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20 Crazy Details Behind The Making Of The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Roger Ebert once wrote that The Rocky Horror Picture Show was less a movie and more of a “social phenomenon.” This is probably the most accurate way to describe the 1975 rock musical, as it just isn’t an ordinary film. First released to a less-than-stellar reception, Rocky Horror eventually found long-lasting fame from an unlikely source: audience participation. Its original theatrical run didn’t garner much praise, but the film came into its own when theaters began showing it at midnight screenings, now infamous for the almost ritualistic ways the audience dresses, shouts, and flings objects at the screen.

Rocky Horror is a legend of cult cinema– one of the few movies that has earned that title again and again. The film follows what appears to be a whole married couple, Brad and Janet (Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon), as they stay the night at a spooky old mansion owned by Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry, in the performance that rocketed him to stardom). What ensues is a celebration of kitsch, camp, horror, and science fiction cinema, a musical that makes very little logical sense but is a ton of fun.

Naturally, a film like that has to have a riveting story behind the scenes. Written by Richard O’Brien and directed by Jim Sharman, The Rocky Horror Picture Show has just as many crazy details behind the camera as in front of it. Those details will be counted down here, and we’ll get straight to it, as we can see you tremble with antici…

Pation. This is 20 Crazy Details Behind The Making Of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

20 It originally had a different title

The original stage version of the movie had a whirlwind creative process, with Richard O’Brien whipping up the show with his artist and actor friends fairly quickly. As it happens, they were originally rehearsing the show under a different title.

It was called They Came From Denton High due to the story being set somewhere near Denton, Texas.

Obviously, that didn’t last, but O’Brien and director Jim Sharman didn’t change it until the very last minute. Sharman suggested the name change just before previews of the stage show, based on the genres they were spoofing. Thus was “The Rocky Horror Show” born (only the movie had the extra “Picture” in the title, naturally).

19 Brad and Janet were replaced

The cast of Rocky Horror is mostly unchanged from the stage show to the movie. Richard O’Brien and Jim Sharman kept their creative team mostly intact, too, so when you’re watching the movie it should really feel like you’re just seeing a filmed version of the stage show. Well, except for a few roles.

Aside from the high-profile cameo from Meat Loaf and a few other replacements, the protagonists were also switched out.

The original actors for Brad and Janet wanted to reprise their roles, but studio executives at Fox felt they needed two US actors in those parts to help sell the movie. Rocky Horror fans can’t complain, as Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon did a great job as Brad and Janet, but we feel for those two original actors whose roles were taken from them.

18 The story behind the lips

Everyone who has seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show– not to mention plenty of people who have only seen the poster– are familiar with the lips that open the film. This iconic image is actually the product of several people working together, rather than just one actress.

The lips that appear in the film are Patricia Quinn’s (who also played Magenta), but she’s only lip-syncing the song “Science Fiction/Double Feature” even though she did in the stage show. The singer is actually creator Richard O’Brien. And the lips on that famous poster are those of somebody else entirely, former model Lorelei Shark.

17 The costume designer didn’t want to do it

Costume designer Sue Blane is credited with much of The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s lasting appeal thanks to her designs that spoofed the traditions of cinema and leaned heavily into camp. The movie wouldn’t be the same without her, but it almost had to do just that, as she wasn’t interested in the project at first.

In fact, Blane herself says that it took director Jim Sharman meeting with her personally and getting her tipsy before she saw the light. Blane didn’t like the idea of doing a silly project for very little money, but when she found out Tim Curry and a bunch of her other favorite colleagues and friends were already committed to the show, she relented. Thank goodness for that.

16 Tim Curry wasn’t new to corsets

Tim Curry has a long and storied career on the stage and screen, and his rise to prominence came largely thanks to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Given that it was his first hit movie role, people tend to forget that Curry wasn’t a complete rookie. Case in point: Curry had actually starred in a similar stage show before originating the role of Frank N. Furter in Rocky Horror’s stage incarnation.

Curry had also worn a corset in a production of The Maids.

Costume designer Sue Blane had worked that same production. For Rocky Horror, Blane says she simply asked the theater for the same corset for Curry to wear. Naturally, Blane remarked that Curry took to the corset “like a duck to water.”

15 Susan Sarandon’s sickness

Cinema can be a fickle thing– while you’d expect film sets to be glamorous affairs, with every possible amenity available to the actors, you would occasionally be very wrong. The Rocky Horror Picture Show was no picnic to make, as the cast and crew had to endure unheated sets while filming scenes in pools.

This might not sound like a big deal, but it was for Susan Sarandon, who fell ill during production. The filmmakers had nothing but kind words for her after her gritty effort to push through with the work, as they mentioned that she was literally “shaking with fever” on set but kept on going in spite of that.

14 Rocky was supposed to talk

Sometimes you’ve just gotta improvise when you’re making a film. While the creative team behind The Rocky Horror Picture Show might have thought they had the perfect casting when they got Peter Hinwood to play the character of Rocky Horror, they changed their minds when they found out he was a model who had zero acting experience. Rocky Horror originally had dialogue in the film, but after watching Hinwood act, Sharman and O’Brien elected to remove all his speaking parts.

Another singer dubbed over the character’s singing parts, so Hinwood’s voice never actually shows up in the film.

Clearly, they were in love with his looks, but not the way he sounded.

13 You can book a room where it was filmed

The Rocky Horror Picture Show was filmed at Oakley Court in England, a castle that had been host to several horror films in its past. While it may not have been the most welcoming place for the film crew in 1975 (at the time, it had no heating and few bathrooms), it’s doing a better job of that nowadays.

Oakley Court is now a ritzy hotel, allowing guests to stay in the location that was the home to many of their favorite spooky movies from days gone by. Nowadays, of course, the hotel advertises its proximity to LEGOLAND more than it does its connection to film history, but we’d like to think there are still a few Rocky Horror fans who make the trip.

12 The David Bowie connection

This might seem unrelated to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but it isn’t.

Pierre LaRoche was one of the creative forces behind David Bowie’s now-iconic Ziggy Stardust look, but that wasn’t the only influential job the makeup artist held.

LaRoche was also the person film producers turned to when they wanted a makeup redesign for the characters in Rocky Horror. While Sue Blane gets the lion’s share of the credit for the character designs in the film, we shouldn’t forget that it was Pierre LaRoche who actually came up with the makeup designs. Though the make-up is a touch more subtle than costumes, it’s still one of the main reasons the visuals of the film are so fun to watch.

11 Meat Loaf didn’t actually drive the motorcycle

Singer and occasional actor Meat Loaf has a memorable turn in Rocky Horror as Eddie, the delivery boy and partial brain donor to Rocky, who is tragically stabbed by Frank N. Furter. Eddie gets a fun entrance, bursting out of a freezer on a motorcycle, but the problem is that Meat Loaf didn’t actually ride that motorcycle. Aside from a few less dangerous wide shots, Meat Loaf left the actual driving to a stunt man as he says he didn’t feel comfortable doing anything risky on it.

For the close-up shots that needed to look like Eddie was on the motorcycle, the crew rigged up a wheelchair for Meat Loaf to ride.

That way, safety didn’t need to be sacrificed. Or that was the theory, anyway, as the wheelchair didn’t turn out to be that safe anyway.

10 The on-set injuries

Though it wasn’t Jim Sharman’s debut feature, The Rocky Horror Picture Show was not a film staffed by the most experienced team. This is perhaps reflected best by the apparently high number of on-set injuries that occurred– even ignoring the on-set illnesses, including Sarandon’s.

In the same interview, Meat Loaf describes an incident that happened while he was sitting in his wheelchair, where it fell off a ramp on the set, shattered a camera, caused a few cuts on Meat Loaf’s face and arm, and snapped a stand-in’s leg in two. While some efforts were made for safety, injuries ran rampant even with the wheelchair.

9 The skeleton inside the clock was real

One of the single most famous props in all of Rocky Horror is the skeleton clock; a coffin that has a clock face set on the front. The reveal that there is a skeleton inside the coffin is a fun moment in the movie, but the filmmakers dropped another bombshell in later years: the skeleton inside was real.

The skeleton clock actually lived on past the film.

In 2002, Sotheby’s auction house in London sold the clock for an exorbitant sum, 35,000 pounds. Adjusting for inflation, that would be approximately $63,000 today. Even true Rocky Horror fans might balk at that price, if the real human remains inside weren’t a turn-off.

8 Steve Martin auditioned for Brad

Whatever you think of Barry Bostwick’s performance as Brad in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, have you ever considered how different it might have been if another actor had taken on the role? Well, according to rumors and stories even repeated by the likes of Newsday, the role almost went to Steve Martin.

Given that Martin went on to star in a fairly similar movie musical, Little Shop of Horrors, this shouldn’t be too big a surprise.

Martin apparently auditioned for the role of Brad, but lost out to Bostwick. Maybe he played the antagonist in Little Shop of Horrors as a way to soothe the hurt of rejection.

7 It got terrible reviews when it first came out

Nowadays, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is viewed as one of the greatest classics of midnight cult cinema, as its popularity has only grown amongst its fans since its release. But to become a cult hit, you usually have to be a theatrical flop, and Rocky Horror was exactly that, both critically and commercially.

Some critics straight-up hated the film when it was first released, and others simply ignored it. Partially because of the counter-culture the film represented and the lack of a conventional plot structure, some seemed offended it even existed. Even today, many critics view the film more as an audience experience than a genuinely good movie.

6 Frank N. Furter’s villainous inspiration

The unquestionable star of The Rocky Horror Picture Show is Dr. Frank N. Furter, the role Tim Curry originated on the London stage and reprised in the film. Even critics who didn’t like the film enjoyed Curry’s assured and magnetic performance. That makes sense, given all the larger-than-life figures Curry took inspiration from to create the character.

Writer Richard O’Brien describes Frank as a combination of Vlad the Impaler and Cruella De Vil, which makes a lot of sense, but Curry didn’t stop there. On top of those villainous ancestors, he added a posh accent, said to be modeled on both Elizabeth II and Curry’s own mother. That’s one doozy of a mixture for the role, and obviously it worked to perfection.

5 It was a stage show first

When Richard O’Brien first set out to tell his story, it was a work of theater, as that was his primary area of expertise. Thus, The Rocky Horror Picture Show started out as The Rocky Horror Show– the “Picture” part was added for the film. O’Brien wrote the play in his spare time, then gathered some of his friends in London to help him make it.

The play premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 1973, and it was an immediate hit, moving to larger venues soon after. The show ran for weeks and weeks and eventually attracted the notice of producers, even Hollywood. This is the origin story for Rocky Horror— we wouldn’t have the film is the London stage show hadn’t been so popular.

4 The writer is Riff Raff

Given its reputation as one of the true classics of cult cinema, viewers today may not know that the original writer– playwright of the stage show, co-screenwriter of the movie, and Riff Raff in both, Richard O’Brien had never professionally written anything before the script for The Rocky Horror Show and its film adaptation The Rocky Horror Picture Show. That’s right, Rocky Horror is a debut work, by a person who never even wanted to be a writer.

O’Brien was living in London as an actor, struggling to make ends meet, and mostly wrote it just to keep himself occupied.

Luckily for him, the project resonated with his artistic friends, and they helped him turn it into the phenomenon it became.

3 O’Brien never thought it would be a big deal

Even when The Rocky Horror Show was making waves on the London theater circuit, it never registered with Richard O’Brien that he might have created a real hit. In an interview, O’Brien recalls when producer Michael White told him he thought this would be something big. “I said, ‘Oh, that’s nice,’ and walked away. It just didn’t register.”

For a while, it seemed like O’Brien was right to think it wouldn’t be a big deal. The film didn’t do well commercially when it came out, despite the popularity of the play, and it looked like that would be the end of the Rocky Horror story. But midnight viewers began to flock to the showings known for audience participation, and the film’s long-lasting appeal proved to be its greatest strength.

2 The writer thinks it was successful because it’s childish

The Rocky Horror Picture Show was originally written by a young actor with no writing experience, who just wanted something fun to occupy his time. Richard O’Brien, the writer in question, thinks that this process lent the show a quality of childlike naïveté, which contributed to its eventual popularity. In an interview, O’Brien said the show’s innocence is “very endearing and not threatening.” Continuing, he mentioned that every character in the show may appear to be intelligent or “sophisticated, but they’re really not.”

This quality allows young viewers to identify with the energy of the film, making it appeal to adolescent viewers.

O’Brien think this might be the key behind the social phenomenon that is Rocky Horror.

1 Originally, it started in black and white

The writing and directing team of Richard O’Brien and Jim Sharman had a lot of grand ideas for the film adaption of Rocky Horror, but not all of them were allowed to come to pass. Chief among these was the plan to film the opening section of the movie in black and white.

The film would have burst into color when Frank N. Furter made his entrance.

Everyone who has seen the movie remembers that scene– now imagine if it had this added bit of pizzaz, with the first frame of color coming on a shot of Tim Curry’s lips. Susan Sarandon lamented that they weren’t allowed to make this vision a reality, as studio executives rejected the idea due to budgetary concerns.

Do you have any The Rocky Horror Picture Show trivia to share? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-08 05:10:06 – Eric McAdams

30 Actors Who Regretted Superhero Roles

Landing a part in the latest major superhero movie release represents the pinnacle of many an acting career. Michael Keaton, Hugh Jackman, Chris Evans and, to some extent, Robert Downey Jr might not be the household names they are today were it not for their comic book exploits.

However, while headlining the latest cinematic effort involving a caped crusader of some kind represents a dream come true for many, it’s proven to be something of a nightmare for a rare few. Bad scripts, difficult directors and a toxic work environment are just some of the many myriad reasons cited by the actors and actresses in this list – yet that’s really only the tip of the iceberg. Studio politics, stalled contract negotiations or issues around costume, make-up and iffy computer effects have also played a role in making these superhero movies not-so-super for the stars involved.

More often than not, the resulting movie has been forgettable at best and downright terrible at worst – but there are exceptions to the rule. Sometimes, an actor ended up enduring a miserable time on an otherwise enjoyable project. Other times, far sinister things were going on, unbeknownst to many involved in the finished movie.

