Being an actor is a tough business where the best and worst can rise or fall on unexpected waves of public opinion. The darling of this week or month could suddenly topple and become the most hated celebrity next week. That aside though, acting takes skill and talent—of which some people have in abundance and others… not so much. It takes real talent to behave one way naturally and act the complete opposite for a role.
We all know that appearances can be deceiving. We'll watch a movie with a new-to-us actor and he'll be the mean villain but upon further research, he's actually a really nice guy in real life. That's always a pleasant surprise. On the other hand, we might fall all over a sweet character only to find out that they shockingly badly behave when being themselves.
This knowledge can make or break our obsessions with actors and characters, but it can also be something interesting to watch as a hobby because not all actors start out as villains. Some just get that way over time and by letting their status go to their heads. For research and entertainment purposes, here's a list of eight really sweet actors who haven't always been cast in the best light and eight who are for real divas on set.
16 Nice Guy: Ruler Of The Nine Realms
Tom Hiddleston is an English actor best known for his well-received portrayal of Loki in the Avenger franchise. He started acting while attending Cambridge and went on to make the dramatic arts his major. As he worked through college, appearing in student plays, Tom landed roles in television features, which included Nicholas Nickleby and The Gathering Storm before he landed his first film role after graduation.
In 2011, he auditioned for the role of Thor and got Loki instead, the evil brother. He was given six weeks to bulk up and gained 20 pounds in muscle for his breakout role. He went on to appear in other major films including Midnight in Paris and Kong: Skull Island. He's set to resume his role of Loki for the highly anticipated Infinity War films. When not on camera, Tom is a sweet courteous gentleman, according to Bustle.
15 Not-So-Nice: Katherine Heigl's Comments Caught Up To Her
Actress and model Katherine Heigl began her modeling career at the age of nine when an aunt sent photos of her to modeling agencies. In 1992, she branched out into an acting career and made her film debut in That Night. She went on to appear in others with moderate success while continuing to model.
Many consider Katherine's 2007 film, Knocked Up, to be her breakout role but her comments and criticisms on the film that made her a star received negative public backlash, according to Indie Wire. This cycle was later repeated when she was on Grey's Anatomy and opted out of the Emmys for that year, stating she felt the material she'd been given wasn't award-worthy. Despite work difficulties on and off screen, Katherine is all set to join the cast of Suits for the next season.
14 Nice Guy: Tom Hanks Is A Super Friendly Cast Away
Tom Hanks is known primarily for his comedy roles over the years, but in real life he's a friendly social guy. He started acting in 1979 with minor roles that eventually led to his breakout role in Splash. From there, he went on to star in Big, A League of Their Own, Sleepless in Seattle, Cast Away, Toy Story and The Da Vinci Code.
He's covered several different types of roles over the course of his career and loves to meet fans. There are lots of stories where he'll be walking down the street minding his own business and a fan will come up to say hi. He always responds cheerfully and makes the fan feel comfortable when they're obviously very nervous about meeting their hero in real life and how they'll be received. The Telegraph labeled him as the nicest guy in Hollywood!
13 Not-So-Nice: Russell Crowe's Reputation Follows Him
New Zealand-Australian actor Russell Crowe is best known for his 2000 breakout award-winning role in Gladiator, in which he played a Roman general turned gladiator after the emperor's untimely death. But while he's a hero of epic proportions on screen in various eras and genres, off camera various media outlets have noted that Crowe is known for being difficult to work with.
After his Robin Hood film came out, a reporter asked about his accent which was a bit haywire throughout the film and Crowe became so offended he left the interview, according to the Daily Mail. He earned himself the reputation for having a short temper through several public outbursts—the worst of which included throwing a phone at a concierge and being criminally charged for it afterward. While he did apologize, it's very hard to repair something so drastic.
12 Nice Guy: Jack Black Is A Total Sweetheart
Jack Black started his acting career by dropping out of UCLA with a friend and picking up minor roles as he went along. He played various roles on shows such as Northern Exposure, The Show and The X-Files before appearing in small film roles. His breakout role came in High Fidelity in 2000 and since then he gained attention for meatier roles in Gulliver's Travels, School of Rock, Kung Fu Panda, and King Kong.
