We all remember the great lines and scenes from our favorite movies, but sometimes the action behind the camera can be even more dramatic/incredible/hilarious. Here are some of our favorite behind-the-scenes facts from Hollywood history:
1. Clearly based the character off his own magical abilities
While looking for a tattered coat for the character playing The Wizard in The Wizard of Oz, a costume assistant bought one from a second hand store. When the actor put the coat on he turned the pocket inside out - written in the pocket was the name L. Frank Baum who is the author of The Wizard of Oz books. Baum’s widow later identified the coat as actually having belonged to her husband.
2. A lot of gumption for an extra
In Life of Brian, the line after, “Yes, we’re all individuals,” "I’m not!” was ad-libbed, bumping the extra up in pay for now having a distinct speaking role.
3. Method acting
Fight Club was filmed in chronological order, and throughout the filming Edward Norton put himself on a near-starvation diet and avoided the sun, while Brad Pitt spent a lot of time at the gym and in tanning salons. The end result is we see Tyler Durden getting stronger and healthier while the narrator withers away.
4. “I’m here to rescue you”
On the set of The Blues Brothers, they had to get John Belushi to go and tell Carrie Fisher she was doing too much coke.
5. Maggots have feelings too
In The Shawshank Redemption, there’s a scene where a guy feeds a maggot to a crow. The American Humane Association made them find a maggot that had died of natural causes to feed to the crow. They wouldn’t have given the “No animals were harmed in the making of this film,” at the end if they hadn’t.
6. The magic of editing
William Friedkin had a shotgun with blank shells that he’d shoot off on the sound stage during breaks, while filming The Exorcist. It scared the daylights out of everybody, and after a few times he was asked to stop. The actors didn’t find it funny. What they didn’t know was that their reactions were being filmed - and later inserted into the movie as their reactions when Regan made a sound upstairs.
7. This led to his obsession with conspiracy theories
One of my favorites is from Predator. Jesse Ventura was delighted to find out from the wardrobe department that his arms were 1" bigger than Arnold Schwarzenegger’s. He suggested to Schwarzenegger that they measure arms, with the winner getting a bottle of champagne. Ventura lost because Schwarzenegger had told the wardrobe department to tell Ventura that his arms were bigger.
8. That sounds…mysterious
During the filming of the Lord of the Rings, Christopher Lee corrected Peter Jackson on the sound of being stabbed in the back. From the DVD commentary: “When I was shooting the stabbing shot with Christopher, as a director would I was explaining to him what he should do"… “And he says, ‘Peter, have you ever heard the sound a man makes when he’s stabbed in the back?’ And I said, 'Um, no.’ And he says 'Well, I have, and I know what to do.’”
9. Was he also wearing the bear outfit?
During the shoot of The Shining, Stanley Kubrick actually scared Wendy to the point that, in the scene where she gets slowly chased up the stairs by Jack while trying to defend herself with a baseball bat, she was actually terrified. BTW it was Stanley Kubrick who chased her up the stairs.
10. Worst timing ever
An actual robber was fleeing a drug store (or some such similar establishment) and turned the corner onto the set of the finale of Leon (The Professional), in which Leon’s building is completely surrounded by cops. Upon seeing an army of actors dressed as policemen, the robber immediately surrendered.
11. Statistically speaking, that’s the best prank ever
During the filming of Moneyball, Jonah Hill liked to ride a special golf cart around set. Brad Pitt stole it one day and had it painted pink, had “Jonah loves WHAM!” written on the windshield with a little picture of them photoshopped onto a pic of Wham and rigged the radio to blast “Wake me up before you go-go.”