Buzz's Girlfriend (Home Alone)
Kevin McCallister and his older brother Buzz don't exactly get along, but the bully does get burned by one of Home Alone's most lasting jokes… well, it's really his girlfriend who takes most of the hit (“woof!”). Since the joke about Buzz's girlfriend hinges on the reveal that she is laughably ugly, director Chris Columbus couldn't bring himself to subject an innocent young actress to that straightforward an insult. Instead, he put a boy in a wig for the photo, meaning the joke could work, but nobody's feelings were hurt in the process.
The Birth of Ghostface (Scream)
Some horror icons are painstakingly created, while others are just complete luck. When Wes Craven decided to reinvent the modern slasher movie with Scream, the actual script never described what kind of mask the killer was wearing. It was only when scouting for locations that a producer stumbled on the now-famous mask, but When Craven contacted the company for the right to use their 'Peanut-Eyed Ghost' mask in the movie, the company knew they had the upper hand, and drove a hard bargain. The crew then designed their own version of the mask – different enough to not get sued – and the company quickly accepted the offer (and the free publicity that came with it). The “Ghostface” mask would become iconic, but the altered version still made the cut, visible in the movie's opening sequence.
Spider Scene (Dr. No)
Just because a movie's hero is a fearless tough guy doesn't mean the actor playing him had to be, too. For plenty of James Bond fans, Sean Connery will always be the best version of the suave, womanizing secret agent 007. But in his debut, the actor's fear of spiders became a serious hurdle. When the story required James to be threatened by a deadly tarantula in his bed, Connery refused to let the spider actually crawl on his arm, so the filmmakers cheated by putting a pane of glass between the two. It was easy to see the spider wasn't actually resting on the actor, so in the end, a stuntman was used. It wasn't just Connery who had a thing about spiders though as the stuntman later said it was the scariest scene he ever had to film.
Reindeer games (Frozen)
Sven the reindeer may be just a supporting player in Disney's megahit Frozen, but he still got his share of fans. The animators took his character seriously, examining real reindeer in their research trip to Norway, the inspiration for the fictional kingdom of Arandale. They even had a small reindeer brought into their office to capture its personality, but soon realized it didn't really have one. Apparently, reindeer are more likely to just stand around than exhibit complex emotional states. In the end, the team relied on Pixar legend John Lasseter's dog for inspiration, and the canine habits are easy to see in the finished film.
Second Chance (The Godfather)
It's hard to imagine the story of the Corleone family was ever going to be any different than the timeless masterpiece audiences eventually got, but the movie almost featured a pair of award winning icons long before either had proved their true talents. Before James Caan had landed the role of Sonny Corleone – the handsome son of Marlon Brando's Vito Corleone – actor Robert De Niro was pursuing the part. It's a shame to think Al Pacino and De Niro could have played brothers in one of cinema's most revered dramas, but director Francis Ford Coppola made it up to De Niro by casting him in The Godfather Part 2, as a young Vito Corleone back home in Sicily. That role landed him an Oscar; the first given for a role spoken mainly in a foreign language.
Trusty Ford (Star Wars Original Trilogy)
As one of the most successful movie stars in history, Harrison Ford has become synonymous with not one, but TWO iconic movie franchises. But his rise to fame started with Star Wars – a role that he was never meant to even be considered for. After Ford won over George Lucas to land a small role in American Graffiti, the director still failed to see his star potential, but the producers and casting agents around him didn't. Lucas had no intention of casting Ford as the smug smuggler Han Solo, but agreed to let him read the part in auditions for other roles (Ford was working as a carpenter at the time to make ends meet). After countless hours of other hot actors struggling to deliver, Lucas finally realized Ford had the character all figured out. He cast the actor, and the rest is history.
It wasn't ButterbeEr (Harry Potter Series)
There's no pressure like that of a Hollywood movie star, and for young actors, it's only more intense. As the star of the Harry Potter series, actor Daniel Radcliffe faced more pressure than most people could grasp – and has since admitted that he used alcohol to help him cope. The actor has since steered clear of drinking entirely, and claims he never actually drank on the set of the movies. But coming into work drunk means Radcliffe can point out scenes in the Harry Potter movies where he is simply “dead behind the eyes.” Since he refuses to say which movies or scenes, fans can only guess.
Method Acting (Back To The Future Pt. 3)
Marty McFly is usually prepared for anything, even if he's dropping into a brand new decade – or century. But when Marty first winds up in 1885 in Back to the Future Part 3, he needs Doc Brown to save him from a guaranteed hanging at the hands of Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen. As it turns out, actor Michael J. Fox needed some rescuing, too. To film the scene, Fox had agreed to have a real rope tied around his neck, and shown how to stay safe by holding it slack. When the procedure slipped his mind during one take, the rope really did cut off his air supply. The cast and crew simply thought he had found a way to play a strangled man even better until he passed out, at which point co-star Christopher Lloyd severed the rope with a single gunshot.