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27 Batty Fun Facts about The Dark Knight

In about 4 days, The Dark Knight will be celebrating its 10th anniversary. Holy SHNIKIES, BATMAN!

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Starring the late Heath Ledger in one of the most iconic roles of his short, yet stunning, career (The Joker), The Dark Knight blew box offices away like:

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Still sitting at the top of the list of IMDb’s list of the best movies of all time (#3), The Dark Knight almost didn’t happen, as director Christopher Nolan didn’t want to create a sequel to his first dive into the Batman story, Batman Begins…but the idea of giving a story to one of the most classic and well-loved comic villains of all time was too great a challenge to leave behind.

As any native Chicago-dwelling Batman-loving girl will tell you, The Dark Knight holds a special place in the hearts of lots of nerdy Illinoisians…as the film was shot right in the heart of the city (Chicago = Gotham City FOREVER). Also starring Christian Bale as Batman, Michael Caine as Alfred, as well as Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Nestor Carbonell, and Eric Roberts, The Dark Knight is arguably one of the better Batman films (though my heart still belongs to Tim Burton’s classic Batman).

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❤ SWOON! ❤

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, here are 27 BATTY Fun Facts about The Dark Knight!

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Feeling nostalgic? Take a look back at 14 Fun Facts about Tim Burton’s Batman!

27 Batty Fun Facts about The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight was not inspired by any ONE Batman story…in fact writers were inspired by several plot lines throughout the DC Comics series.

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For his role as The Joker, Heath Ledger locked himself away in a hotel room for weeks, experimenting with voices and mannerisms until he developed something he was satisfied with. The Sex Pistols and characters from A Clockwork Orange were among his inspirations.

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Originally director Chris Nolan had no intention to make a sequel to Batman Begins, but the idea of flushing out the character of The Joker kept him interested.

The only name on Nolan’s wish list to play The Joker was Heath Ledger.

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Throughout the production of The Dark Knight, Ledger kept a “Joker Diary”, where he would write stylized notes, clipped quotes and texts from inspiring characters, and lines from the script written in his own hand-writing.

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The role of the district attorney, which ultimately went to Maggie Gyllenhaal, was once under the hopeful eyes of fellow actresses Rachel McAdams and Emily Blunt.

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Fellow cast mate Michael Caine expressed concern that Nolan wouldn’t be able to find someone to top Jack Nicholson’s performance as the character of The Joker (from 1989’s Batman)…however, he came around when Ledger was cast, saying, “now that’s the one guy that could do it!”

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The licking-of-the-lips tick that The Joker possessed was mostly because the prosthetics, which extended into Ledger’s mouth, would loosen as he performed. He would lick his lips in an effort to keep them in place.

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Nolan wanted the truck-flipping scene (when Batman uses steel cables to flip The Joker’s 18-wheeler trailer) to happen for real…and it did…on a little street in Chicago.

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Christian Bale (Batman) was adamant about standing atop the Sears Tower in Chicago with his cape billowing around him. Bale actually performed several of his own stunts throughout his career as Batman.

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In the scene where The Joker is dressed up as a nurse, you can see that his name tag reads “Matilda”. Matilda is the name of Ledger’s daughter, born in 2005.

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The man who says, “we’re not intimidated by thugs” during The Joker’s raid on Bruce Wayne’s party, is Patrick Leahy, the Democratic US Senator from Vermont. A lifelong comic book fan, Leahy has actually appeared in five Batman films to date.

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Katie Holmes, who played district attorney Rachel Dawes in Batman Begins was replaced by Gyllenhaal after Holmes decided to star in Mad Money instead, which scored a measly 22% on Rotten Tomatoes. Bummer, Katie…

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Further speculation claims that Holmes actually left because her then-husband, Tom Cruise, was jealous of Christian Bale.

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Ledger actually designed the look of The Joker himself, using makeup he’d bought from a local drugstore. Nolan was so impressed that he tasked the makeup team to recreate it themselves.