Plenty of flops feature on this countdown but some major moneymakers can be found too, with comic book movie properties tied to Marvel, 2000AD, DC and Titan Comics all present and not very correct. Yes, landing a part in the latest superhero movie blockbuster has represented the pinnacle of many an acting career down the years but for this lot, it represented the pits.

Here are 30 Actors Who Regretted Superhero Roles.

30 Hugo Weaving – Red Skull

Hugo Weaving originally signed a multi-picture deal to play the Red Skull across various future Captain America movies. However, when the character returned in Avengers: Infinity War the character had been recast with The Walking Dead’s Ross Marquand taking Weaving’s place. It wasn’t a huge shock.

A few years prior, The Matrix actor told Collider playing the Red Skull was “not something I would want to do again.”

“It’s not the sort of film I seek out and really am excited by,” he said. “I increasingly like to go back to what I used to always do, which is to get involved with projects that I really have a personal affiliation with.”

29 Ryan Reynolds – Green Lantern

Ryan Reynolds has made no secret of the fact things didn’t exactly go to plan with 2011’s Green Lantern. He even went as far as to include a gag, poking fun at the project, in Deadpool 2. Though it’s something he is able to laugh about now, it’s clear the actor regrets signing on that particular dotted line.

“When we shot Green Lantern, nobody auditioning for the role of Green Lantern was given the opportunity to read the script because the script didn’t exist,” Reynolds told The Hollywood Reporter. The experience did at least teach him some valuable lessons about making superhero movies which was good news for Deadpool fans.

28 Jessica Alba – Invisible Woman

Jessica Alba’s experience playing Sue Storm in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer was so bad it left her considering a career change. “I wanted to stop acting. I hated it. I really hated it,” Alba told Elle [via SyFy].

“I remember when I was dying in ‘Silver Surfer’. The director [Tim Story] was like, ‘It looks too real. It looks too painful. Can you be prettier when you cry? Cry pretty, Jessica.’ He was like, ‘Don’t do that thing with your face. Just make it flat. We can CGI the tears in.'” She continued: “It all got me thinking: Am I not good enough?”

27 Ben Affleck – Daredevil

Ben Affleck doesn’t just regret starring in the 2003 movie adaptation of Daredevil, he hates it. Affleck let his feelings be known to TimeTalks [via NME] during a discussion about why he signed on for Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. Affleck said: “Part of it was I wanted for once to get one of these movies and do it right – to do a good version. I hate Daredevil so much.”

“The Netflix show does really cool stuff,” he added.

“I feel like that was there for us to do with that character, and we never kind of got it right. I wanted to do one of those movies and sort of get it right,” Affleck stated.

26 Terrence Howard – War Machine

Terrence Howard has always blamed Robert Downey Jr for the fact he never got to reprise the role of James Rhodes in the Iron Man sequels. “It turns out that the person that I helped become Iron Man, when it was time to re-up for the second one, took the money that was supposed to go to me and pushed me out,” Howard told Watch What Happens Live [via Vulture].

Howard claims the studio offered to pay him “one-eighth of what we contractually had” and when he tried to call Downey Jr to talk about it “he didn’t call me back for three months.”

25 Idris Elba – Heimdall

Idris Elba’s experience working on Thor: The Dark World was so bad the actor described parts of it as “torture” to The Telegraph. In the interview, Elba recalled how he was forced to complete reshoots in London for the Thor sequel just days after return from filming the prestige biopic Mandela, in South Africa.

“In between takes I was stuck there [hanging from a harness], fake hair stuck on to my head with glue, this fucking helmet, while they reset, he said. “And I’m thinking: ‘24 hours ago, I was Mandela.’ … Then there I was, in this stupid harness, with this wig and this sword and these contact lenses. It ripped my heart out.”

24 Ryan Reynolds – Wolverine: X-Men Origins

Ryan Reynolds’ appearance as Deadpool in Wolverine: X-Men Origins was plagued with problems, starting with the character’s appearance. “He wound up being this abomination of Deadpool that was like Barakapool, with his mouth sewn shut and weird blades that came out of his hands and these strange tattoos and stuff like that,” he told GQ.

Though Reynolds objected, the studio pressed on.

“The conversation at the time was ‘If you want to play Deadpool, this is your chance to introduce him. And if you don’t want to introduce him in this fashion, we’ll have someone else play him.'”When the film leaked online and fans reacted angrily, Reynolds response was simple: “told you so”.

23 Ed Norton – Hulk

Ed Norton clashed with producers behind the scenes on The Incredible Hulk, having only agreed to play Bruce Banner on the proviso he could have a say on the script and direction of the film. Replaced by Mark Ruffalo in the MCU, Norton couldn’t resist having a dig at the film during an appearance on Comedy Central’s Roast of Bruce Willis.

“I tried to be like you,” he told Willis [via Indiewire]. “I did a big action movie called The Incredible Hulk. You know what went wrong? I wanted a better script…I thought we should make one Marvel movie as good as the worst Christopher Nolan movie, but what the hell was I thinking.”

22 George Clooney – Batman

Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin may have fallen flat with critics and fans alike but it proved to be a serious career wake-up call for its star, George Clooney. “Up until that moment, I was an actor only concerned with finding work,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “After the failure of that film creatively, I understood that I needed to take control of the films I made, not just the role.”

Clooney successfully banished memories of his time as Batman with next three films: Out of Sight, Three Kings and O Brother, Where Art Thou?

21 Tommy Lee Jones – Two-Face

Tommy Lee Jones hated working on Batman Forever or, rather, he hated working with co-star Jim Carrey. “I was the star and that was the problem,” Carrey explained on Norm MacDonald Live [via THR].

The situation came to a head when Carrey ended up in the same restaurant as Jones during filming.

“I went over and I said, ‘Hey Tommy, how are you doing?’ and the blood just drained from his face,” Carrey said. “He went to hug me and he said, ‘I hate you. I really don’t like you.’ And I said, ‘What’s the problem?’ and pulled up a chair, which probably wasn’t smart. And he said, ‘I cannot sanction your buffoonery.'”

20 Topher Grace – Venom

Topher Grace never felt entirely comfortable in the role of Eddie Brock/Venom having bagged the role in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3. “I was a huge fan of the character of Venom when I was a kid when Todd McFarlane brought him into the comic,” he told Michael Rosenbaum on the Inside of You podcast [via Cinemablend]. “And I was surprised and a little bit like ‘Huh?’ when they wanted me to play it.”

Not only does Grace accept he was miscast, but he also agrees Tom Hardy is perfect for the role. “When I look at it now… [at Tom Hardy’s Venom movie] I go ‘That’s the guy.'”

19 Mickey Rourke – Ivan Vanko

Micky Rourke trashed the bigwigs over at Marvel Studios for what they did to his character Ivan Vanko, in Iron Man 2. Rourke told Syfy that he had worked hard with writer Justin Theroux and director Jon Favreau to flesh out his Russian villain and turn him into a three-dimensional character. Someone behind-the-scenes had other ideas though.

“I wanted to bring some other layers and colors, not just make this Russian a complete murderous revenging bad guy,” he said. “Unfortunately, the [people] at Marvel just wanted a one-dimensional bad guy, so most of the performance ended up the floor.”

18 Alicia Silverstone – Batgirl

Alicia Silverstone was on the receiving end of some serious body shaming while working on Batman & Robin. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Silverstone, who was a huge star following the success of Clueless, was under intense scrutiny over her weight with one critic reportedly observing she “looked more Babe than babe.”

When rumor got out on set that she was having issues with her costume fittings, a storyboard artist ever put together a joke cartoon of Batgirl, mocking Silverstone’s issues.

The fake poster for Clueless 2: The Casting of Batgirl might have gone down well with the guys in the film’s art department but studio bosses were far from impressed.

17 Nicolas Cage – Ghost Rider

Nicolas Cage has previously spoken of his disappointment at his two Ghost Rider movies, which he felt played it too safe. Speaking to JoBlo [via Bloody Disgusting], Cage explained that he and writer David S. Goyer had always envisioned the films as being gritty and, most importantly, R-rated.

“Ghost Rider was a movie that always should’ve been an R-rated movie,” Cage said. “David Goyer had a brilliant script which I wanted to do with David, and for whatever reason, they just didn’t let us make the movie.” Though he believes there is the potential for someone else to take on the role and go down that dark path, Cage is done with the character.

16 Jim Carrey – Colonel Stars And Stripes

Jim Carrey stunned social media ahead of the release of Kick-Ass 2 by denouncing the film and its “level of violence” in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre. Carrey, who is an outspoken advocate for increased gun control, took to Twitter following the incident to explain that he could no longer support the film.

“I did Kick-Ass 2 a month b4 Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence,” he wrote [via The Guardian]. “My apologies to others involve[d] with the film. I am not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change in my heart.”

15 Michael Jai White – Spawn

He may have been among the first African American actors to portray a major comic book superhero but Michael Jai White has little love for his sole outing as Spawn. In fact, White is a much bigger fan of his small but powerful role as the gangster Gambol in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.

He even went as far as to conduct an interview with The Hollywood Reporter revisiting his performance alongside Heath Ledger.

During the interview, White couldn’t resist having a dig at Spawn: “There is no footage of me ever saying that I liked Spawn. I have never said that I thought that was a good movie.” Ouch.

14 Jared Leto – The Joker

Jared Leto was left far from happy with the version of Suicide Squad that made it to the cinemas. Asked by IGN whether any scenes involving the Joker were cut from the film, Leto let rip.

“There were so many scenes that got cut from the movie, I couldn’t even start. I think that the Joker… we did a lot of experimentation on the set, we explored a lot. There’s so much that we shot that’s not in the film,” he said. “If I die anytime soon, it’s probably likely that it’ll surface somewhere. That’s the good news about the death of an actor is all that stuff seems to come out.”

13 Halle Berry – Catwoman

Halle Berry’s regret at signing up for Catwoman was clear to see when she decided to make an appearance at the annual Razzie Awards back in 2005. A celebration of the year’s worst films and performances, Berry ‘won’ the Worst Actress gong for her efforts in Catwoman and, in a surprising turn of events, was on hand to deliver a memorable acceptance speech.

“I want to thank Warner Bros. for casting me in this piece-of-sh**, god-awful movie,” she said [via MTV], going on to mock the rest of her cast. “I’d like to thank the rest of the cast. To give a really bad performance like mine, you need to have really bad actors.”

12 Alan Cumming – Nightcrawler

Back when Alan Cumming was still in the frame to reprise his role as Nightcrawler in X-Men: The Last Stand, the Scottish actor shocked journalists with his response to the news Bryan Singer would not be returning for the third installment.

“I’m not disappointed, I can’t deny it,” Cumming said [via Movieweb]. “I think he’s really talented. I’m very proud of the film. I think it’s a great film. I didn’t enjoy working with him on the film.”

Evidently, Singer and Cumming didn’t see eye to eye on X-Men 2 though the source of their fractious relationship has never been divulged.

11 Ellen Page – Kitty Pryde

Ellen Page took to Facebook in 2017 to accuse director Brett Ratner of harassment during their time together on 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand. According to Page, Ratner mocked her sexuality during promotional work for the film. Page was only 18 at the time.

“‘You should f*** her to make her realize she’s gay.’ He said this about me during a cast and crew ‘meet and greet’ before we began filming, X Men: The Last Stand,” Page wrote. “He looked at a woman standing next to me, ten years my senior, pointed to me and said: ‘You should f*** her to make her realize she’s gay.’”

10 Michael Fassbender – Magneto

Back in 2016, during the Toronto Film Festival’s pre-opening-night fundraising event, honoree Michael Fassbender surprised those in attendance by laying into his performance as Magneto in X-Men: Days of Future Past. According to Vulture, during a segment in which clips from several of Fassbender’s films were shown, Fassbender started “cringing and rubbing his face with embarrassment”.

“I don’t actually like that performance there, to be honest,” Fassbender said after the highlights reel finished. “I just think it’s me shouting. It’s just like [making a face and flailing his arms around] some dude shouting.”

9 Jamie Bell – Thing

Rumoured unrest on the set of Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four movie, coupled with the movie’s bad reviews left a bad taste in the mouth of its star, Jamie Bell. “There were several things on that movie I was clearly not privy to because I’m just an actor and I just do my stuff on set,” Bell told the Los Angeles Times.

“Everything starts with the best of intentions. A production begins with the idea to make something that’s unique and original and with integrity,” he said.

“I don’t know what happened between the launch of the voyage and the arrival. I think we were all bitterly disappointed with that film,” stated Bell.

8 Josh Brolin – Jonah Hex

Production delays, directorial changes, script rewrites, reshoots, and some pretty heavy-handed editing helped make Jonah Hex one of the most disappointing comic book movies of all time. It’s something the film’s star, Josh Brolin, is only too aware of. In fact, he revealed in an interview with the Nerdist that he hates it just as much as everyone else.

“Oh, ‘Jonah Hex,’ hated it. Hated it,” he said [via Collider]. “The experience of making it — that would have been a better movie based on what we did. As opposed to what ended up happening to it, which is going back and reshooting 66 pages in 12 days.”

7 Jennifer Garner – Elektra

While Ben Affleck bounced back from his Daredevil movie, Jennifer Garner never quite got going again after her spin-off effort, Elektra, bombed. Though Garner has never spoken openly about the film, her ex-boyfriend and close friend Michael Vartan revealed to Us Weekly [via SFGate] that the Alias actress was very unhappy with how the film turned out.

“I heard [Elektra] was awful. [Jennifer] called me and told me it was awful,” Vartan said. “She had to do it because of Daredevil. It was in her contract.” Garner has never denied Vartan’s claims.

6 Edward Furlong – The Crow

The Crow: Wicked Prayer is an absolute stinker of a comic book movie and currently boasts a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

It’s star, Edward Furlong, struggled to show much in the way of enthusiasm for the role during an interview with Movieweb.

