50 Awesome Facts about Hollywood Actors

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26Bill Murray

Bill Murray auditioned for the role of Sulley in Monsters, Inc., but the director, Pete Docter, said that when they decided to offer it to Murray, they were unable to track down the elusive actor because he had replaced his team of agents with a toll-free 1-800 number. They took that to mean "no".

27. Sir Anthony Hopkins is renowned for his ability to memorize lines. He did the 7 page Amistad courtroom speech in one take and usually has his co-actors practice with stand-ins. He then comes and does it in one take when they are fully ready.

28. Robert De Niro was so dedicated, to prepare for his roles, he actually gained 60 lbs for Raging Bull, lived in Sicily, Italy for The Godfather Part II, ground his teeth for Cape Fear, became a cab driver for Taxi Driver, and learned to play the saxophone for New York, New York.

29. Leonardo DiCaprio was named Leonardo because his pregnant mother was looking at a Leonardo da Vinci painting in a museum in Italy when he first kicked.

30. Johnny Depp dropped out of high school to become a rock musician, and when he attempted to go back to school two weeks later, the principal told him to follow his dream of being a musician.

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31Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson was set to star in a movie about Hawaiian warrior-king Kamehameha, but was pulled because he's Samoan, with the producer saying, "It would be a great taboo for the part to go to a nationality that was a fierce enemy of the Hawaiians during that time."

32. Will Smith's 'Hancock' was originally a script called Tonight He Comes, about a superhero alcoholic who could not make love because if he climaxed, he would kill a woman with the power of his climax.

33. Bill Paxton is one of only two actors ever to be killed by an Alien, the Terminator, and a Predator.

34. Actor Mark Ruffalo had a brain tumor removed in the early 2000's. This caused partial facial paralysis for several years.

35. Seth Rogen was considered too old to play the character he wrote based on himself in the movie “Superbad.” Jonah Hill was cast instead, despite being only a year and a half younger than Rogen.

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36Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan's family was so poor he was almost sold to a wealthy British Couple when he was still a baby.

37. Liam Neeson agreed to say any line that the writers of the Family Guy episode "Fighting Irish" wrote except one: "I’ve been a world-famous tough guy since 56", which he altered on the basis that he was 55 when he filmed Taken.

38. Arnold Schwarzenegger pays Warner Brothers $1 a year to keep his Mr. Freeze costume.

39. In 2015, Dwayne Johnson became an ordained minister in order to surprise a superfan by officiating at his wedding.

40. Mark Wahlberg was a violent racist bully in the 80's. He purposely yelled racial slurs and threw rocks at black people. He also beat a Vietnamese man in public.

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41Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman didn't appear in a movie until the age of 34 and didn't get a big role until he was 52, with Driving Miss Daisy and Glory.

42. After being asked about the success of Shaun of the Dead, Simon Pegg replied: "It's not like I'm going to run off and do Mission: Impossible III!". Two years later, he played the role of Benji in that exact film.

43. 14-year old Laurence Fishburne lied about his age to play a 17-year-old soldier in Apocalypse Now. Filming took so long that Fishburne was actually 17 years old when shooting wrapped.

44. When he was a child, Joseph Gordon-Levitt's parents bribed him into doing commercials with the promise that he would be able to buy anything he wanted with his earnings. His purchase of choice was his very own 'Street Fighter 2' arcade machine.

45. Bruce Willis dropped out of the Expendables 3 because he wanted $4 million instead of $3 million, for four days of work.

46Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix was born Joaquin Bottom. After his parents took his siblings and him out of the cult "the children of God" they renamed themselves Phoenix to symbolize a new beginning.

47. Bill Murray hated working on Groundhog Day and wouldn't return calls. When the crew convinced him to get a PA, he hired a deaf-mute who only knew sign language - which no one else knew, including Bill Murray.

48. In 2010, Chris Pratt joked about Steven Spielberg giving him the lead in Jurassic Park 4.

49. Harrison Ford had extensive knowledge of reptiles from his childhood participation in the Boy Scouts of America. This was jokingly reversed as a fear of snakes in his portrayal of Indiana Jones.

50. Edward Norton's first film role (American History X) ever earned him an Oscar nomination. He is also a Yale graduate that never went to an acting school.


  1. Primal Fear was Edward Norton’s first film, 2 years before American History X, opposite Richard Gere.

  2. I met Bill Murray once, downtown St. Paul, Minnesota. He and I were the only two people drinking at the Sawatdee bar on 9th and Robert Streets. (He is a co-owner of the Saint Paul Saints.) A very pleasant, shy man. He was very tired that afternoon. No entourage, no press agents, just him and his drink. We made pleasant small talk conversation. Nice guy.


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