Deadline is reporting that Vincent Kartheiser — best known for his work as Pete Campbell in Mad Men — was investigated on multiple occasions on the set of HBO Max’s Titans, where he plays the villain Scarecrow. According to the outlet, he was the subject of at least two complaints and two internal investigations for “disruptive, juvenile behavior and inappropriate comments.” The complaints were said to be about “verbal comments and outbursts,” and though the complaints did not trigger termination, Kartheiser is not involved in the publicity efforts for season three and he isn’t expected to be asked back for season four.
No other details were provided, but “disruptive, juvenile behavior” and “outbursts” seem consistent with Kartheiser’s acting methods, according to an account of the actor over a decade ago. From The Guardian:
A Vanity Fair profile recently followed him on to the set of Mad Men where he was, unsurprisingly on the evidence of our interview, the noisiest of presences: “Between shots, Kartheiser pinwheels around the set, teasing the crew and other actors or loudly psyching himself up for the next shot. It’s a funny kind of psyching up. ‘What’s wrong with me! Fuck life in the ass,’ he shouts after one take. ‘I’m off today - I know it! I know it! Don’t bullshit me,’ he yells after another. ‘I wish I could be anyone on earth but me!’ As a colleague says, ‘It’s kind of unusual, but it works for him. It’s what Vincent needs to do to lose his self-consciousness.’”
Does he use those McEnroe-ish techniques for a purpose or do they come naturally?
“The second before you film something,” he says, “you want to get in your body. I might scream something to wake up the nerves in my nose and my lips and my eyes, you know. That’s where I do my work.”
In that same interview, Kartheiser is described as “clever and manic,” and “antic and boyish,” while it is also mentioned that he shouted “occasionally funny obscenities at the Observer’s photographer, Barry Holmes, and his assistant as they set up.” That sounds like a nice way of calling Kartheiser obnoxious.
Clearly, what was begrudgingly acceptable to an unnamed colleague in 2011 is not acceptable at the workplace in 2021. Kartheiser, nevertheless, vehemently denies the allegations, despite the fact that they are consistent with previous accounts of the actor’s unprofessional behavior.
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