true stories Actors Who Were Actually High On Set  

Jacob Shelton
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People get high for a lot of reasons. Some folks are trying to hide from their feelings; some people like to party; and some people are just super bored. High celebrities are no different. Actors who smoked on set did so for a variety of reasons, and the interesting thing that binds them all together is that none of them really feel bad about it. As much as there’s a culture of shame placed around drug use, the actors high on set that have been included on this list are very straight forward about what they did. Most of them realize that it’s probably not what they should have been doing while they were working, but they’re also not wringing their hands over their life decisions. After all, they’re famous movie stars, and this is how people expect them to act.

Some of the actors on this list are truly going to surprise you, mostly because they’re so darn affable. They’re leading men who are known for their multiple appearances in Disney films, and their strong jawlines. Basically, if they’re doing drugs, then that means anyone can do drugs. Obviously, getting high at work, whether you’re making a movie or teaching a class, isn’t the way you should be getting through the day, and all of these stars have definitely reeled things in since they were getting zonked out of their mind on set (well, most of them anyway). If you’re just dying to know which actors were high on set, put on some 311 and keep reading. 


Jack Nicholson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Actors Who Were Actually High On Set
Photo: Columbia Pictures

Jack Nicholson is the last real Hollywood wild man, so it shouldn't be that much of a surprise that he's been high while working on a film. While filming Easy Rider, Nicholson had to smoke a joint while filming the campfire scene, and you better believe that he smoked a bunch of legit joints.

In a retrospective of the film, Nicholson said, "We were all stoned the night we shot the campfire scene. The speech about the UFOs looks improvised, but it was actually almost verbatim from the script. The story about me smoking 155 joints - that's a little exaggerated. But each time I did a take or an angle, it involved smoking almost an entire joint. After the first take or two, the acting job became reversed. Instead of being straight and having to act stoned at the end, I was now stoned at the beginning and having to act straight, and then gradually letting myself return to where I was - which was very stoned."

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Ethan Embry is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Actors Who Were Actually High On Set
Photo: Columbia Pictures

Oh no, you guys, can you believe that one of your favorite teen heartthrobs can't remember filming one of the greatest high school movies of all time? In 2013, Embry revealed that not only was he smoking ALL the weed while filming Can't Hardly Wait, but that he also doesn't even know what the movie is about. “I was a smoker and the world’s biggest pot head and probably smelled like a walking ashtray. Maybe that’s what those weird people are saying. I haven’t seen the movie all the way through, and I was stoned. I never read the script."  

But what's the movie about Ethan? “Uh, uh, uh… It’s about a party right? Underage kids drinking and smoking and having underage sex, right?” As long as he still remembers every moment of filming Empire Records, everything should be fine.  

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Matthew Perry is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Actors Who Were Actually High On Set
Photo: Warner Bros. Television

Matthew Perry has been pretty open about his drug use throughout the '90s, but it's still crazy to think about the fact that he doesn't remember some of the best moments from Friends. He told Larry King that he spent most of the mid '90s taking Vicodin "mostly just to not drink as much as I was.” YIKES! Reading that mostly explains why he forgot half the run of his hit show. When asked what his favorite episode, he responded: "I think the answer is, I don’t remember three years of it, so none of those. I was a little out of it at the time. Somewhere between seasons three and six.” Not even the episode where you were stuck in a box?!

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Gunnar Hansen is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Actors Who Were Actually High On Set
Photo: Bryanston Pictures

Gunnar Hansen has alluded to being high while swinging a chainsaw around on camera in multiple interviews, but he saved the actual story of what happened for his memoirs. In his wildly entertaining biography of the filming of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Chainsaw Confidential: How We Made the World's Most Notorious Horror Movie, Hansen explains how he accidentally got so effing high on set. Obviously things got weird when the set caterer brought weed brownies: "I know I ate a couple - or more. They were really good. Smoothed me right out. I don't really know who was stoned. I know I was..." 

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