LGBTQ·Posted on Jan 13, 201419 Things You Didn't Know About The Movie "The Birdcage""'You look tired' means 'you look old.' And 'you look rested' means 'you've had collagen.'"by Sarah KarlanBuzzFeed News ReporterFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink 1. Director Mike Nichols required that Nathan Lane and Robin Williams film at least one take of each scene sticking to the script before he would allow them to improvise. ew.com / Via Nichols Film Company 2. Hank Azaria realized shortly into filming that he had actually based the voice of Agador Spartacus on his grandmother's. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF downtonluvr.tumblr.com / Via Nichols Film Company 3. The screenplay was based on the 1978 French film La Cage aux Folles. broadway.com / Via Nichols Film Company 4. The two-minute-long opening sequence seems like one continuous shot when, in fact, it comprises three separate shots combined later through editing: Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF Nichols Film Company / Via youtube.com Shot one began in a helicopter and ended over the street in Miami's South Beach area. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF Nichols Film Company Shot two began on a crane, with the Steadicam operator being gradually lowered to the ground before walking across the street. The last shot, in the interior, was filmed on a studio soundstage. 5. Originally, Steve Martin was cast as Armand and Robin Williams was slated for the role of Albert. Scheduling conflicts forced Martin to drop out. Jason Reed / Reuters Nichols Film Company 6. Robin Williams turned down the part of Albert; having recently starred in the film Mrs. Doubtfire, he decided he would rather play the more subdued role. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF ronaldmacboy.tumblr.com 7. In the movie, Calista Flockhart's character is "not even 18." Flockhart was actually 31 at the time of the filming. iknowlesnothing.blogspot.com / Via Nichols Film Company Dan Futterman, who played Val, was 28. 8. The original working title of the film was Birds of a Feather, and the preliminary versions of the script still show this title. Nichols Film Company 9. According to IMDB, Robin Williams' fall during the kitchen scene was not planned. Williams really slipped — you can see Hank Azaria hold back a bit of laughter. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF youtube.com Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF youtube.com The other falls? Totally planned. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF jeffrubinjeffrubin.com 10. Hank Azaria wore a tiny thong in the original movie, but it was digitally covered for the TV version. bensmovieroundup.blogspot.com 11. Robin Williams and Nathan Lane appeared on the cover of Out magazine in March 1996 to promote the film. out.com / Via OUT 12. With $18.3 million, the film had the highest-grossing weekend opening with an openly gay lead character until Brüno in 2009. Nichols Film Company 13. Mike Nichols had the cast study footage of drag queen performances prior to filming. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF Nichols Film Company The drag queens in the film, who were all professional dancers, had to learn to perform in heels. 14. Armand describes "Mother" to Sen. Keeley as the "girl from Grover's Corners." Grover's Corners is the fictional small town in Thornton Wilder's famous play Our Town. en.wikipedia.org Nichols Film Company 15. During the rehearsal scene, the pianist is wearing a T-shirt with Maria Callas on it. This picture of the famous operatic soprano was taken after a performance of Puccini's "Madama Butterfly." fortesque.tumblr.com last.fm 16. Nathan Lane based his drag look for Mrs. Goldman off former First Lady Barbara Bush. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF logotv.tumblr.com / Via Nichols Film Company Pearls on pearls, people. 17. The song that Albert rehearses during the gum-chewing incident is entitled "Little Dream" and was written specifically for the film. View this video on YouTube youtube.com 18. Robin Williams’ nickname for Gene Hackman in drag: "Betty White on steroids." Nichols Film Company 19. Finally, during the "toast schmear" scene, director Mike Nichols was laughing so hard he had to be covered with a blanket. View this video on YouTube And really, can you blame him?