Melanie Griffith says she was a bad girl when filming Working Girl. The 62-year-old actress has revealed that she showed up to work drunk when filming the 1988 Mike Nichols film and was later told she would have to pay for the wasted workday out of her own pocket.
Griffith made the stunning revelation in Ash Carter and Sam Kashner’s new tribute book, Life Isn’t Everything: Mike Nichols as remembered by 150 of his closest friends. In a candid segment of the book, Griffith recalled a somber encounter with Working Girl director Nichols after she got drunk while off the set and returned to work and continued to drink.
Griffith revealed that when she and her sober co-star Alec Baldwin got back to the set, she poured herself more vodka that she had stashed in her trailer.
“So I had a slug of vodka, and it mixed and made me so drunk, which I thought was really funny,” Griffith said in the book, according to People. “But it wasn’t, and it was cold, and I had to walk down the stairs with Alec, and I couldn’t do it.”
Griffith said Nichols got “so mad” at her, and she was then told production on the film would have to be shut down for the day.
The next morning, Nichols took Griffith out to breakfast and told her she would have to pay for her unprofessional behavior out of her salary. The actress recalled Nichols telling her, “‘We’re not going to report you to the studio, but you have to pay for what it cost.'”
“And it was $80,000,” she added.
Griffith, who noted that the incident occurred in the late 1980s when there was “a lot of cocaine” and “temptation” in the New York party scene, called the experience “humbling” and “embarrassing,” but it caused her to enter rehab.
Amazingly, Griffith got her act together enough to score an Oscar nod for her role as Tess McGill in the romantic comedy film.
It’s surprising that Griffith wasn’t on her best behavior while filming Working Girl. In a retrospective in honor of the movie’s 30th anniversary last year, Griffith told The Hollywood Reporter that producers didn’t originally want her for the lead in the movie because they wanted “a bigger name,” so she had to fight for the role.
“I mean, I wasn’t very much of a name, but I loved this role, and I knew I could do it,” she said.
Griffith also revealed that she had a crush on Baldwin when they were filming Working Girl together, but he shut down her advances.
In addition to Griffith, the Mike Nichols book Life Isn’t Everything also features conversations with the late filmmaker’s close friends Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, and Cher, as well as fellow Working Girl star Harrison Ford, per a preview on Amazon.com.