#3. Tron and Tron: Legacy -- Jeff Bridges Is Creepily Scanned into a Computer
The original Tron stars Jeff Bridges as game developer Kevin Flynn in the most confusing plot ever summarized on Wikipedia. It doesn't matter, it's all setup for him getting sucked into a computer and having adventures inside its digital fantasy world. This happens when he sits down at the terminal and a beam zaps him, scanning his body and rebuilding it inside the computerized realm.
The computer then closed multiple pages and cleared its history.
There he teams up with programs named Ram and Tron, and is forced to participate in bizarre DayGlo Olympic challenges, all at the dizzying speed of 1982. Eventually he defeats the villainous computer (which it turns out was trying to take over the world somehow) and then -- spoiler! -- everything is fine again.
"By 1986, everyone will be wearing this!"
Now, despite the fact that the movie takes place mostly in a digital world and has an old-school CGI look, the original Tron actually involved almost no computer graphics as we know them. All of the live-action effects were made by rotoscoping, which is a form of animation where animators essentially trace over live-action footage frame by frame. If that sounds like a huge pain in the ass, you have no idea; to get all of the glowing computery shit in the movie, each special effect shot was layered and animated by hand, one goddamn frame at a time, and then individually backlit and refilmed, one goddamn frame at a time, to get the final frame.
Now flash forward 30 years later, to the most unnecessary sequel of all time, Tron: Legacy.
And trust us, there was a lot of competition for that title.
We learn that Flynn is incredibly bad at learning life lessons and has gotten his silly ass stuck inside the computer again, with the twist that he must face a copy of his computerized self from 30 years ago. In other words, the filmmakers needed both young and old versions of Jeff Bridges to perform scenes onscreen together.
Of course, now we have this little thing called CGI to accomplish tasks like that. So, to create the young Flynn for Tron: Legacy, the filmmakers scanned Jeff Bridges into a computer. And where in the original film Flynn was able to sit comfortably in a chair while a laser zapped him from behind, in real life Bridges had to wear a terrifying scanning cage thing on his face ...
... so that every element of his soul could be captured and uploaded to the glowing, digital realm of Tron:
Presumably this came after a lengthy conversation convincing him that he wouldn't suddenly wake up dressed like a glow in the dark suppository throwing Frisbees in a Daft Punk music video.
#2. Knocked Up -- Ken Jeong Is a Wacky Doctor in the Movie and Real Life
Most of you probably recognize Ken Jeong as the drug-addled, adorably penised crime lord Mr. Chow from the Hangover series, or possibly the zany racist Spanish teacher from Community. However, the first feature film role that Jeong landed was the part of the irritated doctor at the end of Knocked Up.
Pretending to be annoyed with Katherine Heigl tests an actor's abilities to their very limit.
Playing the part of Dr. Kuni gave Jeong some insight and experience in distinguishing his personal life from his stage life, which would become useful later on in his career. In one, he was a cynical, burned-out doctor, brusque with his patients and fed up with working in a hospital, while in the other, he was acting in a Judd Apatow movie.
That's right -- Ken Jeong really is a doctor. And a pretty well-credentialed one at that, having studied at Duke University and the University of North Carolina before specializing in internal medicine at a clinic in Los Angeles. Throughout all this, however, Jeong remained unsatisfied with his choice to practice medicine and harbored a desire to become a comedic actor, presumably jotting down dick jokes on unused prescription slips after every hernia exam.
"Seriously, you've got to stop giving people prescriptions for '200 ml of Deeznuts'."
So he began performing standup gigs at local comedy clubs, hoping to hone his craft and eventually get noticed by someone who could give him his big break. Which is exactly what happened. One night at the Laugh Factory, the producers of Knocked Up, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, were in the audience looking for someone who could portray a doctor who, for some reason, would be less than thrilled to see the Jew-froed blob of self-entitlement that would inevitably burst from Katherine Heigl's Rogen-sown womb.
Dr. Ken Jeong was performing that night, and when Rogen and Goldberg saw his performance, they offered him the role more or less immediately, having no idea that the guy they were casting to play their goofy doctor character had in fact graduated from med school and (presumably) saved lives.
#1. Sid & Nancy -- Courtney Love Auditions for Nancy, then Becomes Her
For those of you who haven't heard of Courtney Love, we consider you kind of lucky, but we will remedy that situation immediately, because what is laughter without a few tears? Love shot to popularity in the early '90s as lead singer of the band Hole and wife/coattail passenger of Kurt Cobain (for those of you who haven't heard of Kurt Cobain, kindly close your browser and leave the room).
They were a grunge rock power couple, two lead singers of popular bands joined together like some Megazord stomping out the remains of '80s hair metal like a really lame campfire (one made with Lincoln Logs and construction paper flames). However, they were perhaps equally famous for their domestic disputes and mutual rampaging heroin addiction.
In a rare moment of sobriety, Kurt slowly realizes that he married Courtney Love.
All this is pretty common knowledge, but what most people don't know is that years before Courtney Love was anyone even close to being famous (read: before she'd ever heard of Kurt Cobain), she was just a struggling actress like 98 percent of the Los Angeles population, landing her first feature film role in 1986 in the biopic Sid & Nancy, about the ill-fated relationship between Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen.
We're not sure Courtney Love ever made out somewhere as classy as a dumpster.
Though ultimately cast as one of the titular couple's junkie friends (a self-fulfilling prophecy in and of itself), Love had initially auditioned to play Nancy Spungen. She even declared "I am Nancy" in her audition tape, and if you listen closely, you can hear the cosmos realigning to keep her from being a liar.
The grossest example of life imitating art.
Love was actually the first choice of director Alex Cox, but the studio wanted someone more experienced in the lead role, forcing him to give Love a smaller part, albeit one still soaked in heroin and lunacy. To recap, Courtney Love was almost cast as Nancy Spungen, the girlfriend of Sid Vicious, who was in the hugely famous punk band the Sex Pistols, and the two spent most of their relationship beating the shit out of each other and doing heroin.
Cut to eight years after the movie's release, and Love's audition tape hubris had come true. She was married to Kurt Cobain, lead singer of the hugely famous band Nirvana, in a relationship fueled predominately by heroin and beating the shit out of each other. Sid Vicious and Kurt Cobain both died young (Vicious by heroin overdose, Cobain by shotgun). But while Nancy was found stabbed to death in her hotel room, Love managed to avoid the specter of a young death and is still around, doing ... something. We think.
She doesn't know, either.
For all creepy things film-related, check out 5 Insane Celebrity Conspiracy Theories (That Make Sense) and 6 Insane Fan Theories That Actually Make Great Movies Better.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 3 Great Moments of Broken English from Japanese Anime.
And stop by LinkSTORM to learn more about Brad Pitt's sexy, sexy tendons.
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