10 Moments From Actors on Set That Made Their Movies Extra Special
One survey reflected a major shift in the film industry — 36% of people said they would rather stream movies at home, while only 14% preferred to watch flicks the old school way at the theatre. But no matter where the setting is, a good film will engage its audience with a captivating plot and appealing visuals. And sometimes, the actors’ personal touches on the script or behind-the-scenes accounts can also make our viewing experience more interesting.
Bright Side gathered 10 fascinating tidbits that happened on set during a movie production, and they might change the way you view the actors’ characters and their scenes.
1. Chris Hemsworth kissed his wife in the final scene of Thor: The Dark World.
At the end of the movie, the Asgardian God of Thunder, Thor, traveled back to Earth to see Dr. Jane Foster (played by Natalie Portman), and they shared a passionate kiss. Fans may have noticed that the on-screen smooch had a bit more flame in it, and that’s because Hemsworth was actually kissing his wife, Elsa Pataky, who stood in for Portman. At that time, the Black Swan actress couldn’t make it to the reshoots, so the team had to improvise.
In one video, Hemsworth said that when they asked him to choose a different talent for the kissing scene, he mentioned that his wife was just around the corner and suggested bringing her in instead. His idea worked — the romance felt more real and he jokingly added, “I wouldn’t have to explain to her what I’ve been doing at work if I’m having to kiss someone else.”
2. Stephanie Beatriz went into labor while recording her solo song for Encanto.
One thing that makes a film remarkable is the commitment the actor has to the role. And there’s no question about Stephanie Beatriz’s devotion to her craft because, aside from making a film while she was pregnant, she also recorded Mirabel Madrigal’s song while having contractions. Interestingly, the track’s title was “Waiting on a Miracle,” and the actress happened to have her own little miracle on the way.
Beatriz said that on the day they were scheduled to record the song, she was in labor but didn’t want to alarm the Disney producers. So she went in with her fingers crossed and hoped to finish the song before the baby arrived. The film’s director, Byron Howard, admitted that they knew she was due soon, but they had no idea it was that close. Beatriz gave birth to a healthy baby girl the very next day.
3. Martin Scorsese’s mom made a cameo and cooked the mouthwatering food in his movie, Goodfellas.
We don’t really expect an iconic cooking scene to come out of a crime drama film, but Goodfellas is yet another testament to Scorsese’s outstanding directorial abilities. In this movie, he had a little help from his mother, Catherine, who made a cameo as the mom of antagonist Tommy DeVito (played by Joe Pesci). But Mrs. Scorsese didn’t just share her acting talents — she shared her recipes too.
One of the prison scenes featured the preparation of her homemade meat sauce, and it was so intoxicatingly good that it made viewers want to recreate it (lucky for us, the recipe is available online). According to Scorsese, his mother’s presence and her food helped produce an organic familial atmosphere on set. “My mother treated (them like) real family members because we’ve known each other for so long and, to her, it was my son’s friends (who) were making a movie,” he added.
4. Chris Pratt had a funny way of getting into character in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Chris Pratt’s background, after starring in the sitcom, Parks and Recreation, added to his image as a goofy guy. And his sense of humor was quite evident in the film, Guardians of the Galaxy. In a tweet, movie director James Gunn revealed that whenever Pratt’s character (Star-Lord) fires his space weapon, the actor makes “pew pew” sounds.
The director added that Pratt wasn’t even aware of it until he was called out. The actor’s adorable habit may have caused some reshoots, but Gunn said he didn’t mind and that it was, in fact, one of his favorite things. It probably added more giggles and good vibes to the set too.
5. Emma Watson’s pet passed away on the set of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and the crew helped her through it.
After working together in 8 films, the cast of the Harry Potter series undoubtedly shares a very special bond. In the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Special, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Daniel Radcliffe fondly recalled how they took care of each other during production. Watson, a.k.a. Hermione, once said in a speech that she found a “surrogate family” in the movie industry.
