The transcript below is from the video “Celebs Who Can’t Stand Steven Seagal” by Nicki Swift.

Nicki Swift:

“Steven Seagal’s skills in martial arts helped him have a successful career as a big screen action star, but he’s also been famous for offensive and bizarre behavior. With that in mind, here are the celebs who just can’t stand Steven Seagal.

For John Leguizamo, an ugly on-set encounter with Steven Seagal was so memorable that it became part of his 2011 one-man Broadway show, Ghetto Klown. As he recalled in an interview with the AV Club, during the first day of rehearsals for the 1996 thriller ‘Executive Decision’, he witnessed Seagal declaring to his co-stars, ‘I’m in command. What I say is law.’ Leguizamo found this hilarious. As he put it, ‘I started laughing and he slammed me with an aikido elbow against a brick wall and knocked all the air out of me. I dropped to the ground, and all I could say was, ‘Why? Why?’’ Leguizamo later re-enacted the story in ‘Ghetto Klown’, and when Seagal caught wind of this mockery, he reportedly threatened to punch out Leguizamo if he ever encountered him on a red carpet. As Leguizamo summed it up to the Observer, ‘I don’t think he’s invited to a lot of red carpets.’ He then added, ‘How’d you become such a putz? How’d you become such an egomaniacal diva?’”

Nicki Swift:

“Steven Seagal hosted the April 20, 1991 episode of Saturday Night Live, and he’s since remained notorious as the most disliked host in the show’s history. In the oral history book, ‘Live From New York’, Tim Meadows, who was a cast member at the time, claimed, ‘The biggest problem with Steve Seagal was that he would complain about jokes that he didn’t get, so it was like – you can’t explain something to somebody in German if they don’t speak German. He just wasn’t funny and he was very critical of the cast and the writing staff.’ Another cast member, Julia Sweeney, had a similar recollection when she appeared on HuffPost Live.”

Julia Sweeney:

“Steven Seagal was so horrible on such a scale, it was such a huge scale of terribleness that it was undeniable.”

Nicki Swift:

“Sweeney also recalled a time that Seagal locked himself in his dressing room because he was unhappy with a sketch implying that the over-the-top bodybuilder characters Hans and Franz could beat him up. According to her, ‘It was really legendary craziness.’ David Spade added his perspective when he appeared on a 2015 episode of ‘Watch What Happens Live’.”

David Spade:

“He was tough to work with. He was hard. He did not want to play along.”

Nicki Swift:

“Seagal’s stint was so legendarily awful that it ended up being referenced on future episodes. When Nicolas Cage hosted in 1992, his monologue featured him making some insensitive comments that led him to worry that viewers would think he was ‘the biggest jerk who’s ever been on the show’. But lucky for him, SNL producer Lorne Michaels was there to set him straight.”

Lorne Michaels:

“No, no. That would be Steven Seagal.”

Nicki Swift:

“Early in her career, Julianna Margulies had an uncomfortable encounter with Steven Seagal. Just 23 at the time, she was told by a casting director that Seagal wanted her to join him to rehearse a scene for a callback the next day. It would take place in his hotel room at 10:00 that night. Margulies recalled what happened next in an interview on the Next Question with Katie Couric podcast, as she claimed, ‘I walked in and I sat down and I jumped right back up because there was something very uncomfortable and hard in the couch […] He laughed and he said, ‘Oh, sorry, that must have been my gun.’ Her first instinct was getting so angry at herself for being stupid enough to place herself in a hotel room alone with a guy who turned out to have a gun. She thankfully beat a hasty retreat, but she also wound up nabbing the role, which was for the 1991 action thriller ‘Out for Justice’. However, she wasn’t exactly suddenly comfortable with her co-star. After being cast, she told the producers, ‘I’d really appreciate it if no one would ever let me be in the room alone with him.’

Nicki Swift:

“Portia de Rossi is known for acting on TV shows like ‘Ally McBeal’ and ‘Arrested Development’, and she’s also famous as the wife of daytime talk show queen Ellen DeGeneres. But before all that, she was an aspiring young actress angling for a role in one of Steven Seagal’s action movies. In 2017, she took to Twitter to recall how she was called in for a final audition in Seagal’s office. As she alleged, ‘He told me how important it was to have chemistry off-screen as he sat me down and unzipped his leather pants. I ran out and called my agent. Unfazed, she replied, ‘well, I didn’t know if he was your type.’ DeGeneres showed her support for her spouse by retweeting her and adding the note, ‘I’m proud of my wife.’”

Nicki Swift:

“Jenny McCarthy is yet another actress who had an unpleasant experience while auditioning for a part in a Steven Seagal movie. In this case, it was 1995’s ‘Under Siege 2: Dark Territory’. She first came forward with her allegations in a 1998 interview with Movieline. She was ready to read with her script in hand when Seagal told her that he wanted to get to know her first. After asking her about being Playboy’s Playmate of the Year, he requested that she stand up. She recalled, ‘I stand up and he goes, ‘Take off your dress.’ I said, ‘What?’ and he said, ‘There’s nudity.’ I said, ‘No, there’s not, or I wouldn’t be here right now.’ He said again, ‘There’s nudity,’ and I said, ‘The pages are right in front of me. There’s no nudity.’ He goes, ‘Take off your dress. I just started crying and said, ‘Rent my [Playboy] video, you a——!’ and ran out to the car.’ She continued, ‘I’m closing my car door and he grabs me and says, ‘Don’t you ever tell anybody.’ He won’t sue me or say anything because he knows it’s true. If I saw him today, I would still say, ‘You’re a f—ing a—— and I really hope you change your ways.’”

