Klaus Kinski Was So Difficult That One of His Producers Plotted to Kill Him for the Insurance Money
Klaus Kinski, who died back in 1991, had a well-deserved reputation for being a difficult actor. He could be a pussycat in meetings or in social situations but as soon as he was on set he was undercutting everyone, starting fights, sowing discord and being a very bad team player.
Werner Herzog’s documentary MY BEST FIEND tells the Kinski story best, but David Schmoeller’s short film PLEASE KILL MR. KINSKI (1999) is comfortably in second place. Here Schmoeller tells the story of hiring Kinski for his 1986 horror film CRAWLSPACE, realizing that Kinski was uncontrollable, being refused permission by the distribution partner to fire Kinski, and being confronted with the Italian producer’s drastic Plan B: to kill Kinski and collect the insurance money.
As is often the case, the truth is much stranger than fiction. Here’s Schmoeller to tell the story.