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Fun facts about popular movies, TV shows, books and more.

32 Fun Facts about Sex and the City

Are you a Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte or Miranda? Whether you’re a die-hard fan of this classic HBO rom-com or you’re just coming into the TV series because of the recent (and less classic) feature films, there’s no denying that Sex and the City has serious style.

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Filled with fabulous fashion, delicious brunches, and actually pretty helpful – albeit strange – sex advice, Sex and the City was a love letter to New York and its people. Starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall, SATC was based on a book of the same name, written by columnist Candace Bushnell.

It ran for six seasons (1998 – 2004) and was nominated for a slew of awards and accolades. If you were lucky enough as a little girl to have HBO growing up, there’s no denying you saw at least some of these episodes at a sleepover or after your parents fell asleep, ami right?

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I, however, was not lucky enough to have HBO, so I was a late fan of SATC…but I have seen all the episodes (and the movies – meh) and I genuinely love how they make no apologizes for being a serious guilty pleasure.

This summer (June 6th to be exact), Sex and the City will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of its first episode. If you loved Carrie’s witty love advice, her loooong list of romantic suitors (and recognizing them in other things – I’m looking at you, John Slattery), or her amazing sense of fashion, you’re going to love these 32 Fun Facts about Sex and the City!

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32 Fun Facts about Sex and the City

Sex and the City is based on a weekly column that appeared in The Observer. Writer Candace Bushnell created Carrie Bradshaw as her alter ego when she published the book, Sex and the City, which is a compilation of her columns.

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Though Carrie Bradshaw “knows good sex”, she was the only girl with a clause in her contract stating she would never appear nude on screen.

Mr. Big was inspired by Bushnell’s ex and former magazine executive, Ron Galotti.

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Show creator Darren Star only paid Bushnell $60,000 for the rights to her columns.

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In 2012, the apartment where Carrie Bradshaw “lived” sold for $9.65 million.

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The famous tutu Sarah Jessica Parker wears in the opening credits of the show cost a whopping $5.00 and was plucked out of a bargain bin. It now hangs framed in Micheal Patrick King’s office.

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Kim Cattrall turned down the role of Samantha twice before finally being convinced to take the part.

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Before working on SATC, Darren Star also worked on Beverly Hills, 90210 (the O.G.) and Melrose Place.

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Natasha, Mr. Big’s wife, was almost always shown wearing white. That was to specifically convey that her personality was very “vanilla”.

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After Carrie and Miranda share a cupcake outside Magnolia Bakery, the small cupcakery had to hire bouncers to control the daily crowds that would swamp them with orders day after day.

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Not surprisingly, all the cocktails were fake. The famous Cosmos were just water and food coloring and the wine was either ginger ale or grape juice.

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Mr. Big’s real name was never revealed throughout the entire TV series. Carrie never called Mr. Big “Big” to his face…actually she never called him anything! It wasn’t until the first SATC movie was released that it was revealed that his name was John.

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Sarah Jessica Parker got to keep about 70% of the clothes she wore on the show. This one was one of my fave’s!

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None of the four main girls in SATC repeated an outfit throughout the entire duration of the show…that is except that fur jacket in the last scene, which also appeared in the very first episode.

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SATC was the first cable series to win the Emmy for Best Comedy Series.

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The most expensive dress Carrie wore was the Atelier Versace Couture ‘Mille Feuille’ gown, which she wore when she was in Paris awaiting her date with Aleksandr Petrovsky. The dress cost $80,000.

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Cynthia Nixon (Miranda) does not have pierced ears. She wore clip-on earrings for almost every episode.

Carrie’s address, 245 East 73rd Street, is fake and does not exist. Actually every address given for any of the women is fake. There is, however, a tour you can take to see all the filming locations.

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Kristen Davis (Charlotte York) was the only actress of the main four not to win a solo award for her performance on SATC.

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Matthew McConaughey’s role in the episode, “Escape from New York”, was originally written for Alec Baldwin…but he turned it down…as did George Clooney and Warren Beatty. McConaughey was next on the list.

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Alec Baldwin was also the first choice for Mr. Big.

A lot of the artwork in Aleksandr Petrovsky’s home actually belonged to the actor who played him, Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Baryshnikov is actually a ballet legend and has been dubbed the one of the greatest ballet dancers in history.

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SATC won 7 of its 54 Emmy nominations, 8 of its 24 Golden Globe nominations and 3 of its 11 Screen Actors Guild Award nominations.

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The young red-headed boy who plays Brady in the TV series is the same boy who ended up playing Brady in the SATC film.

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All the ladies lobbied for more diversity on the show, no one more than SJP herself.

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When Carrie bumps into Aidan carrying his baby in season 6, the baby was actually Parker’s child.

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At the beginning of Charlotte’s wedding to Trey, a Scottish funeral dirge is played. This is to symbolize Charlotte entering a bad marriage.

