20 Behind the Scenes Photos of Heroes and Villains Getting Along
We’ve all seen co-stars who are pitted against each other onscreen playing nice for the cameras at premieres and while out promoting their movie. However, it’s a bit of a rare sight to see actors playing opposite each other as heroes and villains laughing it up in costume, on set. It’s not hard to imagine why, though, considering that they often have to be at each other’s throats — literally — in intense scenes that require the work of dozens, sometimes hundreds, of people in order to cultivate the desired atmosphere. With that in mind, here are 20 photos from behind the scenes and between scenes that show actors having a little fun, breaking character, and getting along with their onscreen adversaries:
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
The cast of The Wizard of Oz were off to see the doctor more than they were off to see the wonderful Wizard. Margaret Hamilton (The Wicked Witch of the West) was almost burned to death when a trap door misfired — her stand-in was also badly injured during a broom scene. Buddy Ebsen, the original actor cast as the Tin Man, was allergic to the silver makeup, and spent two weeks in the hospital due to respiratory problems. And the actors who played the flying monkeys would have died if they had been higher up when the string holding them in the air in the Haunted Forest scene snapped.
Batman: The Movie (1966)
Batman (Adam West) and The Riddler (Frank Gorshin) take off their masks and make nice when they meet their maker, Batman co-creator Bob Kane (center), on the set of the 1966 feature. This was Gorshin’s last appearance as The Riddler for over a year. He was replaced by John Astin for the second season of the series, but returned as the character in its third and final season.
Star Wars (1977)
With how perfectly ruthless he is as the ranking Imperial in A New Hope, it’s hard to believe Peter Cushing was briefly considered for the role of Obi Wan before George Lucas cast him as the villain Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin — who puts in the order to destroy Alderaan and murder billions of people. In this set photo we see Cushing’s softer side as he shares a smile with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill)...that is, before Luke destroys the Death Star and kills him.
Richard Kiel (Jaws) performs the famous head squash on his onscreen enemy and offscreen friend Roger Moore (James Bond) in this publicity still.
Star Wars (1983)
This Rolling Stone cover for Return of the Jedi isn't technically a set photo, but I’d be remiss not to include this daddy-daughter beach day with Darth Vader (David Prowse) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher).
Superman II (1980)
In between takes as their characters (Kryptonian exile Ursa and reporter Lois Lane, respectively), Sarah Douglas' throat grab turns into more of a tickle for Margot Kidder.
Ghostbuster Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) crosses streams and cozies up next to Gozer (former Serbian model Slavitza Jovan), an ancient shape-shifting god summoned to bring the world to an end.
Conan the Destroyer (1984)
The usually imposing Arnold Schwarzenegger is dwarfed by his onscreen enemies, Wilt Chamberlain (7' 1") and André the Giant (7' 4") on the set of the sequel to Conan the Barbarian. Chamberlain's role as the Captain of the Guard sent to betray Conan was the NBA player's first and final feature film. Here's to wishing his fellow NBA big man Shaquille O’neal followed Chamberlain's acting career playbook.
Another publicity shot too good not to include. Here’s The Clown Prince of Crime getting chummy with The Dark Knight. Before Jack Nicholson and Michael Keaton were ultimately cast in these iconic roles, Robin Williams signed on to play the Joker and Ray Liotta was offered the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman.
Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) poses next to a slimy Xenomorph on the set of this Alien sequel, which was director David Fincher's first feature. The constant studio interference led to Fincher walking away during the editing process and disowning the film. He even turned down the opportunity to do a director’s cut for the quadrilogy box set.
New Nightmare (1994)
The seventh installment of A Nightmare on Elm Street was a meta slasher film that had director Wes Craven and franchise stars Robert Englund and Heather Langenkamp playing themselves. In this photo from the set, child actor Miko Hughes, who played Langenkamp’s son, goes cross-eyed with Englund, who's in full Freddy makeup.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)
Andy Serkis (Gollum/Smeagol) in his motion-capture suit is all smiles as he is lovingly choked out by Elijah Wood (Frodo). Serkis was originally only supposed to provide the voice for Gollum, but director Peter Jackson was so impressed with his audition that he decided to have him perform the body movements as well. The design of Gollum was also changed to incorporate Serkis’ likeness, and the actor went on to also play Smeagol in the opening flashback scene in Return of the King.
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
"Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids." The Bride (Uma Thurman) may be beaten up, and O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) cleanly scalped, but they're still beaming after their showdown at the House of Blue Leaves.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter), Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), and Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) get friendly and freeze for this set pic. Petrificus Totalus!!!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
Not sure who’s casting a spell on whom, but Harry (Radcliffe) gets a smooch from Death Eater Bellatrix (Bonham Carter) in this set photo from the final film in the Harry Potter franchise.
The Avengers (2012)
Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) put their sibling squabbles aside when they yell cut. Hiddleston originally auditioned for the role of Thor in the 2011 solo film, before ultimately being cast as the God of Mischief. You can watch his hammer wielding screen tests and read more about that here.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
When the take is done, then you have my permission to laugh. As Bane, Tom Hardy breaks Batman's back. Between takes, however, he continually breaks character with his co-star Christian Bale.
The Hobbit Trilogy (2012-2014)
Tauriel is always looking for love in all the wrong places. When she’s not stealing the hearts of dwarves and elves, she’s attempting to steal kisses from orcs. Burnt out by all of the partner swapping on her show Lost, Evangeline Lilly took the role of the elf warrior on the condition that she wouldn’t be part of a love triangle. But when the originally planned pair of Hobbit films became a trilogy, she was informed that reshoots would involve a love triangle between Tauriel, Legolas, and Kili.
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) should really leave the Vulcan Nerve Pinch to Spock. Rather than rendered unconscious, John Harrison *cough* Khan! (Benedict Cumberbatch) seems amused. You can watch the rest of this outtake in the 6-minute gag reel from the film here.
Bonus: Here are a few pics from a couple recent television hits (contains spoilers)...
The Walking Dead (2010—)
Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) puts his arm around the first walker (more of a crawler) he encounters in the very first episode of the show. The tragic backstory of the walker, who was named Hannah before she turned, is explored in the webisode “Torn Apart.” Hannah was portrayed by Lilli Birdsell in the webisode, and the zombified Hannah you see here was played by Melissa Cowan.
The Governor (David Morrissey) and Hershel (Scott Wilson) greet each other warmly before both bidding a fond farewell to the show for this episode which served as the mid-season finale of Season 4. True to the comic, Hershel dies by the hand of the Governor — only in the comic, it's by a gun to the back of the head and not a samurai sword to the neck.
Breaking Bad (2008-2013)
Vince Gilligan stands with a couple of his greatest creations, the deceptively cold and calculating antagonist Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) and anti-hero Walter White (Bryan Cranston). Esposito was only supposed to have a 3-4 episode arc on Breaking Bad. However, when writers decided to make Fring the main antagonist, instead of Tio Salamanca (Mark Margolis), Esposito ended up appearing in 24 episodes. Although, Tio got the better of Fring in the end.