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Within two days of its release, The Dark Knight was already ranked as the greatest film of all time by users on IMDb. It’s now sitting comfortably at position 3.

Ledger posthumously won a total of 32 Best Supporting Actor awards for his work on The Dark Knight, including the Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA, SAG and Critics’ Choice awards.

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The Batsuit Bale wore in the film was constructed from 200 unique pieces of rubber, fiberglass, metallic mesh, and nylon. It was constructed to give Bale more flexibility.

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Bruce Wayne drives a Lamborghini Murcielago in this movie. The Spanish word for “bat” is murcielago.

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Bruce Wayne’s penthouse was actually shot on the ground floor of an office building in downtown Chicago. During the daytime, the same space was re-dressed and used for Harvey Dent’s press conference scenes.

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A total of 39 cars were destroyed during production.

The Dark Knight was the first comic book movie to reach the $1 billion mark.

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Ledger actually interviewed fellow Joker alum, Jack Nicholson, about the role. Nicholson told him, “The role of being The Joker will haunt you, the role is so dark that you probably won’t be able to sleep.”

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The Dark Knight made more money in six days than Batman Begins made in its entire domestic run.

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The hospital that gets blown up in the film was an abandoned Brach’s candy factory in Chicago. The explosion actually triggered panicked calls to police from residents who feared a terrorist attack.

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James Gandolfini was considered for the role of gangster Sal Moroni, but it eventually went to Eric Roberts.

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Mike Engel, the reporter who is kidnapped by The Joker, is played by Anthony Michael Hall. You might know him from National Lampoon’s Vacation, 16 Candles, Weird Science, or my personal fave of his, The Breakfast Club.

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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 Forrest Gump

On July 6, 1994, the film Forrest Gump hit theaters. Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that this is both one of the most well-loved and most overrated movies of all time.

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Starring Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Robyn Wright and many others, Forrest Gump took home 6 of the 13 Oscar nominations it received and gave birth to a restaurant chain, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, with locations all over the world. It became a cult classic and gave birth to several quotable lines that have become part of our general lexicon.

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To celebrate its 24-year anniversary (wow!), here are a few fun facts about Forrest Gump!

23 Fun Facts about Forrest Gump

The movie was based on a book of the same name, written by Winston Groom.

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When Forrest gets up to talk at the Vietnam rally in Washington, the microphone plug is pulled and you cannot hear him. According to Tom Hanks, Forrest says, “Sometimes when people go to Vietnam, they go home to their mommas without any legs. Sometimes they don’t go home at all. That’s a bad thing. That’s all I have to say about that.”

Hanks wasn’t paid for the film. Instead he took percentage points of the film’s profits, which ultimately netted him in the region of $40 million. That’s a whole lotta ice cream!

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Forrest Gump is the film debut of actor Haley Joel Osment, who would go on to star in The Sixth Sense five years later.

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Every transition of Forrest’s age, one thing remains the same: he wears a blue plaid shirt in the first scene.

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Hanks’ eyes are closed in every photo you see of Forrest in the film.

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Those Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurants you see all over the US, Japan, China, Mexico, and the UK are a direct result of the success of Forrest Gump.

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During those crazy ping-pong matches, there was never a ball in play. The ball was added later with CGI, animated to meet the actors’ paddles.

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Forrest’s Medal of Honor ceremony uses the footage of the actual ceremony for Sammy L. Davis, who was awarded the medal in 1968 by President Johnson for his actions in Vietnam. Hanks’ head was superimposed on Davis’ body.

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Sally Field, who played Forrest’s mother in the film, is only 10 years older than Hanks.

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Bill Murray, John Travolta, and Chevy Chase all turned down the role of Forrest.

In October 1994, Forrest Gump was a part of an amazing 4-movie cult classic line-up that were all playing in theaters at the same time: Pulp Fiction, The Shawshank Redemption, and Jurassic Park were the other three.