Asked about how he prepared for the film’s starring role, Furlong said: “It’s sort of like a really slow process that Lance Mungia, the director, and I went through. Initially, I was just attracted to the script because it was The Crow and I got to put on some leather pants and kick people’s ass.” Given how it turned out, he must be regretting signing up for such flimsy reasons.

5 Chloë Grace Moretz – Hit-Girl

Chloe Moretz made her name as Hit Girl in Mark Millar’s original Kick-Ass but, despite the first film holding a special place in her heart, she’s always been less enthusiastic about the sequel.

During an appearance on a panel at the Provincetown Film Festival in 2018, Moretz made those feelings crystal clear. “I love the franchise, I think the first movie was really, really special. I wish the second one had been handled in a little bit of a different way,” she said [via Cinemablend]. “Because I think we were all kind of looking forward to something a little different than what happened with it all.”

4 Kate Mara – The Invisible Woman

Kate Mara played Sue Storm in Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four movie and, in an interview with The Times[via Yahoo] revealed the negative aura surrounding the film made her “a little gun-shy” about seeing the finished film.

“You don’t always have to learn some incredible life lesson when making a s*** movie. Sometimes it’s just what happens,” she said. “[Fantastic Four] was a tricky shoot but you know when you know when you’re shooting it that a film isn’t going to be what you want it to be? That was not the case at all.”

3 Jamie Kennedy – The Mask

Son of the Mask saw Jamie Kennedy replace Jim Carrey as the franchise’s star, with almost unwatchable results.

Though the movie is widely regarded as one of the worst ever made, Kennedy’s biggest regret may boil down to the make-up he had to wear on the film.

“I wore it 6 days in a row, and after that it gets rough,” he told Movieweb. “I had ears in this one, and Jim Carrey didn’t in the first one, so they would like press against my real ears and cut the circulation, so I would have to like rub my ears a bit after having on the makeup to get the blood flowing again.”

2 Sylvester Stallone – Judge Dredd

Despite starring in such turkeys as Over The Top, Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot and Oscar, Sylvester Stallone’s biggest regret was reserved for another movie. “The biggest mistake I ever made was with the sloppy handling of Judge Dredd” he once declared [via Den of Geek]. “The philosophy of the film was not set in stone – by that I mean, ‘Is this going to be a serious drama or with comic overtones’, like other science fiction films that were successful? So a lotta pieces just didn’t fit smoothly.”

“The design work on it was fantastic, and the sets were incredibly real, even standing two feet away, but there was just no communication,” he stated.

1 Lori Petty – Tank Girl

Lori Petty had a very particular gripe with the way things turned out for her Tank Girl movie: it was given an R rating. “There is nothing about that movie that is R. Nothing. Except there’s a woman talking s***. That’s why they rated it R. If they were going to rate it R I should have been butt-naked all the time, running around,” she told AV Club.

Tommy Boy came out that weekend, too, which is a hysterical movie, but it was rated PG-13. Do you know how many people bought Tommy Boy tickets and went to see Tank Girl? A billion.”

Are there any other superhero actors who regretted their roles? Sound off in the comments!



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2018-10-08 03:10:25 – Jack Beresford

15 Sitcoms That Became Massive Hits (And 15 That Completely Flopped)

There are many forms of entertainment, but television is one of the most popular. Watching TV has been a popular pastime ever since the television was created in 1927. Programs can often bring families together or can even give people an escape from reality while they binge-watch their new favorite show. People used to have to pay for cable to watch their favorite shows, but now, watching TV is easier than ever with the mass amount of streaming services that have become available, such as Hulu and Netflix.

Some of the best shows are even exclusive to streaming services such as these. Even YouTube has expanded to include TV shows that come in a variety of genres. Needless to say, there is now a seemingly endless amount of programming that will entertain anybody and everybody.

Much like movies, there are a wide variety of TV shows and genres to pick from. TV networks seem to come out with a variety of different shows each year including sitcoms. While a network might release a few different sitcoms each year, a lot of them seem to flop and be forever forgotten by viewers. Other sitcoms stick around for several years resulting in many seasons worth of laughs.

Some of these shows have stuck around longer than they probably should have, but others were so terrible that they were canceled after only one season.

 Here are the 15 Sitcoms That Became Massive Hits (And 15 That Completely Flopped). 

30 Massive Hit: The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory may have not launched any of the main actors acting careers, but the show certainly boosted them into the spotlight. The Big Bang Theory came on the air in 2007 thanks to creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady. The show centers around a group of geeky and socially awkward friends who hang out with a waitress named Penny.

The show has become incredibly popular during its twelve seasons on the air, with many celebrities making cameos on the show.

The Big Bang Theory became so popular that it even received a spinoff about a young Sheldon Cooper.

29 Flopped: Caveman

The Cavemen were a popular marketing image used by the auto insurance company GEICO starting in 2004. While people don’t see a lot of the Cavemen anymore, they used to be incredibly popular. ABC thought they were so popular that they should launch a sitcom featuring the GEICO Cavemen.

The show was a massive failure with viewers and critics and was therefore canceled after one season. Thirteen episodes were created for the first season; however, only six of them aired in the U.S. Caveman was such a flop that it didn’t even get a DVD release to try and make some money back. 

28 Massive Hit: Friends

Friends was a massive win for NBC and ran for ten years from 1994 to 2004. The show just follows the lives of six friends living in Manhattan, but many people loved the idea of the show.

Friends was, and still is, adored by fans and critics. The show even landed the #24 spot on the Writers Guild of America West’s 101 Best Written TV Series. The sitcom did a lot for all of the actors involved in the series, but is often considered a turning point for Jennifer Aniston’s career. 

27 Flopped: Ferris Bueller

John Hughes’ Ferris Bueller’s Day Off starring Matthew Broderick was a hit back in 1986. Fans still love the movie to this day and even launched a “Ferris Fest” in Chicago to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the movie. While the film was successful, the TV series was not.

The show titled Ferris Bueller followed Ferris and his friends’ everyday life at high school. What made the first movie fun was that Ferris wasn’t in school, but NBC apparently didn’t get that since they picked up the series in the ‘90s. The show didn’t bring back any of the original cast members and ended after one season. 

26 Massive Hit: That ‘70s Show

When That ‘70s Show first came on the air, there was no guarantee that the show would succeed. The show starred primarily new young actors, with little to no acting experience. That ‘70s Show was even the very first acting job for Ashton Kutcher, Topher Grace, and Laura Prepon. Thankfully, the risk paid off for Fox and became a massive hit.

The series lasted for eight seasons from 1998 to 2006. Besides, Kutcher, Grace, and Prepon, the show also starred Mila Kunis, Danny Masterson, and Wilmer Valderrama. The cast did a phenomenal job for a total of 200 episodes, and then went on to have even more enriching careers in Hollywood. 

25 Flopped: That ‘80s Show

While That ‘70s Show was a massive hit, the success could not be repeated for That ‘80s Show. Even when Fox was still broadcasting new episodes of That ‘70s Show, they created a show about the ‘80s in 2002.

The show isn’t a direct sequel to the first show and the only way it connects to That ‘70s Show is that the main character, Corey Howard, is supposed to be Eric Forman’s cousin.

The show was created because of the popularity of That ‘70s Show, but people just weren’t interested in another show about a different decade. 

24 Massive Hit: The Office

The original The Office debuted on the BBC in 2001 and only stuck around for two seasons and a Christmas special. The concept for the show, however, was adapted eight different times for countries across the world.

One of the more popular versions of The Office came in 2005. The show starred Steve Carell as Michael Scott and John Krasinski as Jim Halpert. These two men have probably had the biggest career after the show ended, but the entire cast made a memorable group of characters that kept fans laughing for nine seasons. 

23 Flopped: George

George Foreman may be known for his impressive boxing career or even the famous George Foreman Grill, but he also got his own TV show in the ‘90s. The show ran for ten episodes, only nine of which actually ended up on the air. The show starred Foreman as a retired boxer who took care of troubled kids after school.

While Foreman’s show may have flopped, there is no doubt denying he was an impressive boxer especially since he won a gold medal in the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympics. 

22 Massive Hit: How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother was a romantic comedy that aired on CBS from 2005 to 2014. The show centered around Ted Mosby, who would narrate the adventures that led up to him meeting his wife.

Apart from Ted, played by Josh Radnor, the series had several other memorable characters played by Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, and Alyson Hannigan. While the majority of the series was met with critical acclaim, the final two seasons are often criticized for the way it wrapped up the show. A spinoff titled How I Met Your Dad or How I Met Your Father have been in development before, but the spinoff has had some trouble taking off. 

21 Flopped: 1600 Penn

NBC has had some hits over the years, but 1600 Penn was not one of them. The series was about a dysfunctional family who lived in the White House with their father.

Bill Pullman played the President of the United States starring alongside with Josh Gad, Jenna Elfman, and Martha MacIsaac. The show ultimately didn’t do well with critics who slammed the show for having too many sitcom stereotypes and being a failed parody attempt of The West Wing. The show was canceled after one season and people aren’t really begging NBC to bring it back. 

20 Massive Hit: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

There has always been an abundance of cop dramas on TV, but not as many cop sitcoms. Brooklyn Nine-Nine stars the singer of the comedy band The Lonely Island Andy Samberg, as well as Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio, and Stephanie Beatriz.

In May, Fox decided to cancel the show, but the very next day, NBC picked it up and renewed it for a sixth season.

So far, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has won two Golden Globes, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and has been nominated for several other awards.

19 Flopped: Dads

The show Dads was created by Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild and premiered on Fox in 2013. Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi starred as two video game developers whose fathers move in with them. Not only was the show canceled after only one season, but it also got ripped apart by critics.

The series became known for depending on offensive gags to get laughs and having an array of unlikable characters. Along with Green and Ribisi, Brenda Song and Vanessa Lachey had recurring roles on the show.

18 Massive Hit: Modern Family

Modern Family is about three different families living in Los Angeles. Much like The Office, Modern Family was created as a mockumentary type sitcom. The series was created in 2009 and is still running on ABC. The show has won an impressive 21 Primetime Emmy Awards, which is partly because of the incredible cast.

Actors such as Ed O’Neil, Sofía Vergara, Ty Burrell, and Eric Stonestreet are some of the many talented people in the cast. While the series has been a massive hit so far, there are rumors that the show could be ending after season 10. 

17 Flopped: My Big Fat Greek Life

It isn’t every day that a romantic comedy will spawn its own TV show, but it certainly happens. My Big Fat Greek Wedding came out in 2002 and starred Nia Vardalos and John Corbett.

The movie revolved around the struggles that Vardalos’ character Toula had by marrying someone who wasn’t Greek. The TV series took place after the first film and starred Vardalos, but Corbett did not return. At first, the series had incredible ratings, but by the second episode, people had started to tune out, which led to CBS canceling the show. 

16 Massive Hit: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia 

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia was created by Rob McElhenney in 2005 and is currently still running on FXX. The comedy is about five friends who run an Irish Bar in Philadelphia. McElhenney stars in the show alongside fellow comedians Charlie Day, Danny Devito, Kaitlin Olson, and Glenn Howerton. The show began with low ratings, which is why FX forced the show to add a big name actor.

Devito was added to the cast and they haven’t looked back since. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has received critical acclaim since the beginning, and now thirteen seasons later, it has become one of the longest-running live action comedies ever. 

15 Flopped: Joey

Many fans were disappointed to see Friends go off the air in 2004. While most of the cast moved on to other acting roles, one friend stuck around to try and get more laughs for NBC.

After Friends ended, Matt LeBlanc played Joey Tribbiani in the spinoff show titled Joey.

The show saw Joey move on with his life and try to make it big in Hollywood as an actor. The show couldn’t live up to the success that NBC saw with the first series and it was ultimately canceled after two seasons. 

14 Massive Hit: Arrested Development 

Arrested Development has been bringing on the laughs ever since the first episode aired in 2003. The show originally ran for three seasons on Fox but was then later picked up by Netflix. Netflix released season four in 2013 and the first half of season five this year.

The show truly has an ensemble cast, including actors Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi, and Will Arnett. Tony Hale and David Cross also have the fan-favorite roles of Buster Bluth and Tobias Fünke. The entire series can be found on Netflix. 

13 Flopped: Bad Judge

While shows like Judge Judy or The People’s Court may be hilarious already, NBC set out to make an actual sitcom about a judge in 2014.

Kate Walsh stars as Judge Rebecca Wright, who works at the Los Angeles County Circuit Court by day, but is a party animal by night. NBC canceled the show before the season had even gotten halfway through, although the rest of the series came on the air as planned. Most people gave the show negative reviews, mainly criticizing Walsh’s performance and the fact that the show just wasn’t funny. 

12 Massive Hit: Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation, or simply Parks and Rec., was a massive hit for a couple different reasons. Not only was the show a sitcom, but it doubled as political satire and a mockumentary.

The show ran for a total of seven seasons, but for many people, that wasn’t enough. Parks and Rec. had an incredible cast and memorable characters that only got more hilarious as the series continued. This show most notably included Chris Pratt who has recently blown up in Hollywood, starring in many massive summer blockbusters. 

11 Flopped: Mulaney

John Mulaney is no doubt a funny guy. He is a stand-up comedian and even wrote on Saturday Night Live; however, the sitcom he created in 2014 couldn’t grab people’s attention. The show starred Mulaney himself as a comedian in New York. However, people were concerned about the show before it even came on the air.

The show had an obvious resemblance to Seinfeld and concerns were solidified when the show premiered. With Mulaney doing poorly with critics and with not a lot of people tuning in, the show was canceled after only one season.

10 Massive Hit: Community

Community’s premise centers on Jeff Winger, who is a lawyer who lied about having a bachelor’s degree and is forced to attend a community college. Community lasted for six seasons, five of which aired on NBC and the last on Yahoo! Screen.

The show became a massive hit not just because of the impressive writing team, but because of its cast.

Veteran comedian Chevy Chase stars in the show alongside actors like Joel McHale, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, and Donald Glover. The show also succeeded by parodying several television and movie clichés. 

9 Flopped: Rob

Some actors have a certain time in the spotlight before they fall out of it completely. Fans have seen this happen with Adam Sandler, despite his attempt to stay relevant, and also with his friend and co-worker Rob Schneider.

