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DID YOU READ

15 Booze-Soaked Facts About The Rum Diary

THE RUM DIARY, Johnny Depp, 2011. ph: Peter Mountain/©FilmDistrict/Courtesy Everett Collection

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Grab a bottle—or more—of your favorite booze and head down to the tropics with Hunter Thompson and Johnny Depp as we look at a few facts you may not have known about The Rum Diary.

1. IT’S BASED ON HUNTER S. THOMPSON’S SECOND NOVEL

A then 22-year-old Thompson wrote The Rum Diary in 1959, but it was abandoned until Johnny Depp found it among Thompson’s papers decades later. The book wasn’t officially published until 1998. Thompson’s first novel, entitled Prince Jellyfish, still remains unpublished.


2. THE BOOK AND MOVIE WERE SEMI-AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL (STRESS THE “SEMI”)

Many details—including Thompson’s position at the San Juan Star—were true.


3. IT’S THE SECOND TIME JOHNNY DEPP PLAYS A VERSION OF HUNTER THOMPSON

He played Thompson’s persona Raoul Duke in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.


4. IT’S THE THIRD TIME A VERSION OF THOMPSON HAS APPEARED IN A FILM

Bill Murray played a version of Thompson in the 1980 film Where the Buffalo Roam, which wasn’t specifically based on any of Thompson’s books.


5. IT’S THE HIGHEST GROSSING MOVIE ADAPTATION OF A THOMPSON WORK

The Rum Diary grossed over $13 million, while Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas made over $10 million and Where the Buffalo Roam made over $6 million.


6. THE DIRECTOR CAME OUT OF RETIREMENT TO MAKE THE FILM

Bruce Robinson, perhaps most well known for his 1987 semi-autobiographical film Withnail and I, hadn’t directed a film in 19 years before Depp convinced him to direct The Rum Diary.


7. THE MOVIE CAUSED ROBINSON TO BREAK HIS SOBRIETY

The director was sober for six-and-a-half years before he began drinking again while writing the script for the movie.


8. IT WENT THROUGH MANY VARIATIONS

The movie finally got made after seven years in development. At points throughout the process Nick Nolte, Josh Hartnett, and Benicio del Toro were all attached to star alongside Depp. In fact, it was supposed to be del Toro’s directorial debut before Robinson was ultimately chosen.

9. THERE WEREN’T ANY HOLLYWOOD SETS…

The film shot entirely on location in Puerto Rico.


10. …SO THEY HAD TO DEAL WITH MOTHER NATURE

Despite the beautiful tropical setting, uncharacteristically bad weather delayed many shooting days throughout production. The carnival scene, which included over 500 extras, had to be shot twice.


11. DEPP LOVED PUERTO RICO SO MUCH HE WENT BACK AGAIN WITH ANOTHER BIGGER MOVIE

He requested that portions of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides be shot on the island based on his positive experiences shooting there on The Rum Diary. (Though The Rum Diary was released after Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, it was shot and completed before).


12. THE MOVIE EVENTUALLY LED TO A WEDDING

Depp and Amber Heard, who would marry in 2015, met on the Rum Diary set.


13. AMBER HEARD WASN’T THE FIRST CHOICE TO PLAY CHENAULT

Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley were considered for the part.


14. HUNTER S. THOMPSON WAS ON SET IN SPIRIT

While Thompson died in 2005, Depp and Robinson stipulated that a chair with his name on it as well as a script and a full glass of Chivas Regal rum (Thompson’s favorite drink) had to be present on set every day.


15. A FAMOUS IMAGE FROM THE MOVIE ISN’T AS IT SEEMS

The black and white image of Thompson that appears at the end of the movie, and appears on the book cover of The Rum Diary, is of the author on Palm Beach in Aruba—not Puerto Rico.

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Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…