While his major roles center around comedy, some of his comedic characters aren't the nicest guys around and the obsessed filmmaker Carl Denham of Kong certainly isn't a shining moral example. But Jack himself is a great guy in real life and tries to connect with fans on a real level that puts them at their ease, The Richest reports.
11 Not-So-Nice: Jonah Hill's Ego Got The Best Of Him
Jonah Hill started out acting and writing plays after college, appearing in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, which rather type-casted him for the nerdy outcast with lots of dirty jokes—often with his character as the butt of the jokes.
Hill starred in Superbad before going on a drastic lifestyle change and losing 40 pounds to stay in shape, according to TheDailyMail, for future roles he was eying. He mainly ate sushi at that point. He gained further attention for his lead role in 21 Jump Street and continues to write and act.
The Richest reports, off-screen, his personality has developed into a generally pompous outlook, which really turns people off when they encounter him in real life, and he tends to brush interviewers off rather than taking time to answer their questions.
10 Nice Guy: George Clooney Has A Soft Side
George Clooney was raised Catholic and began acting in 1978 as an extra on the mini-series Centennial. He worked through several more minor roles and side-jobs until he got his breakout role of Dr. Doug Ross on ER from 1994 to 1999. He also guest starred as a doctor on one episode of Friends.
After his time as a doctor was up, George went on to star in major films, which included Batman and Robin, Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, Ocean's Eleven and Gravity. In recent years, he's taken an interest in directing.
When he's off-camera, The Richest reports George is very politically active and supports various campaigns and activist groups including gay rights and the March For Our Lives. Throughout his career, George himself has been widely liked and his political stances have only increased his general niceness rating.
9 Not-So-Nice: Lea Michele Is All Diva And No Glee
Lea Michele started her career on the stage at the age of eight and worked her way up to television roles by 2008. She starred on the hit musical show Glee from 2009 until it ended in 2015 and then she went onto creating an album entitled Louder and star in Scream Queens while working on many various side projects.
With vocal talents strongly in her corner of the playing field, Lea also has beauty and looks going for her. But according to former co-stars—like Naya Rivera, Hollywood.com reports—her personality is somewhat lacking in the sense that she is very much a diva and won't think twice before pitching a fit to get her way and hold up production while doing so. Naya didn't hold back in her book entitled Sorry Not Sorry by sharing not one but two different stories of Michele being a total diva on the Glee set.
8 Nice Guy: Despite His Relationship History, Brad Is A Sweetie
Brad Pitt pursued a degree in journalism and got all the way up to two weeks before graduating with his degree before he dropped it and moved to LA to pursue his interest in films. He took acting lessons and odd jobs as he struggled to establish himself in the cut-throat acting world of 1987. With various small roles tucked under his belt, he gained attention from Thelma and Louise in 1991.
After that, he rose through the movie ranks via such titles as The Dark Side of The Sun, A River Runs Through It, Legends of the Fall, Meet Joe Black, Ocean's Eleven and Mr. And Mrs. Smith. His current projects include a World War Z sequel and Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. Pitt is generally liked and takes time to answer fans' and media questions. Just Jared calls him the "most fan-friendly guy around!"
7 Not-So-Nice: Nicole Kidman Is The Diva From Down Under
Nicole Kidman is one of those flawless classic actresses who has had her full share of the limelight but can't quite let go just yet. She's well known with her connection to Tom Cruise and Scientology as well as her various successful film roles throughout the years but according to various reports, she is also a massive diva with ego issues that cause trouble for everyone around her.
At the Emmy's last year she made drama in outrageous amounts behind the scenes, with a source telling Ace's Showbiz that "She is not the friendliest person to be around and she was quite rude to staff and production last night." She also made waves for her behavior on stage and for her acceptance where she left out two of her children, annoying fans across Twitter to no end.
6 Nice Guy: Bruce Willis Is The Definition Of Humble And Hungry
Bruce Willis had a stutter growing up and found that acting helped him work through it, so all throughout high school, he appeared in skits and school plays. He worked odd jobs after graduation (including a private detective for a while) before moving to LA and working as a bartender while picking up odd supporting roles where he could.