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The shrimp boat used in the film now resides in the moat surrounding the Planet Hollywood restaurant in Downtown Disney in Florida. One of the ping-pong paddles used in the film also bears Hanks’ signature and is hanging up inside the restaurant.

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Though it’s not specified in the film, in the book sequel, Gump & Co, Jenny dies from Hepatitis C in the early 1970s from her years of drug abuse. This was an unknown disease until the late 1980s, and doctors had no idea how to treat her for it.

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Gary Sinise’s (Lt. Dan) legs were wrapped in blue fabric, which allowed the production team to digitally remove them later.

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The line, “My name is Forrest Gump. People call me Forrest Gump,” was made up spontaneously by Hanks while shooting the scene with Bubba on the bus. The director liked it so much that he kept it in.

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The park bench that Forrest sits on for a good portion of the film was located in historic Savannah, Georgia, at Chippewa Square. It has since been removed and is now in the Savannah History Museum.

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Mykelti Williamson wore a prosthetic to extend his lower lip for his role as Bubba.

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Forrest’s awards and decorations, as worn in his Class A uniform are as follows: the Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Infantry Shoulder Cord, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Badge, and Meritorious Unit Commendation.

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Hanks modeled his Southern drawl on the real life accent of Michael Conner Humphreys, who played young Forrest in the film.

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Forrest Gump won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor (Tom Hanks), Best Director (Robert Zemeckis), Best Visual Effects, Best Film Editing, and Best Screenplay.

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In 2011, the Library of Congress selected Forrest Gump for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Lt. Dan tells Forrest in one scene that the say he (Forrest) works on a shrimp boat will be the day he (Lt. Dan) becomes an astronaut. This is a reference to the book, where Forrest actually becomes an astronaut. The following year, Sinise and Hanks appeared together, as astronauts, in Apollo 13.

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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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Sometimes Things Just Happen

13reasons

“Sometimes things just happen to you. They just happen. You can’t help it. But it’s what you do next that counts. Not what happens, but what you decide to do about it.”
13 Reasons Why

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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The Cast of Breaking Bad: Where are They Now?

Yo, bitches! Can you believe it’s been 10 years…10 YEARS…since Breaking Bad started?

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Widely thought to be one of the best TV shows EVER, Breaking Bad starred Bryan Cranston as a chemistry teacher-turned-drug dealer and Aaron Paul as his loyal sidekick, Jesse Pinkman. Part of AMC’s amazing 2000’s era line-up (Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Walking Dead), this show broke records left and right, wracking up 16 Emmy Awards, 8 Satellite Awards, 2 Golden Globe Awards, 2 Critics’ Choice Awards, and so, so, so many more. By the time the series finale aired, Breaking Bad was among the most-watched cable shows on American television and in 2013 entered the Guinness World Records as the most critically acclaimed show of all time.

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Not surprisingly, a show with that many accolades has to have a slammin’ cast. Let’s take a look and see what Walter, Jesse and the rest of the gang has been up to since the heartbreaking and emotional finale of Breaking Bad.

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Can’t get enough Breaking Bad? Check out 45 Fun Facts about Breaking Bad for even more awesome info about Mr. White and company!

The Cast of Breaking Bad: Where Are They Now?

Bryan Cranston
(Walter White)

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Cranston is one of the few actors actually born and raised in Hollywood, CA. A member of the high school chemistry club at Canoga Park High School, Cranston actually ended up earning an associate’s degree in political science from Los Angeles Valley College in 1976. A regular on TV before landing his breakout role in Breaking Bad, Cranston appeared in several other projects post-Walter White. He appeared in a handful of films, including The Lincoln Lawyer, Drive, and Argo before being cast as Lyndon B. Johnson in the Broadway production of All the Way. His performance earned him critical acclaim and he later won a Tony Award for the performance for Best Actor in a Play. Following his Tony win, Cranston went on to star in the Dalton Trumbo biopic, Trumbo, for which he earned an Academy Award nomination. His New York Times best-selling autobiography, A Life in Parts, his shelves a year later (2016). Most recently, Cranston can be heard voicing one of the adorable dogs in Wes Anderson’s film, Isle of Dogs.

