March 15, 2024 | Sarah Ng

These 21 Films Had Crazy Behind-The-Scenes Stories


Not Everything Is At It Seems

From Heath Ledger's process in The Dark Knight to the dangerous accidents that occurred during the filming of The Wizard of Oz, these are the 21 films that have the wildest behind-the-scenes stories.

21-Behind-The-Scenes-Msn

Candyman

1992's Candyman used real bees—even the most famous scene where bees fly out of Tony Todd's mouth. To ensure that he didn't swallow any, he used a dental dam. But that wasn't even the craziest part.

Candyman moviePolyGram, Candyman (1992)

23 Bee Stings

Before agreeing to the dangerous tunt, Tony Todd negotiated a deal. Every time a bee stung him, he'd be paid $1,000. In the end, the bees got him 23 times.

Candyman moviePolyGram, Candyman (1992)

Interstellar

For Interstellar, there are some stunning shots of sprawling cornfields which were not created with CGI. Director Christopher Nolan wanted the real thing and made sure that the 500 acres of corn were real. What's more?

Any of the corn that wasn't damaged during the production was sold for a profit.

Interstellar movieParamount, Interstellar (2014)

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The Host

The Bong Joon-ho film The Host has some disgusting behind-the-scenes stories. According to the DVD commentary, the sewer scenes were shot in real sewers located close to the Han River. 

The cast and crew all required tetanus shots, and some of the actors even got drenched in raw sewage.

The Host (2006) movieChungeorahm Film, The Host (2006)

The Dark Knight

In The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger's role as the Joker was unforgettable, especially the character's unnerving habit of licking his lips. However, it was later revealed that Ledger kept licking his lips to stop his prosthetics from moving. Every time he spoke, they'd start to loosen.

The Dark Knight movieWarner Bros., The Dark Knight (2008)

Scream

In Scream, Drew Barrymore actually dialed 9-1-1 for real. For her iconic opening scene, the prop master gave her a phone that they'd forgotten to unplug. During the many takes, she dialed 9-1-1 multiple times, screaming into the speaker. Eventually, the confused authorities called back during one of the takes.

Scream 1996Miramax, Scream (1996)

Billy's Agonizing Moment

Skeet Ulrich played the role of Billy in Scream—and he had one very painful take

As child, Ulrich had to have open-heart surgery. So, in the scene where he gets an umbrella in the chest, the umbrella missed his protective vest and hit his old wound, which was extremely agonizing.

Scream 1996Miramax, Scream (1996)

Rocky IV

Sylvester Stallone wrote, directed, and starred in Rocky IV—and he certainly wanted the scenes to look as authentic as possible. During his fight scene with Dolph Lundren, he instructed Lundgren to land real punches on him. Unfortunately, one nasty uppercut had chilling conseqences. Stallone ended up hospitalized for nine days.

Rocky IV (1985)United Artists, Rocky IV (1985)

Inglourious Basterds

Inglourious Basterds almost ended in tragedy. In the fire scene, the flames were supposed to be safely controlled—but this just wasn't the case. In a terrifying turn of events, the fire raged out of control.

Inglourious Basterds (2009)Universal, Inglourious Basterds (2009)

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A Close Call

Actor Eli Roth later confessed. "They said if we were in there another 15 seconds, the stage we were on would have collapsed, and we all would have been killed".

Inglourious Basterds (2009)Universal, Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Halloween

The famous horror film Halloween has a delightful behind-the-scenes fact. The terrifying white mask was actually a mask of William Shatner's face—or more accurately, a Captain Kirk mask. It was, of course, modified in a twisted way.

Halloween (1978)Falcon International Pictures, Halloween (1978)

The Truth Behind The Mask

Halloween's production designer and editor Tommy Lee Wallace came across the Captain Kirk mask in a magic shop and saw its potential. He painted it white, widened the eyeholes, shaved off the sideburns and eyebrows, and made the hair darker.

Halloween (1978)Falcon International Pictures, Halloween (1978)

Titanic

Reportedly, in Titanic, Leonardo Dicaprio messed up his lines during the famous drawing scene where Jack sketches a portrait of Rose. He initially instructs Rose to lie on the "bed" when he was supposed to say the "couch".

In the film, he says, "over on the bed... the couch," which director James Cameron decided to keep in the final cut.

Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic MovieParamount , Titanic (1997)

The Princess Bride

In The Princess Bride, Mandy Patinkin played the role of Inigo—a man seeking revenge on the man who took his father's life. In the scene where Inigo finally gets to slay the Six-Fingered Man, Pantinkin allegedly channelled his grief for his own father who'd passed from cancer.

This gives the moving line, "I want my father back," a whole new meaning.

The Princess Bride20th Century, The Princess Bride (1987)

Everything Everywhere All At Once

The visual effects behind Everything Everywhere All at Once are stunning, especially considering they were created by a very small team. Led by Zak Stoltz (who'd never been an effects supervisor on a major film), only five people were responsible for over 80% of the work.

Everything Everywhere All At OnceA24, Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

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He Did His Own Stunts

Ke Huy Quan made his triumphant Hollywood comeback with Everything Everywhere All at Once, but few know that he also did the majority of his stunts. With a background in martial arts, Quan displayed his skills in his memorable fight scene where he wields his fanny pack.