In 1988, Bruce landed his breakout role of John McClane in Die Hard, which launched him into the spotlight. From there, he radically changed the dynamics of action hero films and gave himself a tough guy reputation. When he's off camera, he's sweet and thoughtful, with one Reddit user sharing a story published by Alloy of how he came into a Best Buy where the fan worked and spent so much time there that Bruce ordered the employees pizzas.
5 Not-So-Nice: Gweneth Paltrow Reputation Has Changed Over The Years
In various lists about celebs being total divas, ranked at the top for worst celebrity is often Gwyneth Paltrow. She began acting in 1989, and worked hard until 1998. At that point, she started to land really good leading roles that gained her a lot of media attention. Paltrow rode this wave until about 2002 to 2004, at which point she began to take less successful roles and made fewer appearances as she focused on raising her children.
She returned to prominence after Iron Man, but her reputation began to change. She runs her house with an iron fist and many people call her arrogant and uppity when around staff and interviewers, according to Fame10. Her media reputation is still not that great. She also has a personal blog where she states her often controversial and confusing opinions on just about every subject imaginable, particularly parenting. Gwyneth's own neighbors told Fox News she was an "annoying snob." Ouch!
4 Nice Guy: Alan Rickman Was The Sweetest Villain Of Them All
The king of being type-casted as a villain or generally unlikeable guy was English actor Alan Rickman but it's far from the truth. He started out with plays and stage productions before branching into films—first gaining attention as bad guy Hans Gruber in Die Hard. He went on to appear in memorable roles such as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood, Rasputin and Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films.
He didn't like being type-casted as a villain but despite having played other roles (including the romantic lead in Sense and Sensibility), he was most memorable as the unlikeable characters he portrayed. After his sudden passing in 2016, fans everywhere mourned him and revisited his films in his honor—knowing that while he was a Hollywood villain, he was a real life nice guy. The Sun labeled Rickman as a devoted husband of more than 50 years.
3 Not-So-Nice: Katie Cassidy Doesn't Have Time For Fans
Actress Katie Cassidy made her acting debut in 2003, in the TV show The Division. She's appeared in other such shows including New Girl, but didn't start gaining a lot of attention until she appeared on Supernatural in the third season as the demon Ruby.
She went on to do other projects in horror and comedy before 2012, when she landed the lead role of Laura Lance in Arrow. This was so successful that when her character was cut from the show, she reentered the Arrow-verse as Black Siren—a darker alternate-reality version of Laura Lance/Black Canary.
Despite her popularity, Katie has a bad reputation for blowing off comic-cons and meetings with fans, according to Screenrant. She'll say she's busy filming, but her Instagram feed betrays her as it'll be full of shopping and fun activities.
2 Nice Guy: Danny McBride Used To Do Puppet Shows In Churches
Danny McBride inherited a love and talent for storytelling from his mother who told sermons in church using puppets while he grew up. He came into the acting world a bit later in life but with arguably more experience and took to television instantly. He wrote and co-starred in Eastward and Down, before going onto other writing and starring roles in Pineapple Express, Up In The Air, Your Highness and This is The End. He often co-writes his television scripts and has fun with his roles.
He typically plays someone unlikable who cusses so much that Danny's parents will call and complain. In real life, he's a lot nicer and more courteous, PRI reports. He monitors what his young children watch and won't let them get away with the type of shows he produces.
1 Not-So-Nice: Jennifer Anniston Needs Extreme Privacy
Jennifer Aniston earned her fame via the hit show Friends and has skyrocketed to the A-Star list, leaving her former co-stars in the dust. She's been in and out of the tabloids for her real-life dating adventures and she's easily recognizable everywhere she goes. But what few of us non-stars are aware of is how she behaves in real life.
As the Daily Mail puts it, she keeps to herself while filming on location in Connecticut. "And not only is Jen’s private trailer miles away from the set, but she heads all the way back there each day to eat her lunch away from everyone else." These are classic signs of diva behavior, taking full advantage of her star status and wealth without any interest in becoming friends with her coworkers. That's definitely something Rachel Greene would do.
References: TheRichest, Alloy, ScreenRant, Bustle, Indie Wire, The Telegraph, Daily Mail, Just Jared, PageSix, Fox News, The Sun, PRI, IMDB, Nicki Swift, Screenrant, Ace Showbiz, Daily Mail, Hollywood.com