15 Scenes Where Actors Displayed Genuine Reactions
Regardless of how diligently the directors, producers, and actors prepare for various productions, mistakes can always happen, and things can go terribly wrong. For example, when the actors forget their lines, they can ad-lib or improvise, genuinely reflecting on their real emotions. Those moments are precious because they can become trademarks of the films and get the place they deserve in film history.
If you’re curious about these famous unplanned, improvised scenes, scroll through to see what we found.
1. The fart scene in Rain Man (1988)
Rain Man is, hands down, one of the most unforgettable movies. If you’ve seen it, you surely remember the scene in the phone booth where Raymond (Dustin Hoffman) farts, and Charlie (Tom Cruise) asks, ’’Did you fart, Ray?’’ Hoffman passing gas, the phone call, and Cruise’s reaction were all improvised.
2. ’’He stole my line!’’ in Good Will Hunting (1997)
Good Will Hunting is about how the life of the genius, Will Hunting (Matt Damon), changes upon meeting his therapist, Dr. Sean Maguire (Robin Williams). Toward the movie’s end, Hunting leaves a note for his doctor that says, ’’Sorry, I had to go see about a girl,’’ which was something Dr. Maguire said in an earlier scene. After finishing the note, the great Robin Williams ad-libs his famous line, ’’He stole my line!’’
3. Edward Norton punching Brad Pitt in the ear in Fight Club (1999).
If you’ve seen Fight Club, you likely remember Brad Pitt’s reaction when Edward Norton accidentally punches him in the ear. Norton mentioned how his punch went wrong during an appearance on a TV show, as he admitted punching Pitt in the ear was not scripted. Both the lines, ’’You hit me in the ear?’’ or ’’Ow, why the ear man?’’ weren’t in the script either.
4. Julia Roberts’ reaction in Pretty Woman (1990)
Pretty Woman has a lot of memorable scenes. But the one where Richard Gere holds a jewelry box and shuts it as soon as Julia Roberts touches it is unforgettable. The director, Gary Marshall, said in an interview that it was initially a prank, and Roberts responded by laughing at it, which left a genuine remark and became the film’s trademark. Yes, it was entirely improvised.
5. The first shark scene in Jaws (1975)
In the thriller, Jaws, when Scheider’s character first came face to face with a deadly shark, he went inside the boat and improvised the line, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat!” Funnily enough, it was an inside joke among the cast and crew. Whenever something went wrong, they would say, “You’re going to need a bigger boat!” which finally made it to the film.
6. The chest banging scene in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
In one scene of The Wolf of Wall Street, Matthew McConaughey does a chest-thumping move accompanied by humming, which lasts for a moment. Leonardo DiCaprio was across from him at a table, looking at him, surprised. McConaughey explained that it was truly his preparation routine for a personal relaxation technique before the take, which was kept in the film.
7. Leonardo DiCaprio cuts himself in Django Unchained (2012)
In one particularly memorable scene of Django Unchained, Leonardo DiCaprio slams and smashes a glass on the table and accidentally cuts himself. What is more extraordinary is that instead of stopping, he continues to stay in character, regardless of his bleeding hand. Yes, that part was entirely improvised.
8. The body waxing scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)
The famous body-waxing scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin was totally improvised, along with many other unscripted lines by Steve Carell. It was natural, uncut, and so funny.
9. The bathroom dance scene in Joker (2019)
You’ll remember the famous bathroom dance scene if you’re a Joker or Joaquin Phoenix fan. Director Todd Phillips explained during an interview that the bathroom dance scene was entirely improvised. We think you’d agree with us on how beautiful it was.
10. The cream scene of Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Mrs. Doubtfire is one of the greatest films that starred the beloved Robin Williams in the leading role. But one scene stole our hearts — when Mrs. Sellner visits Mrs. Doubtfire’s apartment for inspection and Williams covered his face with pie because his mask falls into the street. While filming, the icing started melting due to the warm set lights, causing the cream to drip into the social worker’s tea, to which Williams improvised the line, “There you go, you’ve got your cream and your sugar now.”
11. The coat rack scene in Thor: The Dark World (2013)
The director, Alan Taylor, kept the funny improvised scene in Thor: The Dark World movie where Thor gently hangs his hammer (Mjölnir) on the coat rack.
12. The falling scene in The Princess Diaries (2001)
In The Princess Diaries, Mia’s (played by Anne Hathaway) falling scene behind the bleachers was an unscripted and accidental fall. We’re glad that the film’s director, Garry Marshall, decided to keep it in the movie.
13. The Voldemort and Draco hug in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 lovers will undoubtedly remember the particularly weird scene that featured Voldemort hugging Draco. It was, indeed, one of this movie’s most memorable but awkward and cringy moments. And it wasn’t planned.
14. The Wakanda fight scene in Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Avengers: Infinity War has many memorable takes. In the Wakanda fight scene, remember what Thor (Chris Hemsworth) said to Captain America (Chris Evans)? He quipped, “Noticed you’ve copied my beard,” which wasn’t in the script.
15. The orange scene in Rocky (1976)
Rocky has many epic takes, but one particular scene was as natural as could be. Take a closer look at the shot when Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) jogs through the food market — a stall owner throws Rocky an orange. Yes, it was unplanned.
What would you do if you were an actor or actress and forgot the script? Do you know any other ad-libbed or improvised movie scenes? Please share with us in the comment section below!
🎞️ Note: If you want to read more of our movie-related articles, check these out!
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