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35 Fascinating TV And Movie Facts I Learned In 2021 That I Couldn't Forget If I Tried

Trivia is love. Trivia is life.

Mary Colussi

BuzzFeed Staff

I spent a not-insignificant portion of 2021 writing about behind-the-scenes facts, stories, and secrets from TV shows and movies. I learned a lot, so I wanted to round up the juiciest and most fascinating tidbits about how Hollywood, well, works , before heading into a brand-new year of saying, "Wait, that actor prepared for a role by doing what?! "

That being said, you may have read some of these facts before. i'll link to the original post each of them is from if you want to read more. and now, here are 35 pieces of information you can use to break the ice at your next holiday party., 1. the crew of mother made jennifer lawrence a " kardashian tent ," where the actor could watch keeping up with the kardashians , eat gumballs, and "decompress" after filming intense scenes. naturally, it was also decorated with pictures of the kardashians..

Jennifer Lawrence in Mother!

Lawrence told Vogue that in filming the movie, "I had to go to a darker place than I’ve ever been in my life. I didn’t know if I’d be able to come out OK." The tent provided a much-needed "happy place" for the performer.

the Kardashian family

This fact is from " 27 Horror Movie Behind-The-Scenes Facts That Are Equal Parts Fascinating And Spooky. " 

2. NBC was terrified of what Richard Pryor would say when he guest hosted during the first season of SNL , and executives believed his material was " too dangerous " to be broadcast live. They refused to allow him to host the first episode, like Lorne Michaels wanted, and when he did appear, they insisted on a five-second delay in between what he said and what aired. Today, that kind of delay is typical for live events broadcasted on television.

Richard Pryor hosting the show

This fact is from " 27 'Saturday Night Live' Behind-The-Scenes Secrets That Range From 'Fascinating' To 'Lorne Michaels Fired WHO!?' "

3. Meg Cabot told Cosmopolitan that she was 100% on board with killing off Mia Thermopolis's father, who is still alive in The Princess Diaries books.

Mia and her grandmother during their princess lessons

When a producer told her she needed to kill off Mia's dad, Cabot asked why. Cabot was told, "We want to have a bigger role for the grandmother because we’ve got this great actress that wants to play her." When Cabot asked who exactly wanted the role, the producer told her it was none other than Julie Andrews.

movie fun facts 2021

Cabot's response? "Oh my god. Kill him. Kill the dad.”

Mia and her grandmother wave as they get into the car

This fact is from " 13 Changes Made In Book-To-Screen Adaptations That Authors Loved, And 14 They Absolutely Loathed ."  

4. To ensure that the identities of the contestants remain secret, the crew of The Masked Singer have to sign nondisclosure agreements, and they aren't permitted to use their phones while they're working. If they do ask to use their phones, they're allowed to...but they're forced to wear something a producer referred to as a " shame sash ," a pageant-type sash designed to "humiliate anyone who wants to use their phone on set."

A scene from The Masked Singer with Nick Cannon and the Yeti

This fact is from " 21 Behind-The-Scenes Facts That’ll Change The Way You Look At Your Favorite Reality TV Shows ." 

5. In Gone Girl , Ben Affleck's character was supposed to wear a baseball cap in an airport to avoid attention, but a spat between the actor and director David Fincher over which team's hat it would be shut down production for four days. Fincher wanted it to be a Yankees cap, but native Bostonian Affleck refused, explaining that he'd "never hear the end of it." The pair eventually compromised on a Mets hat.

Ben Affleck putting on his Mets hat

This fact is from " 14 Actors Who Demanded (And Got) Changes To The Script ." 

6. In Hulu's The Great , Catherine urinates on wheat at the behest of Peter's eccentric aunt Elizabeth, who tells her that if the wheat sprouts, it means that she's pregnant. This was 100% a real pregnancy test used back in the day.

Catherine urinates on wheat, then sees that it's sprouted

Writer and creator Tony McNamara told Vanity Fair , "They also had pregnancy tests — they would piss on some wheat and if it bloomed, then they felt like you were pregnant.”

Catherine the Great and Peter in full court costume

If you're curious: According to Harvard , "in the first known pregnancy tests," ancient Egyptian women peed on wheat and waited to see if it would bloom, just like Catherine does in the series. The test accurately predicted "70-85% of pregnancies."

movie fun facts 2021

This wasn't the only old-school medical factoid McNamara included in the series. At one point, Catherine is told that if she inserts the top of a lemon into her vagina, it will act as a contraceptive. Said McNamara, "Women used the tops of lemons as sort of a diaphragm because there was a physical stop, but also because they believed citric acid would kill sperm."

Catherine looks into the distance, upset

This fact is from " I Thought These 17 TV And Movie Moments Were Fictional, But It Turns Out I Was Wrong And They're All Real ." 

