It is not uncommon for actors, actresses and even directors to be difficult on set. There are countless instances where many of these (actors, etc.) clash causing so much stress on set that they end up being replaced. So when Olivia Munn (Office Christmas Party, The Newsroom) spoke out about her time dealing with director Bryan Singer while filming X-Men: Apocalypse, it’s not that it was unheard of, but it was the type of distraction and difficulty that Singer presented.
As Munn explains it to Variety, she had never shot a big movie before she got on the set of X-Men. Her roles had always been in smaller movies and even TV series. She wasn’t aware of the rights or wrongs on such a big production “but I did know that it seems strange that Bryan Singer could check out and say he had a thyroid issue. Instead of going to a doctor in Montreal, which is a very high-level, working city, he said he had to go to L.A. And he was gone for about 10 days is my recollection. And he said, ‘Continue. Keep filming.’ We’d be on set, I remember there’s a big scene that we’d have, and we’d come back from lunch and then one of Bryan’s assistants would come up and show us a cell phone with a text message on it.”
So, the problem was not an on-set issue, but one where the director wasn’t even present. Singer, for his part, was involved in a couple of lawsuits that alleged the director had sexually abused underage boys. The lawsuits were eventually dismissed though one had Singer paying the defendant $150,000 as a settlement.
Munn continued on with her complaint. “And he texted to the actors, ‘Hey guys. I’m busy right now. But just go ahead and start filming without me.’ And we’d be like, ‘OK.’ And I never thought any of it was normal, but I didn’t realize that other people also thought it wasn’t normal. And the other people who thought it wasn’t normal would be people at high levels, people who make decisions on whether to hire this person. Come to find out it is really strange and it wasn’t OK. But this person is allowed to continue to go on. Fox still gives him Bohemian Rhapsody, and then we all know what happened.”
Those of you who know the history of the movie Bohemian Rhapsody will remember that Singer was the director of the movie. But, he was fired with three weeks left filming. His “old tricks” finally caught up with him and Fox (the studio producing the movie) decided enough was enough. Even though Singer lost the job, he retained his directors’ credit but lost the credit as executive producer.
Turns out, this isn’t just a one- or two-time issue. Singer’s reputation for being difficult has been following him for some time. Even the star of Bohemian Rhapsody, Rami Malek, came clean to The Hollywood Reporter about his dealing with Singer. “I’ve sat here and talked about how everyone deserves a voice and anyone who wants to talk about what happened with Bryan deserves to have their voice heard,” Malek said. “In my situation with Bryan, it was not pleasant, not at all. And that’s about what I can say about it at this point.” The actor went on, “For anyone who is seeking any solace in all of this, Bryan Singer was fired. Bryan Singer was fired, I don’t think that was something anyone saw coming but I think that had to happen and it did.”
Looks like Munn’s dealings with Singer were tame in comparison with Malek’s but they were issues, nevertheless. Don’t be surprised if it’s a long time before Bryan Singer gets another directing gig. He’s been suspended from all his upcoming projects and has nothing in his future, except perhaps more sexual assault allegations.