Best Friends On TV Shows Who Hated Each Other In Real Life

Sure, we love a heartwarming portrait of best friendship as much as the next guys. However, a testament to the power of acting is the seeming amicability of some of TV's "best friends," when in actual fact the actors who portrayed the characters couldn't stand each other. 

Let's take a look at some of television's most notable frenemies over the years.

Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi weren't good friends on The Good Wife

Up through season two of The Good Wife, Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi's characters (Alicia Florrick and Kalinda Sharma, respectively) were best friends, until (spoiler alert!) it was revealed that Kalinda hooked up with Alicia's husband in the past. After that, the characters appeared much less frequently on screen together.

According to Vogue, a long-rumored feud between the co-stars may have played a role in the plot twist. Although the actresses initially denied any problems on set, after Margulies claimed that the season six finale (in which the characters reunite) had been shot separately due to Panjabi filming The Fall at the same time, Panjabi tweeted, "@TheFallTV was not even in production at that time and I was in New York ready to film the scene!" Panjabi later told reporters (via Vulture), "In terms of anything that happened on The Good Wife, I think it's only respectful for it to stay on The Good Wife. It was time for me, for many reasons, to unzip the boots and step into another show."

In June 2019, co-star Alan Cumming essentially confirmed the beef. However, in early 2020, Panjabi once more refused to speak on the alleged bad blood, telling The New York Times, "I've said what I'm going to say. We are living in a world where everybody wants to know everything. I completely understand why everyone asks about it ... I just feel like I'm doing work because of that character."

Will Smith and Janet Hubert couldn't stand each other on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Aunts can be best friends, right? Right. Will Smith and actress Janet Hubert played nephew and aunt on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, until the third season of the show, when actress Daphne Maxwell Reid was swiftly brought in as a replacement Aunt Viv due to, as E! News describes, "creative differences."

The true, behind-the-scenes reason for the shocking aunt-swap? It seems Smith and Hubert couldn't stand each other in real life. Smith shed a little light on the backstage drama in a 1993 radio interview (via E! News), saying, "I can say straight up that Janet Hubert wanted the show to be The Aunt Viv of Bel Air Show ... She's mad now but she's been mad all along ... No matter what, to her I'm just the Antichrist." 

For her part, Hubert denied any wrongdoing and put the whole mess on Smith. She told TMZ in 2011, "There will never be a reunion ... as I will never do anything with an a**hole like Will Smith ... He is still an egomaniac and has not grown up." Sometimes Aunt Vivs just don't understand.

Jennie Garth and Shannen Doherty turned 90210 into '9021-oh-no'

While Beverly Hills 90210 was on air, nonstop drama played out both on- and off-screen. Shannen Doherty, who played newcomer Brenda Walsh, and Jennie Garth, who portrayed popular Kelly Taylor (a.k.a. Brenda's BFF), admittedly never got along while they were co-stars.

Garth described what she perceived as the root of the conflict in her 2014 memoir, Deep Thoughts from a Hollywood Blonde, writing, "[Shannen] had opinions about a lot of things, including the writing, the wardrobe, you name it. And she wasn't afraid to share them, even if it meant sounding like a complete and utter b**ch." Garth also told E! News that "there were times when we wanted to claw each other's eyes out."

According to co-star Tori Spelling, the two actresses were so over each other that they even got into a physical altercation (allegedly due to Doherty pulling Garth's skirt up during shooting). Spelling spilled the goods during a Lifetime special (via Us Weekly), describing how she had to ask the male cast members to break up the fist fight. In August 2019, Spelling and Garth revealed that their art imitated life and that they drew inspiration from the brawl for the 90210 reboot. "You know, you have to embrace everything, even the bad things," Garth told Entertainment Tonight. "So, I think we were all on board to look at people's perceptions of us and flip it and take the power back." Eventually, the ladies grew up and got over it.

Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion warred inside their Castle

When ABC canceled Castle in 2016, Us Weekly quickly seized on rumors that co-stars Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion (who played on-screen spouses) loathed each other the entire time they worked together. A source dished, "Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion completely despise each other ... They will not speak when they are off set, and this has been going on for seasons now." A second insider alleged that things got so heated that they had to attend counseling, with Katic appearing in tears on set. According to People, by the show's end, "The two were basically not speaking to each other if it wasn't in character."