7. Serena Williams is such a big fan of Nickelodeon's Avatar franchise that she appeared in both Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel series, The Legend of Korra . In the former, she voiced Ming , a Fire Nation prison guard who is kind to Iroh, and in the latter, she played a "female sage." Ming appears in the Season 3 episode "The Day of Black Sun: Part 1 – The Invasion," while the female sage can be found in Season 2's "Beginnings, Part 1."

Serena Williams and Ming the prison guard

This fact is from " 15 Celebrities Who Got A Chance To Appear On TV Shows They Adored ." 

8. Roald Dahl didn't like much of the beloved 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory , despite the fact that he wrote the screenplay himself. The author was particularly concerned that Gene Wilder didn't have it in him to play the eccentric candy maker.

Roald Dahl and Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka

Donald Sturrock, a friend of Dahl and the author of his biography Storyteller: The Life of Roald Dahl , wrote, "He had serious reservations about Gene Wilder's performance as Wonka, which he thought 'pretentious' and insufficiently 'gay and bouncy.'"

Wonka behind a bunch of giant lollipops

And in 2016, Sturrock told Yahoo! Movies that Dahl was already upset when the producers shot down his first two choices for the role: comedian Spike Milligan and actor Peter Sellers. Sturrock said, "I think he felt Wonka was a very British eccentric. Gene Wilder was rather too soft and didn’t have a sufficient edge."

Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers

This fact is from " 11 Writers Who Weren't Excited About Who Was Cast As Their Iconic Characters, And 12 Who Were Totally Thrilled ." 

9. Kelly Marie Tran told Vanity Fair that she believed that there were "some romantic feelings going on there" between her character, Raya, and Raya's adversary Namaari during their climatic showdown in Raya and the Last Dragon .

Raya and Namaari approach one another

Tran noted that this was not necessarily Disney's official stance, and said, "I think if you’re a person watching this movie and you see representation in a way that feels really real and authentic to you, then it is real and authentic. I think it might get me in trouble for saying that, but whatever."


She added, "I want to live in a world where every single type of person can see themselves in a movie like this. There’s a lot of work to be done in that respect. I’d love to see a Disney warrior who — I don’t know, can I say this without getting in trouble? I don’t care — is openly in the LGBTQ community. I would love to see representation in terms of someone who maybe isn’t able-bodied. And I’m hopeful. We’ll see."

Raya during a fight

This fact is from " 19 Utterly Fascinating Behind-The-Scenes Facts From Some Of 2021's Biggest Movies ." 

10. When the Duffer Brothers thought that Stranger Things would only last a single season, they planned on killing off Eleven, who would " sacrifice herself to save the day ." But she was granted a reprieve when they realized that there could be more episodes. In the book Stranger Things: Worlds Turned Upside Down , Ross Duffer wrote about the change, "we needed to leave it more up in the air, because deep down we knew the show just wouldn’t really work without Eleven." Additionally, they knew at that point "how special [Eleven actor] Millie was," which further motivated them to keep the character around.

Joyce Byers and Hopper help Eleven into the saltwater pool in season 1

This fact is from " 25 Fictional Characters Who You'll Be Very Upset To Learn Were Originally Meant To Die ."

11. According to a Netflix behind-the-scenes video , the glass stepping stones set from Squid Game used real tempered glass. In the words of Jung Ho-yeon, who played Kang Sae-byeok, it was "actually terrifying" to film on. Jung estimated that the bridge was suspended about one meter (that's a little more than a yard) above the ground.

The glass stepping stone set of the fifth game

Director and creator Hwang Dong-hyuk said in the same video, "A mere 1.5 meters can make you frightened. The glass made them nervous. I think we could notice the unnoticed rigidity and fear of the body. It felt like really jumping off a high bridge. The game was real and they felt real fear. Their bodies showed that fear. We think that set had the power of realism."

the filming of the glass stepping stones, with an actor reacting in fear to a "drop"

This fact is from " I Didn't Know These 23 Fascinating Things About 2021's Biggest TV Shows, And Now I Want To Rewatch Them All. " 

12. Tom Hiddleston revealed that Loki's death in Thor: The Dark World was supposed to be permanent . He said that "Chris [Hemsworth] and I played that scene for real," and that it was supposed to be the natural conclusion of Loki's redemptive arc, where he would save his brother and Jane Foster but sacrifice himself in the process. However, when the death scene was shown to test audiences, they refused to accept that it wasn't another one of Loki's tricks. So the creative team made it so: At the end of the film, Loki is sitting on Odin's throne in disguise, a twist that Hiddleston said worked because "I didn't even know it was a twist! "

Loki's death scene, plus him sitting on Odin's throne

This fact is from " If Marvel Had Followed Through On These 31 Discarded Ideas, The MCU Would Be Damn Near Unrecognizable ." 

13. Before Chris Evans was offered the role of Captain America, John Krasinski tested for the part. On Ellen , he said that Chris Hemsworth (Thor) walked by while he was putting on Cap's suit and said, "Ya look good, mate." Krasinski joked that seeing how jacked Hemsworth was made him take off the suit and quit, but he admitted that in reality, "I acted my heart out that day. And it didn't work out, so."

