The 1992 comedy smash hit Wayne’s World turns 30 this month. The film, which was based on the recurring Saturday Night Live sketches of the same name, went on to gross $183 million worldwide — making an instant star out of lead Mike Myers. (Though, his co-star Dana Carvey was less fortunate.)
Though, over the course of his career, Myers has gotten a reputation of being difficult to work with. And those rumors originated during the filming of Wayne’s World, where the Toronto-native apparently clashed with director Penelope Spheeris, who did not return for the sequel.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter looking back on the seminal film, Spheeris was asked if she would have done anything different in hindsight and if she had any advice for younger filmmakers dealing with on-set conflicts.
However, Spheeris said that reports of a rift had been greatly exaggerated.
“I am going to break the myth right now. When we were shooting Wayne’s World, there really were no clashes with the actors. The reason people think that is I wasn’t able to direct Wayne’s World 2 because I didn’t want to make any cuts to the first one that they asked me to do. And that was the only point of contention that we had, honestly. I have had collisions with actors [on other projects] before, one was Rip Torn and the other was Molly Shannon. My advice to young people who may have a problem is if you think you’re right, call their agent and fink them out. (Laughs.)”
Interesting. Perhaps Spheeris has had time to reflect over the past 14 years — because comments she made to a 2008 Entertainment Weekly profile of Myers were not quite so kind. The piece likewise noted that Myers had a difficult reputation as being “moody, controlling, and arrogant.” Though, it admits that the degree of enmity directed at Myers is rare.
Says one executive who has had a rocky relationship with Myers: “I honestly root against him.” Penelope Spheeris, who directed Myers in his first film, the 1992 smash Wayne’s World, says she has shared war stories with others who’ve worked with the actor. “Maybe he could open, like, a children’s hospital to clean up his rep,” she jokes darkly. “He’s got to do something pretty quick.”
And Spheeris is not the only one who has gone on record to speak out about working with Myers. Cat In The Hat actress Amy Hill likewise told the AV Club in 2016 that working with Myers was a “horrible, nightmarish experience.”
He had his handlers dress his trailer, and his area was all covered with tenting because he didn’t want anybody seeing him. It was so weird. It was just the worst. It was like I was there forever, and my daughter was 2 and a half and I felt like I was missing her first everything. I was miserable. I just thought it was really rude for him to not take all of us into consideration.
It was just a horrible, nightmarish experience. I don’t think he got to know anybody. He’d just be with his people and walk away. People would come and then he’d stand there. There was a guy who held his chocolates in a little Tupperware. Whenever he needed chocolate, he’d come running over and give him a chocolate. That’s what divas are like, I guess. Or people who need therapy.
Well, perhaps Myers used his time out of the spotlight to address those issues with a trained professional. In the meantime, the 58-year-old is slated to appear in David O. Russell’s upcoming untitled project, to be released later this year. Of course, given the director’s reputation, on-set friction may not even be Myers’ fault.