Jim Carrey needed CIA torture-endurance training for How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
Warner Brothers HATED the original title, Beetlejuice
The studio wanted the title to be House Ghosts (no, seriously). The story goes that Director Tim Burton, AS A JOKE, suggested the title Scared Sheetless (Get it? Because ghosts and sheets) as an alternate title, and the studio LOVED the suggestion. To Burton’s horror they tried to change it to that terrible pun, but Burton put his foot down.
The filmmakers weren’t convinced Patrick Swayze had a soft side, Ghost
Though he had previously appeared in Dirty Dancing, both the screenwriter and director for Ghost were not completely convinced that Swayze had a genuine “soft side,” given his action-star roles in Road House and Next of Kin. However, that changed after the screenwriter saw Swayze sob over his recently-deceased father in an interview, which convinced him he was capable of showing the emotion required for the role.
Samuel L. Jackson only took the job because of the title, Snakes on a Plane
In the middle of filming, the title for Snakes on a Plane was changed to Pacific Air Flight 121. This is not an uncommon practice in filmmaking, but Samuel L. Jackson INSISTED that they change it back to the original title immediately. He later admitted, “That’s the only reason I took the job: I read the title.”
New Line Cinema
Tom Cruise improvised a famous kiss, Top Gun
Cruise forgot his line after a car chase scene where he was supposed to face-off with Kelly McGillis’ character in a heated argument about her treatment of him, so he kissed her instead. This improvised kiss stayed in the final cut, and ended up becoming one of the movie’s most iconic moments.
Tina Fey’s mom inspired one of Regina George’s quips, Mean Girls
In an interview Fey said, “My mom has this habit that if she sees a lady in a really ugly hat or a glittery sweatshirt, she’ll go, ‘I love your shirt’ and I’ll say, ‘Mom, that’s really mean.’ And she’ll say, ‘clearly she wanted someone to notice that shirt. She picked it out. It has a huge teddy bear on it!’” This habit was so mean, Fey decided it would 100% be something Regina George would do.
Ridley Scott’s children appeared in the movie so as to make the set look bigger, Alien
When the crew first discovers the massive “Space Jokey” in the film, the reason it looks so big in comparison to them is because it was actually Scott’s pre-teen children in the spacesuits. Apparently, the production company originally wanted to cut the scene because they believed it would be too expensive to create the towering structure, so Scott got crafty to create the illusion.
20th Century Fox
Stanley Kubrick banned Tom Cruise from the set to make him jealous, Eyes Wide Shut
In order to instill a genuine sense of jealousy in Cruise during shooting, Kubrick banned him from set all six days his then-wife, Nicole Kidman, was shooting her sex scene with a young male model. Kubrick also barred Kidman from discussing the scene with Cruise to create further tension between the characters.
One line saved the production $150,000, The Big Lebowski
The Rolling Stone’s “Dead Flowers” plays over the credits of the movie; however, Allen Klein, the Rolling Stone’s manager, demanded the movie pay them $150,000 for use of the song. This changed after Klein saw a screening of the film and allegedly stood up after The Dude’s line, “I hate the fucking Eagles, man” and declared, “That’s it! You can have the song.”
Working Title Films
in Diesel had a fake Dungeons and Dragons tattoo put on him because he loves D & D, xXx
Vin Diesel is obsessed with the role-playing adventure game Dungeons and Dragons, and has stated multiple times that he’s played the game for 20+ years. So, as an acknowledgement of this dedication, he had a HUGE fake tattoo of his D & D character’s name, “Melkor,” on his lower abdomen as a part of his MANY fake tattoos during the filming of this action flick.
Alex only has a pet snake because the actor was terrified of them, A Clockwork Orange
Director Stanley Kubrick was infamous for making actors as uncomfortable as possible on set in hopes of getting their most authentic performance (see #5 on this list alone), and his most controversial movie was no exception. When he found out actor Malcom McDowell had a paralyzing fear of reptiles, he decided (for absolutely no reason given, as it was not a part of the book or original script) to give his character Alex a pet snake.
Jim Carrey needed torture-endurance training because the make-up was too much, How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Carrey noted that the make-up took eight-and-a-half hours to complete and felt like “being buried alive.” He stated that, after the first exhausting day of shooting, he walked into his trailer, put his “leg through the wall” in anger, and told director Ron Howard he couldn’t do the movie. In disaster relief mode, producer Brian Grazer came up with the idea of hiring a gentleman who trained CIA operatives how to endure torture to help Carrey deal with the make-up. “And that’s how I got through The Grinch,” Carrey stated.
Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images
Benicio Del Toro’s persistent farts made for an iconic moment, The Usual Suspects
One of the most iconic scenes in cinema came from a completely improvised, almost comically childish moment between a group of grown-ass men. In an interview on the Special Edition DVD for the movie, Kevin Pollak stated that the laughter in the famous line-up sequence was completely genuine and unscripted, and started when Del Toro “farted, like, 12 times in a row” as soon as they walked out. The director liked it so much, he ended up choosing that take over all the super-serious ones.
Sean Connery had his wrist broken by an intense (and, now, infamous) instructor, Never Say Never Again
In the midst of filming the James Bond film Never Say Never Again, Connery was taking intensive martial arts classes for the role. In the process, Connery ended up actually breaking his wrist when the instructor went a little TOO hard on him. The instructor? Oh, it was Steven Seagal.
Mandy Patinkin’s personal tragedy gave way to an iconic performance, The Princess Bride
When director Rob Reiner gave Patinkin the script for The Princess Bride, he gave him his pick of the litter as far as which character he’d like to play. After finishing the script, Patinkin knew he wanted to play Inigo Montoya, a bumbling pirate on a desperate revenge-fueled search for “the six-fingered man” who killed his father. Patinkin admitted that he identified with the character, having lost his own father early to cancer. In the moment his character finally kills the six-fingered man, Patinkin admitted his passionate delivery of the line came from his pretending he had actually destroyed the cancer that killed his father.
20th Century Fox
Sigourney Weaver made the “impossible” basketball shot for real, Alien Resurrection
In case you ever question if Weaver is truly as badass IRL as she is in all of her movies, just take a seat for this one. In the script for the fourth Alien movie, she was required to throw a basketball behind her into the net, without ever looking. While the production team had completely planned on using CGI for the trick, they still needed to film her throwing it…and she ACTUALLY MADE IT IN. TBH, the smile on Ron Perlman’s face tells the whole story.
20th Century Fox / Via youtube.com
The director had to prove in court that the actors were still alive, Cannibal Holocaust
One of the first films ever to utilize the mockumentary style, this 1980 gore-fest follows a group of people to the Amazon where things go horrifically wrong. The movie was so realistic, many believed it was actually a snuff film, and that the deaths depicted happened IRL. It also didn’t help that the actors had signed a contract, agreeing not to appear in the media for one full year to maintain the realness. The movie was confiscated a mere 10 days after its premiere, and the director was forced to appear in an Italian court with the actors to prove it was all fake, breaking their contract.
United Artists Europa