It shouldn’t really come as a shock that some movie directors have gigantic egos. Or, in some cases, Titanic egos. After all, these are some of the most powerful men and women in Hollywood. They control hundreds of millions of dollars and get to boss around some of the biggest stars in the world. Also, if they pull off a successful film, people fawn all over them and tell them again and again how brilliant they are. Now some of these people don’t let the accolades go to their heads. Take Steven Spielberg, who by all accounts let’s his Oscar collect dust while he’s busy being totally awesome. Another great example is Sam Raimi, who by all accounts is as humble and down to earth as can be. Of course, on the other hand, there are guys like these…
M. Night Shyamalan
There might not be a more narcissistic person working in Hollywood today than M. Night Shyamalan, who burst onto the scene with the brilliantly moody The Sixth Sense and in turn created the need for every horror and suspense film to have a shocking twist at the very end. Thanks a lot for that, buddy, it sure worked out for you in The Village. Anyway, while some directors don’t let early successes inflate their egos (see: Spielberg, Steven), M. Night was more than willing to jump aboard the “I’m so awesome, everyone love me” train. The end result, of course, is that he has become pretty much a joke around Tinseltown.
We first started to notice that M. Night might have just a tiny bit of an ego when he started writing himself into crucial roles in all of his movies, beginning with Signs. But then he went just a tad too far when Lady in the Water came around, in which he didn’t simply make himself a key part off the story, but his character, who not so coincidentally is a writer, is basically a god who controls an entire world with what he writes. It’s one thing to pop into your own movies; Alfred Hitchcock was famous for it. It’s quite another, however, to basically suggest to the audience that you’re a diety.
Unlike M. Night or any of the other directors on this list, only those of you that are big into Indie films have probably heard of Vincent Gallo. There’s probably a good reason for that, and that reason is that his films really suck. And speaking of sucking, if there is one reason you might be familiar with Gallo’s work, it’s precisely that. Now you may not know the film The Brown Bunny by title, but if we were to say “it’s the movie wherein Chloe Sevigny gives actual oral sex on camera” then we’re guessing the likelihood that you know exactly what film we’re referring to increases exponentially. Frankly, we could not tell you what the heck The Brown Bunny is actually about; it’s only famous for that one scene.
We give M. Night a hard time for writing himself into key roles in movies, but at least he never had the audacity to write a scene for the express purpose of getting a little action and showing off his package on camera. He has also famously traded vicious barbs with film critic Roger Ebert after Ebert gave him a bad review. And to cap things off, there is a Vincent Gallo merchandise website that apparently sells his sperm. Now we have no idea if this is a joke or not, but based on Gallo’s incredible narcissism we certainly wouldn’t put the possibility of it being legit past him.
Come on now, you didn’t really think we’d make that “Titanic sized ego” joke back at the beginning of the article and then not include Mr. King of the World himself, James Cameron, did you? Unlike the rest of the people on this list, Cameron can actually back up his enormous ego with some true talent and innovation. One of the most inventive and successful directors of all-time, Cameron has made some of the most iconic films in movie history. The trouble is, he knows it all too well. Earlier this year, his ex-wife and Terminator star Linda Hamilton gave an interview in which she basically called him out for what he is: king of the jerks.
Among other tidbits, Hamilton revealed stories about how on the set of True Lies, apparently crew members leaving to use the toilet might not have a job when they returned to set. Kate Winslet famously said after Titanic that she would never work with him again unless huge amounts of money were involved (as a side note, Cameron took it upon himself to sketch her naked in the famous scene), and he is notorious for making actors work 20 hour days in order to meet his particular vision for a film. But perhaps the most telling quote is one Hamilton relayed, stating that Cameron once said: “Anybody can be a father or a husband. There are only five people in the world who can do what I do, and I’m going for that.” You stay classy, Jimmy.