“I screamed in pain”: Michael Douglas says he refused to work with Debra Winger after the actress bit his arm

I started crying and told them I couldn’t go to the jungle with her. ‘She bit me on her arm! I can not do it!'”. The scene looks like something out of a comedy, but it happened in real life, with michael douglas as the protagonist and the directors of 20th Century Fox as part of an incredulous and surprised audience.

That encounter happened in the early 1980s. At that time, the actor had agreed to participate in Robert Zemekis’s new project, the film after the lost emerald. The film follows the journey of Joan Wilder, a romantic novelist in the Colombian jungle, as she searches for her kidnapped sister and a valuable treasure with the help of bird catcher Jack Colton. Douglas would put himself in Colton’s shoes, but it was necessary to define who would be the female lead.

The first candidate was Debra Wingerwho had just become one of the most successful young actresses after her leading role in challenge to fatealongside Richard Gere. However, apparently a bite left her out of the project.

As Douglas told Rob Lowe on his Literally! podcast, he, the actress, and the director went out to dinner to meet and talk about the film. “We were talking and drinking some tequilas. Suddenly, like someone punching her arm lightly as a joke, she came over and bit my arm.”.

The bite, apparently, was not “gentle”. “I screamed in pain! She kept looking at me as if waiting for my reaction to the joke and I thought: ‘This could be hard’. When I looked, she had ripped my skin.” The meeting occurred in Texas, where the actress was filming the strength of lovealong with Shirley MacLaine and Jack Nicholson.

In 2019, the actor had told a different story. In an interview granted to Variety, while the 35th anniversary of the film was being commemorated, he assured: “We couldn’t get a straight answer on whether or not Debra was interested in the project. Also, we had been on location in Mexico with Robert and realized that it was going to be a difficult shoot. We needed someone who was committed to playing as a team one hundred percent”.

The role eventually fell to Kathleen Turner and the film, released in March 1884, became a box-office hit, grossing $115 million worldwide. Also, it had a sequel. The jewel of the Nilewith the same leading couple.

Owner of a magnetism and scenic mastery that made her a coveted figure in the cinema of the 80s and 90s, no one dared to doubt her talent, but her name began to sound strong, too, due to her notorious feuds with classmates. delivery.

His rivalry with Richard Gere during the filming of challenge to destiny it was more than loud. In real life, they could not stand each other: the actor did not tolerate the attitude of his partner and the actress compared him to “a brick wall”. About him, she would say: “I hated every minute of filming. When they see me trembling in love scenes, I don’t do it out of passion but out of hate”. During the course of that experience, the actress also expressed her discontent with the film’s director, Taylor Hackford, and with the experience itself.

“The way forward is to do things that keep you cool and show business made me tough. It was a world I didn’t believe in,” she stated in an interview, in which she recalls the moment when Producer Don Simpson, from Paramount, gave her an envelope with pills to eliminate fluids, arguing that she appeared “swollen on camera” during filming.. The actress responded bluntly: “I can’t say what I told him because it sounds too ugly, but I think that in those moments, either you grow up or they destroy you. I don’t know if I grew up there, but I didn’t fall apart either. I had to fight a lot, but I knew what was wrong, I knew that it was not about my face or about someone controlling my life, ”she stressed.

In the strength of love, it was also no secret the arguments between Debra and MacLaine. They used to fight frequently between takes and the actress of Bachelor flat He would later state that he had hated his co-star’s “erratic” behavior and some crude jokes he allegedly made on set. Asked about such statements, Winger said in an interview: “No blood was spilled, but there were a few questions. We were both wild and strong-willed.”

The interpreter studied the scripts carefully with a self-demand that she claimed for others. “A lot of hurtful things have been said about me, but I wanted people to honor my process and for everyone to be as excited about the work as I was. She was very childish. When I think about the relationships that deteriorated, it was because of that intensity. I hadn’t learned to respect other people’s method and I thought we all had to work the same way,” she later reflected in her memoir.

After three Oscar nominations and when the studios were still fighting for her presence, Winger decided to slam the door, questioning both commercial cinema and the role that the industry gave to women on the screen.

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“I screamed in pain”: Michael Douglas says he refused to work with Debra Winger after the actress bit his arm