Who would have guessed that having a movie produced about you would be the worst compliment in the world? Sure, we all enjoy a good dream now and then, but nothing beats witnessing the truth, or at least what we assume to be the truth…
For a variety of reasons, writing and producing a biographical movie can be challenging. Isn’t it true that filmmakers are obligated to entertain audiences? Isn’t that what the movie industry is all about? The more entertaining you are, the more money you will make. Other people’s lives aren’t always as exciting and captivating as some filmmakers would like them to be. As a result, fabricating incidents and tampering with the facts is a typical occurrence.
Although the audience may enjoy it at times, individuals who are the subject of the biopic frequently find themselves in a difficult situation. On the one hand, their tale has been told, but it has also been horribly misrepresented.
As a result, many individuals are enraged and disillusioned, pledging to boycott the movie whenever they have the opportunity.
11. Julian Assange, Fifth Estate
Everyone has an opinion on whether Julian Assange, the whistleblower, is a good guy or an evil mastermind straight out of a James Bond movie. As a result, making a movie about him was always going to be challenging, but that didn’t stop DreamWorks Pictures from doing it.
Kudos to Benedict Cumberbatch, who embodied the equally odd-looking Assange and delivered a respectable portrayal. Unfortunately, Julian Assange was not impressed, calling the movie a “huge propaganda campaign.”
The worst part, according to Assange, was that no one, even the actor playing him, had the decency to approach him about the truth. Assange went on to call the movie “fiction masquerading as fact” and “a project that vilifies and marginalizes a living political refugee for the advantage of an entrenched, corrupt, and deadly regime,” among other things.
Wikileaks, as one might assume, despised the idea of a Hollywood-produced Assange biopic and managed to obtain a copy of the script before it was released. What did they do with it, exactly? Of course, it was leaked!
9. Jada Pinkett-Smith – All Eyes On Me
Tupac Shakur, the famous rapper, can be a difficult subject to tackle, and it’s one that movie producers and writers have yet to nail down.
This is depicted in the biography “All Eyez On Me,” a movie about Assata Shakur’s life and career, as well as others, that around him. The portrayal of Shakur’s connection with now-famous actress Jada Pinkett-Smith was one of the most intriguing aspects of the movie.
Pinkett-Smith was dissatisfied with the portrayal and publicly chastised the movie whenever she had the opportunity. “Forgive me… my friendship with Pac is too valuable to me for the sequences in All Eyez On Me to stand as truth,” Pinkett-Smith wrote on Twitter at one point. “Pac never read me that poem,” the actress stated, claiming that many of the moments in the film involving the couple were fabricated. Until I saw it in his book, I had no idea that poetry existed.”
She went on to praise actress Kat Graham, who played her in the movie, and claimed that she did the best she could with the bad material she was given.
8. David Letterman – The Late Shift
David Letterman was not satisfied with his performance in the hugely successful 1996 television movie “The Late Shift.” The movie, which is based on a book of the same name, chronicles the story of David Letterman and Jay Leno, two talk show hosts who have had a long-running rivalry.
It wasn’t so much the plot that irritated Letterman as it was the actor who played him (John Michael Higgins). As a result, Letterman began making fun of Higgins anytime he had the opportunity, usually at the start of his talk show. Letterman mercilessly referred to Higgins as a “crazy monkey” and referred to the footage as “the largest waste of film since his wedding shots” at one point.
In fact, it appears that Letterman holds grudges, as Higgins said in 2009 that Letterman still loathed him for his portrayal and even booted him off his show when he was scheduled to come on and discuss the movie face to face.
7. Ike Turner – What’s Love Got To Do With It
It is well known that Ike Turner abused his wife Tina Turner on multiple occasions, which the movie “What’s Love Got To Do It” mercifully does not gloss over.
Ike Turner, unsurprisingly, was dissatisfied with the movie’s portrayal of him and spoke out against it multiple times. Turner attempted to redeem himself during a bizarre news conference by curiously admitting that he had hit her but only once, and that the other times he had hit her (so he had hit her more than once) were only slaps.
Even stranger, Ike went on to say that he only became enraged when she was dejected or melancholy, saying:
“We never fought about other women, about her not maintaining the house, or about her not caring for the kids,” says Tina. It was always because she appeared depressed and refused to tell me what was wrong. That attitude would carry over to the stage, which would depress me greatly. So I’d end up slapping her or something after the show. But then everything would be fine.”
6. Mark Zuckerberg – The Social Network
Mark Zuckerberg isn’t known for his outgoing demeanor, so it’s no surprise that he had issues with the way he was represented in the popular biopic “The Social Network.”
To be fair, the guy does have a valid point. Plus, he wasn’t the only one who got the full Hollywood treatment. Since the film’s debut, a number of people have spoken out about how they were portrayed in it and how it got a lot of things incorrect.
For Zuckerberg, the most troubling aspect of the movie was how it implied that he founded Facebook merely to “get more chicks.” “I believe the fact is that writing code and then establishing a product and building a company is not a glamorous enough thing to make a movie about, so you can imagine that a lot of this stuff they had to exaggerate or make up,” Zuckerberg subsequently said. Again, he has a valid point.
After that, Zuckerberg went on to call the movie a “bag of lies” and has refused to engage with anyone who brings it up or wishes to discuss it with him.
5. Hunter S. Thompson – Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas
Hunter S. Thompson is known for being one of the world’s coolest and most fascinating writers. If it wasn’t his notorious Gonzo writing style that wowed reviewers around the world, it was his long-term drug use that got people talking.