Schneider attempted to make a sitcom back in 2012 simply titled Rob and CBS actually picked it up. The show focused on Rob, a former bachelor who works as a landscape architect with OCD and who recently got married. Rob was canceled after eight episodes once the show was flooded with horrible reviews pointing out the show’s use of Mexican stereotypes and the weak supporting cast. 

8 Massive Hit: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Before Will Smith was a massive Hollywood star, he starred in a show on NBC called The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The show was a huge hit and spawned a total of six seasons and 148 episodes. Will Smith starred as a fictionalized version of himself who goes to live with his Aunt and Uncle in Bel-Air after he gets into one little fight and his mom gets scared. We all know how the rest of the story goes.

Besides Smith, the show is known for the talented cast members, the unique story, and the wide range of celebrity cameos.

7 Flopped: AfterMASH

After the show M*A*S*H ended, CBS came out with AfterMASH. Adequately titled, AfterMASH centered around Colonel Potter, Sergeant Klinger, and Father Mulch who end up in a veteran’s hospital after the Korean War ended.

While M*A*S*H did quite well for the eleven seasons it was on the air, AfterMASH only lasted two seasons before getting canceled. AfterMASH just couldn’t capture what made the first show great, but that didn’t stop CBS from trying again. The TV network would try again in 1984 with WALTER, but thankfully that show didn’t even get picked up. 

6 Massive Hit: The Middle

The Middle was just an average show about a lower middle-class family, yet it still became a massive hit. The series was created by Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline, who previously worked on shows like Roseanne and Murphy Brown.

The show was praised for accurately capturing the lives of a middle-class family while still delivering a hilarious story and unique characters. The Middle lasted for nine seasons before going off the air this year. While the show might be over, a spinoff revolving around Eden Sher’s character Sue Heck is currently in the works. 

5 Flopped: Angel From Hell

Those who don’t remember the sitcom Angel From Hell will be forgiven since the show wasn’t really anything to write home about. In the show Angel From Hell, Jane Lynch stars as a guardian angel for a girl named Allison, who was played by Maggie Lawson.

The show came after Lynch starred in the massively popular Glee, yet Angel From Hell didn’t get as big of a fan base.

The show was canceled by CBS after only five episodes at the beginning of 2016. While CBS didn’t initially air the remaining eight episodes, the rest of the season was released starting in July 2016. 

4 Massive Hit: Two and a Half Men

Even though Two and a Half Men often got mixed reviews, it was still a massive hit for CBS. The show ran for twelve seasons before going off the air, but the show started with Jon Cryer, Charlie Sheen, and a young Angus T. Jones.

There was a lot of drama surrounding the show, especially after Sheen’s crazed antics, but the show continued never the less. After a feud with show co-creator Chuck Lorre, Sheen was replaced on the show with Ashton Kutcher. Kutcher stayed on for the rest of the series until the show ended in 2015. 

3 Flopped: I Hate My Teenage Daughter

Another one of Fox’s TV shows that flopped was called I Hate My Teenage Daughter. The show was about a pair of moms, played by Jaime Pressly and Katie Finneran, who began to notice that their daughters were turning into the kind of teenagers who had bullied them in high school.

The show began its thirteen episode run in November 2011 and ended it in May 2012. After Fox decided to cancel the show, the remaining six episodes were never released in the U.S., but based on viewership, nobody was really watching anyway.

2 Massive Hit: Seinfeld

Created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, the show Seinfeld began in 1989 and lasted for nine seasons. The show was about a fictionalized version of Jerry Seinfeld who lived in New York and spent time with his friends. The show is often called one of the greatest sitcoms ever made and even landed the #2 spot on the Writers Guild of America West’s 101 Best Written TV Series.

Many shows have since tried to copy Seinfeld’s success, but none have been as original as this NBC hit. 

1 Flopped: My Mother the Car

As strange as it sounds, My Mother the Car was an actual sitcom back in the ‘60s. The show follows David Crabtree, who purchases a car that happens to be a reincarnation of his mother who passed away.

The show aired on NBC and starred Dick Van Dyke’s little brother Jerry, but even the Van Dyke gene couldn’t save the show. My Mother the Car was as strange as it was horrible, and not very many people cared for the show. NBC decided to cancel the program after just one season. 

Are there any other sitcoms that should have made the list? Sound off in the comments!



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2018-10-07 04:10:06 – Christopher Fiduccia

6 Casting Decisions That Hurt It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (And 14 That Saved It)

There are sitcoms that everyone loves, and then there’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia — a series which has managed to turn off many with its despicable characters and depraved sense of humor. From faking cancer to trying to eat a homeless person, there are no depths that are too low for the owners of Paddy’s Pub. But you don’t get to thirteen seasons without making a few fans in the process.

While It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia might not pull in the biggest numbers, the show has maintained such a rabid following over the years that one has to wonder if they’ve accidentally gotten there hands on some raccoon meat. But the more likely scenario is that many people have just as twisted of a sense of humor as the makers of this FX series.

The sitcom was created by Rob McElhenney with the help of Glenn Howerton and Charlie Day, who would go on to portray Mac, Dennis, and Charlie on the series. Kaitlin Olson and Danny DeVito fill out the rest of the main cast as Dee and Frank Reynolds, and for over the last decade, fans have been happily following the bizarre misadventures of the Gang. Of course, it’s impossible to imagine anyone else in these leading roles. With over 130 episodes, there has been no shortage of supporting characters and celebrity cameo, some of which have been a lot better than others.

Here are 6 Casting Decisions That Hurt It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (And 14 That Saved It).

20 Saved: Glenn Howerton as Dennis Reynolds

In a sea of despicable characters, Dennis Reynolds has slowly revealed himself to be the most reprehensible of them all. Dennis may have begun the series as one of the more sensible members of the Gang — albeit one with an extremely short fuse, but he’s slowly revealed himself to be a cool and calculated sociopath. One who also happens to have a heavy side of narcissistic personality disorder.

While Glenn Howerton didn’t want to name the character after himself for fear of people drawing an unwelcome comparison, that hasn’t stopped Howerton from taking the character to some extremely dark places. He’s more than a little convincing when he lays out one of his manipulative plans. While his temper tantrums may be over-the-top, you never doubt the authenticity of the rage and frustration Howerton has embedded into his performance.

19 Saved: Mary Elizabeth Ellis as The Waitress

One of the most prominent recurring characters on It’s Always Sunny, the Waitress has been a part of the series since the very beginning. She is the unrequited love interest of Charlie throughout the majority of the show — though it seems like the tables have turned in recent episodes.

The Waitress is portrayed by Mary Elizabeth Ellis, who had previously worked with Charlie Day on an episode of Reno 911! The two were married shortly after It’s Always Sunny began, adding another layer of hilarity to the dysfunctional relationship between the two characters on screen.

Ellis fully commits to her performance as the down-on-her-luck waitress.

She’s an example of the tight-knit community working behind-the-scenes that has made the series such a success.

18 Hurt: Jason Sudeikis as Schmitty

While sitcoms usually lend themselves well to celebrity cameos, It’s Always Sunny has created such a distinct world that more often than not these cameos end up feeling out of place. There have been a few instances where they’ve managed to pull them off. Josh Groban popping up in one of Dee’s fantasies seemed fitting, and Dax Shepard manages to blend in fairly well into the episodes where Mac and Charlie join a cult.

In the case of Jason Sudeikis and a number of other celebrities, the cameos just end up coming across as distracting. There’s nothing inherently wrong with Jason Sudeikis playing Schmitty — an ex-member of the Gang who makes an unexpected return. The whole time, you never forget that you’re watching Sudeikis, which just doesn’t work for the tone of the series.

17 Saved: Mary Lynn Rajskub as Gail the Snail

Though she’s only appeared in three episodes of the series to date, Gail the Snail is definitely one of those side characters that we’d like to see more of. She first appeared back in the season five episode “The Gang Gives Frank an Intervention”, where she is the clingy cousin of Dennis and Dee who talks with a lisp and has the disgusting habit of slurping her saliva. Dennis and Dee have found that the only way to get rid of her is to dust her with salt, hence her nickname of Gail the Snail.

The character is portrayed by the talented Mary Lynn Rajskub, who is best known for playing Chloe O’Brian on 24.

This is undeniably a very different character, and it’s impressive just how committed Rajskub is to playing someone so hilariously obnoxious.

16 Saved: David Hornsby as Cricket

The Gang has dragged their fair share of individuals down into the dirt with them, but none are more apparent than Rickety Cricket. Portrayed by David Hornsby, Cricket is a former classmate of the Gang who was once infatuated with Dee. He debuted in season two as a clean-cut priest who has slowly transformed into the addicted hobo that we have today.

Hornsby has been such a prominent member of the show that last season he was given his own episode with “A Cricket’s Tale”, which cleverly intertwined the character’s other brief appearances throughout the season into the story. Hornsby has also been a big part of the show behind-the-scenes as well, serving as an executive producer and a writer of nearly 30 episodes.

15 Hurt: Brian Unger as The Attorney

It’s Always Sunny has a number of supporting characters who re-emerge every few seasons, only to be dragged down by the shenanigans of the Gang once again. Brian Unger plays one such character with the Attorney, who the Gang often visits for legal advice only to contradict everything the lawyer has to say.

As a former correspondent of The Daily Show, Unger is really good at playing the straight man.

In fact, he’s too good, which makes it hard to believe that he would put up with these self-centered, narcissistic characters for more than a few episodes. Often, these supporting characters are revealed to be a little bit off in their own right, but Unger is just too normal to make his character mesh with the series.

14 Saved: Danny DeVito as Frank Reynolds

Danny DeVito first popped up in season two of It’s Always Sunny, and his casting as Frank Reynolds quite literally saved the series. While the higher-ups at FX reportedly loved the first season, not enough people were watching to warrant a second outing. McElhenney, Howerton, and Day were given the ultimatum to add a bigger name or face cancellation. While they worried how DeVito would fit into the series, the veteran actor has more than proven himself as a worthy member of the Gang.

The insane things that DeVito will do for the character are a testament to the actor’s commitment. Even more impressive is how you never feel like you’re watching a performance. DeVito becomes Frank Reynolds. Even when he’s not delivering lines, just watching him futz about in the background is already hilarious enough.

13 Saved: Charlie Day as Charlie Kelly

It’s Always Sunny has turned all of its leading actors into stars, but Charlie Day is the biggest breakout of them all. Since appearing on the show, Day has worked on a number of hit films, including Horrible Bosses, Pacific Rim, and The Lego Movie.

His star power has no doubt helped the show remain on the air for so long.

Thanks to Day’s performance and musical talents, the character of Charlie has no shortage of memorable moments. Bird law aside, Charlie may be the least intelligent member of the Gang. In a lot of ways, he’s the heart of the show. Charlie certainly has his share of questionable moments, but they often stem from ignorance rather than malice, which set him apart from the other employees of Paddy’s Pub.

12 Hurt: Sean “Diddy” Combs as Dr. Jinx

Whenever Sean “Diddy” Combs pops up in a movie or TV show, he often plays a fictionalized version of himself. In It’s Always Sunny, he plays the unorthodox Dr. Jinx who utilizes alternative methods to treat his patients.

Not only is the cameo distracting, but Combs’ performance is pretty flat. It almost seems like the actor is reading off cue cards, and when Dr. Jinx is seen playing the bass guitar during a musical performance at Paddy’s Pub, it’s pretty obvious that Combs isn’t actually playing. The rapper may have stolen the show as Sergio in Get Him to the Greek, but whatever worked for him on that movie isn’t back on display in the sitcom.

11 Saved: Artemis Pebdani as Artemis

Artemis is one of the few supporting characters who can actually hang with the Gang without her life coming apart at the seams. She first appeared up in season one, where she befriends Dee after the two meet in an acting class. She’s also had a relationship without Frank throughout her time in the series.

The character is portrayed by Artemis Pebdani, who landed the role right at the start of her professional acting career.

While she’s continued to reprise her part as the fun-loving and wild Artemis, the actress has enjoyed success in a number of other shows, including Scandal and Masters of Sex. Though a number of supporting characters seem to have fallen off in recent years, Artemis has already popped up this season with “The Gang Beats Boggs: Ladies Reboot”.

10 Saved: Lynne Marie Stewart and Sandy Martin as Charlie and Mac’s Moms

Every since Danny DeVito debuted as Frank Reynolds, it was abundantly clear why Dennis and Dee are they way that they are. After all, Frank is just as self-absorbed and conniving as the twins. In that respect, we’ve also gotten to see how Mac and Charlie are a result of their childhoods by getting to know their moms over the course of the series.

Lynne Marie Stewart does a perfect job of playing Charlie’s mom, a kind-hearted woman who was far too overprotective of her son — which explains Charlie’s numerous irrational fears. Meanwhile, Sandy Martin is the total opposite, as Mac’s mom doesn’t seem emotionally invested in her son at all — which explains Mac’s constant desire for approval. Together, the two are a perfect comedy duo, which is on full display in “Old Lady House: A Comedy Situation”.

9 Hurt: Seann William Scott as Country Mac

In season nine, Seann William Scott made a one episode appearance as Mac’s cousin — who the Gang deems far cooler than Mac. Just like Jason Sudeikis as Schmitty, this is another star cameo that can’t help but feel distracting. Scott has made a career playing characters who are too cool for school thanks to movies like American Pie and Role Models. That might seem like he’s the ideal fit for Country Mac.

Wouldn’t it have been even funnier if the Gang idolized a character for no other reason than to get under Mac’s skin?

With the success of It’s Always Sunny, we’re sure that they could have a star cameo every few episodes. Since they’re kept to a bare minimum, it seems that even they know these roles can be a bit ostentatious.

8 Saved: Jimmi Simpson and Nate Mooney as Liam and Ryan McPoyle

The McPoyles are the perfect example of just how dark and twisted the humor on It’s Always Sunny can actually get. They are a large inbred family with the two most prominent members, Liam and Ryan, being former classmates of the Gang. They popped up in a number of episodes between seasons one and nine, where they’re often at odds with the owners of Paddy’s Pub.

