A lot of work goes into making a movie. Between the cast and crew, a lot of effort is put in to make a film a hit with audiences. These days, you are almost always going to some form of CGI used — no matter if you’re making a sci-fi epic or a biopic. But those aren’t the only illusions we’ll see in theaters.
We often hear behind-the-scenes filming secrets during the press tour for a film, revealed by either the actors, directors, or crew members. Sometimes these secrets make perfect sense and somehow make the movie even better. (For example, the fact that Tom Felton‘s reaction to Voldemort hugging his character, Malfoy, in the last Harry Potter was completely genuine because Ralph Fiennes didn’t tell anyone he’d do it beforehand.) But other times, these backstage tidbits totally warp your perspective on the film itself! These secrets were revealed by the cast and/or crew of the film and not going to lie, they totally ruin the movie magic. How can we ever watch the 50 Shades movies again knowing what we now know?!
17. Taylor Lautner wore a gray bodysuit and pretended to be a werewolf while filming The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Unsurprisingly, the werewolves in the Twilight saga were not actual werewolves! That’s all CGI magic. But as Twihards know, the wolves are able to convey emotion, as they are just the members of the pack all wolfed-out. When watching the DVD special features for the movie, we got to see how the wolves were made. In order to elicit a more intimate moment between Jacob and Bella, when Jacob is in wolf form, Taylor Lautner had to get into a weird gray bodysuit and play his character’s werewolf version. They filmed the scene with Kristen Stewart for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, where Bella rubs Jacob’s fur. So IRL, Kristen was rubbing Taylor’s head while he was in this strange bodysuit. Once you see it, you can’t really un-see it, if you know what we mean.
16. Robert Downey Jr. was digitally added to the end of Iron Man 3 after injuring his ankle
While filming Iron Man 3, Robert Downey Jr. suffered a bad ankle sprain. The injury was fairly severe and halted filming for six weeks. This threatened to push back the film’s May 2013 release date, which Marvel did not want to do with their most popular character. To solve the problem, the simply created a fake RDJ! Production was able to continue on without Robert by doing this.
“We were able to reconstruct RDJ as Tony Stark on set, with the help of [a] body double and the facial captures we’d collected afterward,” Iron Man 3‘s VFX supervisor Chris Townsend said. Bizarre!
15. The party in Superbad took place a block away from the O.J. Simpson murder house
Well, this might totally kill the party vibe! When the 10th anniversary of Superbad rolled around, the star and writer of the film, Seth Rogen, revealed some juicy secrets. There were some hilarious revelations, like the fact that the period blood scene really did happen to someone Seth knows. But then things got a little less chill when he admitted that big party scene at the end of the movie was filmed a block away from O.J. Simpson‘s former home. In case you need a refresher, it is the home in Los Angeles where Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were murdered. The house still stands on Bundy Drive in LA and apparently wild teenage parties can be filmed just down the block!
14. All of the dinosaurs were made using CGI for Jurassic World, except for one anamorphic dino head
Nowadays, we are so used to CGI, no one really says that it ruins movie magic. Except that it totally does. And in the case of Jurassic World, it was almost a slap in the face. This sequel could not stack up compared to the original. The set team for Jurassic Park famously built a fully-sized anamorphic T-rex, along with raptor suits. But when the Jurassic World team prepared for the 2015 release, they had Legacy Effects build one anamorphic dinosaur and it wasn’t even a full dino! The dinosaurs in Jurassic World were almost entirely made up of CGI or otherwise had human stand-ins in costume for performance-capture technology. The only anamorphic head in the entire movie was for the dying Apatosaurus, who is comforted by Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard‘s characters in her dying moments.
13. The Jack & Rose scene in Titanic was filmed in a pool, not the ocean
For this one, we all probably knew deep down that Titanic was not actually filmed in the ocean, but it is still jarring to realize how it was actually filmed. The water was not freezing at all! Jack would have lived if he was in this water IRL. Director James Cameron was the one to reveal the pool that the actors went in was actually very warm. “The water in the tank was about 80 degrees, so it was really like a pool,” he told People. “All of the cold, frigid breath was added later.” Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet could stand pretty easily in that water and there was no struggle involved (aside from the reported tough working conditions James Cameron put everyone through).