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In 2001, SJP became an executive producer of the show, bumping up her paycheck to $3 million an episode.

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Did you hate that Bradshaw and Mr. Big ended up together at the end? Well, maybe you can get some comfort in the fact that even Bushnell admits that Carrie and Big wouldn’t have ended up together in real life. As a matter of fact, they weren’t supposed to on the show, either…but fickle romance got in the way…

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Carrie asks 92 questions in her columns throughout the series. Her final question appears in the third to last episode of the series when she moves to Paris. In this episode, she asks, “is it time to stop questioning?” The final two episodes are void of any questions.

The final episode of the series didn’t finish filming until four days before it was scheduled to air.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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22 Fun Facts about Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay. You either love him or you hate him.

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The host of Hotel Hell, Kitchen Nightmares, and Hell’s Kitchen, as well as the chef behind more than 20 restaurants, Ramsay has been labeled one of the wealthiest celebrity chefs in the world today.

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Often known for his fiery temper and hilarious insults,

Angry James Corden GIF by The Late Late Show with James Corden

Ramsay has been in the public eye for more than 20 years now, cooking his way to the top – and earning 14 Michelin stars along the way. He delights, he entertains, and he’s not scared to call people out on their B.S.

As a lover of food and just eating in general, I LOVE Gordon Ramsay. Sure, his shows are a bit over the top, but honestly he’s just entertaining to watch. I mean, imagine watching Kitchen Nightmares and taking a drink every time he does his signature face rub:

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Actually, I can tell you from experience, this is not a fun game.

Regardless of how you feel about the Ram-man, you can’t deny this guy’s got skills. Here are 22 legit and impressive facts about the one and only Gordon Ramsay.

22 Fun Facts about Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay has a mobile game called “Gordon Ramsay Dash” that allows you to build your own restaurant empire. If you make a mistake, you might even hear him yell a famous insult at you!

Ramsay and his wife, Tana, have a foundation (The Gordon and Tana Ramsay Foundation) that partners with a UK children’s hospital to raise money for thousands of patients.

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By the time he was 27, Ramsay became the head chef of a restaurant in England called Aubergine, where he led the restaurant to earn two Michelin stars in three years.

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He thinks the five things everyone should know how to cook are burgers, poached eggs, beef short ribs, sautéed chicken, and brownies.

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Ramsay’s biggest food allergies are to these three four words: “gluten free”, “paleo”, and “vegan”.

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If he could cook dinner for one celebrity, it would be Hillary Clinton. He’d make something authentic and rich, like braised short rib doused with red wine. Um, I’d like in on that dinner, please…

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The only person that has made Ramsay cry in the kitchen was his daughter, Matilda. But don’t worry, they were tears of pride!

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The chef Ramsay looks up to is Michael Voltaggio of ink.well.

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The one culinary trend he wishes would die a slow and painful death?…FOAMS.

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His favorite midnight snack is grilled Sourdough bread, topped with baked beans, Chili flakes, garlic, Tabasco sauce, and a duck egg. That’s quite the effort there, Ramsay!

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Before becoming a chef, Ramsay actually wanted to be a professional soccer player. He was chosen to play for the under 14 team for Warwickshire at age 12 and wanted to continue playing, but had to stop due to injuries.

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He was fired from his first job at Wickham Arms for having an affair with the owner’s wife…ooooooooh daaaammmnn…

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Between all his restaurants (about 30 world-wide), Ramsay has 14 Michelin stars to his name.

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No matter where he is in the world, if Ramsay sees beef Wellington on the menu, he orders it.

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Ramsay is a black belt in karate.

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He’s been asking Bobby Flay to compete against him on Iron Chef for several years now.  Flay refuses to sign the contract…hmm, wonder why…

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Ramsay does not watch his own TV shows out of fear of watching himself screw up or say something stupid. “I’d rather watch Deadliest Catch or go out for dinner,” he said.

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If he was granted a last meal, it would be a pan-fried sea bass with a light sorrel sauce (a cream sauce with sorrel or spinach, white wine, shallots and lime juice).

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Not surprisingly, he’s one of the wealthiest celebrity chefs in the world, ranking in about $60 million a year according to Forbes magazine.

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Ramsay is fluent in French.

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He also studied hotel management in college…NOOOOW Hotel Hell makes so much more sense to me!

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His favorite guilty pleasure is In-N-Out Burger. He’s even brought a Double Double into first class flights if he’s heading back to England.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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23 Fun Facts about Fargo

My movie taste is all over the damn place. I seem to love the stuff people hate and hate the stuff people love. I have yet to see any superhero movie that’s come out since Wonder Woman, I haven’t seen Black Panther, and I haven’t even seen any of the new Star Wars movies…yet I’ll watch movies like Fargo and Rushmore over and over and over again…I know, I know…what the F with myself?

