David Bruce: Movies Anecdotes

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So what are the lives of the rich and famous really like? One day, the world-famous movie star Gwyneth Paltrow was driving in a car with her friend the world-famous make-up artist Kevyn Aucoin. Unfortunately, Gwyneth’s butt fell asleep, so she told her friend, “Kevyn, you have to punch me in the *ss because I can’t sit here anymore. I can’t feel my *ss.” She pulled herself up on the steering wheel, and Kevyn obligingly punched her butt a few times. They then noticed a van filled with guys in the next lane looking at them and wondering what was going on. Both Gwyneth and Kevyn started laughing so hard that, Gwyneth says, “We were, like, ‘Oh, my God, we’re going to pee in the car.’” Another time, Kevyn got trapped in an elevator and could not get out for almost an hour. He hated it, but fortunately the world-famous movie star Sharon Stone, one of his friends, learned of his plight and lay on the floor outside the elevator so she could talk to him through a crack and keep him from having a nervous breakdown. Sharon says, “You know, he always tried to cram too much into each day, so he always had millions of excuses for why he was late. But this excuse was for real!”

When making the movie Missing in Action, Chuck Norris did a stunt that almost turned deadly. In the scene, a helicopter had arrived and Chuck was helping some POWs he had rescued to climb up the ladder. Finally, Chuck was the last one left and he got on the ladder. The helicopter was supposed to rise a few feet in the air, and then the shot would end. However, the helicopter kept going up with Chuck on the ladder with no safety harness. Chuck looked at the water and wondered, If I let go, will the drop kill me? Eventually, the helicopter returned to shore, and Chuck asked the stunt coordinator, “If I had decided to drop into water, would it have killed me?” This answer came back: “Deader than a doornail.” By the way, this is a Chuck Norris Fact: “Chuck Norris never uses a stunt double, except during crying scenes.”

Actress Molly Ringwald once fell in love with Jean Seberg’s very short haircut in Jean-Luc Godard’s movie Breathless—Molly calls it “hairstyle love at first sight.” She got a photo of Jean Seberg sporting the haircut, took it to her hairstylist, and got the same hairstyle. It was a success. Unfortunately, when Molly returned to the hair salon, she got a different stylist and did not have the Jean Seberg photo with her. She thought that this would not be a problem. She was wrong. The new hair stylist cut her hair way too short and exclaimed, “You can so pull this off!” Molly spent an hour crying while her husband comforted her. He had finally comforted her enough that she stopped crying when they visited Molly’s mother—who took one look at her and said, “It’s OK. We’ll get a wig.”

Dane Boedigheimer created The Annoying Orange, a very popular series of YouTube videos in which an orange insults its guests on a talk show. The videos end with a knife slicing the guest in two. He also created a parody of the horror film The Ring—Mr. Boedigheimer’s version is titled The Onion Ring. He sent the video out in a mass email and told the recipients to send the video to five of their friends, threatening that if they did not, he would turn the recipients into onion rings. Unfortunately, an 11-year-old girl got the email and was terrified by it. Her mother emailed Mr. Boedigheimer, and he then emailed the 11-year-girl and assured her that he had no intention of turning her into food.

Kirk Douglas is famous for many, many movies, including Spartacus, in one scene of which the bad guys ask who is Spartacus. Kirk, playing Spartacus, stands up and says, “I am Spartacus,” but man after man stands up and says, “I am Spartacus.” One of Kirk’s sons, Eric, worked as a stand-up comedian, and as all stand-up comedians do, he occasionally bombed. Once, he got angry at the audience and shouted at them, “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?” An audience member asked, “Who are you?” Eric shouted, “I AM KIRK DOUGLAS’ SON.” One by one, members of the audience stood up and said, “I am Kirk Douglas’ son.”

It is possible to make a movie for the fun of it while not expecting — and perhaps not wanting — a lot of people to see it. For example, 1980s pop princess Debbie Gibson made the television B movie Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus for the Syfy channel after her agent brought the acting opportunity to her attention. She says, “I figured die-hard science fiction fans would see it, and that’s it. Fun, kitschy — and under the radar.” Fun, yes. Kitschy, yes. Under the radar, no. Actually, millions of people saw the movie. When her agent called Ms. Gibson to tell her how many people had seen the movie, he began the conversation by saying, “Please don’t fire me.”

In 1948 bodybuilder Kirk Alyn starred as Superman in a low-budget serial. Once, Superman had to rescue two people from a burning building. Mr. Alyn acted in the scene, but the director said to him, “That was great, Kirk. But could we do it again without you straining so much? I mean, Superman is super strong—lifting a couple of humans should be easy.” Mr. Alyn replied, “What do you expect? These people are heavy!” The director realized that he had made a mistake: “People? Oh, my goodness! I’m sorry. We forgot to get you the dummies!”

Opera tenor Luciana Pavarotti made an unsuccessful movie titled Yes, Giorgio. Perhaps it was unsuccessful because Mr. Pavarotti was known for his voice (and his weight), not for his acting. According to Hollywood lore, Kate Jackson of Charlie’s Angels fame almost signed up to co-star with Mr. Pavarotti, but singer/actress Cher advised her, “Never, never, ever do a movie where you can’t get your arms around your romantic lead.”

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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