Have you ever started filming a movie you thought was a comedy, but it was actually a horror film? Probably not because, chances are, you're not a famous actor (but if it is you, Mr. Murray, humanity doesn't deserve you). But believe it or not, this kind of stuff actually does happen to movie stars. Actors who thought they were making different films (or at least, different kinds of films) are, well, people in Stephen King movies, mostly. And then there are actors whose roles were much different than they thought they'd be, including such big names as Charlton Heston, Halle Berry, and the whole freaking cast of The Usual Suspects.
It's surprising, but it happens more than you might think. Sure, actors could pay attention to what they're doing, or give a flying muffin about more than just a paycheck, but then we wouldn't have these hilarious stories. Here are some knee-slapping instances of actors coming out the back end of a film with no idea what the world was about to see.
If you don't know the name of the man who wore the Darth Vader costume in the original Star Wars trilogy (and good for you, you're probably good at basketball and talking to human people), it's David Prowse. Prowse was excited about the role until he learned that he wasn't actually voicing Vader.
Frustrated, he decided to start tweaking his lines, since he knew his reading wouldn't make it in anyway. And thus "Asteroids do not concern me, I need a ship," was transformed into the far more brilliant "Hemorrhoids do not concern me, I need a sh*t."see more on David Prowse
So, to be fair, the three main characters of The Blair Witch Project knew they were making a horror film, but that was about it. Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, and Michael Williams were sent out into the woods with a video camera for a week, told to argue with each other, interview randos (who turned out to be actors placed by the directors), and just kind of act like they were lost on a hike (which they actually were a couple times).
What's more, the directors started to mess with the young stars as they grew colder and more sleep deprived over the course of the week by sneaking along behind them and making ominous, spooky noises. Sometimes, there's a fine line between directing and just being a d*ck.
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Danny Lloyd played Danny Torrance in The Shining as a five-year-old. He also didn't know he was making a horror movie. This is mostly because he was told he wasn't, and children will believe chairs are spaghetti if you tell it to them with confidence.
Director Stanley Kubrick actually had the child's best interest at heart (which is shocking, given his well-documented insanity), so in order to protect little Danny from trauma, he not only told him they were making a drama, but he took steps to keep Danny out of scary situations. When Wendy is running from Jack with Danny in her arms, she's actually carrying a dummy, so the boy wouldn't have to be in a scary scene. That's borderline heartwarming!see more on Danny Lloyd
Frankie Laine was a singer who recorded music for a number of famous westerns like 3:10 to Yuma and Rawhide, so Mel Brooks thought he'd be a perfect fit for the theme of Blazing Saddles. Frankie Laine agreed to take the gig, and was so moved by his performance that he cried after recording it.
This is a strange reaction, considering the movie's a preposterous satire of the Western genre, but Laine apparently had no idea: "I thought I was doing a song for another High Noon, and I gave it my best dramatic reading ... When I saw wacky things happening on the screen, like a guy punching a horse, I sunk down into my seat with embarrassment."
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