For the first Superman movie, producers wanted Christopher Reeve to wear fake muscles under his suit but he refused. He instead went on an intense training program adding 30lbs of muscle to his thin 189lb frame. He got so big they had to reshoot earlier scenes as they didnt match later shots.
Taxi Driver (1976) was made with a low budget of only $1.9 million. Robert De Niro & Cybill Shepherd received only $35k for the film while Scorsese received only $65k. Despite the low budget, it went on to receive 4 nominations at the 1977 Academy Awards.
Actor Dorian Harewood (Eightball) in Full Metal Jacket asked for more money when Kubrick inevitably needed more time on the contract. Dorian asked for more money and Kubrick was furious and killed him off — in the movie. Kubrick had him laying on the cold ground for hours and riddled him with bullets.
Following Bruce Lee’s death in 1973, a series of “Brucesploitation” movies got released starring look-alike actors to capitalize on the late star’s fame. The actors had names such as Bruce Le, Bruce Lai, Brute Lee, and Bruce Lie.
Jared Hess had a $400,000 budget for ‘Napoleon Dynamite’, relying on the generosity of the locals of Preston, Idaho, to provide housing and food for crew members. Jon Heder was initially paid $1000 for starring as Napoleon.
At the age of 17, Steven Spielberg directed a sci-fi film called “Firelight”. The budget was $500, and it was shown at a local cinema, with 500 people coming, and tickets costing a dollar each. However, one person paid $2, so the movie made $1, making it Spielberg’s first commercial success.
During filming of It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, seeing a white stunt double for a black actor applying blackface, black extra Eddie Smith asked the director why they couldn’t hire a black one. The director said, “find us one, and I will,” and Smith later founded the Black Stuntmen’s Association.
To prepare for her role as Annie in Speed, Sandra Bullock actually learned how to drive a bus. She passed the test and got her license on her first try.
Chris McCandless’s “Into the Wild” bus in Alaska was removed from Denali after tourists kept getting severely injured or dying while trying to visit it.
John Malkovich won the award for the best supporting actor for his role in the movie Being John Malkovich.