14 Interesting Facts About Hollywood
Hollywood is the oldest national movie industry in the world. First established in 1887, it has been the driving force of feature films for over a century. Throughout the years it has gone through many changes and experienced countless events, resulting in a plethora of interesting facts about Hollywood becoming general knowledge.
The Golden Age of Hollywood populated the early years from 1913 to 1968. It was during this time the studio system rose to prominence. Stars such as Humphrey Bogart and Marilyn Monroe made their mark. But like all good things the studio system had to come to an end. It was snuffed out by the rise of New Cinema. This was the time of the auteur. Directors such as Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, and William Friedkin ruled the roost. Over time this evolved into the contemporary cinema of today.
Hollywood is a much different place from when it first started, but still retains the magic that attracts people to the Los Angeles district. With such a long and rich history, Hollywood is chock full of interesting facts and tasty tidbits you might not be aware of. From behind-the-scenes stories to production secrets to acting tales, there are many facts about the industry you may be unaware of. To help educate you a little more on Tinsletown, here are 14 interesting facts about Hollywood.
1. In Old California Is the First Film Shot in Hollywood
While The Count of Monte Cristo (1908) is recognized as the first film completed in Hollywood, it wasn’t actually the first movie made there. That award goes to a little known film called In Old California. This film is a silent, black and white movie about the Mexican era of California. The entire movie was shot in and around Los Angeles. The 17-minute film was officially released on March 10, 1910. There is a monument that was erected at 1713 Vine Street, just north of Hollywood Boulevard, to commemorate the film.
2. Leonardo DiCaprio Did Not Do the Drawing in Titanic
This one might not come as much of a surprise as Leonardo DiCaprio isn’t known for his drawing abilities. What might raise an eyebrow is the stand-in who drew the picture was the actual director of Titanic, James Cameron. Well known for his artistic side, Cameron is the one who drew Kate Winslet. The only problem is he and Leo write with different hands, so they had to use a mirror image of the actual shot in the movie to keep the continuity.
3. Arnold Schwarzenegger Made $21,428 Per Word In the Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Arnold Schwarzenegger really got a good deal when he signed on for Terminator 2: Judgement Day. The Austrian Oak was paid the huge sum of $15 million. Arnie only speaks 700 words in the blockbuster hit, which equates to $21,428 per word. It might seem excessive, but considering the film went on to make around $520 million worldwide, it seems like a smart investment by the studio.
4. Tom Hanks Helped Pay To Get Forrest Gump Made
Proving his credentials as Hollywood’s Mr. Nice, Tom Hanks revealed he paid for some of the production costs of Forrest Gump out of his own pocket. As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Hanks discussed his contributions on In Depth With Graham Bensinger. When director Robert Zemeckis approached him and told him the studio wasn’t going to let them shoot the run across America scene, Zemeckis told Hanks to trust him and put up the money with him.
“And he said, ‘Well, this run is going to cost X amount of dollars.’ And it wasn’t cheap. And I said, ‘OK’. He said, ‘You and I are going to split that amount, and we’re going to give it back [to Paramount]. We’ll give you the money back, but you guys [Paramount] are going to have to share the profits a little bit more.’ Which the studio said, ‘Fabulous, great. OK.’ And it was good for us, too.”
It turned out to be a good decision, with Forrest Gump winning Hanks an Oscar for Best Actor along with a healthy $65 million paycheck.
5. One of the Most Famous Lines in Film Almost Didn’t Happen
No, we are don’t mean “I’ll be back.” At the end of the classic epic Gone With the Wind, Rhett Butler brings things to a close with the famous line, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!” It’s an iconic line that people still repeat today. That might not have been the case if the Motion Picture Association didn’t amend the Production Code before the film’s release. The use of the word ‘damn’ was banned from films, meaning it was almost scrapped from the film. Thankfully smarter heads prevailed and the line was kept after some changes to the code of conduct.
6. It Costs $40,000 for a Hollywood Walk of Fame Star
Being selected to have your own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is a big deal. It’s the ultimate sign of respect from the Academy and proof that you have truly made it. It’s also an expensive process. One of the many interesting facts about the Walk of Fame is that it costs money to have a star on the Walk of Fame. When a person is nominated, a benefactor must also pay for the star. How much does it cost you ask? Just a cool $40,000.
