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    14 Times Actors Changed The Script To Make It Funnier, More Emotional, Or Just Plain Better

    When in doubt, say "yes" to all of Meryl Streep's ideas.

    1. Meryl Streep told Variety that she suggested that two scenes be added to The Devil Wears Prada after she was cast as the titular devil, high-powered fashion editor Miranda Priestly. Streep explained, "I am not sure the movie celebrates her as much as appreciates her business accomplishments. It’s hard to run a big company like that.”

    Miranda at the podium during a runway event

    The first scene she suggested was the iconic and endlessly quotable cerulean sweater monologue, in which Miranda simultaneously explains "the business of fashion," as Streep put it, and burns her new assistant Andy to the ground.

    Miranda lectures Andy about how her cheap sweater was chosen for her by the powerful fashion professionals in that room

    The second was the scene where Andy walks in on Miranda crying after her husband tells her he wants a divorce. Streep said, "I also wanted a scene where she is without her armor, the unpeeled scene in the hotel room — just to see that face without its protective glaze, to glimpse the woman in the businesswoman."

    Miranda after crying in her hotel room

    Here's the full cerulean sweater scene:

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    20th Century Fox Film Corp. / Via

    2. In The Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) sits down to have lunch with senior stockbroker Mark Hanna (Matthew McConaughey). Belfort watches, bemused, as Hanna starts hitting his chest and humming in the middle of the restaurant.

    Hanna hitting his chest in the restaurant

    This ritual wasn't a quirk of the real-life Hanna. During an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, McConaughey revealed that it actually came from a pre-performance habit of his that helps him "relax himself, [and] get [his] voice to drop."

    Mark Hanna at work

    He and DiCaprio did five takes without the chest thumping but right before they were about to move on, DiCaprio suggested to McConaughey and director Martin Scorsese that they incorporate it into the scene. When he did, McConaughey said he realized that by getting Belfort "on the same rhythm," Hanna was symbolically "pass[ing] the torch" to his protégé.

    Hanna and Belfort at lunch together

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    Paramount / Via

    3. You know that part in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when the fabled Mr. Wonka (Gene Wilder) emerges from his factory relying on a cane, only to trip, somersault forward, and reveal that it was all one big gag to the crowd's thunderous applause?

    Willy Wonka using his cane

    Yeah, Gene Wilder not only came up with that moment, but he also told director Mel Stuart that he wouldn't do the movie unless it was included.

    During a 2002 interview with Larry King, Wilder explained the thought process behind the scene. Wilder recalled, "I said [to Stuart], ‘Because no one will know from that point on whether I am lying or telling the truth.'"

    Here's the full scene:

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    4. Harrison Ford came up with the iconic exchange that his character Han Solo and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) share just before Han is frozen in carbonite in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. It's a classic: She says she loves him, he replies "I know," and everyone swoons (except for Han, who is, you know, super frozen).

    The exchange between Han and Leia

    According to J.W. Rinzler’s book The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, the scene in the original script was significantly different. In that version, Leia says, "I love you. I couldn’t tell you before but it’s true." To which Han replies, "Just remember that, ‘cause I’ll be back."

    Han and Leia about to kiss

    On the day the scene was shot, publicist Alan Arnold recorded a conversation between Ford and director Irvin Kershner. According to the the transcript of that conversation printed in The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Ford says to Kershner, "If she says, ‘I love you,’ and I say, ‘I know,’ it’s beautiful and it’s acceptable and it’s funny.”

    Han Solo and C-3PO

    Kershner himself decided to cut the line about Han coming back since he said the character "[doesn't] know whether this is the end or not."

    Han Solo, Leia, and C-3PO

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    5. The "tears in the rain" monologue that Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) delivers in the moments before he dies in Blade Runner is so famous that it has its very own Wikipedia page. Hauer himself had a lot of influence on how the monologue turned out and even penned its most famous line himself.

    Roy says, "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die."

