26 Things You Might Not Know About "Miss Congeniality"
Shoutout to Sandra Bullock for doing her own fight scenes.
1. In the original cut of the movie Edward Herrmann (Rory's grandfather from Gilmore Girls) played the father of Sandra Bullock's character Gracie.
2. In the first trailer, a scene is shown at his wedding where he says “honey are you a lesbian” to which Bullock replies “I wish”. This scene, along with his cameo, was cut.
3. It took 30 minutes to get Sandra Bullock camera ready for pre-makeover Gracie and 2.5 hours to prepare her pageant look.
4. Bullock wore a wig for most of the film.
5. The actress did a number of her own stunts and had a lot of combat training for the movie.
6. She also had to learn how to handle semi-automatic weapons.
7. Benjamin Bratt played Bullock's FBI partner Eric Matthews. The two had previously starred as police partners in the movie Demolition Man.
8. No stunt actors were used in the wrestling scene between Bullock and Bratt.
9. The scene took 12 hours to film and according to Bratt; "We were in certain positions where I'd look at Sandy and say, 'It's a good thing we know each other.'"
10. Sandra Bullock said she found the beauty pageant scenes more challenging than the stunt scenes; “The most difficult thing for me is walking and talking with breasts that aren’t mine in six inch stiletto heels. That’s my action, the leaping and jumping around is no problem, it’s the walking and talking that’s the difficult part.”
11. Because of this she had to practice walking down the stairs a lot for the pageant scenes.
12. Sandra Bullock wanted the swimsuit contest written out of the movie and said that it was “a bone of contention”.
13. Although set in New York and San Antonio, most of the movie was filmed in Austin, Texas.
14. The scene at the start of the movie where Bullock drives through New York with her siren on and rushes into a Starbucks, was also filmed in Austin. The scene took 12 hours to shoot in the hot Texas sun, and it was someone’s job to hold an umbrella over the actress so she didn’t get too hot.
15. Matt Dillon (from Something About Mary) was meant to play Bullock's FBI partner Eric. He dropped out shortly before shooting began.
16. To get Michael Caine on board the script had to be rewritten; “It took some pretty major script rewriting to get Oscar-winner Michael Caine aboard. Nine originally planned parts were dumped to beef up Caine's role sufficiently to nail his interest.”
17. The scene where Bullock and Caine almost get hit by a car and she shouts “I’m gliding here” is a parody of a scene from Midnight Cowboy where Dustin Hoffman shouts “I’m walking here!”
18. Caine’s wife Shakira was a beauty queen and came third in the 1967 Miss World competition. According to the actor, she taught him "masses of little tricks" for the movie.
19. Every time Caine fluffed a line Bullock would shout “TAKE HIS OSCAR AWAY”.
20. Four different heads of the Statue of Liberty were made for the final scene where it blows up.
21. In the original movie script the threat to the pageant came from a fictional radical feminist group called Daughters of the New American Revolution, who in this version of the plot had cut off the hair of other contestants!
22. Heather Burns, who played Cheryl Frasier, learned how to twirl batons for the movie, though a stunt double was bought in the flaming baton scene. The stunt double, Coral Noonan, was a PhD student and twirler for the Texas Longhorns at the University of Texas where the scene was filmed.
23. A large amount of the beauty pageant audience was made up of cardboard cutouts.
24. The scene where Bullock sings “you think I’m gorgeous, you want to kiss me” etc. was apparently inspired by Eddie Murphy.
25. Bullock briefly dated Bob Schneider, a Texas based musician who recorded the song “Bullets” featured in the movie.
26. The “Miss United States” song the girls sing on the bus was co-written by a 6-year-old boy called Clyde Lawrence. His father, Mark Lawrence, was one of the writers on the movie.