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It’s not that I don’t LIKE those movies, it’s just I prefer the weird, awkward, dark humor of a classic Coen Brothers film. I always laugh when I’m not supposed to, but I love that. I love movies that make me think and maybe even make me a little uncomfortable. If I’m going to sit still for 2½ hours and stare at a screen, I want it to be worth my time.

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That being said, when I first saw Fargo, I hated it. Granted I was probably 10 or 11 and that wood chipper scene basically scared me for life…but after having lived in the Midwest and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for several years, I have to say that Fargo is maybe one of my absolute favorite films.

The attention to detail is amazing. The music is amazing. The cast is amazing. Even the costumes are so darn-tootin’ amazing.

I literally laugh out loud every time I watch this movie and my husband and I quote it all the time (it’s embarrassing how many times we’ve said, “Where is pancakes house?” when going out for breakfast).

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Since I love learning all about the movies I love, I thought I’d share some fun facts I’ve found about the movie, Fargo. And before you ask, no, I haven’t seen the show, but it’s certainly in the ol’ queue!  Just have to find the time to squeeze it in between re-watching SVU and finishing The Mindy Project. NOT ENOUGH HOURS IN THE DAY, GOSH DARN IT!

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23 Fun Facts about Fargo

Before it became a TV show on FX, Fargo was originally meant to be a TV show back in 1997. The pilot, directed by Kathy Bates (yup, that Kathy Bates), starred a pre-Sopranos Edie Falco as Marge Gunderson. It was passed on by the major networks.

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The 2014 independent film Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter is loosely based on the urban legend of Takako Konishi, a woman who had trekked from Tokyo to Fargo in search of the fictitious money hidden by Steve Buscemi’s Fargo character, Carl. According to legend, she ended up freezing in the cold. This story proved to be false, made up by a police officer craving an interesting story. However, Konishi was a real person and she did indeed travel from Japan to Fargo…however she did so to commit suicide in her ex-lover’s hometown.

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Famed movie duo Siskel and Ebert gave Fargo way more than “two thumbs up”. Ebert called Fargo “one of the best films [he’s] ever seen” and added that “films like Fargo are why [he] loves movies”.

At the 1997 Oscars, Fargo took home two Oscars: Best Original Screenplay (Coen Brothers) and Best Actress (Frances McDormand). Though nominated for several others, it lost the other major categories to The English Patient.

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Fargo KILLED at the box office. The Coen Brothers worked with a small $7 million budget, but made a return investment of $60 million at the box office. Fargo is still their highest percentage return on investment at the box office to date.

The film’s infamously lethal wood chipper is currently housed in the Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center.

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William H. Macy was so certain he was the man to play Jerry Lundegaard that he (jokingly) threatened to shoot the Coen Brother’s dogs if they didn’t cast him. He ended up getting an Academy Award nomination for the role, but lost to Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire).

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Despite the title, the only scene that actually takes place in Fargo is the opening scene, where Jerry meets with Carl and Gaear to reveal the plan to kidnap his wife. The rest of the movie takes place in either Brainerd or the Twin Cities area. Indecently, none of the filming was actually done in Fargo, MN.

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Any fan of The Coen Brothers may notice that they are obsessed with missing money and kidnapping. These two plot devices appear in Fargo, as well as several of their other films (Blood Simple, The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Man Who Wasn’t There, The Ladykillers, No Country for Old Men, Burn After Reading and Raising Arizona).

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Every single one of Jerry Lundegaard’s nervous stutters was carefully scripted. The simple inflections and stuttering that really made Macy’s performance were mapped out by the brothers in the script.

To play pregnant Marge Gunderson, Frances McDormand sported prosthetic breasts and a faux-pregnant belly full of birdseed.

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The picturesque scene at the opening of the movie with the bird in flight was unscripted, as were the other bird cameos in Barton Fink and Blood Simple.

Both Frances McDormand and William H. Macy had intense vocal coaching to get their accents just right. The actors were given copies of the scripts with extensive pronunciation notes. According to dialect coach, Larissa Kokernot, the “musicality” of the Minnesota accent comes from a place of “wanting people to agree with each other and get along”, which is a dark and hilarious contrast to the ugly crimes committed throughout the movie.

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Not surprisingly, Fargo, MN has been voted the toughest weather city in America by the Weather Channel.

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The Canadian Goose painting was borrowed from Jim and Bob Hautman, two of the US’s most renowned painters of ducks. The Hautman’s are childhood friends of the Coen’s and their paintings have been featured on several Federal Duck Stamps.

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The scene where the couple tries to make a deal with Jerry on their new car was from an actual experience Ethan Coen had at a dealership. It was “an almost verbatim transcript of my experience,” he said.

The pin Jerry wears in that scene is for service to the dealership. Apparently Macy wouldn’t do the scene without it.

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The film’s Paul Bunyan statue was made by production designer, Rick Heinrichs. The real statue (at least the one in MN) is located at an amusement park in Brainerd called “Paul Bunyan Land”.

