Are you best friends with everyone you work with?
If you are, then congrats on being an independent contractor who works from home. But if not, that's probably pretty normal.
And that doesn't even mean you don't get along. It can just mean you don't spend too much time working on your relationship beyond the parameters of work. Or you hate someone. Either way. That surely happens all the time.
And yet for some reason it comes as a juicy surprise when we find out that certain co-stars—be it on a movie or TV set—didn't get along during the time in which they were seeing each other day after day, for hours at a time.
Sometimes that behind-the-scenes drama has gotten out of hand, leading to tensions that did, ultimately, affect the finished product. Grey's Anatomy, Two and a Half Men and Criminal Minds had to change course accordingly, to name a few. But most of the time, you don't find out (or at least confirm) anything was stirring until much later. (Turns out Laverne and Shirley had major issues, sorry to report.)
Turns out, not a rumor. But just because they weren't besties didn't mean they were actively feuding (though they might be now, if Michele is indeed as "sensitive" as Rivera recalls).
Rather, they stubbornly butted heads at times because each felt she deserved her fair share of attention. Fair enough. And yet it does sound, from Rivera's perspective at least, that the atmosphere turned pretty toxic.
"We are both strong willed and competitive—not just with each other but with everyone—and that's not a good mixture," Rivera wrote. As Santana's role on the show grew, the actress continued, Michele supposedly had a hard time with that and wasn't as good as some at leaving their issues behind them on set. Ultimately, Rivera was bumped from season regular to recurring status before the start of the show's sixth and final season—rumors flew that it was after drama boiled over with Michele, but multiple sources told E! News at the time that Rivera wanted the freedom to pursue some other projects.
And yet that last season didn't sound like a picnic, for either star.
"If I'd complained about anyone or anything, she'd assumed I was bitching about her. Soon, she started to ignore me, and eventually it got to the point where she didn't say a word to me for all of Season 6," Rivera wrote. "Lea and I definitely weren't the best of friends, and I doubt we'll ever sit on her couch and eat kale together again, but the rumors of our 'feud' were blown out of proportion."
Hit Fox show with twenty-somethings playing high school kids. A mixture of mirth and melodrama. Co-stars turned frenemies turned rivalry for the ages. Check, check and...check?
While Rivera's take on the on-set atmosphere sounds like a heartfelt and honest account of what she experienced (minus however she might have added to the friction, if, perchance, she did), her summation sort of undercuts what came before: "Lea and I definitely weren't the best of friends...but the rumors of our 'feud' were blown out of proportion."
That last bit is perfectly rational, but what allegedly came before sounds kinda rough. And if it were a different place and time, and Glee had been determined to stay on the air for another six years, or if Michele was related to the show's creator...who knows what might have happened.
"The biggest misconception would be that I only have one side to me," Doherty told SiriusXM host Jenny Hutt in January 2015, referring to the rep she got as a bad girl back in the day. "Seems to be the biggest one and that, you know, people don't ever consider how old I was when some of the crazier stuff happened, which by today's standards is incredibly tame. And they don't consider that, you know, I have grown up and that there is a softer more vulnerable side or they don't consider what was behind some of the antics when I was very young. And I mean that doesn't really do them justice nor myself justice."
Just yesterday, Rose McGowan—who joined Charmed after Doherty left, once again under a cloud of behavior-related rumors—posted a letter to Doherty on Instagram along with a fan's cartoon drawing of them together. McGowan, who's been very outspoken about the scourge of bullying and the damage it does, wrote that she wishes she'd been able to speak out earlier about any so-called feud between them was a media construct—and that Doherty didn't deserve the nasty headlines over the years.
"We have a funny history," McGowan noted. "As young women we were pitted against each other for society's pleasure. The rules of Hollywood engagement brainwashed into us were truly vile. The men & brainwashed women in our business made it so we couldn't be friends, I regret that. We were cast in this weird fake reality show where we were supposed to be enemies. I resented it greatly. I regret not being awake enough to articulate this to you at the time...I was under a microscope, one false move and I'd be branded 'difficult' just like you. I think we all know what happens when girls here get out of line."
We of course now know that tensions were running high on the set of Beverly Hills 90210 ahead of Doherty's bummer (for fans, at least) of an exit in 1994 after the fourth season. Her ouster was vaguely blamed on Spelling (combined with Doherty's drama-queen behavior), but we didn't get the real story about what occurred, much less speculation on the psychology behind it all, for years.
Finally, in 2015, the 25th anniversary of the show's premiere helped pull all the skeletons out of the closet—not to mention spurred the Lifetime movie The Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Story—and Spelling finally admitted to pressing her dad, series executive-producer Aaron Spelling, to fire Doherty—because the cast as a whole was tired of her drama.
But Spelling also tearfully said, on Tori Spelling: Celebrity Lie Detector, "I felt like I was a part of something, a movement, that cost someone their livelihood. Was she a horrible person? No. She was one of the best friends I ever had."
But "in the workplace, as a coworker," it was the right decision, she added.
"We were locked in this sound stage for 14 to 16 hours every day," Garth told E! News back in 2014 while talking about her memoir, Deep Thoughts From a Hollywood Blonde. "There were times when we loved each other and there were times when we wanted to claw each other's eyes out."
But, it being 20 years since Doherty left the show (and several years after they had reunited on the CW's 90210), Garth was able to look back at those times with a clearer perspective.
"It was more of just young girls finding their way and finding their individual voices [as opposed to Doherty being the worst]," she told us. "Shannen and I are both Aries women, we're both very strong, independent women, so we butt heads a lot. Now, as grown women, we happen to get along as well."
So maybe this isn't the end for Lea and Naya—should they take a cue from the actresses who already blazed this trail and probably concluded in the end that any time wasted holding grudges wasn't worth it.