Here are 15 memorable scenes from famous movies which came to existence by improvising at the moment.
1. Willy Wonka’s entrance, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Gene Wilder accepted the role of Willy Wonka on the condition that he got to add his surprise entrance to the film. In letters to the director he explained his reasoning: “From that time on, no one will know if I’m lying or telling the truth.”
2. The chest-waxing scene, The 40-Year-Old Virgin(2005)
The whole chest-waxing scene was completely authentic – it was Steve Carell’s first time being waxed and every single swearword was a genuine response to the pain.
3. The jewellery box close, Pretty Woman (1990)
In an interview, Pretty Woman director Garry Marshall revealed that Richard Gere’s snap of the necklace box wasn’t planned, hence Julia Roberts’s reaction.
4. Aragorn screaming, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
When Aragorn kicks a helmet out of frustration he lets out a roar that was actually the result of actor Viggo Mortensen breaking his toe.
5. The rubber duck scene, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
Mark Williams changed the line with every take, Chris Rankin (Percy Weasley) said, but it was always hilarious. “We did that scene about 13 or 14 times,” Rankin said, “and every time it was something else.”
6. Voldemort’s final speech, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011)
Ralph Fiennes changed his speech for every rehearsal so the reaction from the rest of the cast would be different for each take.
7. “Keeping it real”, Clueless (1995)
Donald Faison heard the term from a neighbour and thought, Oh. That’s what the kids are saying now?
8. “Big-ass forehead”, Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
In an interview Ludacris talked about Dwayne Johnson’s ad-libbed burn. “We do a lot of different takes and a lot of our ideas make it into the movie,” he said. “At the end of Fast Six when I spit out my drink and laugh at The Rock’s comments to Tyrese, I’d whispered to him to joke on Tyrese.”
9. “You’re gonna need a bigger boat”, Jaws (1975)
The iconic line, which had a huge role to play in making the film famous, was actually unscripted.
10. “But why male models?”, Zoolander (2001)
After David Duchovny’s speech about the corruption of the modelling world, Ben Stiller forgot his line and asked “Why male models?” again. Stiller confirmed this in a Reddit AMA.
11. “I’m walking here!”, Midnight Cowboy (1969)
The famous line was a result of Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight filming in real life traffic and a cab getting in the way. Hoffman told Vanity Fair: “So I said, ‘I’m walking here,’ meaning, ‘We’re shooting a scene here, and this is the first time we ever got it right, and you have fucked us up.’”
12. “You talking to me?”, Taxi Driver (1976)
Robert De Niro was only given a vague outline of what to say. According to the film’s writer, Paul Schrader, the script just said, “Bickle speaks to himself in the mirror.”
13. The party scene, Ghostbusters (1984)
Director Ivan Reitman told Rolling Stone that actor Rick Moranis brought all his own ideas to the scene: “Rick just made all of it up as he was doing it.”
14. “Here’s Johnny”, The Shining (1980)
In Kubrick: The Definitive Edition, Jack Nicholson admits to borrowing the improvised line from The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
15. The tears-in-rain monologue, Blade Runner (1982)
This scene, considered one of the most moving in history, was rewritten and largely improvised by actor Rutger Hauer, it was revealed in the documentary On the Edge of Blade Runner.