7. A Group of Famous People Saved the Hollywood Sign
First erected in 1923 as a way to advertise real estate in the area, the Hollywood sign now stands as a monument to the local film industry. As the original sign wasn’t meant to remain for so long, by 1978 it was in disrepute and almost falling down. Despite the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce doing its best to keep the sign in good condition, they didn’t have the money or manpower to continue with the upkeep. So a group of famous Hollywood celebrities based in Los Angeles got together and raised the funds to help save the sign. Led by Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy magazine, nine donors raised $250,000 to restore the sign to its glory days. It is now protected and promoted by the nonprofit organization The Hollywood Sign Trust.
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8. The Oscars Are Held in the Dolby Theatre in Downtown Hollywood
Keeping things as Hollywood as possible, the Academy Awards are held at the impressive Dolby Theatre in the Ovation Hollywood shopping mall every year. Located on Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, the auditorium first opened in 2001 and has been the home of the Oscars since then. Originally known as the Kodack Theatre, Dolby Laboratories signed a 20-year naming deal in 2012.
9. Walt Disney Was Afraid of Mice
The man responsible for the creation of arguably the most well-known cartoon character in the world, Mickey Mouse, was afraid of mice! Does it get any more ironic? Walt Disney had a deep-seated fear of the four-legged creatures. But he also saw them as sympathetic. That was why he choose to base Mickey on a mouse. It turned out to be a solid decision from Disney. Mickey Mouse helped turn Disney into one of the world’s biggest entertainment companies.
10. A Famous Pulp Fiction Scene Was Shot Backwards
Pulp Fiction was one of the great 90s flicks, but there are a few facts about the film you might not be aware of. One such fact about the Quinten Tarantino film is that one of the scenes was shot in reverse. When Uma Thurman’s Mia Wallace suffers an OD and must be brought back to life with a shot of adrenalin, John Travolta’s Vincent Vega plunges a needle into her chest. To avoid any injury, this scene was actually shot in reverse. Travolta was filmed pulling the needled out of Thurman’s chest. Who would have known?
11. Michael Myers Wore a William Shatner Mask in Halloween
This is an oldie but a goodie. As the budget was so tight while filming Halloween, John Carpenter and his crew couldn’t afford to splash out on expensive props. This meant the team had to get creative. Tommy Lee Wallace, who filled the roles of production designer, art director, location scout, and co-editor, was in charge of creating the mask for killer Michael Myers. To save time and money, he picked up a $1.98 mask of Captain Kirk from a shop on Hollywood Boulevard. The mask was based on the face of William Shatner. Shatner was playing Kirk at that time on Star Trek. Wallace widened the eye holes and spray painted the mask white. This resulted in one of the scariest masks in horror history.
12. Muhamad Ali Is the Only Person Whose Hollywood Walk of Fame Star Is Not on the Ground
Even though he has never been part of the film industry, boxing great Muhammad Ali got a Hollywood Walk of Fame Star in 2002. It was adjudged that boxing is a live performance, which is one of the categories for getting a star. But unlike everyone else, Ali’s star isn’t on the footpath. His is installed on the wall of the Dolby Theatre. According to The Guardian, Ali didn’t want his name stepped on by “people who have no respect for me,” so it was put on the wall.
13. The Wolf of Wall Street Is the Film With the Most Swear Words
For a long time, Martin Scorsese’s Casino was the film with the most swear words. But as the 00s hit, his 90s gangster classic quickly slipped down the charts. Not intent on letting his record go, Scorsese regained the title with the release of the critically acclaimed The Wolf of Wall Street. Based on the true story of former stockbroker Jordon Belfort, the Leonardo DiCaprio starring hit features 715 cuss words. The word fuck and its varients is uttered an astonishing 569 times, working out to 3.16 fucks per minute.
14. James Bond Wore a Toupe
Throughout his run as British Secret Service agent James Bond, actor Sean Connery wore a toupe. Despite being just 31 years of age, the Scottish legend was balding. Not wanting the suave and sophisticated Bond to have a bald patch, Connery was given a toupe to wear. To be fair, it actually looks pretty good considering the time the films were made. Plus, the Bond franchise probably wouldn’t have been as successful if sex symbol Connery didn’t have a full head of hair.
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