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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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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…