Hey y'all, it's me (ya girl). And if you know anything about me (ya girl), you know that the only thing I love more than watching movies is stalking the r/MovieDetails subreddit for new fun facts I can razzle dazzle my friends with!
But hey, r/MovieDetails isn't only good for movie details (I know!) — this singular subreddit also happens to house a lot of absolutely incredible fan-found behind-the-scenes facts! My favorite type of facts!!!
20th Century Fox
So, I decided to take a deep dive and tease out some of the strangest, weirdest, most out there behind-the-scenes facts shared, and compile them all into one easy-to-read post for your viewing pleasure!
All righty, let's get goin':
1. Apparently, Robert De Niro didn't like how the fake money felt while filming Goodfellas (1990) — which honestly feels like a weird flex, but okay. Like, my man, I'm mostly counting Monopoly money over here and you can tell the difference between real and fake money by feel? Chill, chill.
In Goodfellas (1990), Robert De Niro didn’t like how fake money felt in his hand and insisted using real money. So the prop master withdrew several thousand dollars of his own money to use. At the end of each take, no one was allowed to leave the set until all the money was returned & counted. from MovieDetails
Anyway, this resulted in the prop arrangers withdrawing $5,000 in very real cash for him to count, which is absolutely wild to me.
Rightfully so, after each take, no one on set was allowed to leave until every single dollar was returned to them. TBH, I would've demanded my money get a cameo credit in the film's final credits, but that's just me!
2. Moving on to a different kind of green, director Christopher Nolan became a farmer while shooting Interstellar (2014) in the most egregious example of "If you want something done right, do it yourself" I've ever heard.
Nolan wasn't fond of the idea of using CGI to create the very important corn farm used in the movie, so instead, he grew one. This meant taking quite a risk — a $100K risk, to be exact — because they needed to essentially grow a cornfield from scratch in Western Canada, where the film was shot.
But, as you can see in the final film, it worked! And, to add hilarity to the story, not only did it pay off in the movie...it literally paid off in real life! Nolan and company ended up selling the corn, with Nolan noting, "In the end, we got a pretty good crop, and we actually made money on this."
3. This one's a two-parter! Two for the price of one (emphasis on price)! First, Brad Pitt and Eric Bana didn't use stunt doubles when filming their fight scene in Troy (2004). Second, being that they're not trained stunt doubles, there were bound to be accidents, so they made a "gentlemen's agreement" that they'd pay each other real money for every hit: $50 for light hits, $100 for hard blows.
At the end of the six-day long shoot for their scene, Pitt owed Bana $750 and Bana owed Pitt absolutely nothing.
Unfortunately, they never provided the public with a breakdown of how many of those hits were worth $50 and how many were $100, but either way, that's too many hits if you ask me and my expert "not-loving-getting-hit-by-a-sword" opinion.
4. Oh, you're in the mood for a fun little performance fact? Ask and you shall receive! Director Mary Harron shot the Willem Dafoe interrogation scene in American Psycho (2000) three times, three completely different ways.
In American Psycho (2000) Willem Dafoe (Detective Kimball) acted each meeting with Bateman 3 ways in 3 different takes: 1. He knew Bateman was the killer, 2. He only suspected Bateman was the killer, 3. He did not suspect Bateman. These clips were later spliced together to keep the audience guessing from MovieDetails
She shot one where Dafoe's detective was positive that Christian Bale's Patrick Bateman was guilty, one where he merely suspected it, and one where he believed him to be totally innocent.
In editing, they then spliced all of the various takes together so that you never truly knew what was going on, resulting in a marvelously manic performance from Dafoe.
5. And speaking of performance choices, Robert Patrick, who played the T-1000, straight-up trained to fire a gun without blinking so he'd look like an actual robot in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991).
According to the movie's director's commentary, James Cameron noted that he wanted the Terminators to "blink as little as possible," so Patrick underwent weapons training to avoid blinking while firing his weapons. However, he himself even admits that he couldn't successfully do that 100% of the time.
