If you were a kid in the ‘90s, then Barry Sonnenfeld’s Addams Family films were probably rays of moonlight in your life. Where else could you find a family of beautiful eccentrics living in a gothic mansion and having a great time?
The cast and crew stayed mostly the same for both 1991's The Addams Family and 1993's Addams Family Values, so everyone established close bonds. Some great stories from behind the scenes came to light, too. The actors spilled the beans about various strange occurrences on set and how often the director passed out while filming, but their memories are fond ones. The eccentric tales are also somewhat endearing. Would you expect anything less from the macabre, yet lovable Addams clan?
Raul Julia, who played Gomez Addams, went out to unwind after a day of filming the Addams Family. During the excursion, his eye fell out of its socket. Apparently, a blood vessel had burst. Luckily, Julia caught the eyeball and put it back in place.
Hearing of the incident, the crew decided to tease Julia a little bit the day after. Anjelica Huston shared:
"I called up every joke store in LA and bought every pair of those joke glasses on springs, where the eyeballs fall out. So the next morning, when Raul walked onto the set, the entire crew was wearing these glasses. He laughed... It was serious, but it was also really bizarre."
Apparently, nerves overtake director Barry Sonnenfeld whenever he's on set. He gets sick, he gets emotional, and sometimes he even he passes out. Sonnenfeld made The Addams Family his directorial debut, but the anxiety of taking on such a large project weighed heavily on him. A few weeks into the shoot, he fainted on set and almost derailed the entire movie. He noted:
"I had four espressos - one, two, three, four - and as I'm looking at the monitor, I think, "This is weird, someone's blowing up a balloon inside my chest," and then I say to myself, "I'd better sit down." Then I say to myself, "But I'd better not walk to the chair. I'd better just sit for a moment. On the floor here." And then I hear, "GET A BLANKET! SOMEONE GET A BLANKET!"
When Sonnenfeld woke up, he did not want producers to send anyone home. He said, "If we have to stop every time I faint or start to cry, we'll never get this movie done."
Anjelica Huston made Morticia equally cold and motherly, but her recognizably slender frame was hard to create. To get the Morticia look, Huston wore a metal corset, had her chin tucked, and temporarily lifted her eyes with gauze.
The physical demands put her through the wringer, and she claimed, "The eye lifts got tighter and tighter, and the temples started to throb. It could leave you more wasted than having a very emotional day on the set."
Figuring out who owned rights to the movies proved challenging. Orion Pictures started The Addams Family, but the studio went bankrupt in the middle of production. Instead of waiting out the huge financial windfall from Barry Sonnenfeld's movie, the heads of the studio were forced to act out of self-preservation.
Paramount stepped in and bankrolled the rest of the picture, which eventually made almost $200 million worldwide.