Liam and Ryan are played by Jimmi Simpson and Nate Mooney throughout their time on the show. Both fully commit to the unsettling nature of these characters. They might be creepy, but that doesn’t stop them from being a hilarious comedy duo. Our only complaint is that they’ve been absent from the series for the last few seasons.

7 Saved: Catherine Reitman as Maureen Ponderosa

One of the weirdest characters in all of It’s Always Sunny, Maureen Ponderosa is the ex-wife of Dennis Reynolds who slowly makes her transition into becoming a cat in the later episodes of the show. Much like Rickety Cricket, her transition from seemingly normal to totally unhinged takes place over the course of a few seasons — better-allowing audiences to buy into the ridiculousness of it all.

Catherine Reitman seems totally devoted to this outlandish and often unsettling performance.

Since appearing on the show, Reitman’s notoriety has only continued to grow. She currently plays the lead on Workin’ Moms — a show which she also created — along with popping up as another recurring character in Black-ish.

6 Hurt: Guillermo del Toro as Pappy McPoyle

Writer/ director Guillermo del Toro was apparently such a big fan of It’s Always Sunny, that it was one of the reasons he cast Charlie Day in Pacific Rim. In return, del Toro was given this cameo appearance as Pappy McPoyle — who is most likely the grandfather of Liam and Ryan.

One problem right off the bat is that del Toro was cast to play someone who is most likely from Ireland— a fact which the director himself made fun of in a behind-the-scenes interview. This may have been the reason that Pappy McPoyle was given such an over-the-top appearance, which is really the worst part of the character. The McPoyle’s are indeed odd and unsettling, but they’re still somewhat believable.Pappy McPoyle, on the other hand, looks like some deranged wizard who has no place in the series.

5 Saved: Wade Boggs as Himself

The best episodes of It’s Always Sunny usually finds the Gang confined to a single area, where their personalities can do nothing but bounce off the walls and wreak havoc on themselves and anyone in their vicinity. This is what makes “The Gang Beats Boggs” one of the best episodes in the series.

The episode finds the five Philadelphia natives trying to beat Wade Boggs’ record of consuming 70 drinks during a cross-country flight.

While the Gang’s antics are usually based on nothing but nonsense, this true story only adds another level of hilarity to the episodes. The cherry on top is a brief appearance by Wade Boggs himself. In an interview, Charlie Day said that not only was Boggs happy to participate in the episode, but that his real-life record was a lot more impressive than previously thought.

4 Saved: Michael Naughton as the Waiter

Michael Naughton first appeared up in “The Gang Dines Out,” where he is a server at one of the finest restaurants in Philadelphia. He’s crossed paths with the Gang a number of times since, and every time the Waiter emerges worse for wear.

Just this season, Naughton appeared in “The Gang Beats Boggs: Ladies Reboot,” where he is now working as a flight attendant. Once again, the Waiter tries to get the Gang to acknowledge how they’ve sabotaged him in the past. But once again, the Gang can’t remember who he is.

Naughton plays the Waiter with a kind of obsessive desperation beneath his everyman facade; he seems like someone who really would let the Gang get the better of him. He’s also the kind of supporting character that rewards loyal fans every time he pops back up.

3 Hurt: Stephen Collins as Bruce Mathis

Stephen Collins popped up in season two and three of It’s Always Sunny, where he played Bruce Mathis, the biological father of Dennis and Dee. Bruce invests most of his time and money helping out various charities around the world, making him a polar opposite of his children. This also made Collins — who was best known for playing Reverend Eric Camden on 7th Heaven — seem like an ideal fit for the part.

In the years since, Collins has both been accused and admitted to being an abuser. The actor has obviously not appeared on the show since, but going back and watching these episodes with Collins can be more than a little discomfiting.

2 Saved: Kaitlin Olson as Dee Reynolds

With Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, and Glenn Howerton working on the show right from the very beginning, the actors were afforded the opportunity to mold their characters as they saw fit. However, the character of Dee Reynolds was developed before an actress was cast, and she was originally meant to be the Gang’s voice of reason.

Thankfully, Kaitlin Olson nabbed the role, and over time Dee became just as hilariously pathetic as the other members of the Gang.

Being a former member of The Groundlings, Olson clearly had talent as a comedic performer — which might also explain why Dee fancies herself as a bit of an improv comic. The actress isn’t afraid to make Dee as embarrassing as possible, which adds an element of cringe-comedy to the show that’s not found in the other characters.

1 Saved: Rob McElhenney as Mac

Without Rob McElhenney, there would be no It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The struggling actor/writer decided to put plans for the series into motion after a number of other projects fell through. With the help of Glenn Howerton and Charlie Day, McElhenney made a short episode of the series, which he used to pitch the sitcom. Over a decade later, McElhenney still serves as an executive produces while continuing to write a number of episodes.

As far as his role of Mac is concerned, McElhenney isn’t afraid to take the character in different directions.

He put on a whopping 50 pounds for season seven and Mac finally came out of the closet for good last year — just a few of the many ways McElhenney has kept the show feeling fresh after thirteen seasons.

 —

Who’s your favorite actor on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia? Let us know!



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2018-10-07 02:10:26 – Dylan Dembrow

Scott Wilson, Walking Dead’s Hershel, Dies at 76

Scott Wilson, who played popular character Hershel Greene on The Walking Dead, has passed away at the age of 76. Hershel memorably died on the show at the hands of The Governor, but since then, Wilson has appeared at a number of conventions – including Walker Stalker Con – and remained a favorite among fans.

Wilson started his Walking Dead journey back in 2011, when his character Hershel was introduced. His first appearance was in the episode “Bloodletting” in season 2, after Carl Grimes was accidentally shot. Hershel is able to save Carl’s life because of his experience as a veterinarian, and had been living a secluded life on his farm with his family since the outbreak. He always had a strict moral code, and cared deeply for his daughters Maggie and Beth. As the show went on, Hershel became a mentor of sorts to Rick Grimes, and provided wisdom and advice to other main characters. Wilson took part in 37 episodes of The Walking Dead, with his last appearance coming in season 4.

As first reported by Comic Book, Wilson passed away today at the age of 76. Reports of the actor’s death occurred after many people posted tributes honoring Wilson on social media, and those reports were later confirmed to be true. TMZ later revealed that Wilson “passed away peacefully at his home in L.A”. Dominic Mancini, who worked as Wilson’s rep, explained that the actor passed away as a result of complications from leukemia. Bizarrely, Wilson’s death was confirmed not too long after Hershel was confirmed to appear in season 9 of The Walking Dead.

Wilson had been a well-known actor long before his time on AMC’s hit show. Wilson started his acting career in 1967 with the film In the Heat of the Night, and later became known for roles in films like 1974’s The Great GatsbyThe Ninth Configuration, and A Year of the Quiet Sun. In the years after his time on The Walking Dead was up, Wilson appeared on the TV shows Bosch, Damien, and The OA. Most recently, he appeared in the movie Hostiles alongside Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike, as well as voiced his Walking Dead character in an episode of Robot Chicken.

Wilson’s character on The Walking Dead had a big impact on the other characters, and fans often credit Wilson’s casting as one of the stronger decisions made by the show. Many actors have come and gone during the show’s eight seasons, but none have been quite like Wilson. With season 9 looking to recapture the feel of earlier seasons,  one can’t help but look back and reminisce about Wilson’s journey on The Walking Deadand his career in general.

RIP Scott Wilson: March 29, 1942 – October 6, 2018

Source: Comic Book, TMZ



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2018-10-06 09:10:28 – Christopher Fiduccia

Leather-Jacket Superboy Finally Returning To DC

Conner Kent, the original Superboy from the 1990s is finally returning to DC Comics, and his leather jacket look is getting even more punk rock when he does. The costume may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the long-awaited return of the “true” Superboy to an entire generation is absolutely good news.

The return of Conner Kent, a.k.a. Kon-El, a.k.a. “The Metropolis Kid” is more than just a throwback to the famous Death and Return of Superman era of DC Comics. Superboy’s reboot and return to DC continuity was announced during New York Comic Con, but he’ll be making his return under a new imprint – and with his best friends Bart Allen and Tim Drake at his side.

RELATED: DC’s New Robin is More Violent Than DCEU Batman

Conner is expected to return in January, with the trio of Young Justice stars just a handful of the larger roster of younger DC heroes being relaunched as part of Wonder Comics, a new imprint overseen by Brian Michael Bendis and targeting teenage comic readers. And with a new take on Bart, Conner, and Tim, new costumes are in order, courtesy of Patrick Gleason:

As the official designs released by DC show, Gleason isn’t straying too far from the original – some might even say dated – costume cooked up by his creators, Karl Kesel Tom Grummett back in 1993. But then, one person’s idea of outdated is someone else’s nostalgia, and the same rules applies to all three heroes included. We’ll reserve judgement until we hear the explanation for Conner’s shoulder spikes, sunglasses, Superman patches, and Solo-style hip holster in the comics themselves. What these designs will force fans to ask more than anything is how this new Young Justice will be worked into the existing canon.

DC has been dropping more and more hints about a possible return of Conner Kent’s Superboy, ever since the beginning of Rebirth started to rewrite the changes made with the launch of the New 52. When the old and new versions of Superman merged into the current version, his memories of the “Rise of The Supermen” came fading back into canon… but with Superboy nowhere to be seen. Will the launch of Wonder Comics and this new Young Justice begin to tell that story of DC canon being restored once more?

For now we would advise fans hold off on getting their hopes up. While this Superboy is featured in the Wonder Comics announcement artwork by Jamal Campbell, the cirumstances of his reintroduction are as vague as the heroes surrounding him. And Dan DiDio’s explanation of their return during a NYCC panel – alongside Bendis – implied a larger, in-the-works story may not have been the plan at all:

People have been asking for them over and over again… But we don’t want to bring them back and have nothing to do with them. It wasn’t until Brian came back and said he wanted to do Young Justice that we decided it was time to bring them back.

The confusion isn’t a sign of quality at this point, since there are likely to be just as many fans who would want a fresh start for this Superboy redux as a return of Superman’s successor (especially with Superman’s son Jonathan acting as current Superboy). And is the Bart Allen beside him the same Impulse who returned from the Speed Force in Flash War?

What lies ahead for the future of Conner Kent, Young Justice, and the rest of the Wonder Comics books has yet to be revealed. But rest assured, we’ll keep fans updated as more official details are released.

Superboy is expected to make his Wonder Comics return in January 2019.

MORE: Superboy Conner Kent Returns From a Dark Future

Source: DC Comics



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2018-10-06 09:10:26 – Andrew Dyce

20 Crazy Details Behind The Making Of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

It’s been almost forty years since E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was first released, but this 1982 Steven Spielberg-directed gem is still going strong to this day with audiences of all ages. This wonderful film about a boy and his friend alien melted the hearts of all those who first watched it back in the early 1980s, and it still remains a most treasured family film. Its legacy is seen in every aspect of our pop culture, and it is regularly cited as people’s favorite film of all time. Only a director as visionary as Spielberg could take such a simple concept and transform it into a lasting cinematic treasure.

E.T. also helped transform the lives of those who participated in its making, sending a young Drew Barrymore into stratospheric fame and solidifying Henry Thomas as one of the most famous child actors of all time. There’s no doubt that E.T. will continue to leave its mark on future generations, and we can only hope that its perfection is respected without Hollywood grasping for a remake or an ill-advised, modern-day sequel.

If you’re a fan of this classic film or if you’re a Steven Spielberg aficionado wanting to know his tricks of the trade, you’ll be fascinated by the secrets that went on behind the scenes during the movie’s making. From the movie’s conception based on Spielberg’s life to the inspiration behind E.T.’s famous face, we have all the facts you’ll want to know about this iconic film.

With that in mind, here are 20 Crazy Details Behind the Making of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

20 Henry Thomas Brought Up His Tragic Past For His Audition

Landing the role of Elliott in E.T. unquestionably changed child actor Henry Thomas’ life. Having only previously done a couple of small movie parts in 1981, Thomas all of a sudden became the most famous kid in the world thanks to his on-screen adventures with his alien co-star.  

According to the Mirror, Thomas was only nine years old when he landed this role of a lifetime. In order to secure himself the part, during the audition the young actor drew upon the traumatic experience of seeing his pet dog attacked by his neighbor’s dog, which brought on real tears. Spielberg and the casting directors were immediately impressed. Being able to call upon real emotion showed the director that he could definitely act, and solidified Thomas as a genuine child talent.

19 Drew Barrymore’s Vivid Imagination Got Her Her Role

Drew Barrymore has been on the Hollywood scene for a long time, but her first big start on screen was in E.T. playing the part of Gertie. According to an interview on Ellen, Barrymore revealed that she wasn’t originally even going to audition for E.T. During her interview, Barrymore explained how she was actually trying to get a part in Poltergeist, but the director wasn’t there that day. Instead, Poltergeist’s producer, Steven Spielberg was there in his place.

She told Ellen: “I was six, and I lied my face off. I told him I was in a rock ‘n’ roll band, that I was a drummer, that I was a cook.”

After her audition, Spielberg said she wasn’t quite right for Poltergeist, but that he’d love to have her come in and audition for another project he was working on. Sure enough, he called her up soon after and gave her the part of Gertie in E.T.

18 It had a very boring title at first

When a movie becomes a huge hit, especially one that continues to garner success decades and generations after its first release, it’s hard to imagine it separately from its title. Indeed, the title of a movie becomes its first point of cultural consciousness, and there are those that last the test of time, and those that don’t.

Mention E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial to anyone and they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about. It’s not only a memorable film title, it’s also become so deeply ingrained in our collective pop culture that we all know what it is even if we haven’t seen it. Well, E.T. might have faded away in the land of forgotten films, had they gone with the original title, A Boy’s Life, as noted by The New Yorker. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with A Boy’s Life, it’s not half as memorable as E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

17 Harrison Ford Shot a Cameo

While Spielberg was working on getting things ready to begin filming E.T., he was still in the process of filming Raiders of the Lost Ark, which, of course, starred Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. Ford dating Melissa Mathison, who was the scriptwriter for E.T., at the time.

