Dark And Morbidly Funny Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The '90s 'Addams Family' Films
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, 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's Eye Fell Out Of Its Socket - But He Caught It
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."
Director Barry Sonnenfeld Was So Stressed Out, He Fainted On Set
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's Costume Required A Metal Corset
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. “The eye lifts got tighter and tighter, and the temples started to throb,” she claimed. "It could leave you more wasted than having a very emotional day on the set."
The Original Production Studio Went Bankrupt
Figuring out who owned the 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.
Test Audiences Thought Wednesday Killed Amanda
During the Thanksgiving play finale in Addams Family Values, Wednesday Addams (Christina Ricci) makes her acquaintances affix Amanda Buckman (Mercedes McNab) to a post. Then, the 12-year-old puts an apple into her nemesis's mouth, pours gas, and flicks a match. Apparently, test audiences thought this scene was excessive, especially since in an initial cut of the film, Amanda never returned to the screen.
McNab noted the producers "didn't want kids watching the movie to think [Amanda didn't make it] because that obviously doesn't really look too good for them to be out there killing off children, no matter how awful the child is."
To appease the masses, Amanda appeared in the movie a final time: She was with her parents, flying home from camp.
Carol Kane's Prosthetics Weighed Her Down
Carol Kane stepped into the part of Grandmama in Addams Family Values, taking over for Judith Malina. Her friendships with Anjelica Huston and Raul Julia made the role even more appealing, and she had worked with Christopher Lloyd on Taxi.
Kane had a lot of fun, but her prosthetics made shooting a challenge. She discussed the cosmetic process, noting, "I had to do everything short of pray to talk them out of using prosthetics on me. They did their very best to make me very old, but you know, they wanted more than old: They wanted hundreds of years old!"
Her fake visage took four hours to apply and one hour to remove. Plus, her wig weighed five pounds.