When Watson’s childhood hamster passed away, the cast and crew helped her through her grief. They were shooting when it happened, so the set designers made her a tiny coffin, which was lined with velvet and had “Millie” (the hamster’s name) engraved on it. Grint recalled that the cast even “said a few words,” which just goes to show that the chemistry they all share on-screen exists in real life too.
6. Arnold Schwarzenegger helped a co-actor in Total Recall who was dealing with personal problems during the shoot.
In the movie, Michael Ironside’s character, Richter, is the antagonist to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s fictional persona, Quaid. But when the cameras stopped rolling, the 2 actors are actually were good friends. According to reports, Schwarzenegger noticed that Ironside was often on the phone in between takes, and he eventually learned that his co-star’s sister was extremely sick.
Ironside told Schwarzenegger that he was sad about not being able to talk to his sister (there were no Internet and cellphones at that time), and the former bodybuilder offered to help. They went to his trailer where he had a phone, and Ironside shared that he got emotional when he heard Schwarzenegger genuinely expressing his concern for his sibling. It was that moment that cemented their friendship.
7. What we saw as a spine-chilling corridor scene from The Shining was actually child actor Danny Lloyd having fun on his ride.
Danny Lloyd was only 5 years old when they filmed the horror flick, and to protect him, director Stanley Kubrick hid the truth about the terrifying plot. As a result, Lloyd’s memories from production are mostly happy events, like an Easter egg hunt and eating peanut butter sandwiches with his co-stars.
And in the terrifying scene of little Danny anxiously pedaling his “bike” along the hotel corridor, what Lloyd really remembers is that he was reeling with excitement from being allowed to ride the tricycle indoors. Now, if we muster enough courage to re-watch the horror classic, maybe our knowledge of Lloyd happily driving through the hall will soften the horror in that clip.
8. Tom Cruise declared his love for his family while doing a daredevil stunt for Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.
The Mission Impossible film series never fails to deliver heart-stopping action scenes, and its fourth installment contained some of the most harrowing stunts Tom Cruise has ever done. His spy character, Ethan Hunt, had to scale the world’s tallest building — the 2,722-foot-high Burj Khalifa. To complete the stunt, Cruise reportedly climbed a series of elevators and an estimated 200 feet of ladders to get to the top.
Reaching the structure’s peak is no ordinary feat, so Cruise made the most out of his time up there. He was quoted saying that he crawled over to the side to sign the names of his kids and Katie Holmes (who was still his wife back then), and he finished the markings by writing that he loved them. Talk about setting the bar really high!
9. Jennifer Lawrence got her nephews to play her children in the last scene of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.
To the satisfaction of fans, the film series ended with a calm and peaceful shot of Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Joshua Hutcherson) and their 2 kids. Lawrence later revealed that this was a very special moment for her because the kids in the scene were actually her nephews.
The older one with Peeta was her oldest nephew, Bear, and the one in her arms was the 9-month-old Theo. The actress explained that having her blood family within the scene served as an amazing closure to the character that she had given life to and loved for so many years.
10. The song that John Krasinski and Emily Blunt danced to in one scene from A Quiet Place had a special meaning for them.
Krasinski has been vocal about the movie being a “love letter” to his kids because it shows what parents will go through to protect their children. But the entire film is also full of references to his loving relationship with his wife, who is also the leading actress in it.
In one emotional scene, the couple, very quietly, slow dances to Neil Young’s 1990s love track, “Harvest Moon.” Apparently, they chose to include this tune in the movie for a reason. Krasinski said that 2 of their dear friends got married to that song, and it was the perfect choice for a part that had no dialogue.
But wait, there’s more! Fans who followed Krasinski’s career also noted that the “sharing of the earbuds” sequence looked strangely familiar. And they were quick to point out that it might be the actor’s subtle nod to his previous sitcom, The Office, because one of the sweetest moments in the show was when Jim (Krasinski) shared the earphones with Pam (Jenna Fischer).
Do you know other movie trivia that makes films way more interesting? What is the most surprising behind-the-scenes tidbit that you’ve heard so far?