Jenny McCarthy:

“The day I become famous, I am going to shout it to the world. And two years later, I did.”

Nicki Swift:

“Not only is Ronda Rousey a UFC champion and a professional wrestler, she also happens to be close with Gene LeBell, the martial arts expert and Hollywood stunt legend who allegedly choked out Steven Seagal on a movie set to the point that Seagal had an embarrassing accident in his pants. Rousey’s no fan of Seagal herself, and she was happy to spend some time trash-talking him during a chat for MMAInterviews.TV. As she put it, ‘Gene LeBell would destroy Steven Seagal again even as old as they are now […] I’d still put my money on him to this day.’ She also warned Seagal that he’d be wise to have some fresh underwear on standby if she ever ran into him, as she added, ‘I don’t want to give anyone another quote […] but I bet I could. Hell yeah! You know what, if he says anything bad about Gene to my face, I would be forced to do something. Of course I would. I would have to make him crap his pants a second time.’”

Nicki Swift:

“Steven Seagal’s rivalry with Jean-Claude Van Damme dates back at least as far as the 90s, when Seagal was asked about his fellow action star’s status as a martial arts champion while on ‘The Arsenio Hall Show’. As far as Seagal saw it, that champion status may not have been legitimate.”

Steven Seagal:

“I think that that’s a matter of opinion that he was a champion anywhere.”

Nicki Swift:

“In a later interview, Seagal was asked if he thought Van Damme had the skills to back him up in a real-life altercation, to which he responded, ‘Can I laugh in your face?’ There was also a moment in an episode of the reality show ‘Steven Seagal Lawman’, in which Seagal scoffed at the notion of fighting Van Damme and claimed that it would be like him squashing an ant. But not everyone sees it that way. Sylvester Stallone hosted both men at a party in 1997, and he’s told a very different story. Van Damme, Stallone claimed, had tired of Seagal’s disses and challenged him to a fight in Stallone’s backyard. As Stallone recounted for FHM, ‘Seagal made his excuses and left. But Van Damme, who was berserk, tracked him down at a nightclub and offered him out again. Again, Seagal pulled a Houdini. Van Damme was just too strong. Seagal wanted none of it.’”

Nicki Swift:

“George Foreman followed up a storied boxing career by becoming a TV commercial pitchman, successfully selling enough of his namesake grills to rack up a nine-figure fortune. Despite all that wealth, the former two-time heavyweight champ was willing to step back in the ring in order to fight Steven Seagal, in 2017. At age 68, he was no spring chicken, yet he felt that he still had the skills to take on Seagal when he issued this challenge via Twitter: ‘Steven Seagal, I challenge you One on one, I use boxing you can use whatever. 10 rounds in Vegas.’ A few days after his tweet, Foreman told Everlast that he was in the midst of discussions with Seagal’s manager and would be talking further in the coming days. He hadn’t spoken with Seagal directly because the actor was in Russia at the time. Such a face-off would’ve been legendary, but alas it never actually happened. At the time, though, Foreman was quite confident. As he told Everlast, ‘I say ten round event, but I don’t think it’ll go ten rounds. The guy can kick. So, I gotta get some defense for kicking, but I think I can knock him out in one or two rounds.’”

Nicki Swift:

“Stephen Tobolowsky is a well-known character actor, perhaps most famous as Ned Ryerson, the persistent insurance salesman in ‘Groundhog Day’. His credits also include a co-starring gig with Steven Seagal in 1996’s ‘The Glimmer Man’, an experience he recalled during a 2011 interview with the AV Club. He was playing a serial killer, so he jokingly summarized his time on the movie with three words: ‘trauma, terror, and confusion’. When he arrived on set for the first day of shooting, he was told that Seagal wanted to rewrite the script. As Tobolowsky described it, ‘He decided it was bad for his karma to constantly be killing people in movies, so he didn’t want to kill me anymore.’ When it came time to shoot the scene, Seagal once again made it known that he wouldn’t be killing the killer. Luckily Tobolowsky had an idea, as he recounted, ‘I said, ‘Steven, that is an amazing argument. I never really thought of that before. But coming from my character’s perspective, I am trapped in hell, being a serial killer. It is the worst thing that I could imagine.’ He continued, ‘So if you were to kill me, you would actually be freeing me to come back in a reincarnational form as something better, and I would be able to atone for my sins here on Earth. So, I think you would be doing me a huge favor.’ And Steven said, ‘I never thought of it that way.’ Tobolowsky’s character was eventually killed as scripted, though a Seagal ad-lib in another scene hinted otherwise. This forced Tobolowsky to come back in months later to fix the issue by adding an off-camera line for Seagal’s character to finish him. As he bemoaned, ‘It’s ludicrous! And I don’t know what they ended up showing.’”

Nicki Swift:

“Liam Neeson is no slouch when it comes to kicking ass in action movies, so it’s not too surprising that he has some thoughts about Steven Seagal. During a 2017 appearance on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’, he shared an unpleasant yet hilarious anecdote involving Seagal.”

Jimmy Kimmel:

“Isn’t your dream to work with Steven Seagal? Is that on your bucket list?”

Liam Neeson:

“Yeah. I want to know who dyed his hair. [Laughs] Stevie Wonder?”

Nicki Swift:

“As it turned out, Neeson found himself annoyed with Seagal after a journalist asked him what he thought about the fact that Seagal had said that Neeson doesn’t know how to punch. Neeson, who was a boxer in his youth, insisted that he in fact did know how to punch. Kimmel and Neeson then proceeded to discuss Seagal’s visit to Russia, which led the host to quip, ‘I don’t know if he moved there or we sent him there and told him not to come back.’

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