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Behind the Scenes

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I thoroughly searched but could not find this subcategory in this subforum so here is a good place to detail any stuff that went on with performers, producers, directors, photographers,etc. that audiences may have never suspected:

 

I'll start with one from Wizard of Oz (1939):

 Much has been written about the Wicked Witch of the West causing a field of poppies to grow to put our heroic protagonists into a narcotic slumber but no one could have imagined that Glinda the Good Witch may have caused them (or the performers) more harm via having a sudden 'snowfall' blanket the blooms and end their effects on the protagonists. Since actual snow would have been tricky to pick up on camera and likely have instantly melted under harsh,hot studio lights, they used a substitution but it wasn't soap flakes or bleached corn flakes but. . .. RAW ASBESTOS flakes (!!). True, the carcinogen properties of that material were little known at the time but one might shudder to think about how all four of them were completely covered by them and likely breathed in a good amount of them during the production. Oh, and asbestos was also used for the Scarecrow's jacket and the Wicked Witch's broom when she was attempting to set him on fire! 

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With the passing of that marvelous scholar and film historian, Diana Serra Cary at age 101 on February 24,2020,  I think it's worth considering not just how amazingly talented and expressive she had been as 'Baby Peggy' Montgomery when she was barely a toddler but also how amazing it was that she was able to literally survive all the risks the filmmakers put her through! 

She nearly drowned in a real sea storm in Captain January (1924) among other mishaps but perhaps the worst and most avoidable stunt they put her through was when her character was supposed to escape a burning room in  The Darling of New York (1923). No, they didn't use any projected footage of fires, animation or painting the set to appear to be on fire, they actually SET THE ROOM ON FIRE with kerosene and expected her to go out the door with the camera rolling!! Normally, this tiny child did exactly as her strict on-set father Jack Montgomery would say for fear of punishment but she could feel that the door itself was ablaze on the other side and instantly knew that she'd suffer FAR more if she attempted to go through it than whatever her father might inflict upon her so she climbed onto the very last fire-free path on a kitchen sink and went out the window barely avoiding the flames! Audiences would marvel at how well this four-year-old  supposedly 'pretended' to be scared but, in actuality, as Mrs. Cary would recall, she was SINCERELY petrified. Perhaps it's just as well for historic purposes that the only known fragment of this film to survive has the footage of what happened. Alas, she made over 100 films from the age of 18 months to six years (when her career virtually ended- thanks to Mr. Montgomery losing his temper one too many times to the wrong person) but almost all of them have been lost or were deliberately destroyed. At least Captain January HAS survived in full-length form. 

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I just read this about "Unfaithful" 2002 on Wikipedia.  I mean was this really necessary?!

Click on my screenshot to enlarge to read.

Screen Shot 2020-02-29 at 4.30.35 PM.png

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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4 hours ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

I just read this about "Unfaithful" 2002 on Wikipedia.  I mean was this really necessary?!

Click on my screenshot to enlarge to read.

Screen Shot 2020-02-29 at 4.30.35 PM.png

I agree that was downright nasty to do that to the performers.  Alas, this is by no means the only time this sort of thing happened. According to Leslie Caron in her autobio, the director insisted on having tires burned just out of camera range on the set-  to give just the right kind of 'vintage, smoky' ambiance to the period piece set in World War I  Courage Mountain (1990).That might also explain why she seemed more testy than the script required while playing the school headmistress. 

Hadn't either of these directors ever considered just putting the right colored gel filters for camera lenses?! UGH!

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2 minutes ago, Blergh said:

Hadn't either of these directors ever considered just putting the right colored gel filters for camera lenses?! UGH!

That's exactly what I said to myself.  Unfaithful was made in 2002, not 1932.  Jesus!!!!!!  Use some damn special effects!

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One my favorite behind the scenes stories was about The Blues Brothers. They were shooting one night and John Belushi had wandered off -- which happened a lot. Dan Aykroyd went out to look for him at a suburb nearby, and he tracked him down at one house: John had basically had just knocked on the door and asked -- very amicably -- the people who lived there if he could come in and crash there for a while.

