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.

4: Benedict Cumberbatch’s female fans were originally known as “Cumberbitches”, but are now known as the “CumberCollective” because he objected to the original name.

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.)

70 Responses to “TRIVIA TIDBITS”

  1. Good grief, some really good one today. I thought Bullock was perfect in Gravity. Hard to imagine that many names considered. Of those, Cotillard and Hall are the most intriguing to me. And what a funny note about Clooney and Russell! Hilarious! As for the Chinese couple in #10, should have stuck with the bed!


    • Cheers bro! Yeah, I’ve said it before but I’m not bullock’s biggest fan. I’d have been happy with most of those alternatives.

      It looks like we’ll never see the Cloonmeister’s and Russell working again. Apparently it did come to blows because O. Russell was being an arse to extra and Clooney stepped in.

      How unfortunate is that Chinese couple? One minute they’re as high as a kite… Then next… They’re plummeting to their deaths. 😦


      • I’ve always kinda liked Bullock’s work but never really loved Bullock’s work. But I did think she was great in Gravity. It’s funny, I thought she won the Oscar for what I thought was one of her worst performances – The Blind Side


      • I never got round to The Blind Side. In all honesty, I have absolutely no interest in it. I can imagine the performance she gave. She always a bit too whiny for my liking. She worked in Speed and a few other movies but I just don’t think she has a massive range and she not Oscar material for me.


  2. Some great trivia, Mark. I don’t think I knew any of it.

    Being Tom Cruise might have made that movie very different. Probably not quite as good, but I don’t know. Definitely different.


    • Cheers J. Yeah, I reckon Being Tom Cruise was have been very interesting but most people have a pop at him and his private life anyway. In some ways, we’re already getting that through the media and the film was brilliant as it is. Malkovich was a good sport!


  3. Being Tom Cruise, now that would’ve been interesting.


  4. Excellent post Mark,

    I only knew about the Gravity and Christian Bale bits. The others are all pretty interesting.

    Great site you have here.

    love your quote in the header. That has always been my favorite movie quote and I even used it as my high school yearbook quote a few months after I saw the movie in Jan ’91


    • Thanks Rob. Good to see you dropping by.

      Yeah, that’s probably my favourite film quote. When I started my site, my original quote was from Blade Runner… “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe” but changed it to Grand Canyon. I thought it fit better.

      Always nice to see new faces drop in, I’m must take a proper browse round your sure as well. Cheers man! 🙂


  5. All of these are so awesome. I lol’d at #1. What an idiot!

    Knew of Angelina Jolie and Portman, but not about all the other actresses who vyed for the role in Gravity that ultimately went to Bullock.

    6 and 10 are fascinating.


  6. Good stuff, Muckers!!

    Ever seen anyone having sex in public?


  7. Lots of interesting tidbits here Mark!

    I still need to see Being John Malkovich, heh that’s ludicrous one producer wanted it to be Being Tom Cruise!! Obviously they didn’t get what it’s all about and only cared about moolah.

    WOW, that’s a crazy trivia about SHAME! Can’t say I feel bad about the couple who fell from the window though, I mean in everything, use common sense! The window on the set must’ve been made out of super strong glass or something, I mean the actors are insured after all 🙂


  8. Wow. Number six really grabs me. Stop making this site so interesting or I’ll never leave 😉


    • Had you not heard about Clooney and Russell’s bust up? I thought that one was common knowledge.

      I’m glad to hear you say that. When I started this site it was strictly film reviews but I then wanted to make it more interactive. That’s why I introduced some features…. To keep people like yourself coming back. 😉


  9. I’ve always heard that David O. Russell is a hard director to work with. And number eight shows how far Christian Bale goes for his roles. Nice trivia as always.


  10. “a Chinese couple fell to their deaths while reenacting this scene, when the window they were leaning against gave way.” a not too happy ending?

    Am sorry and I regret that 😀


  11. These were awesome!


  12. Reading that Three Kings trivia, can’t help but laugh at the fact that Nic Cage actually turned down a role! lol, WOW! 😛


  13. Always a great read Mark, thanks. That picture of Christian Bale in The Machinist is f*cked up. I’d forgotten he lost that much weight.


  14. Wow, what an interesting lot today Mark, LOVED it! So interesting!


  15. Very good list Mark. The. Shame trivia is tragic but also funny. Bale and Hardy must go down as two of the most comitted actors in history, the pain they must go through changing their body in such a small amount of time.


  16. Another great entry Mark! Love the Shame trivia, you’d have thought it’d be illegal or something to do that!

    As for Bale, his transformations are just insane. Glad they didn’t let him go down to 100lbs though, that’d have been too far I reckon.


    • Thanks again Chris. Yeah, I would have thought that would come under indecent exposure but I can only assume that what you do in a paid hotel room is your business.

      Bale’s something else isn’t he? Going down 100lbs could probably have killed him. He looked like he was on deaths door already.


  17. Oh man, #1. You just have to shake your head sometimes. Some of those choices for the female lead in Gravity would have been woeful too.


    • Cheers man. I wasn’t all that keen in bullock so I wouldn’t have minded most of these actresses. Portman could have been a decent choice.


      • I liked Bullock. She has won me over of late. I would have liked to have seen Portman in the role. Cotillard would have been great too (you seen Rust and Bone?) I have varying degrees of reservations about all of the others (Blake Lively would have been one of the worst casting decisions of recent memory).


      • Haven’t seen Rust and Bone yet but I’ve had a copy for ages. Just not got around to it. Totally agree that Cotillard would have worked in Gravity. In fact, she’s probably the best of the bunch.


  18. Very interesting and that last one really was shocking!


  19. Christian Bale is nuts. I can’t get over how awful he looked in The Machinist. I’m curious how much weight Matthew McConaughey lost for Dallas Buyers Club, too.

    Great stuff as always, Mark!


    • Cheers Eric. Yeah, bale seems to be on a mission to ruin his health one way if another. I forget how much McConaughey lost but I know for sure that it wasn’t as much as Bale.


  20. Gravity’s casting is an interesting one. Jolie has the chops to give a good performance, but her presence wouldn’t be right for the part. I’m a huge fan of Portman, but she is a little too young for the part, if she were older I think she would have been great.


    • My first choice would have been Portman but I do agree that she’s maybe a bit too young. Jolie would have worked too but her presence would have been an issue much like I also found with Bullock and Clooney. I thought their presence was a slight issue. I would have preferred lesser known actors. Still, it’s a great movie.


  21. Being Tom Cruise could be the sequel! 🙂

    Not sure about number 4 – what are your sources. He was on TV recently – on the Graham Norton Show – and they made a big thing about his “Cumberbitch” fans and he seemed quite happy with the title given to them.


    • Yeah, why not? The sequel Being Tom Cruise would make for interesting viewing.

      As for Cumberbatch. I remember seeing an interview with him too and he’s was happy with Cumberbitches. Originally that was my trivia piece until I stumbled on the other info. Thought I’d best include them both.


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