Skip To Content
  • Viral badge
Updated on Sep 18, 2020. Posted on May 16, 2020

16 Behind-The-Scenes Facts You Might Not Have Known About Movies You've Always Loved

Because sometimes the set has more drama than the film itself.

1. Brendan Fraser was almost hanged for real during a stunt gone wrong while filming The Mummy (1999).

Universal Studios

"They killed me for 18 seconds. I was hanging from the noose standing on a board," Fraser said. "Steve [Sommers, the director] said, 'The noose doesn't match the stunt guy's...can we bring up the tension a little bit?' They did the take and I figured, 'I'll hold my breath,' but something went wrong. The next thing I knew, I was waking up."

2. Alicia Silverstone genuinely didn't know how to pronounce "Haitians" in Clueless (1995), but writer/director Amy Heckerling thought it was so funny, she asked that no one correct her.

Paramount Pictures

“The first day we shot the scene in debate class when Alicia said 'Hate-i-ans' instead of 'Haitians,'" Heckerling said. "Everybody started to run up to her to tell her she was wrong. I had to stop them. It’s SO much funnier the way she said it. That was Cher.”

3. The cast and crew of Titanic (1997) were drugged with PCP while filming.

Paramount Pictures

"The crew vans came, picked everybody up, and took us to the Dartmouth General Hospital," crew member Marilyn McAvoy said. "Some people were having a really hard time. I think maybe the people who had more experience with drugs were having flashbacks and bad trips." The culprit was NEVER found.

4. Killmonger's "Hey, Auntie" line in Black Panther (2018) was improvised on the spot by Michael B. Jordan.

Marvel Studios

"Well, he entered the throne room with SUCH DISRESPECT, right? Looking good, but such disrespect," co-star Angela Bassett said. "And then he utters that line, which was an improv. I remember being taken aback a little with that...but at the movie premiere, when he uttered that, the whole room just went up and enjoyed it."

5. Christopher Mintz-Plasse's mom supervised his sex scene in Superbad (2007).

Sony Pictures Releasing

"It was because I was 17," Mintz-Plasse said. "Stupid law. I was just sitting there with my bors on, waiting for my mom to drive down to the set. She got there, and I had fake sexual intercourse in front of her."

6. Jim Carrey needed torture-endurance training because the makeup was too much for him in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000).

Universal Pictures

The makeup took eight-and-a-half hours to finish and, according to Carrey, 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. Producer Brian Grazer came up with the idea of hiring a CIA operative trainer specializing in how to endure torture to help Carrey deal with the makeup.

7. Tina Fey's mom inspired one of Regina George's most iconic quips in Mean Girls (2004).

Paramount Pictures

“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,'" Fey said. "And she’ll say, ‘clearly she wanted someone to notice that shirt. She picked it out. It has a huge teddy bear on it!'”

8. James Franco auditioned to play Cliff, Torrance's love interest in Bring It On (2000), but the role ultimately went to Jesse Bradford because Franco was cast in Freaks and Geeks.

Universal Pictures

"We saw so many people. I have specific memories of trying to cast Cliff — I remember James Franco came in," director Peyton Reed said. "He was so great and an oddball, and definitely gave us a cool take on Cliff. I remember he said, 'I just shot this pilot for a show that's pretty cool. It's called Freaks and Geeks.' Of course that got picked up, so he was off the market."

9. Billy Crystal was the first pick to voice Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story (1995), but turned it down.

Pixar

"It's the only regret I have in the business of something I passed on," Crystal said. "But Tim [Allen] is a beautiful guy with a resonant voice. Mike [Wazowski] is a better fit for me."

10. Cary Elwes was ACTUALLY knocked out during a scene where he was supposed to feign being knocked out in The Princess Bride (1987).

20th Century Fox

“That was the last thing I remember from that day’s shoot,” Elwes said. “I woke up in the emergency room, still in costume, to the sound of stitches being sewn into my head. From the same doctor, no less, who had treated me only a few weeks earlier for my broken toe. I remember him saying to me after I came to, ‘Well, Zorro! You seem to be a little accident prone, don’t you?'”

11. And speaking of improvisation, pretty much every little thing Melissa McCarthy did and said on the airplane in Bridesmaids (2011) was ALSO off the cuff.

Universal Pictures

"The plane ride became wildly improvised...I ruined millions of takes by laughing," her co-star (and IRL husband) Ben Falcone said. "In the scene outside the bathroom, she HAD to say, 'Let's go to the restroom and not rest,' and after that she was free to improv. She had such good lines that I ruined. Like, she said, 'Do you like this leg? I got another one just like it. I can put them both over my head and comb my goddamn hair.'"

12. Sean Astin stepped on a shard of glass, impaling his foot, while filming in a lake for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).

New Line Cinema

“His foot had been completely impaled on this shard of glass,” director Peter Jackson said. “We were a good hour and a half’s drive to town. We called for a chopper.”

13. The title for 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) was actually inspired by a real-life diary entry from the cowriter, Karen McCullah.

Buena Vista Pictures

“I had a boyfriend named Anthony. I made a list called 'Things I Hate About Anthony.' When Kirsten Smith and I decided to write this, I went through all of my high school diaries," McCullah said. "When I told her about that list, she was like, ‘That’s our title.' Anthony is very proud of that fact. We’re still friends today. Every now and then I'll get a phone call in the middle of night: ‘My nephew doesn’t believe that this title is about me. Tell him.’ On the phone, I’m like, ‘Yes, I hated Anthony in high school.’”

14. Bradley Cooper improvised the "ugly" line during the argument scene in A Star Is Born (2018), and it "devastated" Lady Gaga.

Warner Bros. Pictures

“That wasn’t an actor trying to get something out of another actor,” Cooper said. “That was two characters. What Jackson does to her in that moment is go to her most vulnerable place. That’s what she shared with him early on at the cop bar, so it’s part of their story.”

15. Disney was sued by a hyena biologist after the release of The Lion King (1994) for their portrayal of hyenas.

Walt Disney Studios

Animators were allowed into the University of California’s Field Station for Behavioral Research to observe hyenas, and researchers expressed hope that the animals would be shown in a positive light. But, when the movie was released, they felt that their villainous behavior would be a setback in protecting them in the wild, with one researcher going so far as to sue Disney for "defamation of character."

16. And finally, Tom Felton's candy-sneaking on the set of the Harry Potter films forced wardrobe to sew all of the students' pockets shut by the time they got to The Prisoner of Azkaban (2004).

Warner Bros. Pictures

"The robes had these huge pockets. The rumor was that they sewed them up after the third film because I was sneaking food and drink onto set. I want to clear this up because...that is absolutely TRUE," Felton said. "I think the other kids started following suit. Wardrobe would put their hand in and find chocolate and sweets."

Which behind-the-scenes fact was your favorite? Do you know any other wild behind-the-scenes stories? Share all of your thoughts and knowledge in the comments below!

TV and Movies

Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.

Newsletter signup form