Aaron Paul
(Jesse Pinkman)

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Prior to being cast on Breaking Bad, Paul – a former The Price is Life contestant – appeared in several music videos, TV shows, and films.  His role as Scott Quittman on HBO’s Big Love gave him the most publicity before being cast in 2008 as the lovable Jesse Pinkman. Originally Paul’s character was supposed to be killed off Breaking Bad during the first season, but his chemistry with creator Vince Gilligan and Cranston was so strong that Gilligan changed his mind (thankfully!). For his role as Jesse Pinkman, Paul was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014. He took home the award three times (2010, 2012, 2014). After Breaking Bad, Paul starred in the film Smashed, which was one of the official selections for the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Most recently, Paul played Eddie Lane in the Hulu series, The Path, which was recently cancelled (boo!). He has two 2018 films in development and one additional project in the works as of now.

Anna Gunn
(Skylar White)

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No stranger to New Mexico, Gunn was raised in Santa Fe, NM before attending Northwestern University, where she majored in theater. Maybe best known for her portrayal as Skylar White in Breaking Bad, Gunn has also appeared in several other well-known TV shows, including Deadwood and The Practice. After Breaking Bad, Gunn went on to star in an off-Broadway production of Sex with Strangers, directed by David Schwimmer. She starred in the 2016 film, Equity, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was billed as the first female-driven Wall Street movie. She also starred in Sully alongside Tom Hanks.

Dean Norris
(Hank Schrader)

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An Indiana native who would grow up to become his high school’s valedictorian, Norris appeared in several high-grossing films before being cast as the loveable DEA agent, Hank Schrader, in Breaking Bad. Often playing a cop or burly man of the law, Norris made his mark in Lethal Weapon 2, Total Recall, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Starship Troopers, and The Cell before being cast in Breaking Bad.  While filming Breaking Bad, Norris made a small cameo, alongside Bryan Cranston, in the beloved film Little Miss Sunshine, which was also filming in and around Albuquerque, NM. After Breaking Bad, Norris starred in the CBS series, Under the Dome, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. He also appeared in the 2015 film Sons of Liberty and the 2018 films Beirut and Death Wish.

R.J. Mitte
(Walter “Flynn” White Jr.)

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This breakfast-loving actor and model was born in Jackson, Mississippi. He was delivered via emergency caesarian and was not breathing at the time of his birth, which resulted in permeant brain damage. He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 3 and was fitted with leg braces to help him walk. He actually strengthened his body to the point where he didn’t need crutches to walk and he had to re-learn how to use them for his role on Breaking Bad. Before being cast as Walter’s son, Mitte had several roles as extras in various TV shows, including Hannah Montana. After his amazing role on Breaking Bad, Mitte was asked by the Screen Actor’s Guild to be the spokesman for actors with disabilities and he is currently the representative of “Inclusion in the Arts and Media of Performers with Disabilities”.  Mitte is currently producing and will star in the film Wildflowers, alongside his sister, Lacianne Carriere. He is also working as a producer on the documentary, The Kids of Widney High, about a music group composed of mentally disabled students from J.P. Widney High School in LA.

Betsy Brandt
(Marie Schrader)

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Before being cast as the purple-loving wife of Hank Schrader, Brandt received her BFA in acting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1996. Before moving to LA, she was very active in the local theater scene of Seattle, WA. After her role in Breaking Bad, Brandt was cast as a lead character in the ABC series, Members Only, but the series did not go forward. Her most recent projects include the TV films, FANatic and Flint, as well as the 2018 film, We the Coyotes. She can also be seen in the CBS series, Life in Pieces.