Because of his friendship with Spielberg and his relationship with Mathison, Ford agreed to make a cameo appearance in the film.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Ford’s bit part was supposed to be a kind of a joke as he was going to play against his usual type, here as an uptight school principal who would scold Elliott after the frog-releasing scene. In the final edit, the decision was made to cut the Ford scene as it didn’t fit in with the rest of the movie and it was thought Ford’s presence would be too distracting from the story line.

16 M&M’s Were Supposed To Be E.T.’s favorite candy

Reese’s Pieces surged in popularity after the release of E.T.. The candy was featured in the scene where Elliott tries lays a trail of candy to lure E.T. back to his house. Many people back then, and now for that matter, might have thought it strange that Elliott used Reese’s Pieces.

Well, according to Business Insider, the reason for the choice of sweet was down to the fact that M&Ms had refused the production permission to use its brand in the film. Culinary Lore also states that Mars Inc., which owned M&Ms, refused the filmmakers the right to use the candy because it didn’t want to be associated with aliens. This was clearly a bad call, as after the release of E.T., sales of Reese’s rose exponentially, topping the numbers sold of M&Ms for the first time ever.

15 E.T.’s Face Was Modeled On Some Famous People

E.T. is one of the most recognizable movie characters in history and one of the cutest, albeit weirdest, examples of an on-screen alien. No character had, or has since, looked like like this singular creature, and its aesthetic is all thanks to Spielberg and his incredible designer Carlo Rambaldi.

Rambaldi created the aliens for Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and his talents were once again put to use in E.T.

In a special featurette called The Making of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Spielberg reveals: “I remember saying to Carlo, here’s some pictures of Albert Einstein, Ernest Hemingway and Carl Sandburg. I love their eyes, can we make E.T.’s eyes as frivolous and also wizened and as sad as those three icons.” Based on these famous celebrities, we have the E.T. we all know and recognize.

14 E.T. Was Played by Three Different Actors

With today’s technology, it would be a fairly easy task creating a CGI alien to act as the main part in a blockbuster film. However, when E.T. was being made in 1982, things were not so simple According to The Vintage News, creating a believable, friendly alien back then took three mechanical puppets as well as three actors, one of whom was a young 12-year-old boy who had been born without legs.

There wasn’t always someone wearing the suit in every scene, as often E.T. was being controlled by a team of mechanical operators. However, when the alien was required to walk or move about, a small person was often behind the movements. Watching E.T. today, the alien might seem like quite a basic piece of engineering, but back then, Spielberg and his team were making technological strides.

13 Drew Barrymore Thought E.T. Was Real

Drew Barrymore was only six years old when she played the part of Gertie in E.T., and even though she was already developing into a bright, young, talented actress, she was still very much at an age where imagination and make-believe can cloud reality. Barrymore’s acting is fantastic in the film, especially for someone so young, but her great reactions to things on screen could be down to the fact that she believed E.T. was a real alien.

 The cast and crew encouraged her to believe E.T. was really alive, and she seems to have taken the bait completely.

In a behind-the-scenes featurette for the movie, Elliott actor Henry Thomas reveals: “Drew, she’s imaginative. She introduced E.T. to her mom and said ‘He’s just a little shy now. He doesn’t want to talk to you right now but he’s just a little shy.’”

12 E.T.’s Voice Comes From Raccoons, Otters, Horses, and Burps

E.T. is one of the most imitated movie characters, with people of all ages having tried at one time or another to impersonate the alien’s singular speech patterns. If you listen closely, you’ll hear that there are a lot of different elements and sounds to the alien’s voice. This wasn’t achieved by employing one spectacularly gifted voice recording artist. Instead, as we learn from the BBC, it was a talented sound designer, Ben Burtt, who collected noises from an entire array of sources and put them together to create E.T.’s voice.

As Burtt tells the BBC: “I created the voice for E.T. out of many different things, about 18 different people and animals and sound effects. There are raccoons in there, there are sea otters, there are some horses, there’s a burp from my old cinema professor from USC.” They also used the voice of a chain-smoking housewife.

11 Spielberg Dressed As A Woman On Set

Being around such a young cast, Spielberg had to ensure that there was enough fun and playfulness on set. In The Making of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial from 1996, we learn that the director definitely didn’t take himself too seriously while on set. Apparently, around Halloween, Spielberg came to set dressed up as a lady school teacher.

As Henry Thomas remembers: “Halloween was great. He directed the whole day like that, as an old lady.”

Spielberg adds: “I didn’t have children back then in the early 1980s, and you know suddenly I was becoming a father every single day, I felt like a father and it felt good.” Spielberg certainly knew how to keep spirits high on his set, and his kind, playful personality has left wonderful lasting memories on his cast and crew.

10 A Mime Was Hired To Move E.T.’s Arms

In The Making of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, we learn that it took a lot of work to create the alien we all know and love. Aside from having a whole team of mechanics working to ensure the creature looked real, Spielberg also hired a mime to help out E.T.’s gestures.

The director reveals: “When I saw the mechanical arms, they were really great but they were very jerky when they worked. The fingers would move, but almost too thoughtfully. And I felt E.T.’s got to have almost balletic arms, almost like the hands of a mime. So I just put it out there, can we hire a mime and we’ll put the E.T. hand makeup on a mime’s hand so the artist can really be artistic about picking things up and touching themselves and reaching out. So this is where this wonderful mime artist came to work with us.”

9 The Original Ending Was Very Different

When a movie is as beloved as E.T. is, it’s hard to imagine it being any different. Grown men and women still weep when thinking about the emotionally-charged final scene, but we could have ended up an alternative ending had Spielberg gone with his original idea.

According to actor Michael MacNaughton’s interview in Express, “The last scene was going to be all of us playing Dungeons & Dragons again, except this time, Elliott’s the dungeon master. Because he was the one that found ET, he sort of got in with the group. […] And then they would pan up to the roof and you’d see the communicator and it’s still working — in other words, Elliott is still in touch with E.T. But after they did the score and they saw what they had with the spaceship taking off and everything… How can you follow that? I mean, it was a wise choice.”

8 There Was A Dark Sequel Planned

Because E.T. did so unexpectedly well at the box-office, it’s a wonder why there was never a sequel released. Had the movie been made today, it’s almost certain that Hollywood would have tried to make it a franchise. Well, according to Syfy, there was actually a story treatment for an E.T. sequel, but it was so terrible that it never got made.

Apparently, its dark tone was done on purpose.

Spielberg was reportedly completely against the idea of a sequel to his 1982 film, saying: “Sequels can be very dangerous because they compromise your truth as an artist. I think a sequel to E.T. would do nothing but rob the original of its [purity].” Who knows, maybe someday someone will dust off the draft and attempt to make it, but Spielberg will certainly be the first to veto the project.

7 They shot the movie in chronological order for the kids

It’s a well known fact that most large-scale film projects aren’t filmed in chronological order. Due to shooting schedules, location requirements, and budget factors, it’s usually not possible to film in script-order. Well, E.T. is one of the very few exceptions to this usual Hollywood practice, as Steven Spielberg insisted that the scenes be shot chronologically.

According to TIME, Spielberg made this unorthodox decision in order to help his younger cast. The director explained: “I insisted on shooting the film in complete continuity so the kids knew, emotionally, where they had been the day before, and they pretty much didn’t have any idea of where they were going the next day. So, like real life, every day was a surprise – Drew, Henry Thomas and Robert really believed that this was happening to their lives.”

6 Robert MacNaughton’s Dungeons & Dragons love got him his part

Robert MacNaughton played Elliott’s older brother Michael in the movie, and he revealed to Express that a childhood pastime of his helped land him the role. Apparently, E.T.’s screenwriter Melissa Mathison was a huge fan of Dungeons & Dragons and she was always playing it with her then husband Harrison Ford at their house.

This explains the game at the start of the film, where we see Elliott trying to join in playing D&D with Michael and his friends.

MacNaughton revealed that he too was an avid Dungeons & Dragons player, and when asked by Spielberg what his hobbies were, he told the director about his love of the game. Spielberg seemed pleased that MacNaughton’s hobbies fit with his character Michael’s pastimes, and the role became his shortly after.

5 The Film Was Shot From A Child’s Point-of-View

One of the things that you may not have noticed while watching E.T. is the fact that is is filmed from a child’s point of view. According to Filmsite, the movie was deliberately shot from a lower-angle in order to encourage younger audience members to identify more easily with the child characters on screen. It also helps adults put themselves back into the shoes of a child, encouraging them to remember how scary and threatening the taller, bigger world of adults can really be for a kid.

In fact, the only adult we ever see in full is the mother, Mary, who was played by Dee Wallace.

Otherwise, most of the other grown-ups in the movie are seen from the waist down, the way a child would see the world in front of them.

4 Real Doctors And Nurses Were Hired As Actors

E.T. is a very emotional movie. From the burgeoning friendship between Elliott and E.T. to the ending when we face the teary goodbyes between these unlikely friends, the movie is rife with sentiment. One of the most poignant, dramatic scenes is when E.T. and Elliott are lying side-by-side in the makeshift medical facility at their house, both fading away while doctors and nurses try to revive them.

According to People, the medical staff we see looking after these two friends were actually real-life medics. Spielberg contacted the UCLA Center for the Health Services in order to get information on cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and he was referred to a specialist. Wanting the scene to look as real as possible, Spielberg got real-life medical staff to play out the scene in order to simulate the chaos that really happens in emergencies.

3 E.T. was inspired by real children

E.T. is one of the most lovable incarnations of an alien to grace our screens.

Part of this androgynous creature’s charm is the fact that there’s so much goofiness and childlike innocence to it.

Well, this sweet naivete, as well as E.T.’s powers, were actually inspired by the screenwriter’s interactions with children. As Melissa Mathison tells us in The Making of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: “Many of the scenes from the movie come from my own experience being with children. For instance, what children would like [E.T.’s] powers to be. A lot of the children would mention the obvious of telepathy or telekinetic powers but I was struck by the fact that several of them mentioned that they would like this magic creature to be able to heal. And I thought it was such an incredibly poignant idea to come from a child.”

2 Spielberg Didn’t think E.T. Would Make A Lot of Money

According to Business Insider, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is the fourth highest-grossing movie of all time– not too shabby for a low-budget film about a boy and his alien pal. While the movie became a immense success and has been hailed as the most successful film to come out of the 1980s, Steven Spielberg didn’t think it was going to be a hit with audiences.

Speaking in The Making of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, the director said: “I think E.T.’s not going to make a lot of money, I think I’m making a movie that is only going to appeal to kids. I said I’m probably making a big mistake, I’m going to make an old-fashioned Walt Disney movie about an alien and a kid and that’s all it’s going to be.”

1 The Movie Was Inspired by Spielberg’s Lonely Childhood

It’s always interesting to find out how some of our favorite movies came about, but no one would ever expect that Spielberg’s tale of a boy and an alien would stem from his own childhood experiences. In an interview with director James Cameron for People, Spielberg admitted that E.T. was “never meant to be a movie about an extra-terrestrial,” but instead about something very personal.

“It was supposed to be a movie about my mom and dad getting a divorce,” he explains.

“So I started a story, not a script per say, but I started writing a story about what it was like when your parents divide the family up and they move to different states.” Eventually, the idea for a boy and an alien friend developed from this, and the rest is E.T. history.

Do you have any other trivia to share about E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-06 04:10:51 – Steph Brandhuber

Twilight: 20 Things About Bella And Jacob’s Relationship That Make No Sense

The Twilight Saga dominated the teen world for years even after both the books and the movies were released. When the first book came out, neither Stephanie Meyer nor fans of the novel expected it to blow up into the pop-culture phenomenon it became. No matter where someone turned, a vampire or werewolf would be there to greet them. It was either immensely loved by fans or abhorred by people who just wanted the series to be over with. Either way, it was inescapable.

Part of the draw of Twilight was the divide between Team Edward and Team Jacob. The love triangle spawned intense debates among passionate fans. While a lot of fans favored Edward, who Bella inevitably chose in the end, Jacob had his fair share of supporters as well.

Despite all of the support, Jacob and Bella certainly had their own set of issues. If she had chosen Jacob, it definitely wouldn’t have been picture perfect, just like her relationship with Edward was flawed at times. While it’s easy for fans to believe Bella and Jacob were an ideal romantic pairing, their were some strange aspects of their relationship.

From controlling behavior to imprinting on babies, here are the 20 Things About Bella And Jacob’s Relationship That Make No Sense.

20 Bella Treats Jacob Like A Backup Plan

In New Moon, a lot of fans began to argue that Bella clearly has feelings for Jacob. As the series continue, that only became clearer, especially when she asked Jacob to kiss her in Eclipse. Despite being in love with Jacob, Bella constantly chooses Edward over him.

She can’t help what her heart wants, of course, but she continues to dangle her love in front of Jacob even though she knows it’s hurting him that she’s choosing Edward.

It’s like she’s keeping Jacob around and toying with his emotions in case it doesn’t work out with Edward. In New Moon, she only hangs out with him because she can’t be around Edward anymore, and continues with this behavior throughout the series.

19 Jacob Has Nice Guy Syndrome

Often times, Jacob comes off as the understanding, compassionate alternative to Edward. While he appears to be sweet and patient, he’s actually possessive and whiny a lot of the time when it comes to Bella. He would be understanding in order to try and get Bella to choose him, but when she would choose Edward, he would storm off in a fit of rage and try to guilt her into feeling bad. He would act like she owed him something more than her friendship.

Despite Bella clearly choosing Edward multiple times, he would always act surprised and hurt when she told Jacob she just wanted to be friends. Many fans believe that he’s sweeter than Edward, but both characters tried to manipulate her emotions.

18 Jacob Is As Dangerous As Edward

When Jacob tries to encourage Bella to choose him instead of Edward, he continues to insist on how dangerous the Cullens are, despite being dangerous himself.  While Edward is a bloodsucking vamp, Jacob is a werewolf with rage issues who spends his time fighting vampires. Choosing him over Edward wouldn’t be a much safer decision. Even if Edward and Bella had never met, vampires still would have been in Forks causing Jacob to shapeshift.