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There are several scenes where Jerry is in front of a window with cars racing back and forth behind him. This theme was created for the audience to think about the people coming in and out of the area and how you never know if one of those cars holds a couple of serial killers. Jerry is also seen behind vertical blinds many times to give the illusion of him behind bars.

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The music in Fargo is based on a Norwegian folk song, Den Bortkomne Sauen (The Lost Sheep).

There is an entire website – AN ENTIRE WEBSITE – dedicated to the question of whether those two girls picked up by Carl and Gaear were actual prostitutes. Never mind that they’re listed as “Hooker 1” and “Hooker 2” in the credits.

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Ironically, “Hooker 1” (Larissa Kokernot) was the dialect coach for McDormand and Macy.

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The show Jean Lundergaard is watching before her kidnapping (Good Company) was an actual afternoon talk show that aired in the 1980’s and 1990’s. It was hosted by Sharon Anderson and Steve Edelman.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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40 Fun Facts about 20 Movies Turning 20 in 2018

You ready to feel really old? We’re about to celebrate the 20th anniversary of some of our favorite childhood movies, including The Truman Show, Mulan, The Big Lebowski, The Prince of Egypt, Ever After: A Cinderella Story, and so many more.

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To honor these classic films on their 20th birthdays, here are 40 fun facts about 20 movies that will be turning 20 this year!

40 Fun Facts about 20 Movies Turning 20 in 2018

Saving Private Ryan

Director Steven Spielberg cast Matt Damon as Private Ryan because he wanted an “unknown actor with an All-American look”. He had no idea that Damon would win an Oscar the year before the movie’s release for his blockbuster, Good Will Hunting.

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The Omaha Beach scene cost $11 million to shoot and involved more than 1,000 extras, some of which were amputees with prosthetic limbs to simulate soldiers having their limbs blown off.

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Mulan

Mulan was the first Disney movie to be released on DVD.

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When Mulan sings “Reflection” in her father’s shrine, the writing on the stones is the names of the Disney animators who worked on the film, written in ancient Chinese.

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The Truman Show

Though they were the two biggest stars of the film, Jim Carrey and Ed Harris never actually met during the filming of The Truman Show.

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The Truman Show was Carrey’s first take on a serious dramatic leading role. He said, “It was one of the best scripts I ever read. It works on so many levels.”

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The Big Lebowski

Every “man” and “dude” in The Big Lebowski was scripted. In fact, the only improvised line in the entire film was Jeff Bridges’ line about the “human paraquat”.

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A lot of the Dude’s clothes in the movie were Jeff Bridges’ own clothes, including his Jellies sandals, which he still owns and wears to this day.

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The Parent Trap

For her split screen scenes, Lindsay Lohan wore an earpiece, which would play back the dialogue of the other sister.

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The lost boy who shows up at the girls’ camp is played by Michael Lohan, Lindsay Lohan’s real  brother. Her siblings regularly appear as extras in her movies.

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The Prince of Egypt

The production team conferred with roughly six hundred religious experts to make the film as accurate and faithful to the original story as possible. They all praised the studio for listening and responding to their ideas.

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The only five actors who do both singing and speaking parts were Ralph Fiennes (Rameses), Michelle Pfeiffer (Tzipporah), Martin Short (Huy), Steve Martin (Hotep), and Ofra Haza (Yocheved). All other parts had different singers.

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Armageddon

NASA shows Armageddon during their management training program. New managers are given the task of trying to spot as many errors as possible. At least 168 have been found so far.

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Billy Bob Thorton and Ben Afflick have both openly discussed their hate for Armageddon. This movie was also included in Roger Ebert’s “Most Hated” list of 1998.

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A Bug’s Life

The two mosquitoes trapped in the bugzapper are the voices of the co-directors, John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton.

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A Bug’s Life was the first Pixar movie to have outtakes at the end and was the first to feature a short at the beginning of the film (Geri’s Game).

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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Much of the clothing that Johnny Depp wore in the movie were actual pieces of clothing that the real Hunter S. Thompson wore in the 70’s.  Depp and Thompson formed a friendship after Thompson let Depp hang with him for four months, learning his mannerisms and vocal inflection.

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Martin Scorsese and Oliver Stone each tried to get the film off the ground but were unsuccessful.

Ever After: A Cinderella Story

Drew Barrymore has stated that this is her favorite of all her films so far.

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In the scene where Rodmilla (Angelica Huston) receives the invitation to the masque ball, it can be seen on the invite that the ball takes place on the feast of St. Jude. This means the ball takes places on October 28th.

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There’s Something About Mary

The dialogue between Mary and Ted about how there aren’t enough meats on sticks was originally written for an episode of Seinfeld that never aired. The Farrelly Brothers liked it and bought it for use in the movie.

Matt Dillon and Cameron Diaz were dating in real life during the filming of There’s Something About Mary. They’d been together three years but broke up almost immediately after the film was released.