12. Platform 9 ¾ is not actually between 9 and 10, but platforms 4 and 5
But it is called Platform 9 ¾! It seems that our beloved J.K. Rowling had gotten things backward when she wrote Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. In her head, she had the layout of King’s Cross Station (where 9 ¾ is located) in a different part of the station. So, to better match how Platform 9 ¾ is described in the books, the scenes were filmed between Platforms 4 and 5. Our entire life is a lie! Also, the exterior shots of the train station are actually from St. Pancras Station and the bridge that Harry and Hagrid walk over at Kings Cross was actually shot in York train station.
11. In Twilight, the scene where Carlisle bites Edward, Peter Facinelli whispered, “you’re sexy” in Robert Pattinson’s ear
You know how some actors just cannot be serious during an intense moment? It looks like the leader of the Cullen family is one of those people! Peter Facinelli was filming the scene between himself and Robert Pattinson, where Carlisle saves a dying Edward by turning him into a vampire. It seems that Peter had a case of the giggles during this scene, seeing as he is pretending to bite Robert’s neck and he couldn’t help but whisper sweet nothings in Robert’s ear. During a Twilight Q&A, Peter told fans that he was whispering things like “my son” to Robert. In the final cut, he apparently said, “you’re sexy” and that is the take they rolled with!
10. The building actually caught on fire while Zac Efron was inside during The Greatest Showman
Remember that fire that nearly killed Zac Efron‘s character in The Greatest Showman? Well, it almost killed Zac IRL! The staged fire got out of hand during filming and actually engulfed part of the set in flames. A representative for 20th Century Fox confirmed with People that the fire had happened. Thankfully, no one was actually injured! Five retired firefighters who were working on the film helped tackle the fire and they were able to contain the fire rather quickly, with the aid of 100 FDNY firefighters that arrived on the scene shortly after.
9. Jennifer Lawrence purposely ate garlicky food before any kissing scene while filming any of the Hunger Games movies
So not cool, J.Law! Everyone knows that there is nothing worse when it comes to kissing than kissing someone with bad breath. But it seems like Jennifer Lawrence is ever the jokester and didn’t care if it would offend her co-stars. Liam Hemsworth revealed this all in an interview on The Tonight Show. Apparently, the kissing scenes between him and J.Law were awkward. Liam didn’t make it 100% clear if it was awkward because they are friends or because Jennifer used to eat nasty food before they had to kiss. Liam said on the show, “She’s one of my best friends, I love her, but if we had a kissing scene, she would make a point of eating garlic or tuna fish or something that was disgusting.”
8. Natalie Portman’s hands were elongated using CGI in Black Swan
There was quite a bit of CGI manipulation used for Black Swan. But if you look closely at the scene where Natalie Portman is rubbing her face – when she pulls her hands away, her fingers are longer. But if you don’t know Natalie’s hands like that, you might not have fully realized! The long fingers are meant to foreshadow the transformation her body undergoes during the film. Not only did they CGI Natalie’s hands, they also used the technology to put her face on that of a professionally-trained ballerina. All of that dancing in the film is not Natalie. It has been disputed just how much of the ballet Natalie actually did, in fact. The ballerina behind the scenes, Sarah Lane, claimed that Natalie Portman only did 5% of the dancing in the film, while the film’s choreographer, Benjamin Millepied, (Natalie’s husband, but at the time of the film’s release he was only her fiancé) claimed that it was 85% Natalie and only 15% Lane. Curious.
7. In Avengers, a lot of the Battle of New York was filmed in Cleveland or using green screens
Yes, you read that right, the Battle of New York was not actually filmed in New York. Which, okay yes, we all knew that. It was reported that the level of destruction that happens in The Avengers would have cost roughly $160 million. But even though they weren’t really destroying New York, they could have at least partially filmed the scenes on the city’s streets, right? Not really! The fight scenes of Captain America (Chris Evans) on the streets with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) of NY actually took place on East 9th Street in Cleveland, Ohio. A lot of other scenes in The Avengers were also shot in various parts of Cleveland. Meanwhile, they used greenscreens to create “four different virtual New York locations that we had to tie in together as Iron Man’s flying between them,” according to ILM CG supervisor David Meny.