For his part, Fillion released a gushing statement about how much he'd miss Katic. In 2018, however, Katic admitted to Entertainment Weekly, "I'm actually still not clear on the thought process behind the way that it went down. It hurt and it was a harsh ending, but now, nearly two years later ... I met so many beautiful people on that project, and we collaborated on something really unique in that it's not every day that you get a show, or a series, that has eight seasons and that it was a hit for the network." She added, "It would be a disservice to those people, to the work that we did together, and to my work ... to be anything but grateful because, at the end of the day, that was a fantastic platform."

William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy's on-and-off friendship began on the Star Trek set

Here's a bitter off-screen feud between on-screen BFFs that dates all the way back to the 1960s. According to Express, shortly after Star Trek made its U.S. debut in 1966, tensions between the show's stars William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy (who played Captain Kirk and Spock, respectively), exploded as a result of Shatner's attempts to be the sole star of the show. Nimoy became increasingly frustrated by Shatner's line stealing and controlling antics, eventually going "to the producers, demanding equal pay with Shatner and insist[ing] that they confirm that Spock was the show's true star."

Co-star George Takei, who played Sulu on the show, also had choice words for Shatner, telling the paper, "To me, more than ego, it looked like some deep-seated insecurity was driving Bill's congenital need to be 'the star.'"

The relationship between Shatner and Nimoy evolved as the years went on, with the two eventually becoming close in the wake of personal tragedies. Shatner went on to write an entire book about their stormy friendship, in which he admitted that despite improvements, at the time of Nimoy's 2015 death, the two hadn't spoken in five years due to a conflict over a documentary Shatner was filming.

Did Kirk Cameron get onscreen fiancee Julie McCullough fired from Growing Pains?

Remember in Growing Pains' fourth season when Mike Seaver (played by Kirk Cameron) proposed to his girlfriend, Julie Costello (played by Julie McCullough), and then the relationship abruptly ended in season five? (Stay with us.) According to Mental Floss, it turns out that one rumored reason for the sudden split — and McCullough being written off the show not long after — was devout Christian Cameron's demands that McCullough be fired after he discovered that she'd modeled for Playboy. 

Although producers and Cameron himself all denied the claim and said there'd never been plans for Mike Seaver to wed, there's been no love lost in recent years between the former co-stars. After Cameron uploaded videos to Facebook in 2017, in which he called natural disasters like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma "divine punishment," McCullough tweeted, "Dear Kirk Cameron. Regarding your words about the Victims of #Harvey & #IrmaHurricane2017 You Kirk Are Truly Evil & A Disappointment To God."

Kim Cattrall and Sarah Jessica Parker's alleged SATC feud got personal

Rumors have long circulated that Kim Cattrall, who played Samantha on Sex and the City, and Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie) were nowhere near as cozy IRL as their on-screen friendship would suggest. In 2017, public interest in the pair's alleged feud reignited when they faced off in the press over the third installment of a SATC movie, which reports suggested Cattrall had pulled out of, leading to its cancellation. Cattrall later denied to Piers Morgan that she had ever agreed to make the film or made demands about salary or more scenes, insisted that the cast members "were never friends," and that Parker "could have been nicer" in her handling of the whole situation. 

Fans were subsequently stunned when, after confirming the tragic death of her brother in Feb. 2018, Cattrall pointedly posted on Instagram, "I don't need your love or support at this tragic time @SarahJessicaParker." Calling her "cruel," Cattrall added, "You are not my family. You are not my friend. So I'm writing to tell you one last time to stop exploiting our tragedy in order to restore your 'nice girl' persona." Hoo boy. As Elle detailed, Parker had previously posted her condolences to Cattrall's Instagram page and publicly commented on Cattrall's loss. 

We couldn't help but wonder, what does Smith Jerrod think of all this? Luckily for us, actor Jason Lewis weighed in, telling KTLA (via Vulture), "What a gracious lady. [Parker] was always so good to me," sidestepping any comments about Cattrall.