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Pleasantville

During the publicity campaign surrounding the film’s release, there was a contest for a trip to Pleasantville, Iowa – the smallest Pleasantville in the US.

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Since every scene from the middle of the movie to the end had to be digitally changed to have black and white characters interacting with characters in color, this film technically had the most digital effect shots ever until Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, which came out the following year.

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The Mask of Zorro

Legendary sword trainer Bob Anderson remarked that Antonio Banderas was the most gifted swordsman he had worked with since Errol Flynn.

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In order to accomplish the effect of Elena’s dress falling off from being sliced up by Zorro, a wire was attached to the dress to help pull it off.

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Rush Hour

Jackie Chan was almost killed filming the scene where he is almost crushed by metal boxes. They slammed together about a quarter of a second after his head was clear.

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Chris Tucker improvised much of his dialogue, as he normally does in his films. There are several continuity errors in the dialogue for this reason.

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The Wedding Singer

Carrie Fisher, Judd Apatow, and Adam Sandler worked uncredited on the movie script.

The role of Glenn Gulia was originally written with Jim Carrey in mind, however he declined the part.

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You’ve Got Mail

The location of Fox Books in the movie is actually the location of a real Barnes & Noble (on Broadway and 83rd Street). Ironically, the opening of Barnes and Noble drove the local bookstore on 81st Street, Shakespeare & Co., out of business.

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All of the emails Joe and Kathleen sent back and forth to each other were put on the movie’s official website, which Warner Bros. has kept active (click on the photo – you’re welcome!).

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The Thin Red Line

Director Terrence Malick commanded such respect from his actors that both Woddy Harrelson and John Savage stayed on set for an extra month after wrapping just to watch him work.

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Before settling on the final cast, Malick met with and considered several of Hollywood’s leading men at the time, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Nicolas Cage, Kevin Costner, Ethan Hawke, Dermot Mulroney and William Baldwin.

Shakespeare in Love

Dame Judi Dench won an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her role as Queen Elizabeth, although she is on-screen for only about six minutes in four scenes.

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Although long portions of Romeo and Juliet are used in the film, along with famous lines from many of Shakespeare’s plays, William Shakespeare is not credited in the film.

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The Rugrats Movie

The Rugrats Movie was not only Nickelodeon’s first animated theatrical release, but it was the first non-Disney animated movie to gross more than $100 million at the box office.

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The role of Dil was originally going to be voied by Madonna. However, Tara Strong won the part because her impression of a baby crying was so accurate that a woman in the room who had just had a baby started lactating!

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Rushmore

Jason Schwartzman came to his audition wearing a prep-school blazer which sported a Rushmore patch he made himself.

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When Bill Murray first read the script, he thought it was so fantastic that he said he would do it for free.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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19 Fun Facts about A Quiet Place

It’s been about two weeks since John Krasinski’s thriller, A Quiet Place, hit theaters…and if you still haven’t seen this movie, you freaking need to sort out your life and just buy a ticket already.

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Starring his real-life wife, Emily Blunt, along with somewhat newcomers Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe, A Quiet Place is the story about a family surviving in an post-apocalyptic world where they’re hunted by monsters/aliens/creatures that use their incredible sense of hearing to find their next victim.

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The few survivors must remain silent in order to survive in this world…so simple things like eating, talking, and just basically moving and living your life are virtually impossible.

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A movie that challenges audiences to heighten their senses, A Quiet Place will have you on the edge of your seat the entire time. While there are jump scares (they’re few and far between and honestly you kinda see them coming), the true terror of this movie lies in the anticipation of the inevitable…

If you haven’t seen A Quiet Place yet, stop reading now (or keep going if you don’t mind spoilers!). WARNING – THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD. I won’t ruin everything for you, but there are important plot points revealed here that might ruin the movie for you if you’re looking for the full experience.

If you have seen it, OMG, RIGHT?! First off, Emily Blunt is beautiful in everything and anything she does. Second of all, I FULLY SUPPORT JOHN KRASINSKI KEEPING THAT SEXY AF BEARD FOREVER AND ALWAYS.

If you loved A Quiet Place and are looking for a reason to love it, and appreciate it, even more, here are 19 fun facts you’re sure to love about A Quiet Place!

19 Fun Facts about A Quiet Place

There are real family photos of John Krasinski, Emily Blunt and their kids used in the background of the film.

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In the opening scene, the only food that remains on the shelves are chips…probably because they’re too noisy to eat and open.

The actress who plays Regan (Millicent Simmonds) is deaf in real life. Krasinski said having a deaf actress play Regan was non-negotiable.

It was also Simmonds who suggested Krasinski sign “I’ve ALWAYS loved you” in that pivotal final scene, which made Krasinski cry.

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The boy who plays Marcus (Noah Jupe) is British in real life. He was recommended to Krasinski by George Clooney, who had directed Jupe in Suburbicon.

