film received criticism for being anti-semantic. Mel Gibson denied the film had any such implications. Within a year and a half of the film’s release, ‘ol Mel was pulled over for driving under the influence and followed that up with a drunken tirade in which he disparaged the Jewish. He followed this up with a full-throttle collapse by next separating from his wife of 26 years, made a creep of himself by empregnating his girlfriend before he was divorced, beat up said girlfriend, and ended up in rehab for the umpteenth time.  Also a long fall for a man who was considered a hunk by 98% of the female population.
Status: When viewing the trailer for Jodie Foster’s The Beaver, one had to worry if the man the narrator was talking about when he described, “A hopelessly depressed individual, the successful and loving family man he used to be has gone missing,” was Mel Gibson himself. Mel is in serious need of a Hollywood rehabilitation as his career has already suffered from his collapse. He isn’t helping the situation any by continuing to be a public ass. Regardless, he, too, can flat out act. Which begs the question, are these men crazy because they are actors or actors because they are crazy?


Case: The Recovery

Evidence: When someone (gasp!) made noise on a movie set, Christian Bale suffered what can easily be classified as a meltdown. A rather disturbed Bale chewed the man out with language as colorful as Rainbow Brite’s hometown as recorded by the sound engineer on set. Bale later explained that he was upset that the man was ruining the emotion of the scene. Oh yeah, and he was filming Terminator Salvation. All this AFTER he was arrested for allegedly beating up his mom and sister.
Status: Bale went on to win an Oscar for his supporting role in The Fighter. It seems the public has forgiven him. But, if he walked up to the urinal next to me, I’d sure move along with my business as fast as possible.


Case: The Disappearance

Evidence: Back in 2005, Dave Chappelle was in the third season of his wildly successful TV program, Chappelle’s Show, when he suddenly disappeared. This after an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, where he confided in Leno (and the audience) that being named the funniest person alive was a lot of pressure. The media buzzed with his disappearance with no information, just a bunch of ET anchors running in circles shouting, “Chappelle is missing! Chappelle is missing!” (picture of chicken little shouting)
Status: The assumption was that the comedian snapped and disappeared without a trace. It turned out that he was unhappy with the direction of his show and decided to take an impromptu holiday to South Africa. The explanation was enough for most as many seemed to forget about Chappelle going crazy – while others just plain forgot about Chappelle as he stepped out of the limelight.


Case: The Hoax

Evidence: On October 27, 2008, Joaquin Phoenix, the shoulda-been winner of the 2005 Academy Award winner for his portrayal of Johnny Cash in Walk the Line announced his retirement from acting to much disappointment. Many wondered why such a talent would walk away from the career. The following February, Phoenix confused people even more with his eccentric conduct during an interview on The Late Show as seen here, behaving very unlike himself. Phoenix also announced that he would be leaving acting to pursue a career in rap. His brother in law, Casey Affleck, followed Phoenix around with a camera to create a documentary about the career transition.
Status: After the release of the documentary I’m Still Here, Casey Affleck announced that Phoenix’s retirement was a hoax and that the film was a mockumentary – confirming what many speculated about the entire situation. Phoenix was happy to shave the beard and return to his normal life. He reappeared on The Late Show to make amends with David Letterman and his audience for the bizarre interview a year and a half prior. Roger Ebert praised Phoenix’s work, stating that because the film is fiction, Phoenix should receive an academy award for his efforts since he had to not only act in a film, but change his entire life. Phoenix is currently filming The Master with Amy Adams, Philip Seymour Hoffman and director Paul Thomas Anderson.


Case: The Random Ass

Evidence: If you have seen Gary Busey talk, that should be evidence enough. But just in case I need a smidgen of proof, I will just point out that Busey has not only nicknamed his penis, “Big Wednesday,” but has come public with this information.
Status: Turns out there is an explanation to his madness. Busey was involved in a motorcycle accident in 1988. He was not wearing a helmet and suffered permanent brain damage. His “filters” were weakened, which caused him to speak and act impulsively. Now let’s all do the collective, “Ohhhhhhhhhh.” So, if you’re having trouble convincing anyone to wear a helmet, show them this.


Case: Disney Princess Turned Freaky Queen

Evidence: Lindsay Lohan began her career as an 11-year-old cutie in Disney’s Parent Trap remake. After reaching a career high-point with Mean Girls in 2005 at the age of 18, Lohan began to tumble downward with many rehab stints and time spent in prison.  She successfully made the transition from innocently cute:

To straight up scary:

Status: Congratulations are in order for Lohan, who celebrated her 25th birthday this past week without making headlines after recently being released from house arrest. After significant publicity for her grim personal life, the public has generally lost interest in her repetitious cycle.


Case: Stage Fright

Evidence: After one of the most successful sitcoms in history was cancelled, Michael Richards tried and failed at his own sitcom and turned to the world of stand-up to earn his living. Unfortunately for him, hecklers were present for one show in late 2006 and Richards proceeded to have a meltdown of epic proportions. An audience of 300 sat stunned at the words coming out of his mouth as evident in the cell phone video.
Status: Richards tried to befriend Reverend Jesse Jackson and ask the public for forgiveness. Professional comedians looked at the incident as your common case of stage fright gone terribly wrong. Richards retired from the comedy circuit, stating he needed “spiritual healing.” He seemed genuinely shaken up about the whole circumstance, and moved to Cambodia to find inner growth. And that’s pretty much the last we heard from him.


Case: The Ricky Ricardo Temper on Steroids

Evidence: After a number of altercations, you could say Russell Crowe tends towards having a bad temper. But who wouldn’t start numerous bar fights, throw a phone at the head of a concierge who didn’t immediately help them, or publicly lash out against an awards show producer for cutting off their speech?
Status: People seem to take him as he is – a very gifted actor with very poor people skills.  In fact, his red hot temper is pretty mild compared to Michael Richards and Christian Bale’s complete meltdowns or Charlie Sheen’s violence.  They make Russell Crowe with all his unpleasantness look like a pussycat.



One thought on “When Actors Go Crazy – A Case Study of Celebrity Meltdowns

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    Posted by kim kardashian | June 9, 2013, 7:45 pm

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