Bob Odenkirk
(Saul Goodman)

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Though Odenkirk is more recently known for his portrayal of Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad and Jimmy McGill in the spinoff, Better Call Saul, Odenkirk has been around forever. With a resume that includes work on Mr. Show with Bob and David, SNL, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and The Larry Sanders Show, Odenkirk is no stranger to acting and writing. Born and raised near Naperville, IL, Odenkirk was cast as Saul Goodman after plans to have him star as Michael Scott in the US version of The Office fell through (he would later go on to make a guest-appearance on the show, anyway). After Breaking Bad, Odenkirk was offered the starring role in the BB spinoff, Better Call Saul, which takes place before the events of Breaking Bad. He’s also appeared in other successful films recently, including The Post, The Disaster Artist, The Spectacular Now, and Nebraska. He voices a character in the upcoming Pixar film, Incredibles 2, and has a 2019 film, Flarsky, currently in post-production.

Jonathan Banks
(Mike Ehrmantraut)

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Often cast as a wise guy or burly bad boy, Banks is actually a “cupcake”, according to his post Breaking Bad interview. Before starring as Saul’s go-to cleanup guy, Mike Ehrmantraut, Banks had very similar roles in 48 Hrs., Beverly Hills Cop, and Wiseguy. After his leave of Breaking Bad, Banks had a recurring role in the NBC sitcom, Community. He would later to go on to reprise his role as Mike in Better Call Saul. Banks’ recent projects include the 2018 films The Commuter, Incredibles 2, and Redbad.

Giancarlo Esposito
(Gustavo “Gus” Fring)

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No stranger to acting, Esposito made his Broadway debut at the age of 8 opposite the one and only Shirley Jones in the musical, Maggie Flynn. He continued acting in several TV shows and movies before being cast as the villain, Gus Fring, on Breaking Bad. After he lost his FACE in the explosive fourth season finale, Esposito went on to appear in a few TV shows, including Community, and voiced characters in video games. Most recently, Esposito has joined the DC comic universe, appearing in Son of Batman and Batman: Assult on Arkham. In 2017, he also reprised his role as Gus Fring in Better Call Saul. Currently, Esposito has two 2018 movie projects: Maze Runner: The Death Cure and The Long Home. He’s currently starring in Better Call Saul and is the narrator in the show, Dear White People. He also appeared in the “Reunion” episode of the 2018 show, Westworld.

Matt Jones
(Brandon “Badger” Mayhew)

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A California kid through and through, Jones got his start doing improv and was the singer/songwriter for the ska band, Faculty Four. After booking nearly 20 commercials in 2 years, Jones’ first theatrical audition was for Breaking Bad. After the show wrapped, Jones had appearances in How I met Your Mother, Reno 911!, and Community, as well as several MORE commercials. He had four appearances in The Office and was cast as a series regular in The Farm, a spinoff of The Office that was ultimately cancelled. Currently Jones has a leading role in Pig Goat Banana Cricket and Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh. He also appeared in a handful of episodes of Let’s Get Physical.

Charles Baker
(Skinny Pete)

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The son of an army colonel, Baker traveled all over the world by the time he was 17 years old. He attended many schools and received a vocal scholarship to attend Tarrant County College in Texas, where he studied music. An amazingly gifted musician (you can actually hear him playing in Breaking Bad), Baker was cast as Jesse Pinkman’s friend, Skinny Pete in BB. Though his character is a drug-loving skinny stoner who spent time in prison, Baker himself has never done drugs or alcohol. After BB, Baker appeared in The Blacklist and was cast in Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon, in 2014.

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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I’ll Be Gone in the Dark Book Review

Sometimes when I can’t sleep at night, I’ll jump on Reddit or StumbleUpon (remember that one?!) and research true crime mysteries. Maybe it’s the years of watching Law and Order: SVU, maybe it’s my recent obsession with the podcast, “And That’s Why We Drink”, or maybe it’s just my love of all things mysterious, but there’s just something in me that loves reading about murder and mayhem.