Moonlighting's Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis shared a hate-hate relationship

For five seasons, the hit 1980s show Moonlighting was based on the premise that the two central characters, private detectives Maddie Hayes and David Addison, constantly bickered as a way of hiding their intense sexual attraction to one another. However, as Cybill Shepherd later explained to Entertainment Weekly, the off-screen relationship between herself and co-star Bruce Willis was more of a hate-hate situation: "It's hard to do a show and keep your relationships with everybody. I remember at one point in the show, it had gotten to where we just hated each other." In 1989, People ran an article suggesting that the show's demise was largely due to the fact that the volatile vibe on set had gotten out of control, with Willis steaming over Shepherd's maternity leave. 

Although the co-stars' relationship was notoriously fraught, Shepherd also revealed in later years that she and Willis eventually nearly slept together. How's that for a 180?

Does Debra Messing hate Will & Grace co-star Megan Mullally?

There was very little will for a friendship nor grace towards one another between Will & Grace stars Debra Messing and Megan Mullally. While there weren't any rumblings of rifts when the show first aired, when the duo respectively reunited as Grace Adler and Karen Walker on the sitcom's NBC reboot, some cryptic posts (and omissions) made it clear that Messing and Mullally's relationship was messy at best. 

In June 2019, Messing posted a "For Your Consideration" Emmys snap with Mullally and co-stars Sean Hayes and Eric McCormack on Instagram, tagging everyone but Mullally in the post. While that easily could have been an oversight, fans quickly noticed that Mullally and Messing weren't following one another on Instagram (via the Daily Mail). Later that summer, Mullally wrote in a since-deleted Instagram Story, "One of the best feelings is finally losing your attachment to somebody who isn't good for you!" She also added in an Instagram text-post, "Don't ask people for directions if they've never been where you're going."

Indeed, Mullally ended up taking a leave of absence from several days of filming that fall, allegedly because she and Messing couldn't stand to be around one another. Though McCormack pooh-poohed any talk of a beef, producer Max Mutchnick admitted to Entertainment Weekly, "It was not an easy year, but the permanent legacy of the show is much more important to us than any temporary squabble that would take place on the stage."

These Grey's Anatomy doctors had a really unhealthy relationship

Patrick Dempsey and Isaiah Washington played best friends on Grey's Anatomy, but their relationship was far from McDreamy in real life. People reported that T.R. Knight was late to set back in 2006, noting that Dempsey wanted to wait for him before filming a scene, but Washington wanted to keep it moving. It got heated, and Washington was accused of using a homophobic slur. "Isaiah was running his mouth off," a source claimed. "Isaiah verbally attacked Patrick — he tore into him. Patrick's voice escalated and he did tell Isaiah to 'f**k off,' [but] that was as heated as Patrick got." Knight ended up coming out after the scandal.

Washington issued an apology, saying in a statement, "I sincerely regret my actions and the unfortunate use of words during the recent incident on-set. Both are beneath my own personal standards. I have nothing but respect for my coworkers and have apologized personally to everyone involved." It was too little too late, and accounts conflicted over what was said: Knight said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that Washington called him a "f**got," while Washington himself denied it (while also repeating the slur) in the Golden Globes press room.

Washington was ultimately fired from the series and later told Larry King Live that he did use the slur in a screaming match with Dempsey, but did not direct it at Knight — claiming that Knight lied about the incident to benefit his own career.

Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny were frenemies on The X Files set

Gillian Anderson has admitted that there were times when she and longtime co-star David Duchovny couldn't stand one another while filming The X Files, but added that they've both grown up a bit since the show's original run began in the early '90s.

"It's pretty heavy duty. We were doing 24 episodes a year — eight-day episodes, 16-hour days, five and a half days a week, nine months a year. For nine years! That's a long time," the actress told The Guardian in 2015. Anderson explained that since the show was one of her first ever acting jobs, she was just happy to be there, while Duchovny, who was more experienced, was crankier about doing television because he already had movie credits. "I mean, yes, there were definitely periods when we hated each other," she revealed. Anderson quickly clarified, however, "Hate is too strong a word. We didn't talk for long periods of time. It was intense, and we were both pains in the arse for the other at various times." 

Anderson got smiley and bashful when asked how Duchovny was a "pain in the arse" for her, then said after a pause said, "I'm not going to get into it. I'm not even going to begin to get into that. But we are closer today than we ever have been."

