TUESDAY’S TRIVIA TIDBITS.
Welcome back to Tuesday’s Trivia Tidbits. For those of you out of the loop, this is a little compilation of 10 movie related facts that I will be posting weekly and info that I always find interesting. So without further ado, this weeks are…
1: Michael Keaton’s real name is, in fact, Michael Douglas. He had to change his name when he began acting because there was already a Michael Douglas in movies. While he uses a stage name, he has never legally changed his name to Keaton. Michael Douglas’ name, on the other-hand, is actually of Russian descent, his father Kirk’s real name is Issur Danielovitch Demsky. So in essence, there is only one Michael Douglas and that’s Keaton.
2: Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz were the first actors who got an offer to appear in the film “The Lovely Bones” which would have been their second collaboration together (after “The Fountain“). However, while Weisz accepted her part, Jackman had to turn his down. Ryan Gosling was cast instead, although he would drop out as well due to creative differences. Gosling had gained 20 pounds and grew a beard for the role but three days before the shooting started he was replaced by Mark Wahlberg.
3: During the production of “Dumbo” there was a long and bitter animators strike, in which half of the studio’s staff walked out. Some of the strikers are caricatured as the clowns who go to “hit the big boss for a raise“.
4: Robert Mitchum, John Wayne, Steve McQueen and Burt Lancaster all claimed to have turned the film “Dirty Harry” down. Initially, Warner Bros. wanted either Sydney Pollack or Irvin Kershner to direct. Kershner was eventually hired when Frank Sinatra was set to star, but when Sinatra dropped out, so too did Kershner.
5: All the principal actors of “Saving Private Ryan” underwent several days of grueling army training – except for Matt Damon, who was spared so that the other actors would resent him, and would convey that resentment in their performances.
6: When originally released in the UK a number of town councils imposed a complete ban on the showing of the film “The Exorcist“. This led to the bizarre spectacle of “Exorcist Bus Trips” where enterprising travel companies organised buses to take groups to the nearest town where the film was showing.
8: For the infamous orgasm scene in “When Harry Met Sally“, the original script called for just Harry and Sally to talk about women faking an orgasm, until Meg Ryan suggested that Sally actually fake an orgasm at the table. Rob Reiner loved the idea and put it into the script.
9: In 1969, after the success of “2001: A Space Odyssey“, Kubrick turned to one of his life-long obsessions into a motion picture screenplay – Napoleon. The script would have required an extremely large budget to be made into a film, and it was all on its way well into pre-production, when the studio suddenly decided to pull the plug after another big-budget biopic on the life of Napoleon, “Waterloo“, failed financially. Kubrick, angry and depressed that his film was canceled, would later in his career (and even in the production of other films) attempt to get the project back on its feet with different companies over the years. The requirements needed would have been to write a completely new screenplay, and Kubrick, feeling he couldn’t match the masterpiece that was his original draft, dropped the project.
10: As an amateur boxer, Mickey Rourke put together a streak of 12 straight Knockouts. He became a professional boxer in 1991 and went under the nickname “El Marielito“. He retired in 1995 undefeated, after boxing a draw with “Irish” Sean Gibbons in Florida in 1994. It was during this sporting time that Rourke required surgery on many facial reconstructions that have left him looking the way he is now.
So there you have it. 10 esoteric Tidbits to masticate on. Some you may know. Some you may not. If you have any thoughts, stick your donations in the comment box.
See you next Tuesday…
(For earlier editions of Trivia Tidbits click here.)