The Marvel Cinematic Universe is full of characters, both onscreen and off. When you put that many A-list celebrities together in a single film, such as for any of The Avengers films, you’re bound to see contrasting attitudes toward filmmaking.
Some actors are easy to work with, down to earth, and splendid, while others are a notorious pain. Many of the actors and actresses who are divas and have an attitude on set usually don’t stick around for long—there’s a reason you don’t see some of the A-listers mentioned below in films nowadays.
For the most part, it has to be a pretty surreal experience for these actors, oftentimes working with their idols like Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Benicio del Toro, Michael Douglas, Michael Keaton, and more (and those are just the males). But egos collide during the makings of films—it’s inevitable.
Here are 9 MCU stars who are sweethearts, 9 who are jerks, and 1 we’re not sure about.
19 Sweetheart: Anthony Mackie (Falcon)
Anthony Mackie first appeared in the MCU in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and his reputation is spotless. He’s always played a minor role, but he has no problem with that (and it looks like his role is about to have a huge upgrade, Cap). Mackie likes to have fun and make everyone laugh on set. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, and even with fans and the press, he’s wonderful. He’s also become best friends with Sebastian Stan (Winter Soldier).
18 Jerk: Terrence Howard (Colonel James Rhodes)
Before Don Cheadle took the role, Terrence Howard played Colonel James Rhodes in Iron Man. You might wonder where he went? Well, apparently he was a bit obnoxious on set, even though he was the highest-paid actor in the movie (even more than RDJ). When Jon Favreau gave him a pay cut, he bailed on the second film, and blamed Downey Jr. for not helping him out. He’s known to generally have a terrible attitude, especially toward women.
17 Sweetheart: Chris Evans (Captain America)
It’s so nice to hear that Chris Evans is as nice to work with and in real life as he seems to be. The loss of Captain America struck a nerve in the most recent MCU films, and those are big shoes to fill for Anthony Mackie. He’s known to be great to work with on set—he’s friendly, easy-going, and down to earth. He also frequently shows up at hospitals in his Cap costume to cheer kids up, and what’s more wholesome than that?
16 Jerk: Josh Brolin (Thanos)
When Josh Brolin was cast as Thanos, it was a pretty big deal. He’s another in a long list of A-list celebs who joined the MCU. But apparently outside of work he’s quite a jerk, and like Terrence Howard, he doesn’t know how to treat women right. Having that attitude on set can be tough to work with. A few years ago, his wife called the police, claiming he’d hit her. She didn’t press charges, and Brolin doesn’t speak about it, but he’s been known to have a drinking problem in the past.
15 Sweetheart: Tom Holland (Spider-Man)
As you might expect, Tom Holland is as affable and lovely on set as he is to interviewers, fans, and people in general. As one of the youngest stars of the MCU, he had big shoes to fill in Spider-Man, but people already love him more than his predecessors. He’s made mentors, such as Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr., and he often visits hospitals in his Spidey gear, too. He’s managed to stay true to himself, and not let his ego get in the way of having fun.
14 Jerk: Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts)
Gwyneth Paltrow has a long history of feuds with other actors, so it’s no surprise that she’s on this list. Bottom line, she’s tough to work with, and comes off conceited in interviews and from stories about her. She has a very high opinion of herself, and is apparently a big diva on set. She only agreed to star in the Iron Man films if her expensive, ridiculous rider was filled (such as having any shower she enters being dried beforehand, so she doesn’t touch other people’s water). She’s also reportedly cold and distant to her costars.
13 Sweetheart: Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)
Paul Rudd is always at the top of the list of actors that people want to work with. There’s a reason he’s in so many huge films these days. He’s a comedic actor who makes his costars laugh on set (and off), and there have been numerous reports of how delightful he is to work with, such as in the Anchorman series (with his legendary back-and-forth improv duels with Will Ferrell), to his excitement on Captain America: Civil War.
12 Jerk: Bradley Cooper (Rocket Raccoon)
Bradley Cooper has a pretty shady past, despite being a fantastic actor. He has a pattern of dating costars and then ending relationships once their roles are complete and publicity is no longer rushing to them. He’s done this with Jennifer Aniston, Renee Zellweger, and Zoe Saldana. When he was filming The Words and with Saldana, and dating her, he was reportedly having an affair with another actress in the film, Olivia Wilde.
11 Sweetheart: Chris Pratt (Star-Lord)
Chris Pratt has had a few mishaps off set, but for the most part he is as true and down to earth of a person as you will find. Everyone on the set of Guardians of the Galaxy agrees. Ever since making his mark in Parks & Rec, he always finds time for fans, especially kids in hospitals. He seemingly pops up at hospitals nearly every week, and he’s known to be fun to work with. He isn’t afraid to joke around with costars and crewmembers.
