Acting drunk is not as easy as you may think it is (go ahead and try it in front of a mirror the next time you’re alone). Your speech has to be slurred just right or you instantly sound like you’re acting, and your body movements have to be sloppy but not comedic. If you’ve ever wondered whether actors are actually drinking alcohol when they booze it up in movies—or just really good at method acting—these nine weird facts will give you the truth behind some of the most famously boozy films of all time.
The Sideways Actors Drank So Much Non-Alcoholic Wine It Made Them Sick
In Sideways, the film that made everyone despise Merlot, actors drank non-alcoholic wine in the majority of the wine-tasting scenes. According to IMDB, actors wound up drinking so much of the non-alcoholic wine that it made them nauseous. As a result, they had to switch between real wine, non-alcoholic wine and grape juice to keep from too getting sick to film.
Shia LaBeouf Scared Actors With His Drinking on Set
To achieve his “drunken bloat,” actor Shia LaBeouf drank large amounts of straight moonshine on—and off—the set of Prohibition era gangster film Lawless. According to actress Mia Wasikowska, who played LaBeouf's love interest in the film, the actor’s drunkenness was so intense and frightening that she almost quit the film. It is rumored that LaBeouf’s co-star Tom Hardy was also hitting the white lightning, and he and LeBoeuf got into several “scuffles” while on set. Our bets are on Hardy for the win.
Cult Film Swingers Filmed Inside of Real Bars Instead of Sets
To save on costs, the ‘90s cult classic Swingers filmed bar scenes in actual bars, during actual business hours when customers were there drinking. Supposedly, signs were posted at the entrance of the bars warning patrons that if they came any closer, they would be unpaid extras in the film.
Every Actor Was Hammered on Drinking Buddies
In the boozy comedy Drinking Buddies, actress Anna Kendrick was actually drunk for her scene with actor Jake Johnson. Supposedly the actress didn’t realize that real alcohol was being used on set, and after taking a giant swig of what she thought was a prop beer, she instantly became inebriated. Co-star Olivia Wilde confirmed the story in several interviews, and said that real beer and alcohol was used due to the fact that it was actually cheaper than using props. “We were hammered the entire movie,” said Wilde.
Beerfest Served Actors Beer on Set
On the set of Beerfest, the booziest, most audaciously lederhosen-laden film of the last century, actors actually drank real beer on set while filming. Fortunately for the actors’ livers, it was O’Doul’s non-alcoholic beer. Still, even booze-free beer adds up.
Daniel Craig Is the Booziest Bond of Them All
Actor Daniel Craig could be the booziest Bond in the franchise’s history. According to the Daily Mail, Craig’s Bond drinks 20 cocktails on average per film, compared to actor Sean Connery’s Bond who averages about 11 drinks per film. The excess drinking in modern Bond films could be due to the fact that booze powerhouses Belvedere and Heineken were financial sponsors.
Johnny Depp Prefers Drinking Real Alcohol
When you see actors drinking shots of whiskey, they are usually drinking colored water (dyed with food coloring) or iced tea. But while filming a scene for the ‘90s indie film Arizona Dream, Johnny Depp reportedly drank about 11 shots of real deal Jack Daniel’s, according to Indiewire. The actor has a long history of drinking on set (and off) and is not a fan of faking it.
Nicolas Cage Studies His Own Drunk Self
For the depressingly somber boozefest Leaving Las Vegas, lead actor Nicolas Cage filmed himself drunk off set in order to study his inebriated behavior and speech patterns for the film. He would then attempt to replicate it while sober on set. If you’ve ever seen the movie then you know it worked.
Martin Sheen Is the King of Method Acting
While filming the iconic opening of Apocalypse Now, actor Martin Sheen was not only drinking during production, but he was so intoxicated that he actually punched through the mirror in the scene and injured his hand. Everything in the scene, right down to the blood, is real. Supposedly, director Francis Ford Coppola tried to stop filming the scene due to the severity of the injury, but Sheen refused to accept treatment or stop the scene.