The first true crime story I remember being obsessed with was the JonBenet Ramsey murder. I was 12 when the face of JonBenet exploded all over the magazine covers. Back in 1996, the Internet wasn’t what it was today…so the only “research” you could really do was to dive into People and Us Weekly for the latest updates on the case.  Now I could spend hours combing through the 234,000 search results you get when you search JonBenet’s name.

As you can imagine, the internet is now filled with “volunteer detectives” and true crime sleuths who want nothing more than to help catch a predator. There are chat rooms, podcasts, forums, even in-person meet-ups of people who spend their lives looking through old evidence and articles, searching the internet day after day, hoping they’ll find the missing piece that will put an end to the madness.

Most of them don’t find much…maybe a new photograph or an article buried deep in the world wide web…but once in a while someone does find something. Once in a while, someone has a thought, an inkling, a wild out-of-the-blue idea that creates a ripple effect and opens a whole new door that authorities and investigators didn’t even know was there. Once in a while, a curious and dedicated journalist helps put a murderer behind bars.

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In the 1970s, California was terrorized by a mysterious and violent predator who committed more than 50 sexual assaults and 10 murders. He never revealed his face to his victims, making him near impossible to ID. People started calling him The East Area Rapist and The Original Night Stalker before true crime journalist, Michelle MacNamara, penned him the Golden State Killer.

In her best-selling book, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, McNamara dives deep into the case of the East Area Rapist, pouring over police reports, talking to victims, and spending endless hours in chat rooms and forums talking to other civilians who were just as obsessed with this man as she was.

When he was active, the East Area Rapist was a young, athletic man. He always wore a mask and would blind his victims with a flashlight so they wouldn’t be able to see his face. While he favored suburban couples, he also attacked single women, feeding on their fear. He often entered the homes of his victims before attacking them, stealing meaningful family photos, wedding rings, diaries, or letters. He would then attack them when they slept, often tying up the male while assaulting the female, talking to them in a guttural whisper. It wasn’t until later that he transitioned into murdering his victims…then, maybe once he felt the authorities closing in, he disappeared.

Some people thought he moved to another country or joined the army. Most people thought he died…maybe just to ease their own fear that he might return. But McNamara knew better…she knew he was still lurking in the shadows…and she wanted nothing more than for him to pay for his crimes.

In I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, McNamara gives readers an intimate and sometimes graphic portrayal of what it was like to be in California at that time. Through powerful interviews with victims and the lead investigators at the time, McNamara tries diligently to piece together the pieces of this insane puzzle, hoping somehow, somewhere, she’ll find the missing piece that will help the world sleep a little easier.

Michelle McNamara was working on I’ll Be Gone in the Dark while she suddenly passed away on April 21, 2016. Her book was finished and published posthumously by her close colleagues and husband, Patton Oswalt, in February 2018.  In a powerful and bone-chilling part of the book, McNamara talks about the possibility of using genealogy sites like Ancestry.com to better track him down. Ironically, this would be the exact way detectives would track down Joseph James DeAngelo, The Golden State Killer, almost two years TO THE DAY that McNamara passed away.

Like I’ve said, I’ve always been fascinated by true crime stories. I think there’s something ingrained in all of us that enjoys the thrill of the unknown…and maybe the possibility of finding the one piece everyone has been looking for. For McNamara, it was more than just a passion, it was an obsession. She went beyond scoping Wikipedia.com…she completely and utterly submersed herself in this story – and it shows. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is bound to become a classic in the true crime genre, if it hasn’t already. It’s proof that we can all make a difference in this world – proof that sometimes it takes another pair of eyes to see what we’ve been staring at this whole time – proof that with the right amount of determination and passion and strive, even a woman who just gets a thrill out of browsing Reddit and StumbleUpon for interesting stories to read about can completely and utterly change everything.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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21 Fun Facts about Grease

40 years later, grease is still the word.