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Both Simmonds and Jupe would binge-watch The Office on the way to and from set. Honestly, I would, too.

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Someone made a mashup of A Quiet Place and The Office (because of course they did)…and it’s everything you’ve ever dreamed.

The infamous bathtub scene was done in just one take.

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The final look of the creatures in the film wasn’t fully fledged out until pretty late in the process, during post production.

After reading the entire script, Emily Blunt told Krasinski he couldn’t let anyone else but her play the role of Evelyn. Krasinski said it was “…the greatest compliment of my entire career.” Seriously, how cute are these two?!?

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Even the king of horror himself, Stephen King, had some encouraging words about the film:

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The removal of sound from this film was extremely important, so Krasinski went to the pros. Ethan Van Der Ryn and Eric Aadahl, who have worked on films like Godzilla and Transformers, were brought in to create “sound envelopes”, putting audiences in a character’s shoes to hear what they hear and how they might hear it.

When asked who their favorite actors were, Jupe said Leonardo DiCaprio (um, YAS) and Simmonds said Tom Hanks (ALSO YAS).

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Jupe and Simmonds also said Krasinski and Blunt were super welcoming and encouraged them to share their opinions on certain scenes.

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A Quiet Place marks Krasinski’s third time directing, the first two being Brief Interviews with Hideous Men and The Hollars, both of which he also starred in.

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The budget for the film was $18 million, with a portion of the budget being spent on the acquisition of 20 tons of corn. Farmers were hired to grow the corn at their main filming location of Dutchess County. I mean I’m just sayin’ each ticket to this movie should have come with a voucher for free popcorn…

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The original screenplay written by Bryan Woods and Scott Beck contained only one line of dialogue.

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The entire film took 36 days to shoot.

The opening scene was actually the last one to be shot, as it required Krasinski to shave off most of his beard.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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33 Important Facts about the Holocaust

Yesterday commemorated Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. Usually a day filled with beautiful temple services, bittersweet music and showings of poetry and art created by those imprisoned in the death camps, Yom Hashoah is meant to be a day to remember those who perished so violently during World War II.

For years the Jewish people have said that, “to forget is to have let them die twice”…so we take at least one day a year to commemorate those who we’ve lost…not just our fellow Jewish relatives and friends, but also all the homosexuals, children, Gypsies and others who challenged Hitler’s political and religious views.

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While no one can truly understand why or how something like this could happen, it’s important to know it did…and, in the words of Dwight Eisenhower, “if we do not know what we are fighting for, now we know what we’re fighting against.”

33 Important Facts about the Holocaust

*Warning – some of these images may be graphic for some viewers.

The Holocaust technically lasted about 12 years (from 1933 to 1945).

During that time, more than 11 million people were murdered…6 million of them were Jews and about 1.1 million were children.

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More than half of all the people killed during the Holocaust were women.

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And more than 1 million still remain unidentified.

One of the most brutal killings took place in September of 1941. At the Babi Yar Ravine, just outside of Kiev, Ukraine, more than 33,000 Jews were killed in just two days. Jews were forced to walk to the ravine’s edge, where they were then shot and pushed into the abyss. The Nazis then pushed the wall of the ravine over, burying the dead and the living.

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Prisoners in the camps, called Sonderkommando, were forced to bury and burn the dead so as to avoid the possibility of eyewitnesses. Most Sonderkommando were regularly gassed and fewer than 20 of the several thousand survived. Some Sonderkommando even buried their testimonies in jars before their deaths.

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In the initial stages of the genocide, the Jews were forced into ghettos and denied the basic means of survival. The largest ghetto in Warsaw, Poland lost about 1% of the population each month.

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The term “holocaust” comes from the Greek holo (whole) and kaustos (burnt). It refers to an animal sacrifice in which the entire animal is burned.

Jews weren’t the only targets of the Nazi regime. Disabled people, those with differing political and religious views to Hitler, Jehovah’s Witnesses and homosexuals were also targeted.

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The majority of the people who were deported to death camps were transported in cattle wagons. These wagons did not have water, food, a toilet or ventilation. The longest transport took 18 days. When the doors opened, everyone was already dead.

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In 1935, Hitler introduced the Nuremberg Laws, which made it illegal for Germans to marry or have sex with Jews. It also deprived Jews of their German citizenship and most of their civil rights.

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Muselmann, German for “Muslim”, was slang for concentration camp victims who gave up any hope of survival. They would squat with their legs tucked in an “Oriental” fashion, with their shoulders curved and their head dropped. Jewish writer and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi stated that if he could “enclose all the evil of our time in one image, I would choose this image.”

Carbon monoxide was originally used in gas chambers, but the Nazis eventually switched to a more toxic insecticide, Zyklon B. It took between 3 and 15 minutes to kill everyone in the gas chamber.

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The company that created Zyklon B still exists as a pest control company.

