Behind-The-Scenes Facts About Your Favorite Rom-Coms

We all have those movies that we’ve seen one too many times. You know all the words to your favorite scenes and you feel like you know everything there is to know about the film, so learning something new about your favorite film can be pretty exciting.

You might not have ever imagined that anyone other than Sandra Bullock could play Lucy in While You Were Sleeping or that Mark Ruffalo would try to turn down a role because there was dancing involved, but you’re going to learn all about that.

Audrey Hepburn Wasn’t The First Choice For Breakfast At Tiffany’s

breakfast at tiffanys audrey hepburn
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures / Movie Stills DB
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures / Movie Stills DB

When casting for the role of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Truman Capote reportedly wanted Marilyn Monroe to be cast as the female lead instead of Audrey Hepburn.

Monroe, however, was told by her advisor and acting coach Paula Strasberg that she shouldn’t play a “lady of the evening” so Monroe passed on the roll. Capote has openly admitted he felt like Paramount “double-crossed” him by casting Hepburn and has made it clear that she wasn’t his first choice — or his choice at all.

There’s An Ode To The Office in Crazy, Stupid, Love

crazy stupid love julianne moore
Photo Credit: Reddit
Photo Credit: Reddit

Though he’s had a career that’s spanned decades and he’s starred in a variety of roles, chances are when you think of Steve Carrell you think of The Office.

While making the film Crazy, Stupid, Love which starred Carrell alongside Julianne Moore and Ryan Gosling, the producers decided to give a node to Carrell’s character Michael Scott. In Moore’s office she has a nameplate that’s shown in the film, and instead of it reading “Associate Vice President” it reads “Associate to the Vice President.”

Mark Ruffalo Almost Turned Down 13 Going On 30 Because Of The “Thriller” Dance Scene

13 going on 30 jennifer garner mark ruffalo
Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures / Movie Stills DB
Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures / Movie Stills DB

Yes, that’s right, Mark Ruffalo nearly passed on being Matty in 13 Going on 30 and eating razzles on a playground with Jennifer Garner because he was required to dance to “Thriller.”

In an interview after the film premiered, Ruffalo said the thought of having to dance in a scene was enough to make him consider turning the film down. He revealed that he spent hours rehearsing with a dance coach prior to filming that scene, but still dreaded the scene and called his dancing “horrible.”

Hugh Grant & Colin Firth Improvised Their Fight In Bridget Jones’s Diary

bridget jones's diary hugh grant colin firth fight
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures / Movie Stills DB
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures / Movie Stills DB

In what Denise Martin referred to as a “wimp brawl between two upper-middle-class Englishmen coming to awkward fisticuffs in front of a Greek restaurant,” Hugh Grant and Colin Firth gave audiences a great fight during Bridget Jones’s Diary which was completely un-choreographed.

With no stunt coordinators or anyone to plan out the fight for them, Grant and Firth decided to take matters into their own hands when it came to that fight scene and do whatever they felt like.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding Is The Highest Grossing Rom-Com Of All Time

my big fat greek wedding wedding scene
Photo Credit: Playtone / Movie Stills DB
Photo Credit: Playtone / Movie Stills DB

While you might not think that My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a record-breaking film, it’s actually the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time, and one of the highest-grossing independent films.

The film had a considerably small budget of only $5 million but grossed more than $240 million domestically, more than $368 million worldwide and spent more than a year in theaters, beating out films such as Pretty Woman for the top spot of highest-grossing rom-com.

Richard Gere Slamming The Jewelry Box Shut During Pretty Woman Was A Prank On Julia Roberts

Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in pretty woman jewelry scene
Photo Credit: Touchstone Pictures / Movie Stills DB
Photo Credit: Touchstone Pictures / Movie Stills DB

The scene where Richard Gere shows the $250,000 necklace to Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and then slams the box shut on her fingers actually wasn’t scripted, but it was planned by director Gary Marshall and Gere.

Roberts was apparently a little tired in the mornings on set, so in order to wake her up, Marshall told Gere to snap the box shut on her fingers, which is also why the laugh from Roberts seems so genuine — it is!