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Hey you cool cats! It’s been 40 years since Grease hit theaters and I’m here to bring you 21 jiving facts about this top-grossing movie musical…despite it’s now quite sexist and sketchy undertones…

From 116 degree dance offs to Spandex pants so tight they involved a daily sewing session, here are 21 fun facts about Grease!

21 Fun Facts about Grease

Henry Winkler turned down the part of Danny Zuko. He was first choice for the role, but Winkler felt the character was too close to The Fonz, a role he was already playing on Happy Days.

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Both Marie Osmond and Linda Ronstadt were in consideration for playing Sandy.

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When producer Allan Carr met Olivia Newton-John at a party, he was “completely smitten” with her and begged her to sign on for Sandy. She insisted on a screen test with John Travolta, who had already been cast as Danny, to make sure they had chemistry.

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Not surprisingly, most of the main actors were nearly 2x the age of normal high school kids. Stockard Channing (Rizzo) was 34, Newton-John was 29, Jeff Conaway (Kenickie) was 27, and Travolta was 24. Jamie Donnelly (Jan) was 30 and had to color her hair nearly every day because her premature greys were peeking through her dark black hair.

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Conaway’s hickey’s on Channing’s neck were real. He wanted them to be authentic.

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Conaway was also so infatuated with Newton-John that he got tongue-tied whenever she was around. He later married her sister, Rona.

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Travolta’s two conditions for taking on the role of Danny were he wanted to sing “Greased Lightnin’”, even though it’s technically Kenickie’s song to sing, and he wanted “blue black hair like Elvis Presley.”

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Travolta actually played the role of Doody more than 100 times in Grease on Broadway.

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Travolta wasn’t the only one to transition from stage to screen. Jeff Conaway played Danny on Broadway, Barry Pearl played Sonny on Broadway (Doody in the movie), and Jamie Donnelly also played Jan on Broadway.

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The “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee” scene was shot the day Elvis died, August 16, 1977. What makes this extra creepy is the Elvis-themed line in the song: “Elvis, Elvis, let me be! Keep that pelvis far from me!”

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Elvis was actually offered the role of the Teen Angel, but refused. Frankie Avalon took the part instead.

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Newton-John had to be sewn into those sexy Spandex pants. It was 106 degrees on the set for that carnival finale seen. Woof.

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During the movie shoot, the cast reportedly chewed 100,000 pieces of bubble gum.

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Grease only cost $6 million to make, but has taken in more than $400 million internationally, making it one of the highest-grossing movie musicals of all time.

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Grease 2 was given double the budget of the first film, but only earned $15 million at the box office, basically breaking even.

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John Travolta’s sister, Ellen Travolta, plays a diner waitress with a single line: “Oh, there’s Danny and Sandy!” while watching the dance on TV.

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Rydell High was actually made up of 3 different LA high schools. The façade is Venice High School, the interior is Huntington Park High School, and the field is John Marshall High School.

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Grease won every People’s Choice Award for which it was nominated: Favorite Motion Picture Actress (Newton-John), Favorite Motion Picture Supporting Actress (Channing), Favorite Musical Motion Picture and Favorite Overall Motion Picture.

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The romantic ballad, “Hopelessly Devoted to You” was nominated for an Academy Award, however it almost wasn’t in the movie. It was written after filming had wrapped because producers felt Sandy needed a ballad.

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The awesome dance contest scene took a week to shoot in a gymnasium that was about 116 degrees during filming. Several extras suffered heat-related illness.

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Conaway injured his back while filming “Greased Lightning”. Fellow cast members accidentally dropped him while dancing on top of a car. The injury eventually ignited his pain killer addiction, which led to his death in 2011.

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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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Style

respect

 

“You don’t like my style…that’s fine. But I’m not going to change who I am. So you’re just gonna have to deal with it and respect it.”
New Girl

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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