Even without the Cullens, threatening vampires like James would still be a threat that the wolves would have to fight, putting Bella in danger.

It doesn’t make sense to paint Jacob as the safer choice when werewolves are known to get into supernatural entanglements and lash out at those they love in anger.

17 They Have Zero Chemistry

While in the books it can be hard to gauge the chemistry between characters, in the Twilight movies, it was easy to see the lack of chemistry between many of the actors, including Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner. Though he was supposed to long for Bella while she secretly held feelings for him and didn’t want to admit it, it was hard to tell from their acting alone.

While the dialogue and their actions may have showed their feelings, the chemistry between them felt forced.  There have also been complaints that Robert Pattinson and Stewart also lacked chemistry. It doesn’t make sense to cast actors to play these characters in a love triangle who don’t play it believably.

16 Jacob Would Have Taken The Life Of Bella’s Baby

A lot of Jacob fans think he’s the warmer, more understanding man in Bella’s life, but there were moments when he acted even colder than Edward, like when decides he wants to take the life of Bella’s infant, despite her clear love for her child. It’s understandable that he’s angry that Bella’s life would end because of the child, but deciding to take the life of the woman he love’s baby is messed up regardless of his reasons.

Yes, Renesmee is technically a monster, but she’s still just a baby.

Before that, he pushes Bella to get rid of the baby and grows incredibly angry when she refuses, despite it being her child and not his. It’s really messed up to want to take the life of an infant, even if the same infant is the reason Bella perishes.

15 Jacob Tries To Control Bella

While a lot of people don’t like the way that Edward tries to control Bella, Jacob’s possessive behavior isn’t much better. Like Edward, he’s constantly trying to manipulate Bella’s feelings and actions. Their relationship has some abusive undertones. Jacob acts as if Bella can’t make her own decisions and is extremely overprotective. When he doesn’t agree with her choices, he’ll yell at her, become aggressive, or run away because he didn’t get his way.  

He even forcibly kisses her to try and convince her she feels something for him. While he’s easy-going and understanding on the surface, he’s controlling when he gets upset. The men in Bella’s life both try to manipulate her like she’s not capable on her own.

14 Bella Won’t Let Him Move On

While Bella does realize that she harbor’s feelings for Jacob, she still chooses Edward, over and over again. It’s clear that she will never decide to be with Jacob. Despite this, she continuously inserts herself into his life, which only causes him pain. Jacob eventually makes the decision to cut Bella out of his life in Eclipse because it’s too painful for him. Bella won’t accept that choice and selfishly tries to keep him in her life, but just as a friend. 

This is a big reason why Jacob grows more frustrated and angry with Bella when she keeps choosing Edward.

She is giving him false hope so that he can never fully move on, which isn’t fair to him and causes his unfair attitude towards her.

13 Jacob Yells At Her At Her Wedding

It’s totally understandable that Jacob wouldn’t want to watch the woman he loves walk down the aisle towards another man, but when he eventually does decide to show up, he ends up yelling at the bride on her wedding day.  He appears without warning and dances with Bella. Just when it seems like the two will be able to get along without arguing, he finds out that Bella will consummate the marriage despite Edward being a vampire.

This causes him to explode in anger at Bella. It’s hard to tell if it’s just fear for her life that makes him angry because he may also be reacting in jealousy. Regardless, he shouldn’t have shown up at her wedding when he clearly isn’t comfortable with Bella being with Edward.

12 Bella And Her Daughter Will Love The Same Man

It was strange enough when Jacob imprinted on Bella’s daughter, but it became even more uncomfortable when fans realized that Renesmee will likely kiss the same man who was in love with her mother one day. Bella and her daughter will one day have been romantically involved with the same man.

It’s also very likely that Renesmee will grow up to resemble her mother, which will have to be strange for Jacob.

It does seem that while Renesmee is still a child, Jacob and Bella have pushed the imprinting argument aside, but it’s bound to cause conflicts one day in the future. It’s not quite inappropriate, but it’s way too weird for most people’s comfort.

11 Jacob Is Closer With Bella’s Dad Than She Is

Throughout the Twilight movies, Bella repeatedly tells Edward how important Charlie is to her. However, her actions don’t seem to match her words. Even Jacob seems to be closer with Bella’s dad than she is.  Especially in the later movies, Jacob is seen with Charlie more than Bella is. He’s even the reason why Charlie gets to continue to have a relationship with Bella after she is turned.

When she and the Cullens plant to leave Forks, Jacob brings Charlie to Bella to get her to stay.  Without Jacob, Charlie would have lost his daughter forever. Even if Jacob did it for selfish reasons, he helps Charlie have a relationship with his daughter when she just planned on running away and hurting him.

10 Jacob Was Attracted To Bella Because Of Her Baby

From the moment Jacob saw Bella in the first Twilight film, it was clear that he was attracted to her. He continued to have feelings for Bella up until she had her baby, Renesmee. He imprinted on her immediately. Renesmee will also grow up to look a lot like Bella with her identical eyes and long, dark hair.

Since Jacob was into Bella before she was even pregnant, it could have been an attraction to her genetics and the child she would eventually create.

Jacob’s entire basis for falling for Bella may have been because his werewolf genes could sense that she would create the person he would eventually imprint on. The entire premise of imprinting on the woman he love’s child is too much of a weird coincidence.

9 Bella’s Anger At His Imprinting Is Hypocritical

When Bella first learns that Jacob is a werewolf, she’s intrigued by the concept and asks to learn more about the Quileute culture, including imprinting. While she’s a little unsure about the concept of imprinting at first, she comes around to it after Jacob explains that even if they imprint on a young girl, like Quil, who imprints on a two year old, their feelings won’t be romantic until she is of age.

Despite accepting this, she goes insane when she learns that Jacob has imprinted on her daughter, Renesmee. While it’s certainly a creepy situation, she was okay when it was someone else’s young child. Why not her own? It’s pretty hypocritical and doesn’t make much sense.

8 Jacob Is More Like Edward Than Bella Thinks

A big driving force in the Bella/Jacob/Edward love triangle is that Edward and Jacob are different. One is a vampire, the other a werewolf. Really, though, they aren’t as different as Bella and some fans want to believe. 

Both men love Bella in a possessive, overprotective way and try to tell her what’s best for her while ignoring her own opinions.

Edward follows her around and aggressively guards her, while Jacob pushes her to leave Edward to the point of lashing out in rage and running away. Sure, they have very different hobbies, with Edward being into books and classical music and Jacob being into action movies and motorcycles, but it seems that Bella has a thing for controlling, unstable men.

7 They Don’t Respect Each Other’s Choices

Throughout Twilight, Jacob and Bella never seem to be on the same page despite being “best friends.” Bella never really respects Jacob’s decisions and he is constantly telling her what she should think and do. Whenever Bella decides to be with Edward, Jacob tells her how wrong she is and tries to manipulate her into choosing him instead rather than accepting her decision.

Bella, also, refuses to respect Jacob’s decision to cut off his relationship with her because it’s too painful for him. She continues to insert herself into his life anyway.  They’re supposed to love each other, but refusing to respect one another is a strange way to show that love. It doesn’t make sense to treat the person you care so much about like a child who can’t make his or her own decisions.

6 Jacob Starts A War For Her

Despite all that happened throughout the first three Twilight installments, Jacob is still ready to perish for Bella in Breaking Dawn. Not only that, but he’s also willing to take lives and start wars in order to save her life. He was always a loyal pack member, but when he learned that Sam was going to take Bella’s life along with her future child’s, Jacob left the pack and started his own in order to save her life, causing a deep rift between the wolves.

Not only that, but he also was ready to stand by the Cullens when the Volturi came, despite them being a major threat to his own life, in order to protect both Bella and her daughter.

That’s a lot of sacrifice to make for a woman who didn’t choose to love him back.

5 Jacob Can’t Give Bella A Normal Life

While Jacob was once human, by the time the second book rolled around, he was transitioning into a shapeshifting wolf. Despite this, part of his reasoning why Bella should choose him is because she could stay human and live a normal life. However, dating a werewolf isn’t exactly a normal human thing to do.

Yes, Bella wouldn’t turn into an immortal vampire if she chose Jacob, but she would still be choosing to date a supernatural creature who brings danger into their lives. The wolves also don’t age as long as they’re still shifting, so Jacob would most likely outlive Bella if she were human. His reasoning about why she should choose him don’t always make sense.

4 If It Weren’t For Edward, They’d Be Together

If the Cullens hadn’t decided to settle in Forks, Bella’s love life would have been drastically different. She likely would have ended up with Jacob.  Their two families are very close, so they would have been spending a lot of time together. It’s clear that the pair has chemistry and they are attracted to each other.

Without Edward, she also wouldn’t have had Renesmee, so he would never have imprinted on her child.

Instead, he would stay in love with her. It seems clear from the books that if Edward weren’t around, she would have ended up with Jacob. It’s weird to think that their relationship could have been drastically different without one character being around.

3 Jacob Kisses Bella Against Her Will

While Bella does eventually kiss Jacob willingly, their first kiss wasn’t exactly consensual.  Jacob has always been a bit frustrated with Bella, but he took things too far when he grabbed her and forcibly kissed her on the beach. In the book, she even says that she shut down and didn’t reciprocate the kiss. Afterwards, she calls him an idiot and punches him.

While it was laughed off as a joke, it really wasn’t okay for him to kiss or grab her without her consent. Even Charlie laughs at the concept when Bella is obviously upset. It’s brushed aside like no big deal but it shows that Jacob has some control issues. It doesn’t make sense to romanticize the encounter like it was nothing when it was technically assault.

2 Bella Treats Jacob Like A Child

Edward and Bella’s age difference has always been weird. It doesn’t matter if he looks seventeen– she’s a teenager and he is over one hundred years old. Despite their very large age difference, she constantly jokes like Jacob is way too young for her.

While Bella and Edward’s age gap spans multiple decades, she and Jacob are only two years apart.

She acts like he is ridiculously younger than her when they really have way more in common than she and Edward do, and a lot of that has to do with their ages. It just doesn’t make sense to treat Jacob like a child when she should look like a child in Edward’s eyes.

1 Jacob Imprints On Bella’s Daughter

One of the strangest aspects of Twilight is Jacob’s imprinting on Renesmee. There’s no way to spin it without it being a little bit uncomfortable. Fans have been upset by the concept since they read the final book.

While she’s a baby, the feelings are platonic and protective, but it seems clear that everyone is banking on the pair being romantic once Renesmee is of age. When she’s older, Jacob will be in love with her after helping to raise her. To make things weirder, he’ll have to explain how he was once in love with her mother. There are so many potential endings that could have been written for Jacob, but this is the one that makes the least amount of sense to fans.

Are there any other aspects of Bella and Jacob’s relationship in Twilight that make no sense? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-06 02:10:53 – Britt Poteet

Star Trek’s New Spock Revealed in Discovery Season 2 Trailer at NYCC

A new trailer for season 2 of Star Trek Discovery debuted at New York Comic-Con this weekend, offering a first look at Ethan Peck as Spock and promising a universe full of new adventures. The panel also confirmed that the show is set to return to CBS All Access in January 2019.

Starring Sonequa Martin-Green as disgraced Starfleet officer Michael Burnham, Star Trek Discovery premiered last year on CBS before moving exclusively to CBS All Access, to encourage fans to sign up for the streaming platform. Season 1 was a wild ride, featuring a giant space tardigrade, the Mirror Dimension, and a major character twist. It also ended on a tantalizing cliffhanger, with the Discovery receiving a distress signal from none other than Captain Christopher Pike of the USS Enterprise.

Related: Star Trek Discovery Klingon Look Will Change In Season 2

Anson Mount (Inhumans) joins Star Trek Discovery season 2 as Captain Pike, while Michael’s adoptive brother Spock will be played by Ethan Peck (The Honor List). Given that both of these characters have a long history in the Star Trek franchise, fans have been eager to see Discovery’s take on Pike and Spock – and now they finally can. Also revealed in the trailer is Rebecca Romijn (X-Men) as Number One, telling Pike to “be careful.” Check out the trailer for Star Trek Discovery season 2 below:

In addition to revealing Spock in the trailer, CBS also shared an official photo of Peck’s character:

There were plenty of interesting reveals during the Star Trek Discovery panel at NYCC, including the tidbit that the home planet of Saru’s (Doug Jones) species, the Kelpians, is called Kaminar. The crew will visit Kaminar in season 2, and we’ll get to meet Saru’s sister, Sarana. Saru had a complicated relationship with Michael in season 1 – acting coldly towards her after her act of mutiny, but eventually warming to her again and growing to respect her strong moral compass. The season 2 trailer indicates that Saru and Michael will grow even closer in a clip where Michael holds Saru’s hand and tells him, “You are my family.”

The trailer also sets up a season 2 arc related to Spock and Michael having visions of a “Red Angel,” which is apparently the “biggest mystery of the season” and “appears to Burnham at a very critical moment.” The Red Angel may be connected to the seven signals mentioned in the trailer, but Martin-Green and Peck stayed tight-lipped when asked for more clues about what these mean. Color us intrigued…

More: Star Trek ‘Runaway’ Trailer Teases a Spooky Discovery Short Story

Star Trek Discovery season 2 will premiere on CBS All Access in January 2019.



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2018-10-06 02:10:28 – Hannah Shaw-Williams

A Star Is Born’s Ending Is Bad (And Always Has Been)

WARNING: Major spoilers for A Star Is Born

A Star Is Born‘s ending undoes what could have been a Hollywood classic – but that’s not exactly Bradley Cooper’s fault. From its first version in 1937, A Star Is Born has always had a problematic resolution to its story, one that’s only got worse over the past century, and this latest version is no different.

