They are the heroes of our time. For the past ten years, the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have given us shining examples our of how to live our lives honorably. Any time a villain has shown up with a dark agenda, they’ve triumphantly put him back in his place (even though sometimes they create that villain). Sometimes it’s hard to forget that superheroes are people too. Specifically, they’re played by actors. Those actors aren’t perfect and are prone to make mistakes just like the rest of us. Many of them lived through teenage and young adult phases they’re rather not be remembered for.
Some of them are still making mistakes. Social media has put the public eye on celebrities more than ever. Any comment or question posed by a high profile Hollywood actor is immediately shared around the world and picked apart. It’s impossible for anything to fly under the radar. Their movie counterparts may be able to put on a baseball cap and sunglasses and disappear from view. In the real world though, these people have to watch everything they say and do. Sometimes they do things that are decidedly not heroic. Here are 15 not so heroic moments MCU stars hope that fans forget.
15. JEREMY RENNER’S AX FIGHT
If you think that Hawkeye only engages in melee weapon fights in movies, you’re wrong. Jeremy Renner and his pal Vorasit Issara were out on the town in Thailand during the wee hours of the morning when the pulled up to Rachada Pub when trouble occured.
Reports indicate that interactions between Renner’s party and the pub staff began to get heated. Apparently Issara smashed a glass on the floor. Then one of the staff at the pub pulled out an ax. Isaara and his driver were both taken to the hospital with ax injuries. Six men were arrested in connection with the fight. Renner wasn’t one of them, and thankfully he wasn’t hurt. Still, he might want to take a look at the example Hawkeye sets when picking the friends and family he hangs around.
14. ELIZABETH OLSEN JOINS INSTAGRAM
Money makes the world go around — everyone gets that. But Scarlet Witch is a character with an extremely strong set of principles. So strong that she was ready to take the side of a homicidal robot just to punish the people who killed her family. Elizabeth Olson may be just a little bit less set in her ways. For a while, the young Olsen stayed away from Hollywood altogether due to the hounding she watched her sisters, the Olsen Twins, go through.
She joined Instagram with a fake account to research her role in Ingrid Goes West. Allegedly, once she saw the amount of money that could be made through the photo app, she decided to keep it — not exactly steadfast in her beliefs. She also stole her friend’s bio for that particular account, but she claims that her friend was OK with it.
13. THE HULK’S AFTER HOURS GIG
The Hulk has been played by a number of actors on screen. Everyone’s familiar with the Mark Ruffalo version. Diehard MCU fans still love the Edward Norton film. There’s probably even one or two people that can watch that 2003 Eric Bana adaptation without falling asleep. And who can forget the legendary Lou Ferrigno?
Speaking of Lou Ferrigno, the original Hulk actor continues to make his mark on the character in interesting ways. One of which was having a family acquaintance of his serve as a body model for The Hulk in The Avengers. That’s right, the body you saw in the smash hit team up film actually belongs to Steve Romm. Why haven’t you heard of him? Probably because he’s a professional stripper. His involvement in the film was shrouded in secrecy and he wasn’t even allowed to leave the set with green paint on him.
12. ROBERT DOWNEY JR’S PAST
Robert Downey Jr. was into some pretty adult things when he was only six years old. Needless to say that his downward spiral began at an early age. He was a high profile actor in the early ’90s, but his multiple arrests garnered even more media attention. Hollywood does love its troubled personalities. He was once found naked and hallucinating behind the wheel of his Porsche. On another occasion he was arrested while wandering the streets barefoot. That last one got him fired from the Ally McBeal.
Today Downey Jr is one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood. He easily out cashes other actors like Johnny Depp and Tom Cruise. He owes much of his recovery and success to his current wife Susan Levin, whom he met in 2003. Let’s hope they stay together. We need more Sherlock Holmes and Iron Man!