Everything Everywhere All At OnceA24, Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

The Godfather

Marlon Brando may be one of Hollywood's greats—but when it came to knowing his lines, he was the worst. In The Godfather, Brando had his lines printed out for him to read while filming. Call him the Cue Card King.

The Godfather (1972)Paramount , The Godfather (1972)

Fight Club

If you've watched Fight Club, you may have noticed that there are a lot of Starbucks cups lying around in the scenes. The director David Fincher did this on purpose. According to him, a Starbucks cup can be found in every shot of Fight Club. His reason? 

Fight ClubNew Regency, Fight Club (1999)

A Decent Cup Of Joe

In 1984, Fincher moved to LA and found it difficult to find a decent cup of joe. It wasn't until Starbucks opened that he found some good coffee... but then Starbucks locations began opening everywhere.

Fight ClubNew Regency, Fight Club (1999)

Psycho

Pyscho is one of Hollywood's best horror films, and it certainly had an impact on its lead actress, Janet Leigh. After seeing her chilling shower scene, Leigh no longer wanted to take showers.

Psycho (1960)Paramount, Psycho (1960)

Only Baths

Janet Leigh later told the New York Times, "I take baths, only baths". However, if she had no choice but to use a shower, she'd make sure to lock all the windows and doors: "I'm always facing the door, watching, no matter where the shower head is".

Janet Leigh in red shirtUnknown Author, Wikimedia Commons

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Pulp Fiction

Reportedly, Samuel L Jackson's audition inspired the burger scene in Pulp Fiction. Shockingly, someone on the production team approached him and said, "I love your work, Mr Fishburne". Jackson's response was unforgettable.

Pulp FictionMiramax , Pulp Fiction (1994)

A Burger Scene To Remember

In response to being mistaken has Laurence Fishburne, Samuel L Jackson arrived to his audition with a drink and a burger in hand. The look in his eye was so vehement, he intimidated everyone present.

Pulp FictionMiramax, Pulp Fiction (1994)

Taxi Driver

Filmed during the sweltering summer of 1975, Taxi Driver's grimy atmosphere is completely genuine. At the time, New York City had a suffering economy. To make matters worse, the sanitation workers had gone on strike and there was a heatwave. All that garbage seen on screen was real.

Taxi Driver (1976)Columbia , Taxi Driver (1976)

E.T.

For E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Steven Spielberg wanted the actors playing the doctors to be as authentic as possible, so he decided to go straight to the source. He hired doctors from the USC Medical Center for the roles. 

Spielberg thought that actors wouldn't seem "natural" if they had to use medical terminology.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)Universal, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

The Sixth Sense

In The Sixth Sense, the "I see dead people" scene was almost done differently. Apparently, the producer Frank Marshall felt that zooming in on Malcolm's face during this reveal would be a giveaway that Malcolm was a ghost.

However, when test audiences viewed the film, they didn't find it to be a spoiler. Therefore, the zoom-in stayed in the film.

The Sixth Sense (1999)Hollywood Pictures, The Sixth Sense (1999)

The Wizard Of Oz

Behind the scenes,1939's The Wizard of Oz was a downright nightmare. Bert Lahr, who played the Cowardly Lion, had to endure his heavy costume. As it was made out of real lion hair, he sweat profusely while filming. But that wasn't all.

The Wizard Of OzNBC, Wikimedia Commons

He Had Dangerous Makeup

Even Buddy Ebsen, who played the original Tin Man, had a troubling experience. His silver makeup contained aluminum—and breathing it in had horrifying consequences.

The Wizard of Oz (1939)MGM, The Wizard of Oz (1939)

They Replaced The Tin Man

The aluminum took a toll on Buddy Ebsen's lungs and he ended up in the hospital due to breathing trouble. To add insult to injury the studio heads decided to replace him with the actor Jack Haley—who we see in the final version of the film.

The Wizard of Oz (1939)MGM, The Wizard of Oz (1939)

A Burned Witch

Margaret Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch of the West, was the victim of a fire stunt gone wrong. She severely burned her hand and face, enduring a six-week recovery.

When she finally came back to set, she had to wear green gloves.

Margaret Hamilton in The Wizard of Oz (1939)Insomnia Cured Here, Flickr

The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid is a beautiful animated movie, but it wasn't an easy feat. It required over a million animated bubbles. These bubbles were so difficult to finish that Disney had to hire outside help from Pacific Rim Productions.

The Little Mermaid (1989)Walt Disney, The Little Mermaid (1989)

Alien: Resurrection

In Alien: Resurrection, there is one unforgettable scene that was 100% real. Sigourney Weaver's character Ellen Ripley gets a basketball through the net by throwing it over her shoulder. At first, the team assured Weaver that the move could be done using CGI or another movie-magic method, but the actress wanted to do it herself.

Alien Resurrection (1997)Twentieth Century, Alien Resurrection (1997)

She Took Them By Surprise

For weeks, Sigourney Weaver practiced the difficult trick shot. So, when it came to capturing the actual scene, she nailed it. Her co-star Ron Perlman was so shocked, he almost messed up the take.

Perlman later said, "Everybody on set went from total elation to total panic because I broke character".

Alien Resurrection (1997)Twentieth Century, Alien Resurrection (1997)


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