Will Ferrell's First Movie Appearance Was In 'Austin Powers' And 14 More Behind-The-Scenes Facts
Every now and then Mike Myers likes to throw around the idea of rebooting the Austin Powers franchise. With his recent Powers musings on The Tonight Show, it’s time we take a walk down memory lane. Please, let me regale you with these 15 little known facts about the Austin Powers movies.
Michael Caine Believes That Austin Powers Is Based On A 1965 Character Of His
Michael Caine, who would later join the franchise in the role of Austin’s father, Nigel Powers, originally thought Austin’s character was based on a past performance. Caine played a glasses-wearing British government agent in the 1965 film The Ipcress File. Caine said, “I knew immediately who he was doing. The only thing I didn't like was the teeth because my teeth are alright -- and we had to wear those teeth . The first time I wore those teeth, I had a scene where I had to shout at him and the teeth went across the room like a bullet. We had to stick them in. It was very uncomfortable.
A Reference To Princess Diana Was Edited Out Of The Theatrical Release In The United Kingdom
Remember the bit in the first film when Dr. Evil is pitching his plans to his evil committee, but most of them have already happened while he was frozen? One of these plans includes making it appear that Prince Charles was having an affair leading to a divorce that would rock the world, only to find out that it had already become a reality. The film was released in the U.K on September 5th, 1997, just five days after the tragic death of Princess Di. The film removed the joke for its UK screenings but slipped it back when it was released on home video.
Elizabeth Hurley Believes That Austin Powers Is Based On A 1960s British Talk Show Host
Elizabeth Hurley who portrayed the incomparable Vanessa Kensington in the first film, and a dirty fem-bot in the second, was quoted as saying a 1960s British talk show host was an important influence on the character of Powers. Simon Dee was the host of the BCC celebrity chat show called Dee Time. The episodes even concluded with a shot of Dee driving away in a jaguar with a blonde model.
Colin Quinn Was Offered The Role Of Scott Evil, But Turned It Down
No one could have pulled off Scott Evil like Seth Green, but SNL’s Colin Quinn almost had the chance. He says he regrets passing on the role that went to the much younger Green, but added that “chronologically Scott Evil would have been my age at the time so it would have made sense.”
Others Believe The Plot Was Influenced By Another English '60s Show
Some think Austin’s “freezing” focused story-line was inspired by another piece of British media, namely, the 1966 television program Adam Adamant Lives!, which focused around a British man who was frozen by a villain in 1867 and reawakens in 1966 to get his revenge on the culprit.
Dr. Evil’s Line About Hipsters Is A Lenny Bruce Quote.
Dr. Evil got one of his best lines from another funny troublemaker. Dr. Evil’s line “Really, there's nothing more pathetic than an aging hipster,” is actually a reference to Lenny Bruce’s famous quote, “There is nothing sadder than an aging hipster.”
Starbucks Paid Nothing For Being In The Spy Who Shagged Me
The company agreed to take part after producers showed them the script and storyboards.
There's nothing Myers loves more than egregiously obvious product placement in a film, just ask Wayne Campbell. Myers ended up giving Starbucks a mountain of free publicity when he approached the company to ask if he could put a Starbucks in Dr. Evil’s evil headquarters in the second film. The company agreed and didn’t have to pay a dime to give Dr. Evil that “Belgian Dip.”
The Word Shag Was Censored In Some Countries
In Singapore, the title of the second film “The Spy Who Shagged Me” had to be censored. The resulting name was “The Spy Who Shioked Me,” which roughly translates to “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Treated Me Nicely.” I think we can all only hope to one day be treated that nicely by Heather Graham.
The Character Austin Powers Was Created To Be The Frontman Of A Band
While Austin Powers’ persona may have had many different influences, the character was actually created before the idea of a film was even mentioned. Mike Myers originally created the character to perform as a frontman for a faux 60s band he had created with friends Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet called “Ming Tea”, whose pseudonyms on stage were Jillian Shagwell and Sid Belvedere. Myer’s wife heard their first performance and told myers he should write a movie around his new alter ego. So if you were wondering why there are Monkees-style band intercuts throughout the first movie, and a performance of “Daddy Wasn’t There” in the third film, now you know that Austin was just showing off his band, “Ming Tea.”
Austin Powers Is The Reason Daniel Craig’s 007 Is So Serious
Daniel Craig joked with MI6 magazine saying that the Austin Powers films are the reason that he isn’t allowed to be silly in his Bond films. While the previous 007s had a little more wiggle room to be silly with characters like “Odd Job” who later became “Random Task” in the Powers films, Craig knew his would have to be very serious, explaining “We had to destroy the myth because Mike Myers f—-ed us. I am a huge Mike Myers fan, so don’t get me wrong, but he kind of f—-ed us, made it impossible to do the gags.”
The Movies Were A Love Letter To his Father
Mike Myers was born in Canada, but his father was British through and through. Michael Caine told CNN the significance of his inclusion in the films, saying, “Mike's father is dead -- but I'm the same age as his father would have been. I'm from the same era. All this Austin Powers is a homage to Mike's father secretly. It's a tribute to his father, and I was one of his father's favorite actors. And so I'm one of his father's favorite actors, I'm the creative father of Austin Powers because I played Harry Palmer in the first part. So I figured I'm not only good for the part, I'm the only guy who could play the part.”
Mike Myers Wants To Do A Fourth
Mike Myers has spoken a few times over the years about his affinity and openness to return to the big screen as his bespectacled British alter-ego. Most recently Myers spoke on The Tonight Show that he is more than willing to make another installment if he can find enough time between raising his three kids. All we ask is that if he makes another, let’s sift out all the farts and vomit included in things like The Love Guru and The Pentaverate.
His Former Comedy Partner Pops up
Mike Myers followed in his father’s footsteps and lived in the UK briefly in the 80s, where he formed a two-man comedy team called “Mullarkey and Myers” alongside Neil Mullarkey. Myers’ star may have risen a bit higher than his former partner’s but he has included him in a few films including the clerk in the first film who returns the storied Swedish-Made Penis Enlarger Pump.
Mr. Bigglesworths Real Name Is Better Than His On-Camera Pseudonym
In real life, the cat who portrayed Mr. Bigglesworth is named Ted Nudegent. The first Austin Powers film was actually Ted's premiere on the big screen. In the sequel, Ted shares screen time with a new character, Baby Bigglesworth, played by three cats whose names are just as amazing, being Mel Gibskin, Skindiana Jones and Paul Nudeman.
It Was Will Ferrell's First Movie
You have Mike Myers to thank for Will Ferrell's very first appearance on the silver screen. His first movie appearance was as Mustafa the assassin in the original film, although I think we can all agree that the best Mustafa moment has to be from the second film.
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Top Image: New Line Cinema