    Hauer told that he significantly cut down the original monologue, only keeping two "poetic" lines (the ones about the burning attack ships, and Tannhäuser Gate) after he "took a knife to" the rest of the speech. Hauer said, "You know, I think a lot of scripts are overwritten." He said he was "fucking allergic" to such melodrama.

    Roy Batty

    Director Ridley Scott gave Hauer permission to write his own lines for the character, which would be included if Scott approved. One of those lines was, "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain." Hauer said of the line's lasting impact, "All I did was write one line. I edited and I came up with one line. That’s the poet in me — that’s my poet, I own him. Great! And then for that line to have such fucking wings — can you imagine what that feels like?"

    Roy in front of a chessboard

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    6. During an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, Samuel L. Jackson revealed that he asked George Lucas to give his character Mace Windu a purple lightsaber so that he could easily identify himself in a large fight scene in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones.

    Samuel L. Jackson plays with a purple lightsaber given to him by Graham

    Lucas originally refused because lightsabers were only supposed to come in two varieties, red and green. But when Jackson returned to set for reshoots, Lucas showed him that he'd given Mace a purple lightsaber, even though it was "already causing a shitstorm online."

    Mace Windu holding his purple lightsaber

    Here's a scene featuring the purple lightsaber:

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    7. Brooklyn Nine-Nine showrunner Dan Goor told E! Online that he initially didn't want Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) and Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) to have children after getting married, since he was "firmly of the belief that it's a workplace show, and their relationship exists in the workplace." But he changed his mind when Fumero argued that a pregnancy storyline would make sense for Amy.

    A pregnant Amy screams into her cellphone at the precinct

    Goor said, "Her reason was, 'I feel like Amy — this is Melissa speaking — is a person who wants to get an A on every test, and getting pregnant is a test you can't study for. So if she has difficulty getting pregnant, it could drive comedy and be really compelling.' ... Immediately, I was like, Oh yeah. She knows that character so well, and that is so true."

    Amy holds her newborn son with Jake beside her in a hospital room

    Andy Samberg also offered important input on the episode "Trying," which follows Amy and Jake's troubled attempts to conceive. The episode ends with the couple receiving yet another negative pregnancy test result and originally, the script concluded with a joke. But Samberg told Goor, "I really think we should cut that joke. I think we should end it on that look."

    Jake and Amy react after a negative pregnancy test result

    "That look" was one of mutual disappointment and frustration, and Goor said it was "the most powerful part of the episode."

    Amy and Jake share "that look"

    Here's a montage that sums up Jake and Amy's pregnancy plotline:

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    NBC / Via

    8. In Love, Simon, Simon (Nick Robinson) and his mother Emily (Jennifer Garner) share an emotional scene after Simon comes out as gay to his family. Emily's heartwarming speech was added at Garner's request, according to director Greg Berlanti.

    Emily tells her son, "You get to exhale now, Simon. You get to be more you than you have been in a very long time."

    Berlanti told the Wrap, "It wasn’t in the original draft of the script. And Jen, when she joined the movie, said, ‘I want to connect with my son in the last act.’ I said she was absolutely right."

    Simon sitting with his family on the couch, all of them smiling

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    20th Century Fox / Via

    9. At first, The Avengers ended with Tony Stark waking up after his near-death experience and asking, "What's next?" But Robert Downey Jr. wasn't impressed by that so he asked Joss Whedon to write something else.

    Iron Man aims his lasers at someone

    This resulted in one line turning into three pages of ideas, one of which was the now-iconic suggestion that the superheroes hang up the spandex and take a well-deserved, albeit entirely silent, lunch break, courtesy of a local shawarma joint.

    The Avengers eat shawarma

    Here's a bonus fact about this moment: Chris Evans, aka Captain America, is wearing a prosthetic to cover up a beard he'd grown by the time this scene, added at the last minute, was filmed. That's also why he's sitting with his hand covering most of his face.