All the Desperate Housewives were desperate to get away from Teri Hatcher

The behind-the-scenes drama on the Desperate Housewives set rivaled the antics of the onscreen Wisteria Lane. The tensions were first revealed in a 2005 Vanity Fair cover story (via E! News) that claimed a representative from ABC had to be on hand to keep Teri Hatcher from being in the center of any photos and prevent her from going to wardrobe first. It didn't work: Hatcher reportedly went to wardrobe fittings first, and Marcia Cross allegedly screamed at the rep and walked off the shoot when she learned she'd be next to Hatcher in a snapshot. 

ABC denied that this was a regular occurrence, saying in a statement, "While negotiating certain elements of photo shoots is standard practice, and was part of our coordination with Vanity Fair, this shoot simply did not go as planned. Because of this, our talent were made to deal as best they could with a situation not of their making. This one isolated incident does not define these women or their relationship."

It wasn't an isolated incident to have Hatcher separated from the rest of the cast, though: After the series finale, her name was conspicuously left off of the cast gifts to the crew, and Nicollette Sheridan was accused of telling producer Marc Cherry that Hatcher was "the meanest woman in the world." As recently as April 2018, Eva Longoria cracked that not all of the cast members were friends, but "99 percent of us are."

Shannen Doherty and Holly Marie Combs weren't charmed by Alyssa Milano

Was there some witchy behavior on the set of Charmed? Maybe. Alyssa Milano admitted in a 2002 TV Guide interview that she and Shannen Doherty weren't close. They, along with co-star Holly Marie Combs, started out well, with Doherty and Combs serving as bridesmaids in Milano's wedding to Cinjun Tate. The magic didn't last long, however. "We definitely didn't get along," Milano confessed, adding that there were days they outright ignored each other. The studio brought a mediator in, but Combs revealed that this just increased tensions. 

Doherty was written off of the series after three seasons; she later said the "drama" overshadowed her "passion for the work." Meanwhile, Milano later said on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, "Holly and Shannen were best friends for like 10 years before the show started, so it was very much sort of like high school. I would hope that in our thirties that it wouldn't feel like that anymore ... but it was the best job I've ever had in my life and certainly a learning experience."

Combs fired back on Twitter, "Working on Charmed was nothing like high school. I went to high school. It was a very important job to me and always will be. "You're lovely," Milano replied to Combs. "My best to the family! Mwah!"

Did Charlie Sheen get onscreen girlfriend Selma Blair fired from Anger Management?

Selma Blair played a love interest for Charlie Sheen on Anger Management in 2013, but the Tiger Blood King couldn't stand her offscreen, and the antimony was apparently mutual. TMZ reported that Blair complained to producers that Sheen was always late to set and was a "menace to work with," and when word got back to Sheen, he allegedly lashed out. 

Sheen claimed to the gossip rag that he'd fired Blair, though it's unclear how official his word was at the time, as he also refused to return to work if she was present. Just one day after TMZ's report, sources told The Hollywood Reporter that Sheen reportedly dismissed Blair from the show with a series of vile text messages, at least one of which had a misogynist slur. Speaking about Blair's exit with Lionsgate Television, a producer said in a statement, "We are confirming that Selma Blair will not be returning to Anger Management and we wish her the very best."

Several Glee cast members didn't like working with Lea Michele

During Glee's on-air tenure, there were rumors of a rift between Lea Michele and Naya Rivera — but as it turned out, Michele had beefs with several cast members. A 2014 TMZ report alleged that both Michele and Rivera threw tantrums and refused to work together. In her 2016 memoir, Sorry Not Sorry, Rivera revealed, "As the show progressed ... [our] friendship started to break down, especially as Santana [Rivera's character] moved from a background character to one with bigger plot lines and more screen time. I think Rachel — erm, I mean Lea — didn't like sharing the spotlight ... it seemed like she blamed me for anything and everything that went wrong."

Speaking with E! News, series co-creator Ryan Murphy addressed the alleged feud, saying, "That show was just a s**tstorm of difficulty, largely because, what do you do when you're 18 years old or 19 years old and you wake up one day and you're world famous? I think a lot of that was informed by their youth and being involved in a phenomenon." He continued, "And I know for a fact that [Lea and Naya] admired each other's work, 'cause I directed them both in scenes."

In 2020, however, Samantha Marie Ware alleged that Michele was a racist bully. Michele had few defenders among the cast, and in terms of the ones she had — including Heather Morris — the best they could muster was that Michele was "unpleasant" but not necessarily a bigot. Michele eventually apologized.