It’s now much time later, so I don’t know if this will still help or not, but I’d like to share a similar issue I had with an actor…
I had an actor who was constantly displaying poor behavior. He was constantly late, he never read communications thoroughly (he skimmed them and missed important stuff), there were several other things but the worst was, I sent him a scene for his reel, and he didn’t like the edit so he re-cut it. That was the final straw.
He had been continually asking about the editing, making it clear he wanted to edit, even though I repeatedly told him I was doing the editing.
He was working for no pay. I always feel hesitant to discipline, or push hard, actors who are volunteering their time. Plus we had already done a bunch of filming so the story wouldn’t make sense if we lost him.
I basically had to weigh my options. He was showing a lack of respect for my authority on this project. I needed to “crack the whip” so to speak. I needed to show him that I had authority that he needed to respect, if the project was going to succeed. We still had a ton of filming to do, and we’re planning 3 more seasons. The future of the project was at stake.
Looking at the bigger picture, as tough as it was, I decided I was willing to lose him, and take the lose of time and money and recast and reshoot, for the sake of the rest of the project. Not ideal, no, but rather that than continue to struggle against him for 3 more seasons.
I wasn’t going to outright fire him though, cause if there was a way to keep him and fix it I wanted that option.
I was very polite and professional but also very blunt and straight forward. I explained to him in a clear way the issues I had. I made it clear that if the problem was not corrected his involvement with the project would no longer continue. I was polite but firm.
As soon as he realized he was not untouchable, despite being principal cast, he took a step back and apologized. The problems were then corrected.
Some times it takes a firm hand. Sometimes it’s a power struggle. Yes them doing you a favor puts you in a position, but that does not give them the power to take advantage. Don’t go off half cocked in anger, but crack the whip and remind them who’s in charge.
Yes, you run the risk of losing them, but if they are that much of a problem perhaps you’re better off. There are plenty other actors ready to step in.
Sometimes people respond better to a strong authority figure than to a friend.