    The Avengers eating, with Captain America's position pointed out

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    Marvel / Via

    10. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones wins a duel with a swordsman in a memorably cavalier manner: He just shoots the guy. In a Reddit Ask Me Anything session, Harrison Ford wrote that he suggested changing the scene, which was originally supposed to be "the ultimate duel between sword and whip," to streamline the shooting process, since he was suffering from dysentery at the time and "found it inconvenient to be out of [his] trailer for more than 10 minutes at a time."

    Ford wrote, "I was puzzling how to get out of these three days of shooting. So when I got to set, I proposed to Steven that we just shoot the son [of] a bitch and Steve said, 'I was thinking that as well.'"

    Indiana in a market in Tunisia

    He added that the swordsman in the scene was "a wonderful British stuntman who had practiced his sword skills for months in order to do this job and was quite surprised by the idea that we would dispatch him in 5 minutes."

    Indiana points his gun

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    Paramount Pictures / Via

    11. At the end of A Quiet Place, Lee (John Krasinski) signs to his daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds), "I've always loved you." Originally, he was supposed to only sign, "I love you," but the "always" line was added at Simmonds' suggestion.

    Lee signs, "I have always loved you" to his weeping daughter

    The actor told Metro, "At the end when he signs, ‘I love you,’ I said I think he needs to say, ‘I’ve always loved you.’ Because that covers the difficult period. Then when I suggested that he cried." Simmonds is Deaf and once told the New York Times Style Magazine that without American Sign Language, "I wouldn’t have a relationship with my own family. I wouldn’t have communication."

    Lee and Regan sign to each other in a field

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    Paramount Pictures / Via

    12. In Stranger Things, Billy (Dacre Montgomery) is a bully who antagonizes nearly every character in the show. But Montgomery asked the showrunners, the Duffer Brothers, to add two scenes that would help explain to audiences how Billy developed his monstrous behavior.

    Billy gives someone an expressionless stare

    Montgomery told Bustle, "That was my effort with the Duffers to show that side that no one is just bad. There’s always a reason, right? And in this season, the ending is so fantastic in the same way. Billy is humanized and redemption is very evident, and that was a really nice arc for me to go really dark. ... I'm really not trying to play an archetypal bad guy. There's no such thing as good or bad. We're all human beings."

    Billy's dad yells at his young son for underperforming in a baseball game in a flashback sequence

    The first scene Montgomery asked for came at the end of Season 2, when Billy's abusive father physically assaults him after his stepsister Max goes missing. The second was a flashback sequence in Season 3 that shows the audience (via Eleven) how Billy loved and lost his mother.

    Billy is pinned to the wall by his father

    Here's a montage that sums up Billy's character and backstory:

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    Netflix / Via

    13. Shawn Levy told Collider that while he and star Ryan Reynolds were editing Free Guy, Reynolds pitched a scene where a girl playing the video game with her friend says about Reynolds' character Guy, "He's just an NPC. Waste that mother—."

    The younger girl says the line while watching her friend play the game

    Levy recalled, "And I was like, should we just go to my house, grab two of my daughters, and shoot it. We shot it in my daughter's bedroom. It's still in the movie."

    Ryan Reynolds and Shawn Levy on set together

    Levy's younger daughter Coco refused to say "motherfucker," so she said "mother f" instead. Levy said, "I couldn't negotiate her down."

    Guy rips past a fake background and looks shocked

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    20th Century Studios / Via

    14. And finally: Remember that time Prince was on New Girl? That was 100% his idea. He was such a big fan of the show that he reached out to pitch a guest appearance for himself, because even Prince himself knew most things could be improved by adding more Prince.

    Prince sitting in between Deschanel and Jake Johnson

    New Girl star Zooey Deschanel recalled during a 2016 Conan appearance that in the Season 3 episode, some members of the Kardashian family were going to cameo as party guests at an event hosted by Prince (who was playing himself). But when Prince, or a member of his team, asked for their appearances to be cut, Deschanel saw a production assistant burning copies of the script that contained references to the reality television stars.

    Prince onstage

    Here's a clip from Prince's appearance:

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    Fox / Via