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12 Behind-The-Scenes Stories From ‘Armageddon’

Updated March 31, 2021 6.5k votes 1.1k voters 90.8k views12 items

List RulesVote up the most interesting behind-the-scenes tales from the making of 'Armageddon.'

The Armageddon behind the scenes stories are every bit as entertaining as the things that happen in the movie itself. This 1998 Michael Bay-directed sci-fi picture may not have been popular with film critics, but it was a huge hit with audiences, grossing $201 million at the domestic box office. It was such an influential '90s film that it even got added to the Criterion Collection, an honor reserved for movies that have made some kind of significant artistic or cultural impact.

Ben Affleck and Bruce Willis star in the film, which follows the adventures of deep-core drillers who are trained by NASA to go into space to prevent an asteroid from hitting Earth. Armageddon has it all - intense action, moments of comedy, a little romance, and even a tear-jerker of an ending. Off camera, one of the stars had to alter his appearance to please the director, another actor was unhappy with Bay's tendency to scream, and a team of all-star writers toiled on the script. 

These backstage tidbits from the making of Armageddon will undoubtedly add to your appreciation of this still-popular film. 

  • 1

    When Ben Affleck Pointed Out Logical Flaws In The Story, Michael Bay Told Him To Shut Up

    When Armageddon was released, one of the major gripes critics had about it was that the plot was filled with so many holes in logic that suspension of disbelief was difficult. They didn't hesitate to point out elements that made no sense.

    Ben Affleck, it turns out, agreed with some of their sentiments. The DVD audio commentary reveals a rather amazing story about what happened when the star mentioned his concerns to the director.

    Affleck said, "I asked Michael why it was easier to train oil drillers to become astronauts than it was to train astronauts to become oil drillers and he told me to shut the f*ck up. So that was the end of that talk."

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  • 2

    Willis’s Goodbye To Liv Tyler Was Shot On The First Day (He Looked At Pictures Of His Own Daughters While Reciting It)

    The most touching scene in the movie comes when Willis's character says goodbye to his daughter, played by Liv Tyler. He decides to stay on the asteroid so that the bomb he and the others put there can be properly detonated. It's a moment of heroic self-sacrifice.

    So how did the actor pull off such heavy emotions, including crying, on the first day of filming? He turned to something personal. Willis looked at pictures of his real-life daughters during the scene, imagining that he was saying goodbye to them. It was enough to get him choked up for real. 

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  • 3

    They Used A Real Space Shuttle In One Scene

    If you remember seeing a space shuttle in Armageddon, you might be surprised to learn that it's not a fake one created for the production. Bay and his team got permission to film in front of an actual shuttle for one scene. 

    The shuttle was scheduled to launch a few days later, so it came with some caveats. Lights and sound equipment were forbidden near it, and no one was allowed to physically enter it. Affleck tried to hop in, but was promptly scolded. Making sure that absolutely nothing would compromise the shuttle before lift-off was NASA's primary concern.

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  • 4

    ‘I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing’ Was Aerosmith’s Only No. 1 Hit Single

    Aerosmith has been around since the 1970s, but they had a major resurgence in popularity during the late '80s and early '90s. For that reason - and because lead singer Steven Tyler's daughter Liv was one of Armageddon's stars - the band was asked to record the movie's theme song, "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing."

    The song was written by Diane Warren, one of the most prolific and accomplished songwriters in the music business. Despite tons of classic hits, from "Dream On" to "Sweet Emotion" to "Livin' on the Edge," the band never had a No. 1 single until this particular tune. It remains their only single recording to top the pop charts.

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