John Krasinski and Chris Evans in costume as Captain America

14. Stephen Hawking got a chance to see The Theory of Everything before it premiered, and he liked what he saw. Eddie Redmayne, who played Hawking, told Variety that Hawking said to him, "I’ll let you know what I think — good or otherwise." To which Redmayne replied, "Stephen, if it’s otherwise, you don’t need to go into details."

The real Hawking and Hawking as played by Eddie Redmayne

Luckily for Redmayne, the legendary scientist was impressed, and when the film ended, "a nurse wiped a tear from Hawking’s eye." Hawking described the movie as "broadly true" and later emailed the filmmakers to express his approval.

Stephen and Jane Hawking on their wedding day

James Marsh, the director, told Variety , "He emailed us and said there were certain points when he thought he was watching himself." But Hawking's highest praise came in the form of a "generous gift": Permission for the filmmakers to use his own iconic, computer-generated voice, which is trademarked, rather than the fake one they'd come up with. Screenwriter Anthony McCarten said, "We spent a lot of time and money trying to reproduce the voice, but we never got it." And in the end, they didn't need to.

Stephen Hawking at dinner

This fact is from " 12 Famous People Who Despised The Movies Made About Their Lives, And 12 Who Said 'Pass The Popcorn.' " 

15. Producer Jerry Weintraub thought Michael Phelps would be perfect for the title role in The Legend of Tarzan . That is, until he saw Phelps hosting SNL .

Michael Phelps hosting

Vanity Fair 's Rich Cohen was with Weintraub when he saw the episode, and witnessed his outsized disappointment to Phelps's onscreen presence. After watching for two minutes, Weintraub yelled at his assistant, "He’s a goon! Why didn’t anyone tell me he’s a goon? Turn it off. Goddammit, turn it off.” Alexander Skarsgård ultimately won the role.

Michael Phelps doing a locker room sketch

16. One of Prince Charles' most punchable moments in Season 4 of The Crown comes when he makes an achingly awkward comment during the press conference to announce his and Diana's engagement. The real Prince Charles said the exact. Same. Thing.

Charles says "whatever 'in love' means" to a reporter who says they seem very much in love

In the show, Diana looks (understandably) hurt, but in real life, she " laughed it off. " Despite that, later in life, Diana said, "Charles turned around and said, ‘Whatever in love means,’ and that threw me completely... God, absolutely traumatized me."

Charles and Diana during the interview

17. Prince was a huge fan of New Girl , so much so that he asked the show for the chance to guest star . Obviously, they said "yes!" In the episode, Prince (starring as himself, naturally) hosts a party. Originally, the Kardashians were also going to make cameo appearances as guests.

Prince during a concert

When Prince got wind of this, he supposedly replied, "They would never be invited to a Prince party." Their appearances were swiftly cut. Zooey Deschanel recalled in an appearance on Conan that the scripts and call sheets featuring the Kardashian name were literally burned by a P.A.

Prince sitting with the stars of New Girl

This fact is from " 27 Facts About Pop Stars That Range From "Fascinating" To "Wait, They Didn't Throw Out Lady Gaga's Meat Dress?! "

18. Tony Todd, the actor who played Candyman in the 1992 film of the same name, received an extremely well-deserved bonus for filming a scene in which live bees pour out of his character's mouth.

The Candyman, with bees in his mouth

Todd told the Guardian that he "negotiated" a $1,000 bonus for every time he was stung while filming the scene, for a grand total of $23,000 for 23 stings. As freaky as working with live bees may seem, Todd said, "Everything that’s worth making has to involve some sort of pain. Once I realized it was an important part of who Candyman was, I embraced it. It was like putting on a beautiful coat."

Candyman embracing a woman covered with bees

19. After eating dog shit on camera for Pink Flamingos , Divine got worried about side effects and called the hospital. Imitating his mother, he told a nurse that his son had just eaten "dog doody." The nurse said that the "son" would be just fine, though she recommended watching out for symptoms of worms (and getting rid of the dog).

Divine stands outside her trailer in pink flamingos

This fact is from " These 16 Behind-The-Scenes Facts Will Change The Way You Look At Your Fave LGBTQ+ Movies. "  

20. The production team behind CODA (an acronym that stands for "children of Deaf adults") were careful to accurately recreate the day-to-day lives of Deaf people.

the family in CODA

For instance, the film is set in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Director Sian Heder told the Hollywood Reporter that American Sign Language "has regionalisms just in the way that a Boston accent would." Thus, the cast learned how to sign the name of the city, as well as names for different types of fish native to the area, since Gloucester's primary industry is fishing (and the main characters, the Rossi family, are themselves fishermen). And when Anne Tomasetti, one of the film's ASL masters, saw the Rossi family home, she pointed out that their couch should be facing the door, so that they could see any visitors enter. Said Heder, "It was like this ‘of course’ moment."

