The Unforgettable Exit of Harvey Keitel from Eyes Wide Shut

In the Movie World

Making a movie involves lots of team play. It’s like being on a sports team where every player has to do their part well for the team to win. This is the same rule for movie actors and directors. When the actors and directors work together perfectly, they can turn a simple script into an outstanding movie. But when things don’t go well, it can be a real chaos. Did you know that once Hollywood star Harvey Keitel quit the movie Eyes Wide Shut?

Keitel vs Kubrick

Renowned actor Harvey Keitel and Stanley Kubrick, the movie director, were working together on the movie Eyes Wide Shut. Stanley had a way of wanting everything to be absolutely perfect, which made him a tough director to work with. Because of this, Keitel decided he’s had enough and bailed out. The part planned for Keitel was given to Sydney Pollack.

Keitel’s Breaking Point

Gary Oldman in a chat with SiriusXM shared how things went down for Keitel. Comparing his own time with movie director Luc Besson, Oldman felt Keitel had a rough ride. Keitel had to do a simple scene 68 times because Stanley wanted it done just perfectly. Out of frustration, Keitel had to quit the movie.

Impact on Cruise and Kidman

The movie Eyes Wide Shut did not slide smoothly even after Keitel left. Acting was still tough under Stanley’s watch for lead actors, Tom Cruise and Kidman. Even though the movie became a hit, it was Stanley’s last work as a director because he died before it even got released.

Cruise-Kidman Divorce Rumors

The once Hollywood dream couple, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, split after the movie. People speculated it had something to do with the movie. They played the roles of a husband and wife who were involved in various erotic scenes. This was thought to have affected their real-life relationship.

But Kidman, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, said that the movie had nothing to do with their split. She said they were actually quite close during the movie production and even praised Stanley for his awesome storytelling vision.


Eyes Wide Shut will forever be remembered as a movie that tested actors’ commitment and shown how tough it can be to work with perfection-obsessed directors. Did it play a part in Cruise-Kidman’s split? Or was it the reason for Keitel’s exit? We’ll never know for sure. But one thing that’s clear is, it left its mark on all involved. You can check out the movie on Apple TV.

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