As much as we love movies and the suspension of disbelief, we also loving hearing about the juicy gossip that goes on behind the scenes.

It's not so much that it ruins the experience of watching a film, it's more that it lends credence or peppers a particular scene with some really fascinating insight.

Here's a few yarns from your favourite movies.


8. CHINATOWN - Jack Nicholson was actually sleeping with John Huston's daughter during filming

He has a reputation for being a lothario, but Jack Nicholson had one, long-term relationship that has since become legend. Anjelica Huston, scion of the Huston acting family, had a tumultuous relationship with Nicholson which began shortly after production began on Chinatown. In the first scene where Nicholson's character, Jake Gittes, meets Noah Cross, played by John Huston, he poses a question - are you sleeping with my daughter? It's not known if the line was improvised by Huston and Nicholson, but what IS known is that Anjelica Huston was on set the day the scene was filmed. Maybe they had a quick chat once the scene was in the can. *cough*


7. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN - Everyone received intense military training - except one

Steven Spielberg is known for his sheer and unflinching commitment to authenticity in his films, deliberately making life difficult for his actors so that they can get into the headspace of their characters. With Saving Private Ryan, he took it one step further. The acclaimed director put everyone in the cast through a tough, physically-challenging regimen of military training that would push each and everyone of them to their limits. All except one - Matt Damon. Spielberg's thinking was that if he could separate Damon, who played the titular role, from the rest of the cast, they'd unknowingly resent him for not having to go through the training. Plus, the truly difficult training regime would bind the cast together.


6. SCHINDLER'S LIST - A survivor from Amon Goeth's camp met Ralph Fiennes in costume

Staying with Spielberg and WWII films, the director paid close attention to detail on the set of Schindler's List also. In choosing Ralph Fiennes as Commandant Amon Goeth, he gave life to a truly evil being that was directly responsible for the death of hundreds of Jews. Spielberg invited survivors of Goeth's camp to the set, out of respect and to gauge their reaction to the process. Ralph Fiennes, who was shooting that day, was presented to an elderly woman, Mila Pfefferberg, who survived Goeth's camp. The woman shook uncontrollably in Fiennes' presence, such was his likeness to the real Goeth.


5. HARRY POTTER SERIES - Alan Rickman knew about Snape and Lily Potter all along

Yes, this one utterly shocked us. When Alan Rickman signed on to play Severus Snape and began his preparation for his role, author JK Rowling let him on a little secret that would become the defining arc of the entire series - Snape was in love with Lily Potter. Rowling hadn't even completed the novel in question or discussed it with anyone else, however she pulled Rickman aside, told him the big secret and swore him to secrecy. Rickman kept his word, never revealing the secret until the novel was released and it was out in the open. As Rowling said, it was essential to understand Snape's thinking and motivations - which obviously helped Rickman.



4. DUMB AND DUMBER - The 'Big Gulp' scene wasn't supposed to happen

Jim Carrey is a noted improviser on set, but in Dumb And Dumber, he went right off the wall. One particular scene was supposed to pass off without dialogue, however Carrey wanted to have a little fun. Extras are hired and paid based on what they're supposed to do on set. For example, an extra that has a line is paid more than one that doesn't. It's considered extremely unprofessional to utter a line if you don't have one, especially amongst extras. Carrey knew this and, in the scene below, he was messing with the extras to see if they'd talk.


3. FIGHT CLUB - Brad Pitt and Ed Norton specifically requested a new VW Beetle to smash up, were regularly drunk filming

Fight Club's main themes were about the perils of capitalism and how it infected daily life. As it turns out, Pitt and Norton had similar feelings on the subject as well. In conversation on set, both discussed the then-new Volkswagen Beetle and how they both hated it. As described on Fight Club's DVD commentary, Pitt felt it was a symbol of everything they were railing against on the film - a symbol of 60's youth culture being repackaged as the same for the current generation without any of the meaning. As for the drinking, Pitt and Norton regularly imbibed on set and shot the golf scene off their faces.


2. THE SHINING - Shelley Duvall was pretty much ostracised and picked upon by order of Stanley Kubrick

Kubrick was known for creating an environment on set that was often gruelling and demanding - but with The Shining, he kicked it up a notch. Whatever about the endless conspiracy theories and stories about The Shining (see the documentary Room 237), this one was actually true. Kubrick specifically ordered his crew - and Jack Nicholson - to be particularly harsh and cruel to Shelley Duvall, the actress who played Wendy Torrance. Kubrick wanted Duvall to feel completely hopeless during the shoot so as to get a more authentic performance from her. Scatman Crothers, who played the chef, even broke down in tears in front of Kubrick. Not only that, Nicholson was going full-tilt in the bathroom scene which genuinely frightened an already-exasperated Duvall.


1. GROUNDHOG DAY - Bill Murray hired a deaf assistant who only knew Native American sign language

During the production of Groundhog Day - arguably his greatest work after Stripes - Bill Murray, also known on-set as 'The Murricane', was going through a particularly difficult divorce. As such, Murray's mind wasn't on filming or, indeed, dealing with studio executives who regularly visited the set. Murray deliberately hired an assistant who was deaf and only knew Native American sign language to act as buffer between himself and the studio. You've got to marvel at that kind of thinking.