The daughter doing a sign from outside the car window

Troy Kostur, who played family patriarch Frank Rossi, said about Heder, "She had done her homework. And not many directors do that. They put you in there, they throw an interpreter next to you, and they kind of work their way through it."

Frank and his wife on the family couch

21. Taika Waititi envisioned a 1980s-era flashback to Thor and Loki's childhoods in Thor: Ragnarok . Thor would be a "pudgy little kid walking around with a mullet and being picked on by other kids," while Loki is a "little emo goth hanging out by himself," comparable to Draco Malfoy. It got cut because it became "pointless" as the rest of the story developed, and also because it involved Thor meeting Valkyrie, which would've screwed up other aspects of the plot.

Thor and Loki in Thor: Ragnarok

22. David Bowie voiced Lord Royal Highness in a SpongeBob SquarePants special called "SpongeBob's Atlantis SquarePantis" because his 6-year-old daughter loved the show. On his blog, Bowie wrote that it was the "Holy Grail of animation gigs."

David Bowie performing as Ziggy Stardust and the Spongebob character he voiced, Lord Royal Highness

This fact is from " 14 Roles Actors Accepted Because They Hoped It Would Make Their Kids Think They Were Cool ." 

23. Drew Carey, who took over The Price is Right hosting duties after Bob Barker retired in 2007, once saw a contestant win an unprecedented $30,000 from the show's Plinko game. In Plinko, contestants " drop chips down a board, hoping to land them in a $10,000 slot ," which this particular contestant did three times in a row. A producer stopped the woman before she could go a fourth time, and told Carey that the game was "fixed."

The giant Plinko board

Carey panicked, thinking that this would be a scandal leading to the loss of his job and possibly jail time, but he needn't have worried: The game was rigged with fishing line to reach the $10,000 slot every time because it had just been used to film a commercial. The moment didn't end up in the episode, most likely to preserve the integrity of the game (and the egos of its producers), but the show did award the woman her $30,000 off camera.

A woman dances before playing on the plinko board

This fact is from " Someone Won $30,000 On A Rigged "Price Is Right" Game (And Kept The Money), Plus 27 More Game Show Secrets ." 

24. After seeing the final cut of Gremlins , one of Warner Bros.' notes to Steven Spielberg and Joe Dante was that there were too many gremlins. Spielberg responded that they could cut all the gremlins and call the movie People , but somehow he didn't think people would show up. Spielberg got his way, and gremlins remained the main draw of Gremlins .

This fact is from " 17 Times Interference From Hollywood Executives Drastically Changed Films (Or Tried To, At Least) ." 

25. An episode of Seinfeld is based on Larry David's experience of sort of (but not really) quitting Saturday Night Live . During Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit in 2017, David recalled that six weeks into his gig as a writer, he snapped and quit after yet another one of his sketches was cut just minutes before the show was set to air.

Larry David on the Emmy's red carpet

On his walk home, David began to regret quitting, and when he encountered his coworker Kenny Kramer (the eventual inspiration for Seinfeld's Kramer), Kramer advised him to "simply to go back into the office on Monday and pretend the whole thing never happened." That's exactly what David did: He showed up at the Monday morning writer's meeting, pitched a sketch about trapeze artists, and that was that.

Larry David hosting SNL

In "The Revenge" (Season 2, Episode 7), George quits his job in a fury and tries the same trick David used, but in his case, and as is typical on Seinfeld , it doesn't turn out as planned.

George Costanza pretends he didn't quit when he shows up to a work meeting

26. During an appearance on The Howard Stern Show , Johnny Knoxville recalled that Lorne Michaels offered him a weekly three- to five-minute segment on SNL to do " pranks or stunts ." Even though Knoxville thought it was a "wonderful opportunity," he decided to pursue producing the Jackass television show for MTV instead, both because it offered more creative control and allowed him to continue collaborating with his friends.

Knoxville says, at the time, in my ignorance, I once again was like, I'm just gonna bet on us

27. Jennifer Garner's "exhale" speech in Love, Simon wasn't in the original script, but it was added after Garner told director Greg Berlanti, "I want to connect with my son in the last act."

Jennifer Garner tells simon he can exhale after coming out as gay

28. Merv Griffin, the creator of both Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune , composed the theme song for the former in less than 30 seconds. He received royalties from it for the rest of his life, and estimated to the New York Times that it made him around "$70 million to $80 million."