11. SAMUEL L JACKSON NOT PLAYING NICE
Samuel L Jackson recently came under fire for some seemingly out of left field commentary. He took aim at the smash hit horror film Get Out. Specifically, the Nick Fury actor pointed out a perceived problem with the film’s casting. His issue was that British star Daniel Kaluuya couldn’t bring the same experience that an American actor could. He also singled out David Oyelowo’s take on Martin Luther King from the film Selma for the same reason. He reasoned that British actors are cheaper to hire than American ones.
Jackson has since been forced to go on the defensive. Kaluuya himself took particular issue with the comments, saying that he resents having to prove that he’s black. Kaluuya and Jackson are both in the MCU now, so it’ll be interesting if they ever get screen time together.
10. PAUL BETTANY AND THE CAT
For casual moviegoers, the introduction of The Vision was a little confusing. He’s not Ultron and he’s not Jarvis. One thing that’s clear is that he’s on the side of good. Before he hit the big screen, actor Paul Bettany tried out a few other career paths. Initially he wanted to play guitar, when that didn’t work out, he got hired at a nursing home. He was working as an attendant and was responsible for one particular resident’s cat. The resident was senile and kept insisting he feed the animal, even though he had already done so.
The cat died and Paul quit. He couldn’t handle the killer he had become. An argument could be made that the cat should’ve stopped eating if it wasn’t hungry. Still, this is one fight The Vision is probably still upset that he lost.
9. GWYNETH PALTROW AND WINONA RYDER
A number of rumors have dogged Gwyneth Paltrow for years. Let’s take a look at a couple of them! The first one is old but it’s still juicy. Back in the ’90s, Winona Ryder and Gwyneth Paltrow were best friends. They were both aspiring stars and they shared an apartment together.
Reportedly, Winona Ryder was vying for the lead role in Shakespeare in Love. Gwyneth Paltrow stumbled upon the script in their apartment and auditioned for the same role, which she secured. She later won an Oscar for a role that allegedly should have been Ryder’s. Paltrow claims up and down that this story is not true. However, what is undeniable is that these two are no longer friends. Their unspoken yet public feud has permeated its way into Hollywood gossip stories for two decades — it’s all a matter of who you believe.
8. SEBASTIAN STAN VS #TAKEAKNEE
The Winter Soldier has the luxury of blaming his evil deeds on brainwashing. Sebastian Stan isn’t so lucky. To be fair, what Stan did wasn’t exactly nefarious. What he’s essentially guilty of is making a promotional joke about an important movement in extremely bad taste. All Sebastian did was post a meme on Instagram. Seems like a harmless enough move, right? The meme picture Tonya Harding sitting next to Nancy Kerrigan with the caption “Back when ‘taking a knee’ meant taking a knee.”
The meme was meant to be a cheeky promotion for his film I, Tonya about the life of the eponymous figure skater. The joke also references the movement started by Colin Kaepernick for NFL players to take knee and protest the National Anthem. According to Stan, you can chalk this one up to a lack of research on his part. Captain America would be ashamed.
7. MICHAEL DOUGLAS VS #METOO
What would Hope Van Dyne say? Moreover, what would Janet say? Also, what would Scott Lang say? It always sucks when our idols are targeted by inappropriate accusations. To Michael Douglas’ credit, he handled this rather smoothly. He said she said cases are always complicated.
A woman by the name of Susan Braudy accused the Ant-Man actor of several violations. She says that 30 years ago he used inappropriate language towards her and also says he did what Louis CK recently admitted to being guilty of. Instead of trying to hush the story up, Michael Douglas got out in front of her. He gave his own version of the story before hers could hit newsstands. Whether it’s true or not, Douglas has clearly been deeply affected by the accusation.
6. SCARLETT JOHANSSON’S SODASTREAM CONTROVERSY
This is a complicated one. There isn’t necessarily a right and wrong in row between Scarlett Johansson, SodaStream and Oxfam. In case you don’t know, Oxfam is a charity organization that seeks global equality. For years, the politically minded Johansson was their spokesperson.