A Star Is Born is a classic story that Hollywood loves so much it’s told it four times (with a suspiciously-similar earlier version, several failed attempts and many, many imitators). A top-of-his-game star (in 2018, Bradley Cooper’s rock star Jackson Maine) is suffering from alcoholism and in a stupor discovers a struggling artist (Lady Gaga as Ally, a waitress moonlighting in a drag bar), falling in love with both her and her talent. He provides her with a big break, sending her fame into the stratosphere just as his addictions begin to derail his career. The pair marry, but despite their love things begin to fray.

Related: Read Our A Star Is Born Review

It’s a tale of rags to riches, of falls from grace, of the power of love, and personal identity within all of that. And, for much of the runtime, A Star Is Born 2018 is genuinely a great version of all those stories. Gaga’s first major concert leaves you floating, Cooper shows mental affliction with grace, both perform their songs incredibly (to actual live crowds, no less), and are utterly believable as troubled lovers. It is, for much of its runtime, a very good film worthy of that deafening hype.

However, everything implodes into a black hole of pretentiousness as what could have been a great film its own right has to follow through on being called A Star Is Born

  • This Page: The Problem With A Star Is Born’s Ending
  • Page 2: A Star Is Born’s Ending Has Always Been Bad
  • Page 3: Why Bradley Cooper Couldn’t Fix A Star Is Born

What Happens In A Star Is Born’s Ending

We’ll stick with Cooper’s take for now before going deeper into the past. A Star Is Born‘s third act is kicked off by Ally winning the Grammy for Best New Artist – a major step for her career, undercut entirely by Jack drunkenly taking to the stage with her and relieving himself on live TV. He goes into rehab and she wrestles with where her focus should lie, eventually deciding to try and protect her recovering husband. She cancels her European tour when her agent, Rez, blocks the duo playing together.

As a result, Jack kills himself. He’s confronted by a seething Rez who has no sympathies or expectations of sobriety and states outright Jack’s ruining his wife’s career. When she matter-of-fact states the tour cancellation, he sees the impact of his actions and, while she plays a concert, he hangs himself in their garage.

Related: Every Song On A Star Is Born’s Soundtrack

This breaks Ally at first, leaving her emotionally distraught, before her understanding the meaning of Jack’s sacrifice – to enable her to truly become the star he always saw – helps her pull through. The film ends at a tribute concert in Jack’s memory. “My name is Ally Maine.” she declares before singing “I’ll Never Love Again”, a song based on their relationship they wrote together while he was recovering. A flashback shows the pair singing, she looks through the camera at the audience, the end.

Why A Star Is Born’s Ending Is Bad

Removing the ending of all presentation and self-imposed importance (a character looking into the camera at the end is an overused trope that Cooper simply doesn’t earn), in just writing down the events of A Star Is Born its problems should be obvious.

Jack decides to kill himself to save his wife, committing suicide because it’s the only way to set her free. This comes about two hours into a film which has slowly built up its numerous interpersonal relationships, and so comes as a drastic and rather unearned turn. Now, there is an argument to be made about accuracy to the unpredictability of mental illness, but given the intimacy audiences had with both Jack and Ally up until this moment, that doesn’t fit with the rest of the film. A Star Is Born, plainly, presents suicide as the only way out. It’s meant to come across as a selfless act but still values success as a true route to happiness, meaning anything emotional about the “gesture” is laced with hypocrisy.

But it’s what comes after and Ally’s coming to terms with her loss that’s so disquieting. For all her innate talent being the drive of the story and her freely made decision to step back what motivated Jack to kill himself, the final scene makes everything about Jack; the mononymous singer for the first time takes on her husband’s surname at his concert, where she performs a song that he helped her write in her original singer style. The suggestion is meant to be that Jack was holding her back, but in the shadow of the previous two hours the strange implication is that the act of a true star being born came from the adversity of Jack’s sacrifice. Making Ally’s success symbiotic to her dead husband is already heavily in the text of the film, but the final scene makes her final ascension even more indebted to his drastic act.

It’s hard to not read A Star Is Born‘s ending as trivializing suicide down to a plot point to give the fundamentally broken male lead the defining role in its female protagonist’s arc. It’s a weird move to make in 2018, although don’t believe this is just the product of an 80-year-old movie being remade. There’s something flawed at the heart of A Star Is Born.

Page 2: A Star Is Born’s Ending Has Always Been Bad

The True Story Behind A Star Is Born’s Ending Explains The Problem

There have been four versions of A Star Is Born: the 1937 Hollywood-skewering original starring Janet Gaynor and Frederick March, the 1954 musical starring Judy Garland and James Mason, the 1976 shift to the music industry with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, and the latest Cooper/Gaga release. Each one has its own quirks, but all endeavor to tell the same story of love and fame intertwined, and all have the same basic ending. But the 1937 version isn’t the start. While A Star Is Born‘s narrative is a fiction, it’s very much based on truth; each movie is rooted heavily in the entertainment industry of the time – Hollywood for the 1937 and 1954 versions, music for 1976 and 2018 – and aims to tell an encapsulating story. There are some real-life events that inspired it.

The established star falling for an unknown as she climbs to the top was seen in actors Barbara Stanwyck and Frank Fay’s relationship, with the pair marrying in 1928 when the former was an unknown after starring in a Broadway show together. Their marriage fell apart after she rose above him and he fell into alcoholism. They separated in 1935 after seven years of marriage, two years before A Star Is Born was released. This appears to have been composited with the death of silent film actor John Bowers, who died at sea in 1936 after failing to win a part (whether it was a suicide or not is unclear). There are others (as we’ll see) but these are regarded as the ones who powered the 1937 version.

Related: Lady Gaga Fans Are Trolling Venom With Fake Bad Reviews

Of course, there’s one key distinction between inspiration and movie: in real life, it was two unrelated stories. There are the famous lovers who piggyback success and the past-it star who takes his own life, but in all cases these two aspects are entirely independent; the woman goes on to greater success by cutting the man out, while elsewhere another man falls from grace. Both stories epitomize Hollywood together, and taken alongside each other rather than melded have an ingrained believability. A Star Is Born trades that for something more streamlined in having the suicide be the culmination of the romance, but it’s also idealistic and wistful, losing the real moral of either.

This is reflected in what is regarded as a proto-Star Is Born, the 1932 film What Price Hollywood? Released five years before the 1937 version and produced also by David O. Selznick (and directed by George Cukor, who was approached for the first A Star Is Born and directed the first remake), this is regarded as something of a dry run at the story. Obviously from the release year it can’t share the same real-life inspirations (although, because this is the Golden Age of Hollywood, there are others pointed to), but the core concept and even smaller story beats are there, albeit with one massive difference: the leads are not romantically involved. Lowell Sherman’s Max drunkenly finds Constance Bennett’s Mary and helps make her a star, eventually killing himself after he sees realizes how far he’s fallen and is hurting his friend, while Mary’s suffers an ill-fated marriage that breaks down due to her absences filming and is reconciled at the end.

Watched today, What Price Hollywood? has a cynicism about the film industry ahead of its time despite ultimately being a movie romanticizing Hollywood – and at the core of this is the tragic story of Max and its impact on Mary’s life. The title question is apt.

How The Remakes Have Tried To “Fix” The Ending

In contrast to What Price Hollywood?, A Star Is Born 1937 carries a self-awareness and charm, but in bridging the romantic and the career side of protagonist Esther creates the problematic suicide reading. It’s not helped by dated elements, including the defining part of Esther’s ascension being the actress known as Vicki Lester taking on her husband’s name with a declaration “This is Mrs. Norman Maine“. It works given the time period, but even 16 years later needed an update.

Related: Watch the Trailer For A Star Is Born

The 1954 version is, for the most part, a beat-for-beat remake, just with dance number expansion to make it a musical, but it does make some strides to justifying the ending. The toll that caring for a drunk has on Judy Garland’s Vicki Lester is shown gradually, most upsettingly in an off-stage breakdown she immediately returns to filming from: an unavoidable presentation of the line between art and performer. But, ultimately, it ends in the same way: Norman Maine overhears Vicki’s plans to quit acting to care for her husband, so he feigns going for a swim and drowns himself; after a traumatic period and being unmasked at her funeral (the invasion of the press), Vicki returns to the public eye where she declares herself “Mrs. Norman Maine“. Every issue discussed is here.

The 1976’s A Star Is Born is overall incredibly melodramatic, nowhere less than its handling of the ending. What it should be praised for is its attempts at giving the female lead a greater sense of autonomy: throughout Streisand’s Esther makes decisions that power the narrative, not just being led along by Kristoffersen as those who came before her, but that’s lost thuddingly in the finale. After his meltdown, John Howard has imposed isolation – not rehab – and when returning home immediately sleeps with a reporter wanting an interview for Esther. The couple tries to power past this, but John figures he’s still broken and crashes his car at high speeds. Again, Esther is sad before taking his name (and singing at a tribute event).

Like we’ve already explored with A Star Is Born 2018, all versions have tried to provide their own contemporary spin on the tale to iron out its kinks, yet all wind up having to repeat the same suicide-anger-name triple-tap that doesn’t belong. A degree can be accounted to the changing times, but that ignores that the original trio of movies released over nearly 40 years, and that Cooper wasn’t able to address it either.

Page 3: Why Bradley Cooper Couldn’t Fix A Star Is Born

Why Bradley Cooper Can’t Fix A Star Is Born

Bradley Cooper certainly tries to bring a modern slant to the worn tale of A Star Is Born. He invests heavily in making Jack and Ally’s opposite trajectories operate independently – Jack is suffering from tinnitus before he’s heard a note of “La Vie En Rose”, while Ally’s SNL appearance is deemed to contradict his advice – while making the love story more immediate. It’s a bigger story, more personal and considerably more consummately paced.

But, like all the others, the ending hits a snag. And some of his decisions make it worse. The method of final descent is different, with the awards show upset and rehab undone not by Maine going off the rails again as in every other take, but rather by Ally’s agent calling his supposed bluff. It’s implied from the British Rez knowing when exactly Jackson first toured across the pond that he was once a fan, now disillusioned with his hero, making him a millennial scapegoat to any affronting reading.

Related: 2018 Fall Movie Preview: The 30 Films to See

This generational push and pull could have been what sent A Star Is Born to greatness. Sam Elliott’s speech about there only being twelve notes played over and over, with the majesty coming from how the artist uses them is a beautiful sentiment that sees Cooper self-justifying another remake and appears like a zen view on the entertainment business that birthed it. Except it isn’t, because this idea is also trying to explain the ending, claiming that the music industry is cyclical and that stars are born and then new stars are born later; Jack’s death is enabling that. What the film seems to miss is that for one state to ever enter another, a star must always die. Ally will fall too. The raw textual argument is that the failures are as eternal as the successes, raising the question of worth, yet the film provides no further exploration and presents it as somehow immediately uplifting.

And that’s the hump that A Star Is Born 2018, like its predecessors, can’t get over. The story thinks it’s a biting, self-aware take on itself, but it’s too close to the subject to see that it’s really just propagating a harsh cycle. This isn’t helped by the film being weighted by so much – the casting of Lady Gaga, his writer-director-producer-actor whammy, even Sam Elliott as the Sam Elliott-type – although those concerns are also the key explanation for what’s really going on.

A Star Is Born Only Exists Because Of Ego

Throughout this article, there’s been one question dangling unspoken. Why are there four versions of A Star Is Born anyway? It’s a story that is flawed and dated, on a topic which has been tackled in more films than any other. Yes, each movie got serious Oscar nominations and wins, but that alone isn’t enough to justify going back. The true answer is enlightening.

1954’s A Star Is Born was conceived as a bid to restart Judy Garland’s career after it stalled over the 1940s. 1976’s A Star Is Born was Barbra Streisand’s attempt (along with then-husband Jon Peters) to boost her standing in Hollywood. And 2018’s A Star Is Born is Bradley Cooper’s grand attempt to win the Oscar that he believes he deserves (his entire post-Hangover career is a carefully played game of chess with a Golden Baldie the King). There are studio concerns too (before Cooper, Warner Bros had been attempting to get a remake off the ground since the early 2010s, although as a Beyonce vehicle has the same career expansion goals), but those are the primary purposes of each version. A Star Is Born is a vanity project on repeat.

Related: A Star Is Born Is An Oscar Favorite – But Could An Infamous Producer Hurt Its Chances?

Now, vanity projects needn’t be bad, and indeed a lot of good comes from each of these attempts. Indeed, each was ultimately successful in both their primary and commercial goals: Garland’s career was rejuvenated; Streisand won her second Oscar; and Cooper’s currently the front-runner in multiple categories for next year’s Academy Awards.

But this aspect appears to be why each version of A Star Is Born struggles to understand the real meaning of its ending. Each powering force believes this movie will be what takes them being a Norman/Jack Maine to a new Esther/Ally while missing that it’s built into the story to be impossible. They believe so much in the two contradictory Hollywood legends wholesale, so don’t see that the story is almost warning against such a thing.

A Star Is Born Is No Longer Needed

In recent years, we’ve seen Hollywood’s reliable rotation of movies about itself take a genuinely incisive slant. 2015’s Best Picture Winner Birdman was an ostentatious exploration of ego that too ended with the protagonist committing suicide, but there it was with the wry critique that fame and adoration are fleeting and that such a bold act was the only way for the self-involved hero to reach the heights he dreamed of. Then there’s 2017’s almost-Best Picture Winner La La Land, which was a celebration of Hollywood-gone-by looking at love in a city of stars, eventually concluding that success required the sacrifice of the central relationship.

Together, these take on all the ideas that A Star Is Born is playing with and apply them in a more thoughtful way. The messages are more widely applicable and their endnotes have considerably less of the hypocrisy. Birdman and La La Land may find joy in the arts, but they also uncover the trials of creativity and fame, keeping the brutal truths in earshot while presenting from a position of success.

A Star Is Born 2018 is a good movie, an undeniable achievement for both Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. But there is a flaw at the heart of the tale that just doesn’t ring true. Unless it’s made with a completely revisionist, ego-less eye, in twenty years we do not need another one.

More: Every Version Of A Star Is Born Ranked, From Garland To Gaga



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2018-10-06 01:10:52 – Alex Leadbeater