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    19 Heartbreaking TV And Movie Moments That Were Improvised By The Actors While On Set

    Oprah ad-libbed a majority of Sofia's dinner table speech in The Color Purple.

    🚨Warning: There are MASSIVE spoilers ahead!🚨

    1. First, Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany improvised Wanda and Vision's final goodbye in Avengers: Infinity War. Before filming the scene, Lizzie and Paul talked a lot about what their characters mean to each other.

    Vision telling Wanda while she cries, "It shouldn't be you, but it is. It's alright, you could never hurt me. I just feel you"
    Marvel

    Paul said what was helpful with filming this important Wanda and Vision scene was having "a fantastic partnership that is just filled with trust and respect."

    2. And Tom Holland came up with Peter saying, "I don't wanna go" before he turned to dust in Avengers: Infinity War on the spot. When Tom wants to make himself cry, he repeats a phrase over and over again, and that's what inspired this.

    Peter gripping to Tony and saying, "Please. Please, I don't wanna go. I don't wanna go"
    Marvel

    Holland explained that they did a long improvisation during the first take, and it "sparked a great idea." Eventually, they reworked the scene, and this iconic moment was born.

    3. On Euphoria, the flashback that showed Rue fighting with her mom was completely improvised by Zendaya and Nika King — the script simply said "Rue and her mom have a fight."

    Rue and her mom fighting in the hallway and Rue's mom pinning her to the floor while she screams and cries
    HBO

    Creator Sam Levinson told Zendaya and Nika, "I want you guys to go at one another's necks. Just go, as hard as you want to go. If she goes hard, you go harder."

    4. In Little Women, Laurie constantly saying, "I love you, Jo" during Jo's big speech about not wanting to marry him was unscripted.

    Jo telling Laurie that she is awkward and they would just quarrel if they got married and Laurie repeating, "I love you, Jo"
    Sony Pictures Releasing

    The original script simply has Jo's dialogue without Laurie's interruptions. You can actually read the full script here.

    5. On Dead to Me, Linda Cardellini came up with the line Judy utters after learning Abe died in the moment.

    Judy sobbing and saying, "No. No. I didn't get to say goodbye"
    Netflix

    This moment was actually filmed on the last night of production for Season 1. In fact, a lot of times Linda and Christina Applegate would improvise moments long after they finished the dialogue in the script, and creator Liz Feldman would wait to say, "Cut."

    6. Oprah ad-libbed what Sofia says while she's thanking Celie during the dinner table scene in The Color Purple. After filming, Whoopi Goldberg told Oprah, "Today, you became an actress."

    Sofia telling Celie that she was feeling down, but once she saw her in the store, "I knowed there is a God, and one day I was gonna get to come home"
    Warner Bros.

    Looking back on filming, Oprah recalled Steven Spielberg simply telling her, "Just tell Miss Celie how you felt when you saw her in the store," and she ended up "making it up" as they shot the scene.

    7. Anya Taylor-Joy came up with the moment when Beth toasts Alma on the plane after her death during filming of The Queen's Gambit — it wasn't scripted and she thought it would be a small and impactful moment.

    Beth crying and drinking a martini on a plane
    Netflix

    Creator Scott Frank said Anya is the best crier he's ever worked with and there were so many small moments like this one that Anya made memorable because of her ability to shed a single tear.

    8. Notably, Rutger Hauer reworked the iconic "tears in rain" monologue from Blade Runner and only kept "two lines" from the original script.

    Roy standing in the rain and saying, "I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain. Time to die"
    Warner Bros.

    According to Rutger, the only two lines he kept were, "attack ships" and "C-beams." He also gave a lot of credit to director Ridley Scott for allowing him to change things and interpret the character in his own way.

    9. Craig T. Nelson and Mae Whitman improvised the entire scene on Parenthood when Zeek took Amber to see her wrecked car after her horrific car crash.

    Zeek telling Amber that he dreamt of her and his other grandchildren and that she doesn't have "permission to mess with my dreams"
    NBC

    Reflecting on filming the scene, Mae said, "[Craig] improvised this incredibly, beautiful, honest, real, raw speech of like pain and heartache, and stuff I really knew he felt about his own family. So, all my reactions in that scene are totally surprised and genuine."

    10. In The Notebook, Ryan Gosling decided while filming to repeat the phrase "What do you want?" during this scene between Noah and Allie.

