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Summer Snacks

May 11, 1997


On the final day of shooting "Air Force One," director Wolfgang Petersen played a practical joke on star Harrison Ford. Supposed to rappel from plane to plane, the actor was hooked up to a cable 20 feet in the air. After the last shot, the director congratulated the crew, turned out the lights and left the actor hanging. Not to be outdone, Ford pulled his favorite cigar from his pocket and called after the departing crew, "Does anyone have a light?"


They cooked 800 hamburgers and used 60 gallons of secret sauce in "Good Burger," a David-versus-Goliath story pitting two guys who run a neighborhood hamburger stand against a big fast-food competitor. Director Brian Robbins would not divulge the ingredients of the secret sauce.

Some 72,000 pencils were used in the creation of "Hercules," and 1 million sheets of animation paper were used. The film contains more than 1 million drawings. "Hercules" co-director Ron Clements consumed 1,440 Twizzler licorice sticks during production.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mr. Freeze costume in "Batman and Robin" weighed 50 pounds because it contained 2,500 tiny lightbulbs strung together for the special lighting effect. His leisure wear--a furry robe and sleepers decorated with polar bears--weighed nearly as much. With rhinestone eyes festooning each polar bear face, the robe alone weighs in at 45 pounds. Uma Thurman, who plays Poison Ivy, wore a magenta gorilla suit that was made from 450 Santa Claus wigs and dipped with black roots and tips.

Producers of "Leave It to Beaver" auditioned 5,000 boys before selecting 9-year-old Cameron Finley of Garland, Texas as the Beav.


Talk about development hell: At the end of 1980, the idea for Robert Zemeckis' "Contact" was bought from Carl Sagan by development executive Lynda Obst for PolyGram Pictures chief Peter Guber. From it, she, Sagan and his collaborator and wife, Ann Druyan, developed a 113-page treatment. Guber became a producer and took the project to Warner Bros., where he developed a number of scripts that went nowhere. When he took over the reins at Sony Pictures Entertainment, he tried to take "Contact" with him. Warner Bros. refused, giving it to Obst, who was by then a producer. In the early '90s, the studio gave the go-ahead and--five screenplays later--the film is hitting the screen.


Australian director P.J. Hogan has a knack for nuptials--he follows "Muriel's Wedding" with "My Best Friend's Wedding." It was written with Julia Roberts in mind by Ron Bass ("Rain Man"), who also did a rewrite on her next film, "Stepmom," which she and Susan Sarandon will produce.


Brendan Fraser's body-fat percentage at the height of his training regimen for "George of the Jungle": 4%.

Meanwhile, Sylvester Stallone gained 30 pounds for his role in "Cop Land"--nearly as dramatic as the 55 pounds his co-star Robert De Niro put on to play Jake LaMotta in 1980's "Raging Bull."


Andy Garcia, Harvey Keitel and Billy Zane are the busiest actors this season. Garcia plays a cop in "Desperate Measures," a cop-turned-D.A. in "Night Falls on Manhattan," then switches sides to portray mobster Lucky Luciano in "Hoodlum." Keitel is a New York cop in "Cop Land," a judge in "Head Above Water" and an aging TV actor in "Somebody to Love." Zane's hat trick comprises "The World and then the Fireworks," "Titanic" and "Head Above Water."


Actors had to don 65-pound spacesuits during much of the shoot for "Event Horizon," about a rescue mission to the outer reaches of the solar system to salvage a missing prototype spaceship. Laurence Fishburne became so attached to his spacesuit that he named it Doris.

Producers of "The Full Monty" hired 400 women from northern England to scream as the actors, playing working guys desperate for money, strip for an entire town. Shots of whiskey were passed around before actors Robert Carlyle, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Addy, Paul Barber, Steve Huison and Hugo Speer took to the stage.

"The Van," the last installment of Roddy Doyle's Barrytown trilogy, is the story of two pals trying to make a go of it with their fish-and-chips van. Director Stephen Frears had the actors climb inside the van, while other actors playing toughs smashed the vehicle with car batteries and tried to push it over. When told that the men inside the van became terrified, Frears replied: "They're just big babies."


Help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Cannes International Film Festival without the expensive air fare. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art will present a three-weekend retrospective of Cannes honorees, including Palme d'Or winners "Viridiana" and "Apocalypse Now," June 20 through July 5. And on June 18, the museums will host a sneak peak at films that premiered at Cannes this year.


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