30 Most Controversial Movie Stars

Oh, behave!

Jude Law

The Controversial Star: Tabloid favourite Jude Law has certainly kept the red-tops busy with his colourful love life over the years. Cheating on fiancée Sienna Miller put him squarely in the bad books of the female population, although somehow Law managed to charm his way back into her good books in time to rekindle the relationship in 2009. The sly dog.

Lowest Ebb: Despite his offences appearing fairly minor in comparison with others on this list, Law still struggles to shake the ‘love rat’ tag. Then again, his dalliance was with his children’s nanny. It’s just a bit wrong, isn’t it?

Russell Brand

The Controversial Star: Unlike the majority of his colleagues on this list, most of Brand’s hellraising took place before he became a fully-fledged movie star. Having been addicted to heroin, alcohol and women throughout his early career in TV and stand-up, by the time he reached Hollywood, Brand was pretty much partied-out!

Lowest Ebb:
Surprisingly for a man who once introduced Kylie Minogue to his crack dealer, Brand’s most infamous hour remains the mild taunting of an elderly man on his BBC radio show. Which just goes to show that drug addiction is all well and good, but picking on Manuel is beyond the pale.

Charlton Heston

The Controversial Star: Not as obviously controversial as the coke-snorting, booze-quaffing hedonists on this list, but a bona fide headline-maker in his capacity as president of the NRA. As the smiling face of an organisation that legitimises gun ownership in a nation regularly rocked by shootings, he’s not a universally loved figure by any stretch of the imagination.

Lowest Ebb:
The “cold, dead hands speech” that Michael Moore seized upon in Bowling For Columbine . Exactly the sort of bullshit machismo that America could do with a little less of.

Eddie Murphy

The Controversial Star: Given that he’d managed to resurrect his career through a new approach as a family-friendly performer, Murphy’s extra-curricular activities throughout the nineties and noughties were questionable in the extreme. After all, nothing says “children’s entertainer” like being caught with a transsexual prostitute in your car at a quarter to five in the morning.

Lowest Ebb: His treatment of former girlfriend Melanie Brown (she of Scary Spice fame) was pretty callous to say the least. On learning she had fallen pregnant, he told reporters, “I don't know whose child that is until it comes out and has a blood test.” According to Brown, DNA tests have proven the child to be Murphy’s, but old Eddie hasn’t made any moves to get acquainted with his offspring. Nice.

Martin Lawrence

The Controversial Star: Aside from his onscreen misdemeanours ( Big Momma’s House , anyone?), Lawrence has found himself in trouble with the law on more than one occasion, racking up a series of arrests during the '90s. He seems to have calmed down of late, but sadly, the movies just keep on coming.

Lowest Ebb: Having been thrown off the set of A Thin Line Between Love And Hate , Lawrence was found ranting at members of the public on a nearby road, a loaded gun nestling in his pocket. Tactfully, his doctor put the incident down to “exhaustion”.

Klaus Kinski

The Controversial Star: A notoriously difficult customer on set, Kinski reserved his most difficult behaviour for regular collaborator Werner Herzog. Famously, Kinski attempted to leave production on Aguirre: The Wrath Of God having grown exasperated with his director. Herzog only managed to force him to reconsider his actions by holding him, at gunpoint. As you do.

Lowest Ebb: The same shoot saw Kinski unleash some firearm-based havoc of his own, firing a gun at a hut full of crew-members and blowing off an extra’s finger in the process.

Paul Reubens

The Controversial Star: Famous for his indescribably irritating Pee-Wee Herman routine, Reubens’ family-friendly image took a hit back in 1991 when he was caught at the local porno-theatre taking in a triple-bill of X-rated movies. Not so fussed about that missing bicycle now, eh?

Lowest Ebb:
The 2002 arrest following the discovery of his collection of vintage pornography. Wrongly accused of possessing child pornography, Reubens was forced to issue a public statement denying rumours that he was a paedophile. Not an episode he would wish to dwell upon.

Angelina Jolie

The Controversial Star: Long before she was making headlines as an adoption enthusiast, Jolie was an even more colourful character, parading around with a vial of Billy Bob Thornton’s blood around her neck and telling anyone who’d listen how she liked to bring knives into the bedroom. Attending her wedding to Johnny Lee Miller with the groom’s name daubed in blood on her shirt was a high point.

Lowest Ebb:
It has to be her homewrecking antics, doesn’t it? Don’t get us wrong, we’d go for Angie over Jen every time, but going after a married man? Tut tut.

Randy Quaid

The Controversial Star: Occasional National Lampoon and full-time wackjob, Randy Quaid is a peculiar fellow indeed. Having found himself in trouble along with his wife over fraud and burglary accusations, the pair have now fled to Canada in order to escape the dreaded “Star Whackers” they claim are after their heads. Okaaaaaay.

Lowest Ebb:
The tie-in single Quaid has released in order to spread the word about the Star Whackers. Catchily entitled Star Whackers, it’s every bit as awful as you might imagine . The man needs help.

Robert Mitchum

The Controversial Star: Famously the first Hollywood star to be publically busted for marijuana possession, Mitchum had known run-ins with the law all his life, having escaped from a chain-gang when he was just fourteen! A lifetime of booze-fuelled debauchery would follow, much of which only consolidated his persona as a hard-bitten man’s man.

Lowest Ebb: Having enjoyed a couple of shandies too many, Mitchum became embroiled in a brawl with co-star Broderick Crawford, throwing him off the balcony of a second-storey building. Oof!