The film was highly improvised, and Torn got so wrapped up in his character—along with, presumably, some natural hysteria—that he struck Mailer in the head with a hammer during an improv fight, intending to “kill his character.” A massive fight ensued, with Mailer putting Torn into a headlock, biting a piece of Torn’s ear off, and the two strangling each other on the ground.
Mailer’s wife and children, who are seen screaming in horror, eventually broke it up.
And, while the couple eventually dated for nearly three years after the film was released, things weren’t so lovey-dovey on set; in fact, at one point Gosling wanted her kicked off. “Anthony doesn’t mix at all—he keeps himself to himself,” said Baker. Once when I said hello to him he just turned his back on me and said, ‘Can’t you see I’m having a conversation? It was the rudest thing anyone had ever done to me. It was unbelievable.”Later, in an interview with UK’s The Mirror, Daniels said of Baker, “I never saw him. He might as well be a bucket.” The Force was apparently not strong with these two.
“Maybe I’m not supposed to tell this story, but they were really not getting along one day on set. “And Ryan came to me, and there’s 150 people standing in this big scene, and he says, ‘Nick come here.’ And he’s doing a scene with Rachel and he says, ‘Would you take her out of here and bring in another actress to read off camera with me? In Baz Luhrmann’s So Cal update of the Shakespeare classic, you could literally feel the heat emanating from hot, young, and sweaty stars Leonardo Di Caprio and Claire Danes—aided, of course, by one of the better movie soundtracks ever.
As the story goes, they were rehearsing a scene and Murray took a nasty swipe at her acting ability, and then Liu began throwing punches and had to be restrained. “We began rehearsing this scene and I said, ‘Lucy, how can you want to say these lines? “She got furious with me because she thought it was a personal assault, but the reality is she hated these lines as much as I did.