Edited by Spartan Girl
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On 5/21/2020 at 3:52 PM, VCRTracking said:

The time Meryl Streep almost died filming THE RIVER WILD(1994).

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-xpm-1994-10-06-9410050418-story.html

A lesson Curtis Hanson learned that day and every director should know:

When Meryl Streep tells you she can't do something? BELIEVE her.

I vaguely do remember this story.   Such a shame when actors are treated this way to please Directors' egos.  I really, really do like that movie though.  One of my favourite Meryl performances and that's saying something!

It's like the now famous story of Uma Thurman getting into a car crash on Kill Bill.

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/02/uma-thurman-crash-footage-kill-bill-instagram

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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Trading Places: Don Ameche was such an old school gentleman that on the day they shot the scene where he dropped the f-bomb, he felt obligated to apologize to the entire cast and crew in advance for using profanity.

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I've got a few more behind the scenes stories about John Belushi. While shooting the "love scene" for Continental Divide with Blair Brown, he was so nervous because it was the first one he'd ever done that he kept stalling the shoot by telling jokes and keeping Blair and all the filmmakers laughing until they finally insisted on starting.

Years before he had a small part in this movie Old Boyfriends with Talia Shire. For one scene, she was supposed to leave him stranded in the road without his pants (don't ask) and John was so insecure about being filmed even half naked that he supposedly begged the director not to make him do it. But he sucked it up and did it anyway.

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The AV Club has a fun interview with Julia Stiles about her various projects:

Quote

AVC: Are there other movies or other TV projects where, looking back, you learned really memorable lessons?

JS: The first thing that comes to mind is Silver Linings Playbook. I don’t really want to get into David O. Russell as a director, but I learned a lot about acting, for better or worse, in terms of how he treats people on set. I’m not condoning that, but I learned a lot from him because he constantly talks throughout your take. He’s talking at you while you’re acting or trying to act. It’s very jarring, but it got me out of my own head. I had no time to censor myself or be really self-conscious because he’s barking at you and you have to obey or listen. As jarring as it is, it got me to not think so much as an actress, I guess. It got me out of my own head.

That would've sent me up the wall so it's interesting that she found it helpful.

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I agree on the point he makes. I don't agree on the prolonged yelling. That's a lot of yelling. I imagine the rest of the day and the shoot might have been very uncomfortable. 

I wonder what they did that caused that much yelling. It does feel like overkill and he seems quite stressed.

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Honestly the anti masker/stupid people that aren’t being careful are so frustrating that at this point I’m fine with them being screamed at. The time for asking nicely is over.

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22 hours ago, VCRTracking said:

I'm on Tom's side on this one. Vigilance is so important now.

Same here. I totally agree with him.

At the same time, I'd hate to be one of his kids who does something wrong and has to hear a Tom Cruise lecture. 

"Okay, Dad, I get it. I'm sorry."  "I'm sorry again."   "*sigh*"

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Another who's Team Tom this time. What part of "global pandemic" do those morons not understand? They knew the rules, they broke the rules, they were put on blast and rightfully so. There are porn sets that are allegedly safer than that one. If Cruise had fired them, I wouldn't have blamed him.

  If those idiots still have their jobs and don't have Covid-19, they should consider themselves lucky-very lucky. If they're not gonna take at least one of those things seriously, there are literally millions of uninfected and unemployed people who do/will.

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12 hours ago, topanga said:

Same here. I totally agree with him.

At the same time, I'd hate to be one of his kids who does something wrong and has to hear a Tom Cruise lecture. 

"Okay, Dad, I get it. I'm sorry."  "I'm sorry again."   "*sigh*"

Good thing Suri hasn't seen Tom in like 8 years now, and the kids he adopted with Nicole are adults.  

