ByVaria Fedko-Blake, writer at
Staff Writer at Moviepilot! [email protected] Twitter: @vfedkoblake
Varia Fedko-Blake

We always assume that many hours of rehearsals go into movie scenes, with actors going out of their way to learn every single word off-by-heart as their role deems it appropriate.

But, did you know that this is not always the case? From improvised lines to accidental happenings, here are 8 iconic scenes that you wouldn't believe weren't planned.

1. Jaws

Exploring the waters whilst hot on the tail of the deadly beast, Police Chief Brody realizes how huge the killer Great White really is. Upon moment of realization, he stands up stupefied and utters the famous lines to Captain Quint, "You're going to need a bigger boat!"

All completely off script.

2. Good Will Hunting

During one of Matt Damon's therapy sessions with Robin Williams, the latter tells a story about his late wife that suffered from quite a hilarious case of flatulence. The memory leaves Damon laughing hysterically, omitting those high-pitched pig squeals.

The entire story was actually made up by Robin on the spot (testament to his incredible talent as an actor and entertainer) and if you look closely, you can even see that the camera shakes slightly as the cameraman silently chuckles, too. Amazing!

3. The Silence of the Lambs

Psychopath Dr. Hannibal Lecter is in the middle of the "fava beans and a nice Chianti" speech to Jodie Foster when he omits that spine-chilling hissing sound.

Apparently during rehearsals, the noise was something that Anthony Hopkins had tried to make to freak out Jodie. The director decided to keep it in and the skin-crawling moment was enough to earn him an Oscar, despite the fact that he had only 25 minutes of screen time in the entire movie.

4. The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Yep, the famous waxing scene in the movie was actually real. Steve Carell agreed to do it because he thought it wouldn't hurt too much.

He was wrong and his incessant stream of curses are testament to the horrendous pain he was experiencing. Why he decided to scream about Kelly Clarkson, though, still remains a good question.

5. The Shining

When Wendy Torrance and her son Danny are hiding from the deranged Jack Torrance in the hotel bathroom, Nicholson follows them and begins to chop away at the door with an axe, saying the famous line, "Heeere's Johnny!"

Nicholson actually came up with the line because it was Ed McMahon's popular catchphrase in introducing the passive Johnny Carson on The Johnny Carson Show.

6. Taxi Driver

As the cab driver Travis Bickle, Robert De Niro talks to himself in the mirror. As he gazes at his own reflection, he repeatedly utters the phrase, "You talking' to me?"

The scene has now become an iconic piece of movie history, and it was all fully improvised by De Niro himself, who decided to channel the character's mental instability, with legendary results.

7. The Dark Knight

Waiting in jail after being arrested, the Mayor turns up to look at the Joker. Whilst he's there, he also gives Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) a promotion, which is celebrated with applause from the other officers. As the crowd is clapping, however, Heath Ledger begins to slowly clap whilst never changing his facial expression.

This was entirely improvised and remains one of the most unsettling scenes of the movie.

8. Django Unchained

In his role as Calvin Candie, Leo got a bit carried away when filming his racist tirade at Django and Dr. Schultz. In learning that they have pulled off an extensive scam in order to save Broomhilda from his brutal plantation, he goes absolutely nuts.

In the process, he cuts his hand but keeps moving through the scene, even smearing his own fresh blood on Kerry Washington's face.



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