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“I’m out of here, you’re f—king crazy”: Pulp Fiction Star Harvey Keitel Stormed Out of 1 Tom Cruise Movie That Became Unbearable for Him to Continue Any Further

A film becomes timeless through the symbiotic relationship between the actors who bring the characters to life, and the director who executes the narratives. In Hollywood, there have been many such iconic collaborations between filmmakers and stars that have resulted in some of the greatest and most memorable works.

Harvel Keitel
Harvey Keitel in Taxi Driver (image credit: Columbia Pictures)

Alternatively, the absence of a seamless connection can also lead to a laborious working relationship. The late Stanley Kubrick, who is considered one of the most revered directors in Hollywood, was also a very tough filmmaker to work with. His obsession to detail and perfection sometimes went a bit too far as Pulp Fiction Star Harvey Keitel realized, when he signed on for Tom Cruise’s Eyes Wide Shut.

Why Harvey Keitel Walked Out Of This Tom Cruise Film

In 1999, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman starred in Stanley Kubrick’s erotic thriller, Eyes Wide Shut. The story follows a doctor and his wife who push the boundaries of intimacy by getting involved in various s*xual adventures to rekindle the spark in their relationship. The film also starred Sydney Pollack in a key role, which was originally supposed to have been portrayed by Harvey Keitel.

Eyes Wide Shut
Sydney Pollack replaced Harvey Keitel in Tom Cruise’s Eyes Wide Shut after he walked out of the film (image credit: Warner Brothers)

Keitel who is a Hollywood veteran, has been part of many high profile projects including award- winning films like Taxi Driver, Pulp Fiction, Thelma and Louise, The Piano, and many more. The actor who was cast by Kubrick for the role of Victor Ziegler, unfortunately had a forgettable experience with the filmmaker, which was explained by Gary Oldman in an interview with SiriusXM.

Oldman, who was talking about his experience working with Luc Beeson in Leon: The Professional, stated that Besson’s constant explanations and descriptions on set proved to be ‘not very actor- friendly’ and rather tedious to listen to. He then brought up Keitel’s dilemma with Kubrick to elaborate on the fact that sometimes, a director’s approach could be difficult for an actor to work with.

Narrating what went down and the endless number of takes that was required of the Reservoir Dogs star for a relatively simple action, Oldman recalled the helplessness Keitel went through, which led to him stepping down from the role.

He was doing the scene and they were just walking through a door and after the 68th take of this, just walking through a door, Harvey Keitel just said ‘I’m out of here, you’re f***ing crazy’. He just said, ‘you’re f***ing out of your mind’, and left.

While the film was finally made with Pollack on board, the going was not easy even for Cruise and Kidman despite it being a commercial success. Eyes Wide Shut was Kubrick’s last film which the director, unfortunately, did not get to appreciate on screen owing to him passing away before its official release.

Did Eyes Wide Shut Cause Tom Cruise And Nicole Kidman’s Divorce?

For over 11 years, Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise were couple goals. The two superstars who began courting on the sets of Days of Thunder which was their first film together, sealed their romance by tying the knot a year later. The celebrities also extended their family by adopting two daughters.

Eyes Wide Shut
Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman in Eyes Wide Shut (image credit: Warner Brothers)

Unfortunately, the fairytale was not meant to be and the couple officially called it quits in 2001. While there were many speculations floating around about the reasons behind the divorce, one rumor that was making the rounds was related to the couple’s erotic film Eyes Wide Shut directed by Stanley Kubrick.

Kubrick, who is known for his meticulous attention to detail in every aspect of filmmaking, reportedly required both Kidman and Cruise to indulge in a high level of method acting to develop on their very risqué and s*xual relationship in the film. According to Menz Mag, the filmmaker allegedly wanted to film six days worth of s*x scenes which included the actors trying out over 50 different s*xual poses.

In addition, it was reported that the Big Little Lies actor and the Top Gun star who were husband and wife at the time, were given the condition that they could not discuss any of these aspects at home once the shooting had wrapped up, in order to maintain the intrigue that was required. To make sure this unorthodox method was adhered to, Kubrick allegedly told the couple to live apart during the filming (via Slash Film).

These stringent rules and regulations that Kubrick insisted on, were considered by many as one of the reasons for the two actors falling apart emotionally with each other. But The Hours star put an end to these rumors once and for all in 2012 when she sat down for an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, where she discussed various aspects of the film. Addressing this issue directly, she said,

People thought that making the film was the beginning of the end of my marriage, but I don’t really think it was. Tom and I were close then, and it was very much the three of us. On screen, the husband and wife are at odds, and Stanley wanted to use our marriage as a supposed reality.

Kidman went on to praise Kubrick for his creative genius and his vision that brought forth stories of this nature. She also revealed that she was devastated on hearing of the filmmaker’s demise which happened ironically before the film’s official release.

Eyes Wide Shut can be rented on Apple TV.

This post belongs to FandomWire and first appeared on FandomWire

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