Also, I bet you're now hyper aware of how often you yourself are blinking. I'm so sorry about that, but if it makes you feels any better: same.
6. From eyes to mouths (ew, sorry, I just had no segue planned for this one) Michelle Pfeiffer really did have a bird in her mouth while filming Batman Returns (1992).
In the scene referenced, Catwoman threatens to swallow the Penguin's live bird (like ya do) before releasing it from her mouth.
"I don't think I've ever been so impressed. She had a live bird in her mouth while the camera was rolling," director Tim Burton said. "It was four or five seconds, and then she let it fly out. It was before CGI, it was before digital. It was so quick, it seems like it was an effect."
7. OMG, okay, I have a better segue for this one: BIRDS! More bird facts! Woo! Bird facts! But, in 22 Jump Street (2014) Jonah Hill wasn't as excited as I am right now about birds.
Hill has noted that he has a fear of birds, so when a parrot unexpectedly flew towards him — even momentarily landing on him — while shooting a scene for the film, his screams of terror were very much real.
"That was not acting," he said on the film's commentary track, once again stating: "I don’t like birds."
8. "Screams of terror," I said? Oh, another expert segue! In a big ol' behind-the-scenes whoopsie-daisy (professional term), Drew Barrymore kept dialing 9-1-1 for real while filming the intense opening of Scream (1996).
Whilst filming Scream (1996) Drew Barrymore accidently called 911 for real several times. The prop master had forgotten to unplug the phone before filming. Barrymore would call, scream and hang up. In the middle of one take the police rang back in confusion to ask why they kept calling. from MovieDetails
Apparently, due to a power surge on set, the prop master was unable to successfully unplug the phone before filming, which resulted in Barrymore — a true method actor, if you ask me — actually calling 9-1-1, screaming repeatedly, and then hanging up, which I'm sure the dispatcher loved. (Listen, I worked in customer service before BuzzFeed, so I'm used to people calling me, screaming, and then hanging up, am I right?!)
Anyway, the police eventually called back — in the middle of a take, mind you — to ask what in the sweet heck was going on, and the crew was forced to explain themselves.
9. While many wrote it off as a simple character choice, Heath Ledger kept licking his lips as the Joker in The Dark Knight (2008) out of pure necessity.
In the documentary I Am Heath Ledger, it was revealed that the facial scar prosthetics used on Ledger would get loose whenever he spoke, so, in order to keep them in place, Ledger began continuously licking his face to keep them on.
And, as you well know, the tic ended up becoming one of Ledger's Joker's most iconic and recognizable mannerisms, which only goes to show how seamlessly he was able to work a behind-the-scenes "problem" into his character!
10. Heck, while we're talking about the dark knight of Gotham, let's take a look at the Riddler in The Batman (2022).
In The Batman(2022) Riddler begins his video saying, "This is the Riddler speaking." This is a reference to the Zodiac killer who had a similar greeting in messages sent to the police. The Zodiac is also said to be the inspiration for Riddler by director Matt Reeves.(Source in comments) from MovieDetails
Director Matt Reeves said of the character's inspiration: "The premise of the movie is that the Riddler is kind of molded in an almost Zodiac Killer sort of mode, and is killing very prominent figures in Gotham. And they are the pillars of society. These are supposedly legitimate figures. It begins with the mayor, and then it escalates from there."
As noted in the Reddit post, the most glaring example of this inspiration is the Riddler's introduction being "This is the Riddler speaking" which is how the Zodiac Killer began their greetings to the police.
11. I mean, we're having so much fun with superheroes, we might as well keep it up, right? The next fact is a fun intersection of my interests: Marvel meets pro-wrestling.
Yes, I'm one of, like, two and a half people at BuzzFeed dot com the website who unironically loves pro-wrestling. If you do also...please be my friend, I need more people to talk about this with.
For those who have never seen the seminal and iconic film, Spider-Man (which, if you haven't, stop reading this immediately and go watch it. We'll all wait, I promise): as Spider-Man is coming into his powers, he decides to try his hand at underground fighting in order to earn some money to buy a car to impress Mary Jane (like ya do), where he is faced with Bone-Saw, played to machismo perfection by the one and only: Macho Man Randy Savage.
