12 Movie Improvisations That Deserve an Oscar
Both in the cinema world and in real life, things don’t always go as planned. But sometimes, these accidents are so lucky that they look as if they have been carefully planned. Most films only get better because of the actors’ improvisations.
Can you imagine The Godfather scene without the cat on Don Corleone’s lap? It wasn’t in the script, just as the shawarma scene in The Avengers or the funny wife story in Good Will Hunting.
Bright Side has made a list of wonderful movie scenes that were made even better because the actors decided to improvise.
12. Avengers: Infinity War — the scene where Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Doctor Strange meet Guardians of the Galaxy for the first time
There are many funny scenes in this film, but not everyone knows that not all of them were scripted. For example, in the scene where Peter Quill asks where Gamora is, Tony Stark was supposed to say, “I have a better question: Who is Gamora?” But actor Dave Bautista (Drax) suddenly said, “I have a better question: Why Gamora?”
11. Good Will Hunting — the wife story
The story of the psychotherapist about the little imperfection of his late wife (“She had all sorts of idiosyncrasies. You know, she used to fart in her sleep. One night it was so loud, it woke the dog up.”) was Robin William’s improvisation. This is why Matt Daemon’s laugh is absolutely real in this scene. And if you look closely, you can see that the camera is shaking because the cameraman couldn’t resist.
10. Rain Man — the phone booth scene
During the shooting of this episode, Dustin Hoffman put himself in an awkward situation: the actor accidentally farted in the phone booth, but both Dustin and Tom Cruise acted as if it was scripted in the first place.
9. Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back — declaration of love
The script said that Han was supposed to say “I love you, too” after Lea said this, but this line seemed too primitive to Harrison Ford, so he said “I know” instead.
8. The Departed — the gun in Frank Costello’s hands
This was not the first case where Jack Nicholson had improvised on the set. But Leonardo DiCaprio was brilliant in this scene too. Leo was literally shaking — that’s how scared he was when Frank Costello, portrayed by Nicholson, pointed a gun at him in the middle of the conversation.
According to director Martin Scorsese, this scene still gives him the chills. The gun that Jack used was real: secretly, without warning anyone, he snuck the gun to the set, and hid it under his clothes to be able to take it out at the most unexpected moment.
7. Crazy, Stupid, Love — the jump from Dirty Dancing
There was no jump in the script, but Ryan Gosling thought that it was the right thing to do. He got this idea, because the actor had done this many times with his friends in bars and clubs.
6. The Godfather — the cat on Don Corleone’s lap
The animal was not scripted — it is believed that the cat, that accidentally appeared on the set, jumped into Marlon Brando’s lap. The actor had no choice but to act as Don Corleone that was playing with a cat during a pretty unpleasant conversation.
5. The Wolf of Wall Street — the restaurant song
The part where the characters of Matthew McConaughey and Leonardo DiCaprio sing, or rather, hum a song beating themselves on the chests, was supposed to be different. But Matthew decided to improvise and started the ritual that he uses in his real life in order to relax. And DiCaprio just followed suit almost bursting with laughter.
4. Zoolander — the cemetery conversation
Some improvisations happen when the actors suddenly forget their lines. This is what happened with Ben Stiller and David Duchovny. David’s character was just saying that it was the fashion industry that was behind all the big political murders of the past 100 years and Zoolander just asked, “Why male models?”
Duchovny’s character starts to explain, but Ben Stiller forgets his line and repeats the same question. David improvised too, saying, “Are you kidding me? I’ve just explained this to you.” This behavior is 100% in keeping with the character of Zoolander.
3. 50/50 — a shaved head
Joseph Gordon-Levitt really cut his own hair during the shooting and this was not even scripted. Seth Rogen’s terrified face says it all.
2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 — Voldemort’s final speech
According to the actors that took part in this scene, Ralph Fiennes, who played Voldemort, delivered his speech in a different way in every take in order to get real reactions. Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) admitted that Fiennes’ behavior helped him to truly feel angry at Voldemort and to act his part better.
1. The Avengers — the Shawarma scene
After Robert Downey Jr.’s character almost dies (he’s saved by Hulk at the last minute), he asks everyone, “You ever tried shawarma? There’s a shawarma joint about 2 blocks from here. I don’t know what it is, but I wanna try it.” This line was not in the script, but the creators loved the idea so much that they even added a scene where they eat shawarma after the credits.
What movie improvisations do you know about? Tell us about them in the comment section below!