10 Jerk: Vin Diesel (Groot)
Vin Diesel’s public feud with The Rock during the filming of the Fast and Furious films has reverberated throughout his career, and bringing that kind of animosity on set can be trying for other actors. His dark side is known to come out when he creeps on female reporters and gets too friendly. One such interview, with YouTuber Carol Moreira, had Diesel asking her out, continuously calling her beautiful, and saying that he couldn’t take the interview seriously because of how hot she was. He’s apparently gotten better at interviews since then.
9 Sweetheart: Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk)
The man who plays Bruce Banner is luckily as nice as Bruce Banner, and not the Hulk. He’s great to work with and easy going, according to costars of The Avengers. He regularly seeks out social injustices in the world in his free time, so fans love him. For example, he helped Native Americans protest to keep their land during the Standing Rock dispute of 2016. He donated a huge sum of money to help them buy heaters, generators, and essentials, too.
8 Jerk: Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye)
Like Vin Diesel, Jeremy Renner has been known to be a bit of a flirt during interviews, and often has awkward comments to say about females in general. The reserved actor is well-loved by most, but word has gotten out that he can be quite disrespectful at times. At “gifting suite” parties, where stars are given baskets of gifts in exchange for interviews and pictures, he often doesn’t allow fans to take pictures with him, and he rarely responds to interviewers.
7 Sweetheart: Tom Hiddleston (Loki)
Losing Loki hurt fans of the MCU more than anyone thought possible. His was maybe the most shocking and heartbreaking death. Tom Hiddleston is a one of a kind actor who might portray a notorious villain on set, but is a fantastic person to work with in real life. His smile is huge for his fans, and he’s seemingly always in a good mood. He’s given his jacket to female interviewers who were cold, he’s brought a reporter a thermos of tomato soup when she asked him to jokingly, and he clearly loves to have fun.
6 Jerk: James Spader (Ultron)
James Spader is another fantastic actor, but his ego gets in the way of his success. The reason you don’t see him cast in films very much anymore is because he’s been known to be difficult to work with. He gets deep into his characters, but often takes it too far and becomes obsessed, eventually trying to control the projects he works on. The showrunner of Blacklist has recalled how controlling and obsessive Spader is, and how the actor would sometimes yell at the writers and demand they write things for him.
5 Sweetheart: Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie)
Tessa Thompson might be relatively new to the MCU, first starring in Thor: Ragnarok, but she quickly made quite an impression. He’s used her publicity to try to push an all-female MCU film to Kevin Feige, and she’s hopeful it’ll work. When Hemsworth was asked if it was easy to work with Thompson, for the Men in Black reboot, he said, “Absolutely. Yes. She was at the top of the list and I said, ‘Fantastic, we’ll pick up where we left off.’”
4 Jerk: Natalie Portman (Jane Foster)
Natalie Portman is a goddess in the film industry, but professionally, she’s known to have a notoriously short temper. She reportedly thinks very highly of herself and takes everything very seriously—this probably stems from her Harvard education. She was supposedly quite distant with the other stars in the Thor movies, and even though “scheduling conflicts” were the public excuse for why she wasn’t in Ragnarok, one has to wonder if that’s the truth…
3 Chris Hemsworth (Thor)
There probably isn’t a funnier character in the MCU than Thor, oftentimes unintentionally, and we all love Chris Hemsworth for that. Luckily, he’s clearly as affable and sweet in real life as he is on set—his infectious smile and attitude is evident in any interview he gives. On the Ghostbusters set, Melissa McCarthy said of him: “He’s crazy funny and an insane improviser.” That’s a lot of praise coming from a hilarious woman herself who is at the top of her game. She also said, “I can’t figure out why no one was like, ‘Oh, by the way, he’s bizarrely funny.’”
2 Jerk: Edward Norton (The Hulk)
Edward Norton has a horrible reputation among actors, and that’s one of the main reasons you don’t see much of him anymore. He arguably ruined The Incredible Hulk (2008) by demanding drastic shooting changes and script revisions, and that’s not the first movie he’s had problems on. He has a reputation for being a diva on set, and his bad attitude has tarnished his reputation, which is why you don’t see him in the MCU anymore.
1 Unsure: Brie Larson (Captain Marvel)
The public appearance is that Brie Larson is terrible to work with, very full of herself and self-righteous, and a stickler. Just look at certain interviews with herself, Chris Hemsworth, Don Cheadle, and Jeremy Renner—there’s lots of eye-rolling coming from the other actors. But Cheadle has tweeted that there’s no truth to these rumors, that she’s a lot of fun to work with, and there are plenty of pictures surfacing on the internet with her smiling and laughing alongside her costars. Maybe her bad reputation was just the media spiraling out of control, trying to create a story out of nothing.
References: much.com, iol.co.za, quora.com