Steve Carrell Worked Out Hard To Be Ripped For The 40-Year-Old Virgin

steve carrelll paul rudd seth rogen
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures / Movie Stills DB
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures / Movie Stills DB

Steve Carrell initially came up with the idea that he should lose weight for his role in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and at first creator Judd Apatow was nervous about it. Apatow felt like a comedian wanting to “look good for a comedy” never ends well because it takes away from the comedy.

Apatow came around to the idea though, realizing that if Carrell was in good shape it would help the storyline that he was only a virgin because he was shy. Carrell lost approximately 30 pounds to prepare for the role.

The Blue Door In Notting Hill Belonged To The Film’s Screenwriter

notting hill hugh grant blue front door
Photo Credit: Caravan Pictures / Movie Stills DB
Photo Credit: Caravan Pictures / Movie Stills DB

And so did the entire exterior of Will Thacker’s (Hugh Grant) home in the film. The exterior shots including the blue door seen many times throughout the film were shots taken of a house that was once owned by the film’s screenwriter Richard Curtis.

After the film was released, the people who owned the home after Curtis made the decision to paint the door black, which annoyed fans who came to see the location while in London. The home was sold again after those owners and the new homeowners chose to repaint it back to the original blue.

The Title Of 10 Things I Hate About You Is Based On One Of The Screenwriter’s Ex-Boyfriends

10 things I hate about you title shot heath ledger julia stiles
Photo Credit: Touchstone Pictures / Movie Stills DB
Photo Credit: Touchstone Pictures / Movie Stills DB

During a Q&A with screenwriters Karen McCullah and Kristen Smith, McCullah revealed that the inspiration for the title of their film 10 Things I Hate About You is based around a diary entry she made about a high school boyfriend she wasn’t very fond of.

When writing the film, Smith and McCullah decided to read their old diary entries so they could better convey the teen angst in their characters and McCullah found a list she’d written about her boyfriend at the time, titled “Things I Hate About Anthony.” Smith pitched the idea that their title be based on that list.

Julia Roberts Nearly Snagged Sandra Bullock’s Role In While You Were Sleeping

sandra bullock peter gallagher while you were sleeping scene
Photo Credit: Hollywood Pictures / Movie Stills DB
Photo Credit: Hollywood Pictures / Movie Stills DB

After the major success that was Pretty Woman in 1990, Julia Roberts was a sought after actress and was offered the lead role in the 1995 film While You Were Sleeping.

1994 saw the action thriller Speed launch the career of Sandra Bullock and, lucky for her, Roberts chose to turn down the role in the Jon Turteltaub film, giving Bullock the opportunity to make the jump from action star to romantic comedy leading lady.

Gregory Peck Originally Wanted Sole Top Billing For Roman Holiday

audrey hepburn gregory peck
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures / Movie Stills DB
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures / Movie Stills DB

When he was first paired with Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, Gregory Peck was already a big movie star with four Oscar nominations and 18 films under his belt, whereas Hepburn had only been giving small roles.

Since Peck was a bigger star, his contract called for solo top billing in the credits, but after filming a few scenes with Hepburn, Peck called his agent to say he felt Hepburn’s name should share the spot above the title with his because he was sure she was going to win the Oscar and he didn’t want to embarrass himself.

Legally Blonde‘s Ending Was Changed Because Audiences Were Too Invested In Elle Wood’s Life

legally blonde reese witherspoon courtoom
Photo Credit: MGM / Movie Stills DB
Photo Credit: MGM / Movie Stills DB

Everyone’s favorite blonde lawyer Elle Woods was always going to go on to be successful, but originally the ending of Legally Blonde featured Elle and Emmett reuniting then flashing forward a year to Elle and Vivian having started the Blonde Legal Defense Fund.

When the film was first shown to test audiences, the viewers didn’t like this ending because they felt like it didn’t properly resolve Elle’s legal future, so the writers got together to create the ending you know now.

The “Soup Nazi” Came From Sleepless in Seattle, Not Seinfeld

sleepless in seatle meg ryan tom hanks
Photo Credit: TriStar Pictures / Movie Stills DB
Photo Credit: TriStar Pictures / Movie Stills DB

Two years before Seinfeld ever aired their “soup nazi” episode, the term was referenced in the Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks classic Sleepless in Seattle.

A writer in Meg Ryan’s office in the film pitched the story of a man who is the meanest man in America and sells the greatest soup you have ever eaten. The reference was based on real-life Ali “Al” Yeganeh, a Persian soup vendor (not German) who ran the Soup Kitchen International in New York City.

