LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 05: Actor Edward Norton attends the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversations with Edward Norton event at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Screening Room on December 05, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Edward Norton Wasn't Given A Choice When It Came To Starring In The Italian Job
Along with talent, Edward Norton has a reputation for being difficult to work with, which he earned relatively early in his career. However, back in 2003, Norton bent to the will of Paramount Pictures and was forced to appear in "The Italian Job."
Norton has had a history of not being able to stay in his lane and according to a 2002 article written by director Tony Kaye, Norton wasn't happy with his cut of "American History X" and provided the director with notes on what should be changed. Kaye insinuated Norton was more concerned with feeding his own ego than making a better film.
The only reason Norton portrayed the villain in "The Italian Job," an average action flick about an angsty gang of thieves, was because he was threatened with a lawsuit from Paramount Pictures who wanted the actor to fulfill his three-picture deal with them. Norton's portrayal of backstabber Steve Frazelli wasn’t bad, but it's hardly his most interesting character.
In 2002, The LA Times asked Norton about his pattern of butting heads with directors, and the actor shrugged it off as part of the creative process. He said, "If the reasons everyone is pushing each other have to do with a group desire to make things as good as possible, that's a great thing!"