6. The runway in the final scene of Fast and Furious 6 would actually be almost 29 miles long
Roll with us on this one. We know that the Fast & Furious franchise really isn’t working in the realm of possibility. They drive tanks on the ice and out of airplanes, after all. But still, if you were paying attention to that end scene in Fast and Furious 6, you might have wondered when that runway would end? If you don’t exactly remember, since these movies do blend together, there is an epic fight scene where they drive cars onto a moving plane to stop it from taking off. The fight scene is over 13 minutes long and based on an interview The Rock gave, some dedicated people figured out how long that means the runway would have been. The Rock said the plane was going 115 miles per hour, but the plane isn’t going full-speed the entire time. So the folks at Vulture broke it down, and that means the never-ending runway would be 28.829 miles long.
5. Virtually all of the mansions and buildings in The Great Gatsby were 100% CGI
What, they couldn’t afford even one mansion? It looks like that $105 million budget went toward a lot of CGI. The film’s VFX supervisor, Chris Godfrey, shared a video on Vimeo to show just how much of the film was created using a computer. Jay Gatsby’s luxurious Long Island mansion is 100% fake. Though, the mansion is based on a real home (just not one from 1920s Lond Island). The other LI mansions were also created using CGI, as were the glitzy New York City scenes. Basically, the only thing that was real in the movie was Leonardo DiCaprio. (That is a huge exaggeration, but still feels kind of true).
4. The Jurassic Park raptors are voiced by tortoises orgasming
Childhood ruined. “If people knew where the sounds in Jurassic Park came from, it’d be rated R,” Gary Rydstrom, the Jurassic Park sound designer, revealed to Vulture. Apparently, it is just a menagerie of animal sex sounds that create the dinosaur noises. In particular, the barking noise that the velociraptors use to communicate comes from tortoises. He recorded some tortoises mating at Marine World and it really just fit, I guess. They also used the sounds of dolphins in heat to create the sounds of raptors screaming. How can we ever watch these movies again?!
3. 27 animals died while filming The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
This news not only spoils the movie magic, it really makes you think about what happens to animals when movies are being filmed. The Hollywood Reporter claimed that the American Humane Association (who issues the “no animals were harmed” statement for films) failed to do their jobs and even covered this up for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The report, which was geared toward the AHA and not just The Hobbit, detailed how 27 animals died during filming. There was animal cruelty on a New Zealand farm, where the sheep and goats suffered from dehydration and starvation. A rep for the film did provide that information to the AHA, but there wasn’t much evidence, so it was not investigated at the time.
2. Jamie Dornan revealed that 50 Shades sex scenes are filmed with a “wee bag”
Essentially, the entire plot of the 50 Shades movies is to be sexy. But star Jamie Dornan revealed the most un-sexy filming secret we’ll ever hear. While promoting the final film in the franchise, Fifty Shades Freed, Jamie said that to protect his business, he wears a “wee bag.” When speaking with Jimmy Kimmel, Jamie said, “Well, that’s an expression from where I’m from—a wee-bag. But it doesn’t mean it’s actually wee in size. I wear quite a big bag!” Joking about his modesty pouch—sometimes referred to as a c*ck sock — he added, “I wear this huge travel bag and stuff everything in there.” The grossest part? The wee bag had been used by other people before Jamie! Yikes.
1. In Superbad, Christopher Mintz Plasse’s mom was there to watch his sex scene
As if the sex scene in Superbad isn’t awkward enough, things got even tenser for poor McLovin. Christopher Mintz-Plasse was under 18 at the time of filming, which meant he legally needed a parent on set for that kind of scene. “It was real awkward but it worked out OK because when I watched the movie with her the sex scene wasn’t awkward because she’d been right there when it happened,” Christopher told The Guardian in an interview. “Afterwards we didn’t talk about it; we still don’t speak about that moment.” Can you imagine how embarrassing that moment had to be for him? And for her?! Chills.