Welcome back to Trivia Tidbits. For those of you out of the loop, this is a little compilation of 10 movie related facts that I always find interesting. So without further ado, this weeks are…
1: Writer/Director Spike Jonze claimed in an interview that when he was shopping the screenplay “Being John Malkovich” around Hollywood, at least one unspecified producer asked if he could possibly rewrite the film as “Being Tom Cruise“.
2: Angelina Jolie was originally cast as the lead in “Gravity” but dropped out later. Natalie Portman turned down the role shortly before she announced her pregnancy. Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts, Marion Cotillard, Abbie Cornish, Carey Mulligan, Sienna Miller, Scarlett Johansson, Blake Lively, Rebecca Hall and Olivia Wilde were all subsequently tested or approached for the lead role before Sandra Bullock was eventually cast.
3: In May 2009, Leonardo DiCaprio, along with Kate Winslet and director James Cameron, publicly pledged to support the financial future of the last living “Titanic” survivor, Millvina Dean, after it was reported that she had been forced to sell her mementos to pay for nursing home bills.
5: Matthew McConaughey played the character Micky Haller in “The Lincoln Lawyer“. This was based on the novel by Michael Connelly. In another Connelly novel “Nine Dragons“, a suspect makes an appearance, and claims that McConaughey is his alibi.
6: Director David O. Russell never wanted George Clooney for the lead role in “Three Kings“, accepting him only after his first choices Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson, Nicolas Cage, and Dustin Hoffman all turned down the part. As a result, his relationship with Clooney was tense during filming, culminating in a fist fight after Clooney objected to the way O. Russell was treating an extra. After the premiere, Clooney said, while he respected O. Russell’s talent, he would never work with the director again.
7: The studio was initially reluctant to allow Ben Stiller – the Farrelly Brothers’ first choice – to star in “Something About Mary“, so the brothers decided upon a then unknown Owen Wilson instead. When the studio was even more reluctant to let Wilson star, they agreed to allow the Farrelly’s to cast Stiller.
8: The producers of “The Machinist” claim that Christian Bale dropped from about 173 pounds in weight down to about 110 pounds in weight to make the film. They also claim that Bale actually wanted to drop down to 100 pounds, but that they would not let him go below 120 out of fear that his health could be in too much danger if he did. His diet consisted of one can of tuna and an apple per day. His 63-pound weight loss is said to be a record for any actor for a movie role. He regained the weight in time for his role in “Batman Begins” a year later.
9: Johnny Depp accompanied his friend Jackie Earle Haley to auditions for Wes Craven’s “A Nightmare On Elm Street” in 1984. Instead of Haley being chosen for a role, it was Depp who was spotted and Craven asked him if he would like to read for a part. Depp got a part in the film, Haley didn’t, but Haley would go on to play the main character of Freddy Krueger in the 2010 remake – 26 years later.
10: In Steve McQueen’s “Shame“, the sex scene with Michael Fassbender and Amy Hargreaves pressed against the glass of a room window in Manhattan’s The Standard hotel was actually filmed above a busy street during the day. Spectators watched while the two actors, in the nude, smiled and waved at them from the hotel room between takes. Since the Standard Hotel opened in New York in 2009, it has become notorious for its guests engaging in public sexual activity in front of their rooms’ windows, sometimes for the entertainment of audiences on the street. This phenomenon has been documented in articles in New York Magazine, The New York Post, and The Observer, among other publications. In 2013, a Chinese couple fell to their deaths while reenacting this scene, when the window they were leaning against gave way.
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…
(For earlier editions of Trivia Tidbits click here.)