10. Matthew Goode
Under Fire: Leap Year
”It’s turgid,” Goode said of the Emerald Isle-set rom-com costarring Amy Adams. ”I just know that there are a lot of people who will say it is the worst film of 2010. [The location] was the main reason I took it — so that I could come home at the weekends. It wasn’t because of the script, trust me. ? Do I feel I let myself down? No. Was it a bad job? Yes, it was. But, you know, I had a nice time and I got paid.” Fans tended to agree, and the January release apparently suffered from seasonable affective disorder with a depressing No. 6 opening. Luck o’ the Irish? Not so much.
9. Chloë Sevigny
Under Fire: Big Love
Sevigny’s name was probably still being engraved on her 2010 Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a TV series when she told the A.V. Club that Big Love was an ”awful?telenovela.” HBO, on behalf of series creators Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer, countered that Sevigny might have been drunk during the interview. For her part, the actress remorsefully told EW that her overly harsh words had stemmed from exhaustion and that she’d apologized to Olsen and Scheffer. Sevigny stayed with Big Love through its finale a year later, but it’s worth noting she was not nominated for a follow-up Globe.
8. Jim Carrey
Under Fire: Kick-Ass 2
Nearly a year after filming the 2010 superhero sequel, the funnyman suddenly got serious. Citing the tragic December 2012 shooting at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School, Carrey announced on Twitter that he wouldn’t participate in any promotion efforts for Kick-Ass 2. Publicity stunt or genuine change of heart? Hard to say. But one thing’s certain: Carrey’s abrupt bow-out gave the film as much publicity as (if not more than) he ever could have on the junket circuit.
7. Kelly Clarkson
Under Fire: Clive Davis
It was the feud that kept on giving. Despite her 2004 album Breakaway going platinum six times, the American Idol winner wanted to go in a different direction on her third album. After Davis, it would come out later, objected to Clarkson’s relative inexperience and unorthodox writing style, Clarkson suggested she’d been the victim of sexism at her label and snarked about the then-75-year-old’s age. Still, the pair seemed to have reached a truce by late 2007. Move the clock ahead to 2013 when Davis — no longer Clarkson’s manager — stirred the pot with his memoir The Soundtrack of My Life. He dismissed Clarkson’s ”hysterical sobbing” during recording sessions for Breakaway, and she fired back that he was a ”mixed up” old bully who’d informed her she was a ”s—ty writer who should be grateful for the gifts that he bestows upon [her].” Davis insisted he’d had ”every fact checked,” Clarkson kept selling albums — her two subsequent albums both went platinum and featured more tracks she co-penned, including the Billboard topper ”My Life Would Suck Without You.” We’re pretty sure that one’s not about ol’ Clive.
6. Chevy Chase?or was it Dan Harmon?
Under Fire: Community
Never leave a digital trail! Chase should have heeded this rule of thumb when he left a couple of ranting, profane voicemails for Harmon about his ”mediocre” sitcom, weight, and rude behavior to the Saturday Night Live vet’s family. Harmon lashed out by leaking the audio files in April 2012 and had no qualms speaking freely about the ”befuddled old man” (as well as Community‘s home network NBC) throughout the next year. All the while, Harmon was removed as showrunner, Chase exited the show halfway through season 4, and Harmon was invited to return for a fifth and presumably final season. Can there be a winner among this mess? Toss-up.
5. Bill Cosby
Under Fire: Leonard Part 6
Cosby was so let-down by the 1987 spy comedy that he himself conceived and produced that he publicly urged fans not to see it. His efforts paid off: The film, widely panned by critics, was likewise rejected by audiences. It opened at an embarrassing No. 10 (barely edging out a reissue of Disney’s Cinderella that had been in theaters for a month) and earning a lifetime — yes, lifetime — gross of $4.6 million. It’s no Zyzzyx Road, but that’s the kind of disappointment that all the pudding pops in the world can’t make a man forget.
4. Katherine Heigl
Under Fire: Grey’s Anatomy
Did somebody say Zyzzyx Road? The star of that $30 clunker had recovered nicely by the time the Emmys bestowed her with a 2007 Best Supporting Actress statuette for her gut-wrenching performance on Shonda Rhimes’ Seattle medical drama. Come 2008, though, Heigl released a statement opting out of the race because she ”did not feel that [she] was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination.” Rhimes took the high road when it came to her insolent star, but Heigl wasn’t long for Seattle Grace. She was off the series by early 2010. Of course, the Grey’s kerfuffle wasn’t the first time Heigl had thrown shade at an employer. Just three months after her Emmy win, Heigl told Vanity Fair that the set of Knocked Up felt ”a little sexist” under Judd Apatow’s direction. But, hey, at least she waited until after the film was released.
3. Nicollette Sheridan
Under Fire: Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry
When ABC announced in early 2009 that Sheridan would no longer play Wisteria Lane’s sexed-up schemer Edie Britt, the departure was strangely undramatic in context of the sudser’s wacky plotlines and rumors of infighting on set. Call it the calm before the storm. That April, Edie’s body was still sizzling from a literally shocking death by electrocution when Sheridan got loose-lipped about the series’ decline under Cherry’s watch. Cherry immediately issued a scathing retort, pointedly declaring that Sheridan ”performed the aging, neighborhood tramp better than anyone has ever done before.” Just shy of a year after that, the actress filed a $20 million wrongful termination lawsuit against the show that alleged Cherry had physically abused her. It was ultimately dismissed in November 2012, but the 31 months intervening were just as deliciously catty as Housewives at its height. Three cheers for drama that lives up to expectations!
2. Megan Fox
Under Fire: Michael Bay
The Transformers ingénue established herself as a mouthy minx soon after the series blew up the box office in 2007. But a 2009 Wonderland magazine interview in which she likened director Bay to Adolf Hitler really set the bar for Fox’s word-spew at an unbeatable height. Unlike her costar Shia LaBeouf (who similarly slammed the series in 2011), Fox did not return for the pyrotechnic franchise’s third installment — though we’re sure she received a very nice muffin basket from Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
1. Charlie Sheen
Under Fire: Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre
It takes a whole lot of tiger blood coursing through the veins to call your boss a ”contaminated little maggot,” as well as a fool and a troll. So, of course, that’s exactly what Sheen said of his Two and a Half Men showrunner Lorre. Beginning in February 2011, both sides dropped a veritable Hiroshima & Nagasaki of truth bombs that ranged from curt vanity cards at the end of several Men episodes to a skirmish over Sheen’s alleged drug use and a $100 million lawsuit against CBS and Lorre (it was settled by September of that year). Of course Sheen was fired — his character dying, ironically, in a train wreck — but the brouhaha scored him millions of Twitter followers (in record time, no less) and an FX sitcom that might actually outlive Lorre despite a history-repeating-itself dash of on-set drama. For his part, Lorre has continued to oversee several of the biggest, most profitable shows on TV. Who’s ”winning” now? Everybody, apparently.