IG Farben headquarters in Frankfurt am Main

The gas chambers at Auschwitz had the ability to kill up to 6,000 people a day.

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There were several types of concentration camps all over Europe. Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec, Chelmno, Auschwitz/Birkenau and Majdanek were the largest killing camps and were all located in Poland.

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There was a selection process at the entrance to each death camp. Anyone who was pregnant, small children, sick passengers or anyone who was handicapped was almost immediately condemned to death.

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Joseph Goebbels, the minister of propaganda and previous head of the Nazi organization, committed suicide along with his wife and six children in Berlin during the last week of the war.

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After the war, the allies felt that the German people should know the crimes committed during the Holocaust. Many citizens were forced to view bodies found at the concentration camps.

General Eisenhower ordered every citizen of the German town of Gotha to tour the concentration camp Ohrdruf. After the mayor of the town and his wife did so, they went home and hanged themselves.

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He also ordered every American soldier in the area who was not on the front lines to visit the camp as well. He said that if they did not know what they were fighting for, now they knew what they were fighting against.

To better mark who was who, Jews were forced to wear yellow stars and homosexuals were forced to wear pink triangles. They (falsely) offered homosexuals their freedom if they would agree to be castrated or submit themselves to sexual abuse and prostitution to help them with their research.

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Auschwitz saw the most deaths during the duration of the Holocaust. More than 2 million people died there. The next closest camp with a high death count was Belzec, with 600,000 deaths.

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The ‘extermination’ aspect of the Nazi death camps was kept under wraps. Very few outside Nazi Germany knew about the existence of these camps until a few years before the war ended…and even then, few believed it to be true. Most thought these ‘rumors’ were just more war propaganda.

Holocaust denial is now seen as an anti-semitic conspiracy and is illegal in 17 countries, including Germany, Israel, Poland and Austria.

The Nazis always used a code language in all the documents that were related to the Holocaust.

Anne Frank’s concentration camp was liberated by British troops just weeks after her death.

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Hitler planned to collect thousands of Jewish artifacts to build a “Museum of an Extinct Race” after the war.

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The Leica Camera company helped hundreds of Jews before the Holocaust by hiring them and sending them abroad for work.

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A Muslim family that saved Jews during the Holocaust was later saved by Israel during the genocide in Bosnia. They later converted to Judaism.

Dachau, the first Nazi concentration camp in Germany, opened six years before WWII officially started.

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The SS officer who captured Anne Frank and her family later purchased her book to see if he was mentioned.

In Germany, there is a specific word for analyzing and learning to live with the past, specifically the Holocaust: “Vergangenheitsbewaltigung”.

 

 

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30 Fun Facts about Stephen Sondheim

Chances are if you saw Stephen Sondheim walking down Broadway, you may not recognize him. A quiet genius in every sense of the phrase, Sondheim has gifted the world some of the most beautiful melodies, lyrics, stories and compositions known to theater today.

Just having celebrated his 88th birthday, Sondheim is a living genius of the theater, having written and composed some of the best musicals of this century. You have him to thank for West Side Story, Into the Woods, Company, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, A Little Night Music, Gypsy!, and some might even say the film, Dick Tracy (1990) and this little musical you’ve probably heard of, Hamilton.

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Sondheim has so many awards and accolades under his belt that it would take way too long to list them all out here…but let me just say the man is gifted. Eight Tony’s, eight Grammy’s and an Academy Award are just a few of the statues that pepper his bookshelves, not to mention his Presidential Medal of Freedom.

But before Into the Woods…before Sweeney Todd, Company, and all his other amazing musicals, Sondheim was just a little kid who had a dream. He struggled a lot…but then boy, did he succeed.

For your theatrical pleasure, here are 30 Fun Facts about the one and only Stephen Sondheim.

30 Fun Facts about Stephen Sondheim

Sondheim’s parents worked in the garment industry. His father was a dress manufacturer and his mother was a designer.

When his parents divorced in 1942, he moved to Pennsylvania with his mother, where he began studying piano and organ. He was already actively practicing songwriting as a student at the George School.

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It was in Pennsylvania where Sondheim met and became friends with Oscar Hammerstein II (Oklahoma!, Carousel, The Sound of Music). He served as his surrogate father during his time growing up in PA.

Oscar Hammerstein III and Stephen Sondheim.

The surrogate father came in handy considering Sondheim’s relationship with his mother. A psychologically abusive woman, Etta Janet Sondheim would project her anger from her failed marriage on her son. She once wrote Stephen a letter saying that the “only regret [she] ever had was giving him birth.” YIKES. When his mother died in 1992, Stephen did not attend her funeral and had already been estranged from her for nearly 20 years.