Griffin at his piano in the 1950s

29. In 1972, the stage musical 1776 was adapted for the screen, but one song was missing: “Cool, Cool, Considerate Men," which depicted "Revolutionary War era conservatives as power-hungry wheedlers focused on maintaining wealth." Producer Jack L. Warner had the song cut at the express request of his close friend...then-president Richard Nixon.

the anti-conservative lyrics of "Cool, Cool, Considerate Men"

Warner went so far as to ask for the original negative of the song to be destroyed, but the editor secretly put a copy of it in storage. Upon hearing of the cut, director Peter H. Hunt asked Warner, "How could you do this?" Warner replied, "With a pair of scissors." Sony Pictures eventually re-released the movie with the song intact. As for Nixon's dream of a squeaky-clean perception of American conservatism in the 1970s, we can all agree that 1776 was the least of his problems.

John Adams

30. George R. R. Martin likes the version of Shae from the Game of Thrones TV show better than the one in his books. In an interview , Martin said that actor Sibel Kekilli's "take on Shae was much different than the character's in the books." At first, Martin was taken aback by how unrecognizable Kekilli's Shae was, but he soon became convinced that it was "a better Shae." He elaborated, "Her Shae has more depth than my version. Her Shae has more...emotional realism than my Shae."

Shae in her first meeting with Tyrion

What particularly impressed Martin was Kekilli's ability to make Shae her own character, with motivations and personality traits that existed independently of her relationship with Tyrion. He did jokingly point out that while he preferred the onscreen Shae to the one in the books, "They're both dead now, so it doesn't matter."

Shae and Varys discuss Sansa

31. At least one stunt got cut from the Jackass movie due to the amount it would've cost to insure it. The movie wasn't insured as a whole; instead, each individual stunt or prank came with its own price tag. One bit would've involved Chris Pontius dressing up as Satan and walking into a Pentecostal church where they handle snakes, but when the insurance company said it would cost $5 million, the idea was dropped.

Chris Pontius in the devil costume

This fact is from " 24 Behind-The-Scenes Stories And Secrets From 'Jackass' That Range From 'Super Interesting' To 'Oh My God.' " 

32. Idris Elba revealed in a 2019 Hot Ones interview that Alexa Fogel, the casting director for The Wire , told him to pretend he was American, rather than British, while auditioning for the show, since creator David Simon didn't want any non-American actors cast in the series.

Idris Elba on the red carpet

Elba kept up the ruse until his fourth audition, during which he was asked about his childhood and background. Elba said, "My parents told me not to lie. You gotta look someone in the eye and be honest. I have lied. It's never worked out for me." So he came clean and said, "Don't fire Alexa, she told me not to tell you guys." Despite the ruse, Elba still got a role; Simon cast him as Stringer Bell, rather than Avon Barksdale, the role for which he was originally trying out. Avon was ultimately played by Wood Harris.

Idris Elba on the red carpet

This fact is from " 16 Times Actors Lied To Get Roles They Desperately Wanted ." 

33. Dan Stevens said that to keep from literally wasting away while playing the Beast in 2017's Beauty and the Beast , he ate four roast dinners a day . To become the Beast, Stevens had to use stilts and wear a muscle vest, both physical burdens that caused a lot of sweating and, subsequently, weight loss. Stevens was particularly prone to overheating during dance sequences, and depended on a cooling vest that he compared to those worn by Formula One drivers.

Dan Stevens in the motion capture suit for Beauty and the Beast

This fact is from " These 16 Actors Hated Their Costumes And With All The Discomfort They Described, I Can't Blame Them ." 

34. At one point in Chef , chefs Martin (John Leguizamo) and Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) sprinkle cornstarch on their balls due to the humidity. This isn't dwelled upon or even really explained, but rest assured, it's a real thing.

movie fun facts 2021

Jon Favreau told Eater , "Like when John Leguizamo signed on to do the part, I got him to read Kitchen Confidential [by Anthony Bourdain]. I said, 'Start with this one.' There's a scene in the movie, we're sprinkling cornstarch on our nuts, that was a suggestion that John Leguizamo said, 'We should have a scene with cornstarch' because he had read the book. I said, 'Yeah, yeah, so Bourdain talks about putting cornstarch in your balls.' It ends up being a real laugh."

The two main chefs, along with Carl's son, in the food truck

He added that the moment was a sort of Easter egg for chefs in the audience, because "people who aren't chefs are like, 'What the hell are they doing?'"

One chef announcing while the other writes the menu on a chalkboard

35. Lady Gaga ad-libbed the moment in House of Gucci where she crosses herself and says, "Father, Son, and House of Gucci."

Gaga crossing herself

She told Variety , "I would do it in the trailer all the time. I was doing it in the trailer and then something about that scene when we were doing it felt right. We did it, and it’s a testament to Ridley Scott as a director because he uses the stuff. He uses the creativity. He uses the love."

Lady Gaga in formal skiwear

Roberto Bentivegna, the screenwriter, told Variety , "It’s iconic. Amazing. There was so many great ad libs that didn’t make the cut. That was certainly a great one. They just had such a great time riffing. I think that some writers might feel like their words are precious and everything has to be respected, but for me it was joyful. It was like they’re feeling it. It’s like music. It’s like they’re jamming and the melody is taking them to this awesome improvisation. I was very flattered that they felt like doing that."

