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DID YOU READ

15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Bad Boys

BAD BOYS, Martin Lawrence, Will Smith, 1995, (c) Columbia/courtesy Everett Collection

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Michael Bay’s directorial debut turns 20 this year. How much do you know about the frenetic buddy cop movie?

1. THE MOVIE WAS ORIGINALLY INTENDED FOR DANA CARVEY AND JON LOVITZ.

An earlier, somewhat different vision of the film would have had the SNL stars headlining. This early project even had a different, less catchy title: Bulletproof Hearts.

Disney, the studio behind the project at the time, was attracted to Carvey thanks to his recent successes with Wayne’s World and Wayne’s World 2. While Carvey was interested in the prospect at first, a Las Vegas outing arranged by producer Don Simpson convinced the comedian to back out.


2. ARSENIO HALL WAS THE TOP CANDIDATE FOR WILL SMITH’S ROLE.

But Bay decided to cast Smith after watching The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.


3. EVERYBODY HATED THE SCRIPT.

Even in the early days of the project, writer George Gallo’s script was the source of ire among the cast and crew. Lovitz told The A.V. Club in 2010, “But the script—oh, another George Gallo script—the script was awful.” Bay echoed these sentiments. In a 1998 discussion with film critic Prairie Miller (published in full on Bay’s personal website), the perpetually candid director admitted, “Bad Boys was a very bad script I thought, let’s face it. Basically all we had for Bad Boys was two great actors, and they had a great charisma together.” [sic]


4. SO AN UNLIKELY PAIR CAME IN FOR A REWRITE.

Producers roped in the writing team of Michael Barrie and Jim Mulholland to fix the script. The pair had worked almost exclusively in sitcoms and late night talk show writing; Barrie and Mulholland had written on staff for The Tonight Show under Jack Paar and Johnny Carson and would go on to work for David Letterman on The Late Show.


5. BAY ENCOURAGED SMITH AND LAWRENCE TO IMPROVISE.

Even after the rewrites, Bay banked on the comedic prowess of his lead actors to keep the movie afloat. Many exchanges were born on set, especially the more contentious discussions. For instance, an early argument between their characters involving Lawrence’s slow driving escalated to a point of complete improv after Bay prompted Smith to taunt Lawrence. Additionally, one of the film’s best remembered jokes—Smith requesting a pack of Tropical Fruit Bubblicious immediately after disarming a gun-toting bodega cashier who assumed that he and Lawrence were robbing his store—was Smith’s idea.


6. THERE WAS ONE LINE SMITH (ALMOST) WOULDN’T DELIVER.

The movie’s conclusion features Smith’s uptight Mike Lowrey finally professing his affection for his partner and friend, Lawrence’s Marcus Burnett. The exchange very nearly never made it into the final cut, as Smith was opposed to saying, “I love you” to his screen partner. In light of an impending sunset, Bay initially acquiesced to Smith—albeit angrily—allowing him to perform the scene without the remark. Eventually, Bay coaxed Smith into delivering the line, and the final cut includes Mike telling Marcus he loves him.


7. SMITH KEPT HIS TOP ON.

In the 1990s, it was common for well-built leading men to deliver action sequences while wearing minimal clothing. Bay hoped to follow this trend by having Smith’s climactic running scene performed shirtless. However, Smith would only go so far as to do the scene in an unbuttoned dress shirt.


8. BAY’S MOTHER MADE HIM “CLEAN UP” THE FILM.

Bay screened the opening scene for his mother, Harriet, who was concerned about how much profanity the central duo used. To make his mom happy, Bay reedited the scene to omit a handful of the expletives. (Of course, there is still a ton of swearing in the final cut, so you can imagine how much bad language Harriet Bay had to sit through.)

9. THE VILLAINS’ AUTOMOBILE CRASHED OFF CAMERA.

Throughout the film, the villains drive a Shelby Cobra 427 (a staple of action movie antagonists). One stunt involved the car driving out of the back of an aircraft, which resulted in the Cobra crashing and incurring superficial damages. A number of scenes shot afterwards had to keep the car in tight close-up to hide these damages until a replacement Cobra could be procured.


10. LEONI GOT KNOCKED UNCONSCIOUS WITH AN AK-47 DURING SHOOTING.

She missed her mark, and Lawrence’s stunt double knocked her out.


11. BAY PAID $25,000 OF HIS OWN MONEY TO SHOOT THE FINAL ACTION SEQUENCE.

The studio refused to fund the explosions and shootouts Bay envisioned.


12. BAY HAS MANY QUALMS WITH THE FINAL PRODUCT.

Bay is unusually willing to speak with open vitriol about his past productions. Just as he has with Armageddon, for which he offered a public apology (that he quickly recanted) in 2013, Bay has gone on record about his dissatisfaction with the ultimate cut of Bad Boys. The director expresses dissatisfaction with a number of specific shots, including the car chase following the Club Hell sequence, and one shot in which a character is thrust from an exploding airplane.


13. THE FILM PRODUCED A HANDFUL OF SOPRANOS STARS.

Fans of the mafia series should immediately recognize two prominent supporting members of the Bad Boys cast: Smith and Lawrence’s characters’ precinct captain, played by Joe Pantoliano (known on The Sopranos as the wry and unstable Ralphie Cifaretto), and the pair’s drug-addicted informant Jojo, played by Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti, a major player on the HBO drama).

Bad Boys has a few less obvious connections with The Sopranos as well. Frank John Hughes, who plays criminal henchman Casper in the film, was a fixture of The Sopranos’ final season as Mafioso Walden Belfiore.

Additionally, The Sopranos featured Bad Boys actors Scott Cumberbatch (who plays Lawrence’s son) in a Season 1 episode of The Sopranos, and Shaun Toub (the bodega clerk who suspects Smith and Lawrence’s characters of robbing his store) in a Season 3 episode.


14. BAD BOYS’S BUDGET WAS JUST $19 MILLION.

His most expensive film, Transformers: Age of Extension, cost $210 million.


15. AT 118 MINUTES, IT IS BAY’S SHORTEST MOVIE BY FAR.

It’s the only of Bay’s directorial features to come in shy of two hours.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.