The egos. The tantrums. The power plays. Moonlighting could have gone down in history as one of the 1980s' most critically acclaimed series. But thanks to Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd, ABC's detective show instead will always be known as the hit that was critically injured by its own cast. Were rumors of backstage backbiting exaggerated? At last, TV Guide Online can tell all.
"Everything you've heard is, to an extent, probably true," attests Curtis Armstrong, who was brought on board as wannabe gumshoe Herbert Viola when tensions flared between the leads during season two. "It was absolutely true that Bruce and Cybill didn't like each other, and don't like each other. They behaved abominably at times."
Although as much as possible Armstrong avoided getting caught in the crossfire, he couldn't help but marvel at the commotion that his colleagues caused. "I was watching it happen around me, and I was amazed, thinking in my naiveté, 'This is such a great gig why aren't you guys enjoying yourselves? You're making all this money, and you're miserable.'
"It still bewilders me," he adds. "I'm sure they have very good reasons for it. To them, I'm sure they were good reasons. But from my standpoint, I don't get it."
For that, the veteran character actor is glad. If nothing else, working on the front lines of Moonlighting
gave him a down-to-earth outlook that's all too often anathema in star country. "Life is too short," he sighs. "I don't see the value in being an [expletive]."