Gaga and Adam Driver as the Guccis, in skiwear

The year is almost over, and we're looking back on 2021. Check out more from the year here!

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20 Incredible Facts You Didn't Know About 2021's Biggest Movies

The King's Man had EIGHT different release dates. Yikes.

Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness

Even though the global recovery of cinemas has taken longer than most could've ever anticipated, 2021 was nevertheless a great year for movies both big and small - both in cinemas and streamed at home.

But just how well do you really know the biggest movies of the year?

Even the simplest, smoothest blockbuster production is enormously complex, as the result of hundreds of crafts-folk collaborating on a (hopefully) clear-headed end goal.

And so, just about every major movie has at least a few fascinating behind-the-scenes stories to tell, which cast and crew members are typically eager to discuss. That's certainly been the case over the last 12 months.

From actors' surprising rituals during shooting to those who made surprise "cameo" appearances you never knew about, uniquely weird achievements these films pulled off, and everything strange story in-between, you absolutely need to know these astonishing 2021 movie facts.

Whether innocuous behind-the-curtain tidbits or revelations absolutely crucial to a movie's creation, these slivers of juicy trivia and information just might change how you view these films forever. And even if not, they're totally fascinating all the same...

20. Benedict Cumberbatch Didn't Read The Full Script - Spider-Man: No Way Home

Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness

As secretive as the production of Spider-Man: No Way Home was - even more so than your usual Marvel Cinematic Universe movie - it was reasonable to expect that all of the cast were given access to the final shooting script and, y'know, actually read it.

But Benedict Cumberbatch, who admittedly plays only a supporting role in the film, opted against doing so, employing enormous restraint and deciding to only read part of the script, presumably that which was relevant to him. He said in an interview with USA Today:

"I haven't actually read the whole script! I did that on purpose because I just want the ride."

On one hand Cumberbatch clearly wanted to enjoy being surprised by the movie as fans were, but it also meant he wasn't burdened with the knowledge of all the big spoilers while on the film's press tour.

Considering the difficulties his co-star Tom Holland has faced with keeping a lid on spoilers, it's a reasonable stance to take.

Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.

movie fun facts 2021

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12 fascinating facts about popular series, films of 2021 that’ll make you want to rewatch them.

Isha Sharma

2021 was a year when we binge-watched shows and movies in the comfort of our homes. From enjoying Kate Winslet's riveting performance in Mare of Easttown to getting engrossed in a show as thrilling as Squid Game, the year mixed back with shows from different genres . 

squid game

A lot of drama and action went down in making these shows and movies. Actors and the crew went outside their comfort zone to pull off their part authentically. 

Vidya’s mother asks her to have kids, she is quick to clarify that she has no intention of becoming a mother.

If you're wondering how the makers and the cast prepared for their roles, here are interesting facts behind making some of the most popular shows and movies of 2021 .  Read on.

movie fun facts 2021

1. The doll in Squid Game is actual creation .

Squid Game

The eerie doll from the first episode of the show is real and can be visited in Jincheon County, a rural area near the north of Seoul. Reports claim that the doll has been placed at the entrance of a horse-carriage museum to guard. 

2. Sidharth Malhotra and the team of Shershaah shot the movie in Leh in extreme climatic conditions . 

The team of Shershaah shot pivotal portions of the film in Ladakh. The result of everyone

In an interview with TOI, Sidharth had revealed, “ We are the first Indian film to shoot at Kargil and that too, at a place which i s just a few kilometres away from where the actual war was fought. We were shooting at about 14,000 feet above sea level, where the oxygen levels are low, and the winds are mighty. The mountains are devoid of any greenery. It was challenging to get the equipment on top as a film crew. It was physically strenuous for the crew. We were even wearing the kind of snow boots that the Indian Army uses to make it look authentic.”

3. Vidya Balan met real forest officers to prepare for her role in Sherni


Talking about her preparation, Vidya said , "I met with a couple of forest officers to understand what exactly their job entails...the study involved in training to be a forest officer, the various postings and the challenges they posed. The nature of the job is that it can be physically arduous and even dangerous at times, therefore traditionally male-dominated. Still, these female officers shared how they then negotiate their way around the patriarchal mindset ... all of which was very helpful."

4. Jacob, who plays Raj in Kriti Sanon’s Mimi , was spotted on holiday with his parents in Goa.


Jacob was three when he was spotted by a casting agency in Goa in 2019 while on holiday with his family. Despite having no previous acting experience, Jacob got noticed.  Jacob’s parents, Kris and Julie Smith, and older sister Erihn were in India as part of their globetrotting trip, which took them to Jordan, Albania, Serbia, and Hungary earlier. "We got talking to [the casting agency], and one thing led to another, and that's how Jacob ended up in the movie”, dad Kris told BBC Scotland.