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While attending George School, Sondheim wrote a musical called By George, which was a success among his peers and buoyed Sondheim’s self-esteem. When he showed it to Hammerstein to get his opinion, Oscar offered his honest thoughts, saying, “it was the worst thing I have ever seen…but if you want to know why it’s terrible, I’ll tell you.” They spent the rest of the day going over the musical and Sondheim later said that he learned more about musical theater in that one afternoon than most people do in an entire lifetime.

To help him understand musical construction, Hammerstein had Sondheim write four musicals, each with one of the following conditions: based on a play he admired, based on a play he liked but thought flawed, based on an existing novel or short story, and then one original piece. By the time he was 22, he had finished all four. None of them were produced professionally.

Sondheim attended Williams College, where he majored in music (duh). Upon graduating, he won the Hutchinson Prize, which allowed him to study composition at Princeton University.

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During his time at Williams College, Sondheim performed duties in the preparation and rehearsals of the Rogers and Hammerstein productions of South Pacific and The King and I.

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After leaving Princeton, he studied further with avant-garde composer, Milton Babbitt and moved back to New York.

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Before jumping straight into Broadway, Sondheim got his professional start in TV, writing scripts for Topper and The Last Word.

Sondheim’s contributions to West Side Story (lyricist) and Gypsy (lyricist) in the 1950’s brought him recognition as a rising star in theatre.

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One of the first shows in which Sondheim wrote both lyrics and music for was A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, a farce based on ancient comedies written by the playwright Plautus. It opened in 1962 and ran for nearly 1,000 performances. It also won the Tony Award for Best Musical.

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He would continue winning Tony’s throughout the 1970’s, including Tony’s for Company (1970), Follies (1971), A Little Night Music (1973) and Sweeney Todd (1979).

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Company was actually one of Sondheim’s most well-received musicals, winning a Drama Critics Award, as well as the Tony for Best Musical. Sondheim also received awards for best composer and best lyricist for the show. Not to mention Company was well-loved by critics, as well. One commented that Company “…is absolutely first rate…the freshest…in years…This is a wonderful musical score, the one that Broadway has long needed.”

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When Sondheim wrote Company (a play about a bachelor and his married friends), he had never even been married (or in a serious relationship, for that matter), so he chatted with friends to ask about their trials and tribulations with matrimony.

A Little Night Music also featured the hit song, “Send in the Clowns”, made popular by Frank Sinatra and Judy Collins during the 70’s.

Sondheim also wrote five songs for the 1990 film, Dick Tracy, starring Warren Beatty and Madonna. He won an Academy Award for the song, “Sooner or Later”.

Sondheim also joins a goggle of other writers who have claimed that writing under the influence of alcohol is the best way to let loose and get past your inhibitions.

In 2015, Sondheim received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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Two years later, became the first composer-lyricist to win the PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award. This prize is given annually to a “critically acclaimed writer whose body of work helps us understand and interpret the human condition.” Other recipients of this award include Salman Rushdie and Toni Morrison.

Counting up his accolades is kind of insane. In totality, as of this moment in time, Sondheim has one Academy Award, eight Tony Awards (more than any other composer), eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, a Laurence Olivier Award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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There’s no denying that Sondheim has an amazing lineup of plays under his belt; however, he only claims that Do I Hear a Waltz?, coauthored with Richard Rogers, is his only failure. He claims he wrote it for the wrong reasons (a quick buck rather than out of passion).

Sondheim is weirdly also famous for his love of board games. He’s collected them over the years and has them hanging on the walls of his home. This fun fascination started as a solution for a poor, struggling artist to easily decorate his walls.

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In the late 1960’s, Sondheim even published a series of cryptic crossword puzzles in New York magazine.

The only autobiographical song Sondheim says he has ever written is “Opening Doors” from Merrily We Roll Along (apparently “Try the Priest” wasn’t autobiographical…) ;).  “Opening Doors” was inspired by the struggle he endured in the 50’s, trying to make a name for himself.

The former Henry Miller’s Theatre in New York was renamed the Stephen Sondheim Theatre in 2010 to help celebrate his 80th birthday.

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Sondheim was so influenced by his mentorship that he paid it forward. He mentored a young Johnathan Larson (Rent), who wrote the musical, Tick, Tick…Boom!. After Larson died suddenly at age 35, Sondheim called him one of the few composers “attempting to blend contemporary pop music with theater music…he was well on his way to finding a real synthesis.”

And just one fun Raul Esparza fact because I love him so much – Esparza was the lead in Tick, Tick…Boom!, then would go on to star in Sondheim’s revival of Company (as Bobby) in the early 2000’s.

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Sondheim was not directly involved, but was heavily consulted, during the 2007 film adaptation of Sweeney Todd, starring Johnny Depp, and Into the Woods, starring Meryl Streep. Every change to the script for both films was reviewed by and approved by him.

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Sondheim also mentored one Lin-Manuel Miranda on his little musical, Hamilton. Sondheim “worried that an evening of rap might get monotonous”, but ultimately believed Miranda’s attention to, and respect for, good rhyming made it work.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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