This ended up finishing off a delightful full-circle moment. As noted on WWE's website, Macho Man debuted in 1973, not as "Macho Man," but as a character named "The Spider," who he'd modeled to look like Spider-Man! Kismet!!!
12. When there's a pool around in a movie, it's almost guaranteed that someone (usually someone fully-clothed) is getting pushed into it — it's Chekov's pool, if you will. However, the opposite was apparently the case for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953).
In ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ (1953) Jane Russell’s pool sequence was supposed to end with a muscleman diving over her, but she was accidentally clipped by his foot and knocked into the water. “I wasn’t supposed to end up in the pool at all,” she later said, “but it turned out better that way.” from MovieDetails
The story goes that Russell was never meant to end up in the pool, but when a dancer clipped her, she was knocked in with them. She said of the incident: "It was an accident, and we had to go back and re-shoot the whole number. I wasn’t supposed to end up in the pool at all, but it turned out better the way it happened."
Director Howard Hughes ended up liking that specific take so much, he ended up keeping it in the final cut of the film! But, more importantly, I want to know what make-up brand Russell is wearing here because she got straight dunked underwater and yet somehow there's not an eyelash out of place.
13. And, on the subject of cosmic interference to get a perfect shot, we have this tale of flames from the set of Inglorious Basterds (2009).
Towards the end of the film, a theater filled with Nazis is brought up in flames as one of the lead character's plans comes to fruition, leading to a shot of a large steel swastika falling to the ground in a moment of symbolism. However, the fictional plan proved to be a little too effective, and the swastika falling was by pure accident.
"We almost got incinerated," Eli Roth, who played the "Bear Jew," said. "The fire comes up. They thought it was going to burn at 400 degrees centigrade, but it burned at 1,200. That’s, like, 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit! You see the swastika fall. It was not supposed to. It was fastened with steel cables; the steel liquefied!"
14. Let's end this post with a couple of petty as all heck behind-the-scenes stories, shall we? First up, a fun fact so nice, I've written about it twice — but what do you want from me? I love it! And maybe not every single person on the internet knows it! Let me live! Anywhozle, directors Wes Craven and Sam Raimi were involved in an all out Easter egg war.
Sam Raimi included a poster of Wes Craven‘s „the Hills have Eyes“ as an Easter Egg in „the Evil Dead“ (1981). Craven responded to this homage in „a Nightmare on Elm Street“ (1984) by showing the Evil Dead on TV. Raimi then hid Freddy Krueger‘s glove in a scene of Evil Dead 2 (1987) from MovieDetails
It all started in 1977 when Craven featured a torn Jaws poster in the background of a scene in his film, The Hills Have Eyes, as Craven's way of insinuating that Jaws wasn't all that scary in comparison to his own work.
Then, Raimi decided to one-up Craven when making The Evil Dead by including a torn-up poster for The Hills Have Eyes in the background of one scene. After this began an all-out silent Easter egg war between the two, in which each director would include a reference to the other's work in their ongoing films!
15. And finally: director Roland Emmerich gave two big ol' thumbs down in the form of a rather on-the-nose reference to beloved film critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel in Godzilla (1998).
You see, Emmerich likely wasn't too fond of Siskel and Ebert always panning his films. His three previous films — Universal Soldier, Stargate, and Independence Day — had all received two stars, one star, and two and a half stars, respectively from the pair.
So, when filming Godzilla, Emmerich opted to name the city's inept mayor character "Mayor Ebert," and his assistant "Gene." The resemblence is...yeah, not subtle. (Oh, and, for the record, they gave Godzilla one and a half stars, so there's that.)
Well, there you have it! Which of these behind-the-scenes tidbits was your favorite? Do you know of any more weird-but-fun behind-the-scenes facts not listed here? Share in the comments below! I love reading this stuff! And I love you all! It's true, I do!
And, of course, H/T r/MovieDetails!