5. The team of White Tiger shot Balram’s meltdown scene in Chandni Chowk without letting the passersby know.

The White Tiger

In an interview with Anupama Chopra for Film Companion, Adarsh was quoted as saying, “We were shooting in the busy Chandni Chowk area, so the cameras were hidden. The people didn’t come to know that a shooting was ongoing. When I got pissed at her, I started involving the people walking along. The pedestrians thought that I was a mad guy. I could see the sympathy in their eyes. Policemen were also walking, so I involved them too in the scene and said, ‘Aap khade hain, aap kuch nahi bol rahe hain inko.’ Nobody knew that a shoot was going on. They just thought that I was a guy who was having a meltdown on the road.”

6. Director Hwang lost his teeth in the making of ‘Squid Game’

Squid Game

When Hwang was writing the script, he was often stressed because of his financial situation. He reportedly lost six of his teeth due to the pressure. The director wrote the whole series by himself, and the first two episodes of Squid Him took him six months.

7. Shoojit Sircar took 21 years to make ‘Sardar Udham Singh’


Sircar was also deeply affected by his visit to Jallianwala Bagh over 20 years ago and started reading about what happened. He went to libraries, collated documents, and sourced information from survivors of the massacre. When he began this journey, he wasn’t sure if he would make this film. He says, “There was a passion with which I came to Mumbai to make this film. So just like Sardar Udham Singh, I have waited 21 years to make this film. Whatever my expression is, I have poured it completely into this film”.

8. Jitendra Kumar, who plays Jeetu Bhaiya in Kota Factory, is an IIT alumnus.

netflix kota factory

He also used to teach students Physics to pay for his expenses during his struggle period as an actor. 

9. Mare of Easttown hairstylist Lawrence Davis was given special instructions to make the cast look realistically messy and unpolished.

A Still from mare of eastown

Davis told  Insider , "When I came on board, I was told bed hair for everyone. ... Everybody was basically, you know, get up and go, and that was the whole feel of it. But I was basically told from day one: 'Bed hair,' and I had to ride with that."

10. Maid's Margaret Qualley shared some ‘real’ details behind the disgusting cleaning scenes in Maid.


Sharing details behind the horrendous dirty scenes, Qualley told E! "It's incredible. They would use the concoctions to make because, like, it's all fake. I'm doing the princess version of all this. It's like ketchup and hot sauce and A-1 or whatever that's like, plastered onto an oven to make it look like [dirt]. Everything is like clean dirt."

11. The idea for Minari was born because of an afternoon where director Lee Isaac Chung sat down in a library, writing down a list of 80 memories from his childhood.


Chung told  NPR , "Once I had this set of memories, I realized that there was an arc of a story there. This family showed up in the middle of nowhere, really, with the dad not having told anyone in the family that he was going to buy this farmland."

12. Dylan Arnold, who plays Theo in season 3 of You, auditioned for Joe in season 1 and then Forty in season 2.


"My relationship with the show goes way back," Dylan  explained . He added, "I actually went to college with Elizabeth Lail, who played Guinevere Beck in the first season. So I’d seen the first few episodes, but it wasn’t until I got the audition for the third season that I went back and was like, okay, let me watch the second season and get the tone of the show."

(To get the latest updates from  Bollywood  and  Hollywood , keep reading  Indiatimes Entertainment .)

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movie fun facts 2021

Behind-The-Scenes Movie Facts We Learned In 2021 That Made Us Say 'Whoa'

Gordon Cameron

If you love movies enough, you might eventually develop an interest in how they get made. It's bracing to realize that the shimmering images we see on movie screens and on our TVs – that, if distributed widely enough, can become like collective dreams for a whole civilization – began as a bunch of highly paid actors doing silly things in front of a camera . Questions emerge: how did this or that actor get chosen for a key role ? How was a seemingly "impossible" shot or special effect achieved? How did the actors feel about doing the movie , and how were their lives changed afterward?

Sometimes the behind-the-scenes stories from movies can be more affecting than the movies themselves, because they involve actual people and have the spontaneity and randomness that we associate with real life. In that spirit, here's a grab bag of the best behind-the-scenes movie facts we learned in 2021. Make sure to vote up your favorites!

Samuel L. Jackson Was Eating A Burger During His 'Pulp Fiction' Audition, And The Idea Made It Into The Movie

Samuel L. Jackson Was Eating A Burger During His 'Pulp Fiction' Audition, And The Idea Made It Into The Movie

Samuel L. Jackson won the role of Jules Winnfield because of his massive talent, but also because of a hamburger. The actor was one of two people in contention for the part. On the day of his second audition for Tarantino, he was stunned to realize the other man, Paul Calderon, had been called back as well. That irritated Jackson, as did Tarantino's lateness. Aside from being angry, he was hungry, so he went out to grab a hamburger and brought it back to the audition site. 

