It’s no secret that a lot of effort goes into making movies. For each flick, there are countless people toiling away behind the scenes to perfect every aspect—from set design to costumes to the angles of each camera. This way, once that film finally hits theaters, audiences are truly transported to another world.
Of course, we’re not usually privy to all the goings-on in the film industry or what actually went into making the movies we love. Lucky for us, we’ve got a way of finding out! Here are 29 interesting pieces of trivia you’d never know unless you had the inside scoop!
1. Disney is known for producing family-friendly films, but the director of The Lion King wanted to push the boundaries. For example, the lovable warthog, Pumba, was the first character in a Disney film to ever break wind! Hakuna matoot-toot!
2. Disney’s Lilo and Stitch and The Ring are two very different types of movies. So you might be shocked to know that the actor who played the creepy black-haired girl from the horror film actually voiced the adorable Lilo in the children’s animated movie!
3. Babe is a sweet family film about a pig who has dreams of one day becoming a sheepdog, and he befriends plenty of cute animals along the way. Although the pig looks the same throughout the film, it actually took a total of 48 different pigs to portray the lead character!
4. Oscar acceptance speeches give actors a chance to thank all of the people who helped them achieve greatness. Believe it or not, Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg has been thanked more times than God himself throughout the ceremony’s long history.
5. Horror fanatics will immediately recognize the creepy white mask that villain Michael Myers wore in the Halloween movies. But did you know that it was actually a Captain Kirk mask that was simply painted white?
6. Even though Sylvester Stallone is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood today, it took him a long time to get there. In fact, he was so poor while trying to catch his big break that he had to sell his beloved dog Butkus for $40 so he could afford to eat.
7. Anyone who has seen the Star Wars movies knows R2-D2, Luke Skywalker’s quirky robotic sidekick. Throughout the films, R2-D2 communicates exclusively in a series of computerized bleeping sounds, though he was originally supposed to speak English.
8. Alice Guy-Blache was the first woman to direct a movie, and she did so way back in 1896. She went on to make more than 1,000 cinematic works, 22 of which were feature films. She truly paved the way for ladies in the industry!
9. Fans of the James Bond franchise all remember actor Sean Connery’s run portraying the secret agent. But did you know that lush head of hair he sported on set was actually a toupée?
10. According to a study performed at England’s University of Westminster, watching horror movies can actually help us lose weight. The fear and adrenaline cause our heart rates to increase and our bodies to burn calories. Forget the gym; go watch The Shining instead!
11. Every movie that’s won “Best Picture” has received a glowing Oscar statuette—save for one. When the Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs won in 1939, the Academy gave the filmmakers one regular-sized Oscar—and seven miniature ones to represent the dwarfs!
12. In the Disney film Aladdin, the title character is a young, dashing Arab man who falls in love with a princess. Who did the Disney animators base Aladdin’s appearance off of? Why, none other than actor Tom Cruise.
13. The Back to the Future films have a loyal cult following, and the title alone conjures up classic images of Michael J. Fox traveling through time in a DeLorean. However, the original title of the box-office hit was Spaceman From Pluto. Weird.
14. This might seem bizarre, but the Chinese government has banned any movie that contains aspects of time travel. It considers anything having to do with altering historical events a dangerous element of fiction.
15. The comedy-horror film Shaun of the Dead hired plenty of extras to portray the hordes of zombies that take over the small town where the characters live. One particular zombie was portrayed by Coldplay frontman Chris Martin!
16. Director Mel Gibson’s portrayal of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the film The Passion of the Christ was a shocking cinematic experience for everyone who saw it, as well as the actors involved—literally. Actor Jim Caviezel, who played Christ, was actually struck by lightning during a rehearsal while he was suspended on the cross.
17. Most scenes that require dangerous stunts call for trained stuntmen and women to step in for the actors so no one gets hurt. However, during the filming of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Daniel Radcliffe’s double, David Holmes, fractured his neck in a freak accident. He’s now in a wheelchair. Thankfully, the two have remained close!
18. Although the original Tron film was one of the first major motion pictures to incorporate computer graphics, it was blocked from special effects consideration at the 1982 Academy Awards ceremony. Turns out, at the time, computer graphics were considered cheating.
19. The intensity Christian Bale brought to his character in the film American Psycho disturbed viewers worldwide, but his performance wasn’t exactly original. It may come as a surprise, but Bale actually based the suave parts of his character off of fellow actor Tom Cruise!
20. It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Arnold Schwarzenegger playing the stone-faced Terminator… which is why it’s strange to learn that O.J. Simpson was once considered for the role. The director thought he was too gentle to play the futuristic killing machine. Yikes.
21. Yoda, the all-knowing Jedi master from the Star Wars movies, has been portrayed with a different number of toes throughout the films. In some he has three, and in others he has four. Even Yoda action figures are inconsistent! Went to the market, this little piggy did!
22. It’s hard to picture a movie these days that doesn’t have a website dedicated to it, but that was the case before the Internet became a standard household fixture. The 1994 film Star Trek: Generations was the very first movie to boast its own website!
23. The 2004 movie The Terminal, starring Tom Hanks, is about a man who encounters passport problems—and ends up living in the airport for 18 years. It’s actually based on an Iranian refugee named Mehran Karimi Nasseri, who lost his passport in a French airport after feeling Iran. He was stuck there for nearly two decades!
24. While shooting the superhero film Wonder Woman, actress Gal Gadot, who played the title character, was pregnant the entire time. Using special effects and clever camera tricks, she was able to hide her swollen belly from audiences.
25. The fact that movie theaters serve drinks would make you think theater seats always had cupholders attached for convenience. In reality, however, cupholders in theaters have only been around since the 1980s.
26. During one of the most memorable scenes in Jurassic Park—the kitchen scene—the sounds the raptors made sent shivers up moviegoers’ spines. They might seem a lot less frightening when you realize they’re only the recorded sounds of tortoises having sex!
27. A lot of late-night partying can occur during film shoots, and the set of The Blue Brothers starring Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi was no exception. The cast and crew liked to party so much, in fact, that the production team had a budget set aside solely for cocaine!
28. Even though so many people put their hearts and souls into making a film, mistakes can slip through the cracks, though most of them go unnoticed by audiences. For those counting, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl has the most mistakes of any movie since 2000.
29. Harrison Ford will always be remembered by Star Wars fans as the swashbuckling Han Solo. It might be hard to believe, but comedy legend Bill Murray was almost chosen to play the role instead. That would have made for a very different film!
Who knew there were so many cool—and unknown—facts about movies? Next time you host trivia night at your house, you might want to quiz your friends!
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