5 Weird Ways Roles Changed Actors’ Lives

Other than the vast sums of money.
5 Weird Ways Roles Changed Actors’ Lives

Professional lying, AKA acting, is usually confined to the specific period of time you spend either performing a play, or shooting a movie, or pretending to eat jalapeno poppers with your fake family for a TGI Friday’s commercial. But sometimes, performers are deeply changed by roles in surprising ways, such as how …

American Pie Got Jennifer Coolidge Laid Hundreds Of Times

Confusing those theatergoers who were expecting a musical biopic about folk singer Don McLean, American Pie, of course, tells the story of a group of horny teens committing a laundry list of literal sex crimes. Perhaps the most zeitgeist-defining character of the (shockingly long-running) franchise is Stifler’s mom, the so-called “MILF” – and if you don’t know what that stands for, well, welcome to the internet for the first time ever.

Stifler’s mom is played by the great Jennifer Coolidge, who recently revealed that the role had some surprising “benefits.” Wink.

Yup, according to Coolidge, she got “a lot of sexual action from American Pie” adding that: “there would be like 200 people that I would never have slept with.” We’re still waiting to hear if the same thing happened to Eugene Levy.

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Angelina Jolie Started A Family Thanks To … Tomb Raider?

Most video game movies probably don’t have a significant impact on the lives of their cast and crew – with the possible exception of the overwhelming shame we’re guessing that Jake Gyllenhaal still feels for making Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. But Anglina Jolie, on the other hand, made a huge life change, which inadvertently stemmed from her  decision to take on the role of the world’s most famous pixelated archaeologist in hot pants: Lara Croft.

While making the first Tomb Raider movie, Jolie traveled to Cambodia and reportedly “fell in love with the sovereign state,” so much so that she later returned there in 2002 “to adopt her first child, Maddox.” That adoption was later scrutinized by the media since Jolie’s adoption was facilitated by a woman named Lauryn Galindo, who pled guilty to “money laundering and visa fraud in 2004 after being caught brokering adoptions of Cambodian children whom she claimed were orphans but in fact had been taken from their mothers” allegedly after being paid for “as little as the cost of a bag of rice.” 

While the circumstances behind Jolie’s specific adoption are still unclear, the fact that it was brokered by the “first American convicted on charges related to baby trafficking” sure isn’t great – and it makes it all the weirder that all of this began with a movie about a Westerner casually plundering foreign countries. 

Janet Leigh Gave Up Showers After Psycho

A lot of moviegoers probably developed a phobia of showers after Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho came out in 1960 – although, in retrospect, perhaps the takeaway shouldn’t have been “don’t take showers” so much as “don’t take showers after checking into an otherwise empty motel run a creepy loner taxidermist in a black turtleneck who sleeps in the seemingly haunted house next door.”

Well it turns out that even Janet Leigh, who famously played the doomed Marion Crane, was put off by the idea of showering because of Psycho. In a 1984 interview, Leigh revealed that, even decades later, she refused to take showers and instead would “only take baths.” This wasn’t a joke either, she went on to state: “when I’m someplace where I can only take a bath, I make sure the doors and windows of the house are locked. I also leave the bathroom door open and shower curtain open. I’m always facing the door, watching, no matter where the shower head is.”

Leigh’s fears weren’t solely driven by the film itself; after the success of Psycho she got letters from people with “unfortunate demons” who, according to Leigh: “told me that they were going to do the same thing to me that Norman Bates did to Marion Crane.” She even had to contact the FBI, but thankfully “nothing ever happened.” Presumably the screen legend was the only person in the world who could justify their B.O. with an FBI investigation.

Walking With A Limp In House Ruined Hugh Laurie’s Knees For Real

Not to be confused with the bonkers Japanese horror movie of the same name, House was the acclaimed FOX medical drama about a cranky, pill-popping doctor played by Hugh Laurie, who routinely solves mysteries, like the case of Randall Park’s disfigured genitals – this video might be NSFW, unless you work in an improbably dramatic teaching hospital.

You might remember that Dr. House walks with a cane, which wasn’t without its consequences, apparently. According to Laurie, doing this for years on end required “a lot of hip work” which went “badly wrong,” damaging his knees. And judging from a 2016 Tweet, the situation didn’t improve after the show ended.

Amazingly, a similar thing happened to yet another TV doctor; ER’s Dr. Kerry Weaver walked with a forearm crutch, until the character received corrective surgery; a plot development necessitated by actress Laura Innes’ resulting back injuries.

David Arquette Began A Near-Fatal Wrestling Career After Promoting A Crappy Comedy

David Arquette is best known as Dewey from the Scream franchise, and second-best known for the time he married the entire cast of Friends in stark defiance of U.S. law.

Back in 2000, Arquette starred in Ready to Rumble, a comedy about two dumbasses who help a former WCW heavyweight champion get back in shape in order to compete in this totally real and unscripted sport. 

For some reason, WCW (who helped to produce the film) decided to promote Ready to Rumble – which again is predicated on the idea that professional wrestling is not predetermined – by having David Arquette, not only wrestle, but win the championship match. Which is … insane? Like, imagine if they advertised Field of Dreams by fixing it so that Kevin Costner hit a home run to win the World Series.

When the promotion ended, they kept bringing Arquette back for more matches; and even after WCW went belly-up, Arquette’s wrestling career continued with the WWE and in other events. Things got pretty intense; at a 2018 deathmatch, Arquette nearly died after a fluorescent light tube punctured his neck. There was even a recent documentary about his wrestling career, appropriately titled You Cannot Kill David Arquette. 

And to think: it all began with a movie directed by the same guy who made Norbit.

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Thumbnail: Paramount/Universal Pictures


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