Then Johansson decided to publicly endorse SodaStream. The company had already made headlines for openly bashing their more famous competitors Coke and Pepsi. But Oxfam has beef with them for different reasons. SodaStream’s main factory is on Israeli occupied land that’s been claimed by the Palestinians. Needless to say, Johansson and Oxfam had a public falling out. Oxfam (and the United Nations) categorically condemns Israeli business operating on occupied land. In this case, Johansson respectfully disagreed. There is no easy solution here.
5. BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH’S USE OF LANGUAGE
To lighten the mood a little bit, let’s talk about Benedict Cumberbatch’s privilege. The actor has played a number of iconic characters, including the latest incarnation of Sherlock Holmes and the classic Star Trek villain Khan. He already briefly courted controversy when his film Doctor Strange cast The Ancient One as a white person, in complete contradiction to the comics.
Ironically, Cumberbatch was trying to help shed light on the problem. On PBS talk show Tavis Smiley he spoke about how colored people tend to find better parts in the United States than in the United Kingdom. It was the word ‘colored’ that raised the ire of the masses. The word is seen as outdated and illustrated Cumberbatch’s privileged status. Cumberbatch apologized in the most dignified way possible, so hopefully the rest of the world will be able to move on from this one.
4. CLARK GREGG’S TEENAGE YEARS
Much like his MCU co-star Robert Downey Jr, Clark Gregg enjoyed a few choice substances when he was a teenager. The topic first came up during a Reddit AMA when he was asked about what working with Mel Gibson was like. He said that Mel Gibson was a nice guy, and that as a sober alcoholic himself he understood the things that can come out of an intoxicated person’s mouth.
He elaborated on the subject on Marc Maron’s podcast. The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star said he blamed living in Chapel Hill for much of his addiction. By the age of 15, he was attending frat parties and trying to keep up with the cool older kids. That AMA happened in 2014. That means that at this time, Clark Gregg is roughly 16 years sober and counting. If that continues, we don’t mind forgetting the time before!
3. KAT DENNINGS’ INTRODUCTION
Everyone goes through an awkward teenage phase. Some kids listen to music they aren’t proud of. Others fall down a deep rabbit hole of comic books and collectibles (let’s be honest, most of us never escape that one). Thor star Kat Dennings’ childhood obsessions got a little darker. According to Dennings, she used to love the Addams Family. She took it so far as to actually believe that she was Wednesday Addams and even dressed like the young lady, black dress and all.
While not the worst television character, the young Addams daughter is certainly not superhero material. With this grim idol and such a young age, it’s a wonder Dennings grew up to be the comic presence that she is. Imagine if her childhood self had teamed up with Thor? “This elf Malekith wants to snuff out all the light in the 9 Realms.” “Cool.”
2. GWYNETH PALTROW’S SEEDY DATING HISTORY
If you’ve heard of the Whisper app, you can already tell where this is going. While Gwyneth was married to Chris Martin, an anonymous source took to the app to assert that she was cheating on Chris with entertainment attorney Kevin Yorn. Earlier in the marriage, rumors circulated that Paltrow was having an affair with Miami Hotel owner Jeff Soffer. Throughout her dating history, she was also alleged to have cheated on both Ben Affleck and Brad Pitt.
By her own admission, Paltrow is bad at relationships. She’s been especially remorseful towards Brad Pitt, who she says she wasn’t ready for. She’s also taken a stance on cheating where she says she likes to think that she would be forgiven for it and would be forgiving. Pepper Potts may be forever loyal to Tony Stark, but it seems the person who plays her is a little less ready or commitment.
1. JON BERNTHAL AND THE HOMELESS MAN
Jon Bernthal was better suited for the role of The Punisher than you may have previously thought. Before he landed the role, he broke his nose 14 times as a result of fighting in the streets. One particular incident almost landed him in jail for his entire life. In 2009, while he was walking his dog, a drunk man began began following him home. Apparently the man was fixated on Bernthal’s dog. Bernthal was having none of it, so he punched the guy in the face.
Within the hour, Bernthal was in police custody. He was informed that the man was not only homeless, but unconscious. Bernthal was informed that if the man didn’t wake up, he would be spending a very long time in jail. We know that the man did turn out to be alive because The Punisher was recently renewed for a second season on Netfix.
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