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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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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.

Uncle-Buck

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…