Boogie Nights Julianne Moore Mark Wahlberg

Funky Facts

10 Things You Might Not Know About Boogie Nights

Flashback with Boogie Nights this month on IFC.

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Boogie Nights might be considered a classic now, but when the script first hit Hollywood, no one knew what to make of it. Paul Thomas Anderson had one film under his belt (the gambling drama Hard Eight), which, while critically acclaimed, wasn’t exactly a hit. When this magnum opus full of porn, sex and drugs made the rounds, it left more than a few execs and actors scratching their heads. So how did Boogie Nights go from a risky script to one of the great films of its time? Here are ten facts that might help explain how it all went down. Can you dig it?


10. Being Good At Acting Bad Isn’t Easy.

New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema

Before shooting on the film began, director Paul Thomas Anderson gathered the entire cast, and warned them that acting badly during the porno scenes would be hard for such a talented group. He made it a challenge, pitting them against each other to see who could act the worst, and eventually declared Julianne Moore the winner of the unofficial contest. But really, doesn’t Julianne Moore win every acting contest?


9. Leo Decided He’d Rather Go Down With The Ship, Than Go Down On, Well, Y’Know…

20th Century Fox

20th Century Fox

Leonardo DiCaprio was Paul Thomas Anderson’s first choice to play Dirk Diggler, but turned the part down to star in a little movie called Titanic. Fortunately, he was coming off of The Basketball Diaries with Mark Wahlberg, and suggested his friend for the part. While things seemed to work out for the both of them, Leo did admit in 2010 that “my biggest regret is Boogie Nights. I’m a huge fan of Paul Thomas Anderson, but the first time I met him for that role I hadn’t really seen much of his previous work. Now I love that movie.”


8. Even P.T. Anderson’s Spelling Errors Are Genius.

New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema

T.T. Rodriguez, played by Luis Guzman, gets a happy ending of sorts in the movie, opening up a nightclub with his brothers. Unfortunately, they appear to have misspelled their own name on the club’s sign, which reads “Rodriquz.” This error, it turns out, was because Anderson misspelled the word in the screenplay, and everyone just went along with it. The director found the mess up funny, and decided to just roll with it.


7. Sam Jackson Didn’t Want No Mother F’in Part In No Mother F’in Movie About Porn.

LucasFilm

LucasFilm

Samuel L. Jackson, who had just worked with Anderson in Hard Eight, was offered the part of Buck Swope, but didn’t get it, according to the director. In fact, his exact quote upon reading the script was,”what the hell is this?” He promptly passed, and the role went to Don Cheadle who delivered a career-making performance.


6. Burt Reynolds and P.T. Anderson Hated Each Other More Than Smokey And The Bandit.

New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema

Burt Reynolds and P.T. Anderson didn’t see eye to eye very often. In fact, Burt used an Irish accent on the first day of shooting for no clear reason, and once threw a punch at the director. Reynolds actually told GQ, “Personality-wise, we didn’t fit…I think mostly because he was young and full of himself. Every shot we did, it was like the first time. I remember the first shot we did in Boogie Nights, where I drive the car to Grauman’s Theater. After he said, ‘Isn’t that amazing?’ And I named five pictures that had the same kind of shot. It wasn’t original. But if you have to steal, steal from the best.” After he saw a cut of the film, Reynolds tried to fire his agent for talking him into doing it. He would go on to receive an Oscar nomination for his work in the film, and then never star in anything worthwhile again.


5. P.T. Anderson Loves A Good Star Wars Reference.

New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema

The character of Buck Swope, played by Don Cheadle in the film, had a dream, and that was to sell stereo equipment. But what most fans didn’t notice was that he also dreamed of Star Wars, at least when it came to audio equipment. At one point in the film, he requests “the TK-421 special modification.” TK-421 is the name of the Stormtrooper ambushed by Luke Skywalker and Han Solo in the 1977 classic.


4. Even “The Touch” Composer Was Shocked When Dirk and Reed Performed His Song.

Count Vince DiCola, the composer of “The Touch,” among those who were shocked to see his anthem, first recorded for 1986’s Transformers: The Movie, turn up in an R-rated movie about the world of porn. In a DVD extra for the kid’s cartoon, he talks about the surprise, saying the first thing he did was call Stan Bush, who sang the original version, to have a laugh.


3. Julianne Moore Doesn’t Need Direction.

New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema

Anderson says he only gave Julianne Moore one piece of direction throughout the entire shoot. During an intense scene Moore shares with Heather Graham, acting as a surrogate mother while snorting copious amounts of cocaine, she repeats the line, “too many things,” over and over again. He wanted her to say it one more time. That’s it. Otherwise, he was so impressed with her performance, he left her alone.


2. Alfred Molina Is Unflappable, Even When You Set Off Fireworks.

New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema

Alfred Molina wore an earpiece blasting “Sister Christian” during his climatic scene in the film. As a result, unlike the other actors in the scene, he never flinches as fireworks are being set off just behind him.


1. Boogie Nights Originated Because P.T. Anderson Watched A Lot Of Porn.

New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema

Boogie Nights began as a short film called “The Dirk Diggler Story” that Paul Thomas Anderson made when he was just 17 as a spoof of the porn films he was admittedly watching a lot of at the time. He later adapted it into a mockumentary style feature script, in the vein of Spinal Tap, before completely reworking it into the classic film we can’t stop watching today.

Want more Boogie Nights? See what it would look like as a kung-fu flick below. 

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.