There’s nothing better than tuning in to a great movie and disconnecting from the real world for a few hours.
But – like the way the Christmas magic dissipated when you found out Santa wasn’t real – the behind-the-scenes truths about how these iconic films were made could totally change how you view them, so here are 19 of them:
The Wizard of Oz (1939) set was a horrendous fever dream. Not only did Cowardly Lion actor Bert Lahr have to wear a sweltering costume made from real lion hair, but original Tin Man actor Buddy Ebsen suffered tremendously after ingesting aluminum from the makeup into his lungs. When his skin turned blue and he struggled to breathe, callous studio bosses replaced Ebsen with Jack Haley.
Everything everywhere at onceThe visuals of 2022 blew us away, but they’re made even more impressive by the newcomers behind them. Rather than hiring a fancy post-production company, the film’s visual effects were created by a small team of filmmakers who learned their craft in the comfort of their rooms. Five people created over 80% of the scenes, barely using CGI because they weren’t particularly good at it. The team was led by Zak Stoltz, who had never before been an effects supervisor on a feature film.
Watching Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s sex scene in Very bad it gets even weirder when you find out that his mother accompanied him backstage. Mintz-Plasse was 17 at the time, so he had to wait for her to arrive on set to “fake sexual intercourse in front of her”.
Jim Carrey wasn’t entirely faking his attitude as the Grinch in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The mounds of makeup and prosthetics made Carrey the sour apple on set. Working with him was such a harrowing experience that special effects makeup artist Kazuhiro Tsuji had to seek therapy.
The most notorious behind the scenes Wizard of Oz incident involved Margaret Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch of the West. When the effects team killed a fiery hit, Hamilton suffered the consequences. Along with the terrible burn damage to her face, the skin on her hand was also burned, and she later wore green gloves instead of makeup when she resumed filming. It took her six weeks to recover.
Marlon Brando is revered as one of the greatest actors of all time, but his roles take on new form when you discover he was reading cue cards as the cameras rolled. Yes, even in movies like The Godfather, Brando was reading a perfectly placed printout of his lines during any given scene. If it isn’t broken…
These outstanding and breathtaking shots of cornfields in Interstellar were not created with CGI. Director Christopher Nolan insisted on having 500 acres of real corn planted for the film, and the filmmakers even made a profit by selling the corn they didn’t destroy during filming.
The bees you see in the 1992 horror classic candyman they were all real. Yep, that includes the bees popping out of Tony Todd’s mouth in the film’s most memorable sequence. A dental dam prevented the insects from sliding down the actor’s throat. He was stung 23 times while filming the disturbing scene, but he was well compensated for his pain. Todd negotiated a $1,000 bonus for each sting.
It’s hard to look at Drew Barrymore’s iconic drawing Shout out opening the same when you know a worried 911 operator was on the other end. His character, Casey Becker, desperately called for help on screen, but Barrymore accidentally dialed 911 IRL because the film’s prop master forgot to unplug his phone. She called the emergency number several times – screaming and all – until the police called back in the middle of a take.
The host is a certified Bong Joon-ho classic, but the process behind those crazy sewer scenes was even nastier than you might think. The DVD commentary revealed that the entire cast and crew received tetanus shots and filmed in real sewers near the Han River in Seoul. Some scenes required the actors to roll around in raw sewage.
All the licks Heath Ledger did as the Joker in The dark Knight it might seem like brilliant characterization, but the behind-the-scenes reasoning is a little… underwhelming. Make no mistake about it: his turn as Batman’s number one antagonist deserves all the praise it gets. But his disturbing habit throughout the film was an effort to keep his lip replacements in place, as they came loose when he spoke.
The epic cinematic massacre in inglourious bastards it almost killed the cast and crew. The fires in the scene were supposed to be brought under control (for obvious reasons), but actor Eli Roth revealed that the situation became a dire safety hazard when the flames grew bigger than expected. “They said if we’d been there for another 15 seconds, the stage we were on would have collapsed and we would all have died,” Roth said.
If you thought the punches Rocky IV it felt a little too real, that’s because they were. Sylvester Stallone (who wrote, directed and starred in the film) told Dolph Lundgren to hit him during the fight. One of those blows – a brutal uppercut – put Stallone in the hospital for nine days.
the 1997 Selena The biopic took Jennifer Lopez’s career to new heights, but she didn’t sing in the film. The lovely vocals heard throughout the movie belonged to the late Selena Quintanilla, and Lopez was just lip-synching.
Michael Myers’ legendary white mask Halloween it’s the face of William Shatner. Seriously. The fictional assassin wears a modified Captain Kirk mask from Star Trek. Production designer and editor Tommy Lee Wallace found him in a magic shop on Hollywood Boulevard. He enlarged his eyes, removed his eyebrows and sideburns, dyed his mask white and darkened his hair to create the horror icon we all know and love.
pulp FictionThe famous hamburger scene was inspired by Samuel L. Jackson’s audition for the film. He was upset, tired and downright insulted when someone on the production said to him, “I love your work, Mr Fishburne.” Then Jackson walked into the audition room with a hamburger in one hand, a drink in the other and an intense gaze that startled everyone in the room.
Starbucks cups are everywhere fight club. Some are hidden and some are a little easier to spot, but according to director David Fincher, they appear in every shot. He has stated that when he moved to Los Angeles in 1984, he struggled to find a good cup of coffee. Then Starbucks came along and changed his life.
New York City looks shockingly dirty in Cabby because it was filmed in the summer of 1975, when the city’s economy was in shambles. There was also a sanitation workers strike in the midst of a heat wave, which means that all the rubbish and nastiness we see on screen was 100% authentic.
All those bubbles floating in The Little Mermaid were drawn by hand. More than a million bubbles were needed for the animated classic, and the task was so overwhelming that Disney had to shift most of the workload to Chinese company Pacific Rim Productions.
Did you already know any of these behind-the-scenes facts? Did they change your perception of these films? What other interesting behind-the-scenes facts would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!