The acclaimed Thompson novel… or what he referred to as “that Vegas book” seemed destined to be made into a full-length feature film titled “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” What could possibly go wrong with Terry Gilliam directing and Johnny Depp starring as the controversial writer? Hunter S. Thompson claims a lot of things.
The cast was what really had Thompson’s cogs turning. Although he admired Depp (and the two became lifelong friends), it was Tobey Maguire who received the brunt of the criticism. In fact, Thompson can be heard saying during the movie’s audio commentary, “That kid is a stupid…wax doll of some type, he’s a freak, a great representative of the breed.”
Thompson, sadly, committed suicide in 2005, and the world became a lot quieter place as a result.
4. Frank Abagnale – Catch Me If You Can
The real-life conman, Frank Abagnale, was ecstatic when he learned that Steven Spielberg would be directing a movie based on him, and he was even more ecstatic when he learned that the world’s most gorgeous artist, Leonardo DiCaprio, would play him.
In fact, Abagnale openly praised the movie and DiCaprio’s acting abilities following its release. He also seemed content with some of the made-up storylines that helped the movie run more smoothly, such as his father’s connection. However, as the months went by, Abagnale’s opinion shifted, and he began to criticize the movie whenever he had the opportunity.
Abagnale suddenly began accusing filmmakers and writers of glamorizing his criminal history in order to profit from it. Abagnale also stated that he was terribly embarrassed by his behavior and that he was doing everything he could to go back on track and appear as if nothing had occurred. Abagnale still claims that he isn’t proud of what he did and that he would rather focus on other things than on what made him famous in the first place.
3. Patch Adams – Patch Adams
Robin Williams was box office gold back in the day; whatever he touched turned into banknote after banknote, and the world was a better place because of him. While “Patch Adams” may not have been his best movie, it did capture the Williams charm that we all adored. Unfortunately, not everyone believed it, with real-life Patch Adams being one of the film’s harshest critics.
The movie’s overall goal was the one thing that bothered real-life Patch Adams. According to Adams, the producers were simply concerned with ticket sales and had no desire to raise the profile of the hospital where the movie was set.
“He made $21 million for four months of claiming to be me, in a very simplified rendition, and did not give $10 to my free hospital,” Adams said of Williams. Patch Adams, the man, would have given all $21 million to a free hospital in a country where 80 million people lack access to healthcare if he had Robin’s money.” That has to be painful.
2. Winnie Mandela – Winnie Mandela
When filming a biopic about someone who is still living, one of the first things you should do is ask for their thoughts and perspective, right? Wrong, at least according to the creators and producers of “Winnie Mandela.”
The movie, starring Jennifer Hudson as Winnie Mandela, has been panned for historical inaccuracies and poor scripting, but no one has been more outraged than the subject.
Winnie Mandela has openly criticized the movie on several occasions, with her main dissatisfaction stemming from the producer’s rejection to include her in the film. When asked about the movie, Mandela stated that she had no personal animosity toward Hudson, but that the movie as a whole was the most serious problem, saying:
“I’m still here. And I believe it is a complete disgrace to come to South Africa, make a film on my fight, and label it a translation of Winnie Mandela’s “The Romantic Life.” It is, in my opinion, an insult. In our painful conflict, I’m not sure what would be romantic.”
10. Billy Hayes – The Midnight Express
Midnight Express was a huge hit when it first came out, and it’s now considered a classic. However, not everyone was pleased with the end result…
Billy Hayes, who was imprisoned in Turkey for drug trafficking, was dissatisfied with the movie’s portrayal of Turkish culture and people. True, the movie did little to improve Turkey’s image and was even considered to have harmed tourism.
Since the film’s premiere, Hayes has worked hard to correct some of the flaws depicted in it, issuing statement after statement and interview after interview extolling the virtues of the people of Turkey and Istanbul. He even flew over there himself at one time to make a point, traveling to the country where he spent five years in prison.
Hayes continues to emphasize the positive aspects of his encounters to this day, stating, “I mean, when you look at the movie ‘Midnight Express,’ you don’t see any good Turks at all.” It gives the sense that Turkey is a terrifying country. That’s not fair to Turkey, to say the least. Istanbul is one of my favorite cities. Before I was detained, I spent quite a deal of time in Istanbul.”
1. Max Baer – Cinderella Man
The biographical sports drama Cinderella Man starred Russell Crowe as world heavyweight boxing champion James J. Braddock. Braddock’s nickname was Cinderella Man, and he was best remembered for his role in “the greatest fistic upset since the defeat of John L.” Who is his opponent? Max Baer is a fictional character.
Max Baer is well known for knocking out and later killing boxer Frankie Campbell during a fight in San Francisco. The incident left Baer shaken, and he went on to lose a number of matches as a result.
Baer was also tangentially implicated in the killing of another boxer not long after. Baer earned the moniker “the murderer in the ring” as a result of both encounters, which he despised.
Unfortunately, this kind of reputation stuck with him, and erroneous tales of his actions were published in the media. In Cinderella Man, Baer was portrayed as a despicable man who openly boasted about how many men he had killed in the ring.
In actuality, both occurrences had left a mark on Baer, particularly the Frankie Campell affair. He suffered guilt for the rest of his life after it was revealed that he had even raised money for the deceased boxer’s wife and family.
Baer’s family was furious, accusing the film’s producers and authors of exploiting Baer’s Jewish background as a flaw in his personality.