12 Great Behind The Scenes Stories From Coen Brothers Movies
To get you pumped for tonight’s premiere of the new Fargo miniseries on FX based on the Coen Brothers’ masterpiece of the same name, we traced the duos’ career hits and misses and dug up some entertaining behind-the-scenes stories and trivia. Can you guess which part Clooney plays?
Jeff Bridges and The Dude have the same wardrobe.
A lot of the Dude's clothes came from Jeff Bridges' own wardrobe. And it's not the first instance he's worn his own clothes on screen; that Japanese baseball shirt was also worn in The Fisher King.
Part of No Country For Old Men is based on real life.
They used a photo of a brothel patron taken in 1979 as a model for the creepiest part of the film: Javier Bardem’s weirdo haircut.
PT Anderson accidentally sabotaged the No Country for Old Men set.
During a wide shot for No Country for Old Men on location in Marfa, Texas, they had to halt shooting when a gigantic cloud of dark smoke floated into view. PT Anderson was shooting There Will Be Blood nearby and was testing the pyrotechnics of an oil derrick set ablaze. It forced them to delay shooting by a day. But it turned out to be a happy accident — both films went on to be big awards season contenders the following year.
Horsing around on set got Peter Storemare a second job.
The character of Uli in The Big Lebowski actually originated on the set of Fargo. Peter Stormare would often break into a faux German accent, and they built a whole character around it.
They don't fit the egomaniacal director stereotype.
The brothers thought it seemed vain to put their names in the credits so much (writers, directors, editors, producers, etc.) so they made up a fake editor "Roderick Jaynes” when cutting Fargo. He has subsequently been nominated for an Academy Award (twice!).
Tilda Swinton is paying homage to The Simpsons in Burn After Reading.
She modeled her characters hairdo after Edna Krabappel's (RIP).
Albert Finney has both a leading role and a cameo in Miller's Crossing.
When Gabriel Byrne enters the ladies restroom in Miller’s Crossing, one of the women scurrying out is actually Finney in drag (he’s in the black and white maid's dress).
His aunt may be a famous songstress, but George Clooney can't carry a tune.
For O Brother Where Art Though, he practiced his singing for weeks, but in the end his voice was dubbed by country blues singer Dan Tyminski. Sorry you can’t be awesome at everything, Clooney!
They fired a baby while shooting Raising Arizona.
Fifteen babies played the Arizona quintuplets in the film. One of the babies was fired during production when he learned to walk. Way to screw it up, kid.
Inside Llewyn Davis's Oscar Isaac dealt with some serious personal issues while shooting many scenes.
He hates cats, and once even got an infection from a cat bite.
Hailee Steinfeld knows how to knock it out of the park.
Fifteen thousand girls applied for the role of the young Mattie Ross in True Grit, with the then unknown 13-year-old Steinfeld winning out.
The Lebowski undies briefcase scene is an illusion.
It proved impossible to get Walter's undie-filled case thrown correctly. Eventually they just shot it in reverse, with a crew member throwing it into the car as a stunt driver reversed at high speed.
Joe McGauley is a senior editor at Supercompressor and not big on cats either.