The growing friction is so bad that insiders fear it could lead to Round 2 in a 30-year-old grudge match!
The stars, both 65, nearly traded jabs while filming back in 1981, and sources say they’re staring daggers at each other on the Virginia set of the Civil War drama directed by Steven Spielberg.
“Sally and Tommy Lee don’t like each other, never have and never will,” a Hollywood insider told The ENQUIRER. “But Steven convinced them to put the past behind them to help him make this movie and earn another Academy Award.
“Even though they’re only in a few scenes together, Sally and Tommy Lee bristle at each other when they’re not in front of the camera.”
Sally plays Lincoln’s beleaguered wife Mary Todd, while Jones – an Oscar winner for “The Fugitive” – plays anti-slavery patriot congressman Thaddeus Stevens in the $50 million epic.
Their bad blood dates back to the southern-fried romantic comedy “Back Roads” when the two quarreled over a scene, and Sally swore she’d never work with Jones again.
“We almost got into a fist fight. He behaved very badly,” the actress – an Oscar winner for “Norma Rae” and “Places in the Heart” – told “Playboy” magazine in the mid-’80s.
“He was trying to show mehow I couldn’t get away if he didn’t want me to. He had a grip on my wrist like he was gonna twist it off. I just sank my teeth into his hand. I got away. But then he ran after me and said he was going to disfigure my face!”
Sally’s old comments prompted lots of buzz on the “Lincoln” set, said the source.
“Tommy Lee was totally PO’ed that people were still talking about what he called ‘their little skirmish,’” the source divulged.
Meanwhile, as The ENQUIRER recently reported, Sally has been devastated by a one-two emotional punch. Her beloved mom Margaret passed away on Sally’s 65th birthday, and the actress was also shattered by claims that her Emmy-winning role in the 1976 TV movie “Sybil” was based on a fraud.
“Sally was very sad and left the production for about 10 days,” the source said. “Everyone except Tommy Lee made a point of coming up to her and offering condolences on her mother’s death.
“People have been super-sensitive to Sally, but Tommy Lee acts like it’s business as usual.
“There’s definitely tension between them. Jabs of sarcasm come from both sides, and if looks could kill they’d both be goners.
“Everyone’s on pins and needles, hoping there isn’t another major confrontation between them. Their resentment could escalate into World War III any day!”
And with Lincoln dead, who’ll restore the union — on set?