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10 Wild Behind The Scenes Stories Involving James Cameron

James Cameron's career as a movie director is legendary. Not only has he provided movie lovers with some of the most bombastic and theatrical films of all time, but he has also created some of the best protagonists and villains ever seen in movie history.

RELATED: James Cameron's 5 Best (And 5 Worst) Films According To IMDb

Cameron has long had a reputation of being quite difficult to work with, and this reputation has resulted in some startling and entertaining behind-the-scenes stories. Working on a James Cameron film certainly sounds like an experience, and, if stories like this are anything to go by, it may prove just as memorable as the movies themselves.

10 That Time Everyone Got High On PCP

Filming Titanic must have been an experience unlike any other. Unfortunately, said experience involved unknowingly getting high on PCP. Confirmed by Snopes to be "mostly true," in August of 1996, dozens of people fell horribly sick after eating chowder that was laced with the hallucinatory drug. An estimated 80 people were hospitalized with what was thought to be a severe case of food poisoning, and the perpetrator was never identified.

While Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet avoided the chowder, both Bill Paxton and Cameron himself were two of its victims. Fortunately, Cameron avoided most of the damage by forcing himself to vomit after realizing that something was wrong.

9 Going To The Titanic

Titanic was made for an estimated $200 million, making it one of the most expensive films ever produced—but James Cameron never really had an interest in making it. Cameron's interest lay largely in the Titanic itself, and he essentially made the movie to finance a trip to the wreck site.

Cameron told Playboy, "I made Titanic because I wanted to dive to the shipwreck, not because I particularly wanted to make the movie. When I learned some other guys had dived to the Titanic to make an IMAX movie, I said, 'I’ll make a Hollywood movie to pay for an expedition and do the same thing.'"

8 Breaking Into The Editing Room

When it comes to the highest-earning directorial debuts, James Cameron is nowhere to be seen. That's because his professional debut was a little-known horror movie called Piranha II: The Spawning that failed at the box office and earned horrible reviews.

In Christopher Heard's biography of Cameron titled Dreaming Aloud, Heard states that Cameron was given no control over the editing process, so he continuously broke into the editing room and cut the film himself. He was caught in the act, and most of his work was thrown out.

7 Building The Largest Freshwater Tank

Following the wild success of Aliens—arguably the best sci-fi movie sequel ever made—in 1986, James Cameron directed one of his most underrated films, an underwater science fiction film titled The Abyss. The Abyss was produced for an estimated $50 million, and it was shot in an unfinished and abandoned power plant called the Cherokee Nuclear Power Plant.

RELATED: Avatar & 9 Other Movies Directed By James Cameron, Ranked According To IMDb

According to an article written in Starlog Magazine titled "Underwater in The Abyss,"  two massive custom tanks were built for the film, which combined to hold 10 million gallons of water. The first tank measured 6 stories deep and 210 feet wide, making it the largest freshwater tank on Earth.

6 Nailing Phones To The Wall

James Cameron is known to have a temper, and that was on full display while filming Avatar. An article from The Guardian mentions that Cameron would staple cell phones to the wall with a nail gun if he heard them going off. This may sound like mere rumor, but it has been backed up by star Sam Worthington, who told Entertainment Weekly that "He [nails phones] above the exit, so you always remember when you go out."

5 Building A Replica Jet On Top Of A Skyscraper

James Cameron loves to go all out while filming his movies, and True Lies was made for an estimated $120 million, an exorbitant amount that equates to roughly $220 million today. Part of that budget went to building a 50-foot replica Harrier Jet, as was featured in a Discovery Channel segment, and attaching it to a complex hydraulic system on top of a skyscraper.

Luckily, all the hard work was worth it in the end, as the movie earned a BAFTA and Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects, its only nomination.

4 Nearly Firing People For Taking Bathroom Breaks

James Cameron is such a hard worker that he hates the very idea of breaks. An article in Time written back in 1997 claims that "crew members say Cameron often kept them going as long as 10 hours without pause."

RELATED: 5 Reasons Rose Should've Been With Cal In Titanic (& 5 Reasons Why Jack Was Her True Love)

Cameron's penchant for hard work was painfully felt on the set of True Lies, as he "[threatened] to fire employees who took bathroom breaks." This was perhaps most painfully felt by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who, as per Entertainment Weekly, stated taht he couldn't go to the bathroom while filming inside the fake Harrier jet.

3 Actors Peed In The Water Tank

By all accounts, making Titanic was a disaster, and many things went wrong throughout production. The extras and actors working on Titanic were not allowed to take bathroom breaks, as Cameron was sticking to a stringent schedule that didn't account for breaks. But, people have to go, and, because Cameron didn't allow people to go to the bathroom, they simply decided to pee in the giant water tank.

2 Chemical Burns

Chlorine is used in pools the world over, so people often forget just how dangerous the chemical actually is. To prevent microbes, the water used for filming The Abyss was heavily chlorinated. Unfortunately, said chlorine wreaked havoc on the actors and crew working underwater for extended periods of time.

Hair turned green and white, and, in some cases, the chlorine even caused visible skin burns. As such, Vaseline was heavily applied before shooting underwater.

1 He Was Punched By Ed Harris

While The Abyss makes for a great sci-fi mystery film, it has somewhat been forgotten throughout the years. It's a shame, as a lot of people worked hard on the film. Also, as mentioned by Syfy, a lot of people nearly died, including James Cameron himself.

As noted by IMDb, at one point, actor Ed Harris punched Cameron in the face, and he reportedly cried one day while driving home because he was so stressed working under the demanding director. He still refuses to speak about the movie, saying, "I'm not talking about The Abyss and I never will."

NEXT: 5 Ways The James Cameron Movie Titanic Is So Good (& 5 It's Overrated)

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