    Noah asking Allie over and over "What do you want?" and Allie saying, "It's not that simple. I have to go"
    New Line Cinema

    Director Nick Cassavetes reflected on the moment, saying, "It became one of the most iconic things from the film [that] wasn’t in the script. He just knew it. I’m a literary guy, I was a lit major in college and I like words, but I also like improvisation. He was so on it. We just let him go."

    11. On Stranger Things, when Eleven reads Hopper's letter, Millie Bobby Brown didn't know what was in the letter until she filmed the scene, so her reaction was genuine.

    Eleven crying while reading Hopper's letter that says, "But, please, if you don't mind, for the sake of your poor old dad keep the door open three inches"
    Netflix

    Millie said, "I didn’t want to rehearse it. I just immediately wanted to put a camera on me and find the way I react and the way I reacted was pure devastation and sadness." Also, David Harbour recorded himself reading the letter, so that is what Millie was listening to while filming the scene.

    12. A majority of Bernadine's lines during her heartbreaking and epic monologue when she burns the car with John's stuff inside in Waiting to Exhale was created by Angela Bassett in the moment.

    Bernadine saying that John needs to get his stuff and get out and she's mad that he made her kids go to a school "with only two other Black children"
    20th Century Fox

    In an interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Angela explained, "During that scene I did feel myself, at one point, go into a trance, and then we said, 'Cut.'"

    13. Jason Segel didn't know Marshall's dad was going to die on How I Met Your Mother until they filmed the episode, so the final cut features his reaction and Jason improvised Marshall's final lines.

    Lily telling Marshall his dad had a heart attack and died, and Marshall crying and saying, "My dad's dead? I'm not ready for this"
    CBS

    Creator Carter Bays said that the only thing Jason knew going into the scene was that Lily's final line ended with "it." Bays recalled watching Alyson Hannigan and Jason film the moment, saying, "What Jason and Alyson were going through was so unbearably real."

    14. Matt Damon ad-libbed the story Ryan tells at the end of Saving Private Ryan about his brother, which includes the sad moment when he realizes that was the last time his family was all together.

    Ryan saying, "That was it. That was the last...that was...Dan went off to basic the next day. That was the last night the four of us were together"
    DreamWorks Pictures

    In Paul Bart's book The Gross: The Hits, The Flops: The Summer That Ate Hollywood, he explains that the speech wasn't in any versions of the script and Matt made it up on the spot. Steven Spielberg found the speech "strangely compelling" and he decided to keep it in the final film.

    15. During Jane's seven-minute monologue on Jane the Virgin, Gina Rodriguez decided to have Jane sit on Xo's lap and start crying while they were filming the scene for the fourth time — of course, this is the take that made the final cut.

    Jane crying and explaining that Jason smells exactly like Michael
    The CW

    On the day of filming, production set aside "five hours to film the monologue," but they accomplished it in only "90 minutes."

    16. Emma Thompson improvised everything that happened during the scene when Karen cries after not getting the necklace from Harry in Love Actually.

    Karen sobbing, wiping her face with a tissue, and fixing her bed cover
    Universal Pictures

    Writer and director Richard Curtis said, "I just wrote that she goes upstairs, puts on the record, and lets the emotion show. Everything in that scene is just Emma."

    17. During The Vampire Diaries Season 5 finale, Ian Somerhalder added in "baby" when Damon said goodbye to Elena before the Other Side collapsed.

    Elena saying, "Please don't leave me" and Damon responding, "I don't have a choice, baby"
    The CW

    Director Chris Grismer said it was a difficult, emotional, and "quiet" day on set. Also, since Elena couldn't actually see Damon in the scene, Nina Dobrev did a lot of her acting with Ian just off camera saying his lines.

    18. In Call Me By Your Name, Timothée Chalamet came up with the idea to look into the camera while Elio cries in front of the fire. The scene also features Timothée's real reactions to listening to Sufjan Stevens' song that plays.

    Elio crying and looking into the camera
    Sony Pictures Classics

    In the commentary for the film, Timothée explained that he wore an earpiece and was listening to "Visions of Gideon" and just let his emotions take over. He called it a good "acting exercise." Also, Timothée said looking into the camera was a "little homage to Boyhood, stealing a two-second look into the lens."

    19. And finally, Emily Osment ad-libbed Lily's final line during the Hannah Montana series finale when Miley tells Lily that she loves her.

    Miley saying, "I love you so much" while hugging Lily and Lily saying, "I know"
    Disney Channel

    Emily tweeted that she came up with Lily's "I know" during filming because she wanted to have the last line of the entire series.

    TV and Movies

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