The behind-the-scenes stories from Hook are wild. From a pirate crew that nearly mutinied to a method-acting Hook who tried to seduce the mermaids, the set definitely wasn't always kid-friendly. But Robin Williams went out of his way to make the child actors feel welcome on set.
Steven Spielberg's $8 million Neverland set featured a full-size pirate galleon, live animals, and an amusement-park feel. It's no wonder the Lost Boys said it was like going to Disneyland for work.
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Dante Basco Landed The Role Of Rufio By Scaring Steven Spielberg
How did Dante Basco land the role of his career as Rufio? "I got booked from just one audition, which was pretty cool," Basco said in 2015.
According to Basco, something made him stand out during the audition: “Later on I asked Steven Spielberg why he gave me the part, and he told me out of all the kids that auditioned for the role, that I was the only kid that scared him.”
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Robin Williams Gave Dante Basco A Touching Gift When Filming Wrapped
Dante Basco was only 15 years old when he took on the role of Rufio. In between takes on set, Basco practiced his other passion: poetry.
The young actor was especially excited to talk with co-star Robin Williams about the movie Dead Poets Society. "Talking about that movie with him, he just inspired me to continue writing poetry," Basco said in a 2015 interview. "We talked a lot about our favorite poets."
When Hook wrapped, Williams gave Basco a memorable gift. "My wrap present from Robin was a beautiful limited-edition copy of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass and that's a great memory for me," Basco recalled.
The gift inspired Basco to pursue his own poetry activities.
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Dante Basco Trained So He Could Do His Own Sword Fights
Handing a 15-year-old a sword didn't scare the stunt coordinators on Hook. That's because Dante Basco trained for months to do all his own sword fights.
Basco revealed the behind-the-scenes story during a 2020 watch-along. "I trained for months before and during filming," Basco tweeted. "One of the things I’m most proud of is that all of the sword fighting you see Rufio on film was me!"
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Glenn Close, Carrie Fisher, Phil Collins, And George Lucas Sneaked Into The Film
When it comes to cameos, Hook set a high bar. Many Hook fans know that Glenn Close (pictured) sneaked into the film as the pirate thrown into the terrifying Boo Box. But Close wasn't the only A-lister with a hidden part in the film.
Phil Collins popped in to play a detective in London, while two huge Star Wars fans took on a small role in the opening. The couple standing on the bridge in London sprinkled with Tinkerbell's fairy dust were none other than Carrie Fisher and George Lucas.
Fisher contributed in other ways, too. As a script doctor she did an uncredited rewrite on the script to punch up the dialogue for Tinkerbell.