According to producer Richard Gladstein :

In comes Sam with a burger in his hand and a drink in the other hand and stinking like fast food. Me and Quentin and [producer] Lawrence [Bender] were sitting on the couch, and he walked in and just started sipping that shake and biting that burger and looking at all of us. I was scared sh*tless. I thought that this guy was going to shoot a gun right through my head. His eyes were popping out of his head. And he just stole the part.

The effect was so menacing that they made sure Jackson ate a hamburger onscreen the same way.

See our full list of Pulp Fiction behind-the-scenes facts here .

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Jodie Foster And Anthony Hopkins Rarely Spoke On 'The Silence Of The Lambs' Set

Jodie Foster And Anthony Hopkins Rarely Spoke On 'The Silence Of The Lambs' Set

In a 2016 interview on  The Graham Norton Show , Jodie Foster confirmed that she rarely spoke to co-star Anthony Hopkins for the duration of filming The Silence of the Lambs .

The actors first met at a reading for the script and she found his performance terrifying. After that, Hopkins and Foster were usually separated on-set by glass partitions or cell bars, making conversation difficult between camera setups - and their characters rarely shared the same frame onscreen.

"I avoided him," recalled Foster. "I really avoided him. And then, I was eating a tuna fish sandwich, it was the last day, and he... sidled up to me, and I said - I don't know, I sort of had a tear in my eye - 'I was really scared of you,' and he said, 'I was scared of you!'"

Both Foster and Hopkins won Academy Awards for their performances.

See our full list of The Silence of the Lambs behind-the-scenes facts here .

Billy Crystal Fell In Love With His 'City Slickers' Horse, And Kept Him

Billy Crystal Fell In Love With His 'City Slickers' Horse, And Kept Him

Billy Crystal's City Slickers character rides a horse named Beechnut, and the two hit it off from the start. "This is such a great horse," Crystal noted in the DVD commentary . "He really was like a great athlete."

The rapport between Crystal and Beechnut was so strong that the production's horse wrangler gave Beechnut to Crystal after filming was over. They reunited for City Slickers II a few years later, and Crystal even rode Beechnut off the stage at the 1991 Academy Awards.

Crystal recalled their time together in later years:

I would go and sit and read and he would graze in the background. He'd always put his head on my shoulder. It was an affectionate, unusual relationship I had with this incredible horse.

Beechnut stayed with Crystal for the rest of his life, until the horse became ill in 2008 and had to be euthanized.

See our full list of City Slickers behind-the-scenes facts here .

Some 'Braveheart' Extras Were Members Of The Wallace Clan

Some 'Braveheart' Extras Were Members Of The Wallace Clan

Because of its epic scope,  Braveheart  required hundreds of extras. And because that many people were needed, it only made sense to ask some of William Wallace's clan to participate . 

To Gibson's pleasure, they turned out to be everything he could have expected. "You know they wear kilts; they’re into the full tradition,” Gibson recalled. “So I asked the old question, ‘What do you wear under the kilt?’ And this one guy, Seorus, just looked at me and said, ‘Your wife’s lipstick!’ That’s pretty heavy, right? But that’s the wit; it’s biting!”

See our full list of Braveheart behind-the-scenes facts here .

Russell Crowe Described His Real Home In His 'Gladiator' Scene With Marcus Aurelius

Russell Crowe Described His Real Home In His 'Gladiator' Scene With Marcus Aurelius

Given that the script was in a constant state of flux, the cast of  Gladiator  sometimes had to memorize new scenes at the last minute. Other times, they just flat-out improvised. For example, in the scene between Maximus and Marcus Aurelius in which the former describes the farm he came from, Russell Crowe drew from personal experience.

The actor simply  described his own home  back in Australia. Perhaps because he was utilizing something so personal, it gave the sequence a touching sense of authenticity:

Very simple place. Pink stones that warm in the sun. A kitchen garden that smells of herbs in the day, jasmine in the evening. Through the gate is a giant poplar. Figs, apples, pears. The soil, Marcus, black, black like my wife’s hair. Grapes on the south slopes, olives on the north, wild ponies play near the house.

See our full list of Gladiator behind-the-scenes facts here .

Rain Made The 'Jurassic Park' T. Rex Malfunction, Terrifying The Crew

Rain Made The 'Jurassic Park' T. Rex Malfunction, Terrifying The Crew

The scene in Jurassic Park in which the  T. rex  reveals itself has become a classic moment of cinematic suspense. When it emerges from the dark, rainy night, the audience gets a chill. Filming that scene proved just as scary for the crew as it would for the audience.

The dinosaur puppet was powered by electricity. When the rain machines came on, an  excessive amount of water got absorbed  by the material used to make its skin. That, in turn, messed with the electronics, causing the dinosaur to malfunction. Its head began to shake unexpectedly, which made it seem to be coming alive on its own. 

Crew members solved the problem by continually drying it off with towels.

See our full list of Jurassic Park behind-the-scenes facts here .

movie fun facts 2021


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