When the Wizard of OZ went into production, over 124 actors ere hired to play the munchkins. A little known story is that one of the actors experienced a little known toilet near catastrophe.
An undersized actor fell into a toilet, that’s right he fell in. The actor was trapped in said toilet until someone from the studio found him and helped him out.
While this is a more humorous and lighter story about the Munchkins, there is no doubt that the tale speaks to a lot of unfortunate happenings that plagued the filming of this tremendous classic.
An actor’s biggest test comes with a complex role. What often determines how legitimate the actor’s performance will be is whether or not he or she really knows and understands that particular character. Staying in character is a stern test that can turn into an overly emotional exercise. Some of the best examples of staying in character have some seriously detrimental consequences. Some examples include Heath Ledger as Joker, Steve Carrell as John du Pont, and Peter Sellers as Dr. Strangelove. These performances have the common denominator of heavy emotional involvement.
As the Joker Heath Ledger rarely slept, was hard to be around, and found himself at odds with the character while filming The Dark Knight. The emotional toll of the roll is largely credited with Ledger’s downward spiral into an eventual accidental death. The Peter Sellers role as Dr. Strangelove in Dr. Strangelove was equally as difficult.
In the film, Peter Sellers had to play three roles simultaneously for director Stanley Kubrick. Sellers was so intensely involved in all the roles that it almost seemed like he couldn’t have a minute to be himself. Some people claim that when Peter’s mother visited him onset he addressed her as Dr. Strangelove. Lastly come Steve Carell and his role in Foxcatcher.
Carell plays the part of John du Pont, an eccentric and insane millionaire that went to prison for the murder of Olympic wrestling champ Alexander Schultz. Carell stated that he was so deep into his role that he was often reclusive and incredibly difficult to talk to.
These roles are considered sensational and that’s a direct result of the actor’s strong emotional commitment.
Why so serious? It’s only a film.
When you think of all time great actors, Marlon Brando’s name usually comes to mind. Brando’s style drew audiences in to a point where it didn’t matter what he was doing, the audience would hang on his every last word. Years past his prime Brando made a comeback and cranked out a couple of films. One of Brando’s later roles was as the portly psychologist in Don Juan DeMarco. As always Brando put together the kind of performance that people still talk about today.
In one particular scene Johnny Depp was having trouble remembering his lines. Brando taped a paper with the lines to a coffee cup in the scene and guided Depp through his lines. Depp completed the scene without issue.
Depp became a contender, a somebody!
When people talk about star power today they think about 20 million dollar paychecks and insane demands. The fact of the matter is that star power has been around for a s long as entertainment has existed and true star power was often measured by name recognition.
A great example of real star power was Marlon Brando. By 1978 Marlon Brando was past his Godfather prime, but he had generated so many classics that he really could do almost anything.
When Superman was shot Brando’s minimal role as Superman’s father got him a million dollars, while the star, Christopher Reeve was paid a quarter of that.
What a contender!
When you watch your favorite classics, do you ever wonder what it was like behind the scenes? Often times your favorite films have incredibly interesting but obscure stories that no one knows too much about. Below is a list of obscure little facts about some of our favorite modern classics.
- The Jaws shark was nicknamed Bruce, after Steven Spielberg s attorney, whom Spielberg still employs as his attorney to this day.
- During the filming of the entrance to Rome scene in Cleopatra, Elizabeth Taylor feared that she may fall off the platform, so she pulled the hair of the little boy in front of her in order to avoid falling.
- The spider used for Wild Wild West was originally meant for use in the Superman that was supposed to star Nicholas Cage. The spider was supposed to be super villain Braniac.
- Marlon Brando was considered a wash out by 1970, so he was told that he needed to audition for the role of Vito Corleone in The Godfather. Studio execs were absolutely floored by his interpretation and offered him the part.
- The first Batman film was actually made in 1964, the title was Batman Dracula and it was directed by Andy Warhol. Warhol screened it a few times because DC did not give him permission to use Batman.
- Another Batman fact that will leave you speechless; The 1989 Batman film was initially offered to Bill Murray but he turned it down. Holly SNL Batman!
- The original title for Ghostbusters was actually Ghost Smashers.
- While riding high as the top grossing male star of the late 70s Burt Reynolds was considered as a possible candidate for the part of James Bond.
- The famous chariot race in 10 Commandments actually met with several casualties that can be seen on screen as many people were trampled by horses.
- The film that was expected to be the breakout hit of 1977 was a flop titled Damnation Alley. The film had a 17 million dollar budget and as far as priorities went, it was a priority above Star Wars.