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9 hours ago, DollEyes said:

Another who's Team Tom this time. What part of "global pandemic" do those morons not understand? They knew the rules, they broke the rules, they were put on blast and rightfully so. There are porn sets that are allegedly safer than that one. If Cruise had fired them, I wouldn't have blamed him.

  If those idiots still have their jobs and don't have Covid-19, they should consider themselves lucky-very lucky. If they're not gonna take at least one of those things seriously, there are literally millions of uninfected and unemployed people who do/will.

Add me to the list. And it wasn't just one person. It sounded like he went off on at least 4 people; maybe 5, who weren't following the rules.

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On 12/16/2020 at 8:20 AM, supposebly said:

I agree on the point he makes. I don't agree on the prolonged yelling. That's a lot of yelling. I imagine the rest of the day and the shoot might have been very uncomfortable. 

I wonder what they did that caused that much yelling. It does feel like overkill and he seems quite stressed.

On the surface I agree with him but the details make me think he crossed a line. The source that released the recording said that two crew members were wearing masks but were standing less than 6 ft apart while watching a monitor. It certainly deserved a reminder and possibly a reprimand but not to be yelled at like that. 

There has since been another report that he went off again after the leak and multiple crew members have quit. Apparently the production shut down early for Christmas break. Tom has also photographed on set wearing a mask with valves and his new girlfriend/co-star wears her mask below her nose. All in all it looks less like vigilance and more like abuse of subordinates. 

On 12/17/2020 at 5:56 AM, GHScorpiosRule said:

Add me to the list. And it wasn't just one person. It sounded like he went off on at least 4 people; maybe 5, who weren't following the rules.

The report said it was two people. 

Edited by Dani
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17 minutes ago, Dani said:

The source that released the recording said that two crew members were wearing masks but were standing less than 6 ft apart while watching a monitor.

And aren't there pictures of Cruise and others standing around just as closely while wearing masks?

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9 hours ago, Bastet said:

And aren't there pictures of Cruise and others standing around just as closely while wearing masks?

Yes. 
 

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Ironically sad but pragmatic quote  re 1930's reality from the first African-American Academy Award winner Hattie McDaniel," I'd rather make $700 a week playing a maid than $7 a day being a maid!"

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6 hours ago, Blergh said:

Ironically sad but pragmatic quote  re 1930's reality from the first African-American Academy Award winner Hattie McDaniel," I'd rather make $700 a week playing a maid than $7 a day being a maid!"

Can we get an "Amen!" from the congregation? I never begrudged the actors back in the day from doing what what they thought was best. Blame the studios, blame the producers, blame America. Don't blame them.

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11 hours ago, Blergh said:

Ironically sad but pragmatic quote  re 1930's reality from the first African-American Academy Award winner Hattie McDaniel," I'd rather make $700 a week playing a maid than $7 a day being a maid!"

 

U3Symg3.jpg

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In Dyan Cannon's book she talks about how strongly opposed Cary Grant was to casting Audrey Hepburn in Charade because of the age difference.  When she pointed out that she herself was actually younger than Hepburn, he insisted "That's different." 😄

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3 hours ago, Razzberry said:

In Dyan Cannon's book she talks about how strongly opposed Cary Grant was to casting Audrey Hepburn in Charade because of the age difference.  When she pointed out that she herself was actually younger than Hepburn, he insisted "That's different." 😄

Yes,  I read that Cary Grant was embarrassed about the age difference and never did a movie with Audrey again.  I watched "Charade" for the first time this year so I went to look for information on this.

Quote

Cary Grant, who turned 59 during filming, was sensitive about the 25-year age difference between Audrey Hepburn (33 at the time of filming) and himself, and was uncomfortable with their romantic interplay. To satisfy his concerns, the filmmakers agreed to add dialogue that has Grant's character comment on his age, and Regina — Hepburn's character — is portrayed as the pursuer.[6]

 Eastman, John (1989). Retakes: Behind the Scenes of 500 Classic Movies. Ballantine Books. pp. 57–58. ISBN 0-345-35399-4.  (Wikipedia)

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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