Love Actually‘s Airport Footage Was Filmed With Hidden Cameras

love actually airport scene
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures / Movie Stills DB
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures / Movie Stills DB

In order to get authentic reactions for the scenes of real passengers being welcomed by their families at Heathrow airport, Love Actually‘s camera crew chose to shoot first and ask permission after.

Richard Curtis revealed in the DVD commentary that the crew filmed the shots with hidden cameras for a week, and when they caught a family being reunited or a greeting that they wanted to use in the film, they would run over to ask the family to sign a waiver and just hope they said yes.

Andie & Duckie Were Supposed To Be Together In Pretty In Pink

jon cryer mollly ringwald pretty in pink movie shot
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures / Movie Stills DB
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures / Movie Stills DB

Molly Ringwald, everyone’s favorite ’80s rom-com leading lady, played Andie in the 1986 film Pretty in Pink alongside Jon Cryer and Harry Dean Stanton, and it turns out the ending was supposed to be a little different.

Originally, Andie and Duckie were supposed to end up together, but when Cryer was cast in the role, Ringwald said she wasn’t comfortable with that ending. She admitted that if Robert Downey Jr had been playing Duckie she would’ve been fine with it, but she didn’t want her character to end up with Jon Cryer. Ouch.

The Stories At The Beginning Of When Harry Met Sally Are Real

Meg Ryan Billy Crystal when harry met sally
Photo Credit: Castle Rock Entertainment / Movie Stills DB
Photo Credit: Castle Rock Entertainment / Movie Stills DB

The opening scenes of Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal’s When Harry Met Sally featured a number of married couples describing how they met, and in order to add authenticity to the film, those stories were real.

While writing with Reiner, Nora spent time with the members of the crew who were married and collected their stories about their marriages, then hired actors to retell the stories for the film.

Patrick Swayze’s Ghost Made Demi Moore Into One Of The Highest Paid Actress Of The Time

ghost demi more patrick swayze pottery scene
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures / Movie Stills DB
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures / Movie Stills DB

Major 1990 box office hit Ghost starred Demi Moore alongside Patrick Swayze, giving everyone the pottery scene to aspire to forever. While Moore was already well known because of her roles in films such as St. Elmo’s Fire, Ghost was far more successful than expected and it helped Moore become more valuable as an actress.

Following Ghost, she was in the huge hits A Few Good Men, Indecent Proposal, and Disclosure. When you add up all of Moore’s film grosses from those four films from 1990-1994, it totals more than $1 billion.

Dustin Hoffman’s Cameo In The Holiday Was Pure Coincidence

dustin hoffman blockbuster the holiday
Photo Credit: YouTube
Photo Credit: YouTube

You know the scene in The Holiday when Jack Black and Kate Winslet are standing in Blockbuster (R.I.P) going through films, and Black picks up The Graduate and starts singing the theme song, then the camera flashes to Dustin Hoffman? Purely coincidental.

Hoffman apparently just happened to be driving by the video store the day they were filming that scene and popped in to see what was happening, which is how he ended up appearing in the film.

The Audience Walked Out Of The First American Showing Of Four Weddings and a Funeral

four weddings and a funeral grant and mcdowell
Photo Credit: Working Title Films / Movie Stills DB
Photo Credit: Working Title Films / Movie Stills DB

The first American showing of Four Weddings and a Funeral was in Salt Lake City, Utah, and some of the audience disliked the film so much they left the showing.

The 30-person, Mormon-filled town council was in attendance at the showing and left after the opening scene where Charles says the f-word, which Grant took as a bad sign as this was his first time seeing the finished version of the entire film.

The Princess Bride Was Written For Someone Specific

the princess bride robin wright and cary elwes
Photo Credit: 20th Century Studios / Movie Stills DB
Photo Credit: 20th Century Studios / Movie Stills DB

Well, it was written for two someones. William Goldman wrote the novel The Princess Bride in 1973 and he also wrote the screenplay for the 1987 film. While you might think he had to have some grand inspiration for a story like this, he actually wrote it for his two daughters simply because they asked.

Goldman revealed in an interview that he offered to write a story for his two daughters one night, and when he asked what they wanted it to be about, one said “a bride” and one said “a princess.”