Facts About '90s Heartthrobs That Made Us Say 'Whoa'
From the long, middle-parted hair, to jawlines seemingly chiseled by the gods, these '90s heartthrobs taught us what it means to love. Or at least to have a borderline obsessive infatuation with a person we've never actually met.
Some of these '90s hunks are still smoldering their way through Hollywood, while others took a different path after spending their formative years in the limelight. Either way, you might be surprised to learn these tidbits about the idols whose pictures were hung up in many a locker. Turns out, many have fascinating factoids completely unrelated to their status as teen dreams, and you won't find them in your old issues of Tiger Beat. Vote up the facts that have you screaming like a No. 1 fan.
- Photo: The Mummy / Universal Pictures
While they may not have actually had to contend with a vengeful mummy coming back to life, the cast of 1999's The Mummy had some seriously close calls - particularly its protagonist with the perfect pout, Brendan Fraser.
In the film, Fraser's character gets hanged, but is saved in the nick of time. While filming, Fraser agreed to increase tension on the rope to get the best take, but then found himself actually choked out. As he told EW,
I remember seeing the camera start to pan around, and then it was like a black iris at the end of a silent film. It was like turning down the volume switch on your home stereo, like the Death Star powering down.
Other workplace hazards he had to contend with? A close encounter with a venomous snake. Brendan Fraser earns his paychecks.
- Age: 54
- Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States of America
- Credits: The Mummy,The Mummy Returns, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor,Bedazzled
- Photo: 10 Things I Hate About You / Buena Vista Pictures21,192 VOTES
Playing chess since he was a kid, Heath Ledger once told MTV.com that he played at least one game a day. Many of these games took place in New York's Washington Square Park, where the actor would play matches against park regulars and talk smack with the best of them.
His love for the game merged with an interest in directing when he spoke with Allan Shiach about a chess-related project. Shiach had adapted a screenplay for The Queen's Gambit from Walter Tevis's 1983 novel. Prior to his passing, Ledger and Shiach were working on subsequent drafts of the project, and had given a script to Elliot Page to play the lead.
They were planning to make the movie at the end of 2008, but Ledger tragically passed in January of that year, and the film version was put on hold. It would have been his directorial debut of a feature film.
- Age: Dec. at 28 (1979-2008)
- Birthplace: Perth, Australia
- Credits: 10 Things I Hate About You, A Knight's Tale, Brokeback Mountain, The Dark Knight
- Photo: She's All That / Miramax Films3828 VOTES
A lifelong wrestling fan, Freddie Prinze Jr. was attending WrestleMania circa 2007 when he started chatting with someone about his ideas. After the higher-ups got wind of said ideas, Prinze Jr. found himself commuting to Connecticut for his full-time job on the WWE writing team.
Prinze Jr. worked closely with WWE chairman Vince McMahon, pitching storylines and seeing his ideas through to the production side. Prinze Jr. recounted the details to GQ, saying:
Afterwards your wrestler comes up to you and looks at you like a puppy dog, even though they are six foot ten and outweigh you by 200 pounds, and say, "Did I do a good job?" And it makes you feel very strange and weird.
Prinze Jr. eventually left the gig to pursue another passion: fatherhood. And there he lives happily ever after with Sarah Michelle Gellar in a perfect '90s dream world.
- Age: 47
- Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
- Credits: Scooby-Doo, She's All That, I Know What You Did Last Summer, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
- Photo: Point Break / 20th Century Fox
Keanu Reeves may be a household name, but we almost had to watch The Matrix starring Chuck Spadina. Reeves revealed on Jimmy Fallon that when he first came to Hollywood as a 20-year-old, his agent and manager wanted him to change his name. They believed "Keanu" had an ethnic connotation that was "getting in the way." Reeves said he went to the ocean to contemplate, and came back with his big movie star name: Chuck Spadina.
While the name was certainly memorable, Reeves's agent and manager weren't feeling Mr. Spadina. Reeves attempted a few other options, including Templeton Page Turner, before it was decided he would henceforth be known as the bland "KC" Reeves.
Keanu being Keanu, he eventually ignored the instructions and gave his real name at auditions.
- Age: 58
- Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon
- Credits: The Matrix, Speed, John Wick, The Devil's Advocate
- Photo: Titanic / Paramount Pictures
Leonardo DiCaprio is arguably Hollywood's most successful child star turned serious actor. He was the leader of the "P*ssy Posse," once dubbed the "Prince of the City," and appeared to spend most of his early fame days as a club rat, as '90s child stars did. So, did he ever try drugs?
It's easy to assume he did, particularly after watching him play roles like Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street. But according to Leo, it's a false one, since he's never done that stuff. He's just that good of an actor. On set, director Martin Scorsese provided a drug expert to answer questions about symptoms, as the actors had to portray their characters on Quaaludes.
DiCaprio also did his own homework, watching a YouTube video titled "Drunkest Guy In The World" and getting the rundown from the real Jordan Belfort, who rolled around on the floor in a demonstration.
- Age: 48
- Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
- Credits: Inception, The Wolf of Wall Street, Titanic, The Departed
- Photo: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air / NBC
Before he became the prince of a town called Bel-Air, Will Smith got himself in a bit of a financial hot spot with the US government - to the tune of $2.8 million dollars.
In 1988, Smith rose to fame with the hit "Parent's Just Don't Understand," which he released with future Fresh Prince co-star DJ Jazzy Jeff. Once he started earning large sums of money from his success, Smith did what any 19-year-old would do: He blew it all on cars and designer clothes. When his subsequent album didn't reach the same level of success, the IRS began seizing his assets. Smith recalled the unique circumstances of being famous but broke, saying, "People recognize you, but they recognize you while you’re sitting next to them on the bus."
Luckily for Smith, his wise girlfriend at the time encouraged him to hang around The Arsenio Hall Show in the hopes of meeting someone important. With that Will Smith charm, the plan actually worked, leading him to a party at the home of Quincy Jones, where he nailed an impromptu audition for Fresh Prince.
- Age: 54
- Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
- Credits: Men in Black, I Am Legend, I, Robot, The Pursuit of Happyness