12 Scenes Proving That Good Movies and Series Thrive on Improvisation
Every movie and TV series starts with a script, but filming is a collaborative process. During the project, actors and directors find more elements to add to the final product, often finding inspiration on the fly.
Here at CHEERY, we decided to look back at some of the most inventive improvisations from recent years. The talent of these people gives us chills! How can they create something so great?
Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
The meeting between the 3 Spider-Men was the best gift for fans of any age. During the final scene, even the sternest of fans couldn’t stop crying. But this scene was unscripted. The original hug happened in between the takes, when Tom came up to Tobey and Andrew to thank them for their work. The guys started crying, and the director and producer were inspired and added this scene to the movie.
House of Gucci (2021)
Even those who haven’t seen House of Gucci know from the trailer that Lady Gaga’s character prays in the film, saying “Father, son, and House of Gucci.” This iconic line wasn’t scripted. The actress said that she and Jared improvised on set. The phrase was so fitting that the creators decided to keep it in the final version.
Don’t Look Up (2021)
The film Don’t Look Up brought the finest actors of Hollywood together. Of course, such a talented group of people couldn’t live without improvisations. In the film, the question “What if we have to go to the bathroom?” was supposed to be left unanswered. But Jonah Hill couldn’t keep silent. He said, “We’ll lay out some newspaper for you.” The director thought this line was so good that it deserved to be in the film.
This role in Joker got Joaquin Phoenix his Oscar, but very few people know that the actor was actually crying in one of the most emotional scenes. That day, Joaquin got a chance to listen to the original score for the film. The music really moved him, and he even shed a tear. Fortunately, this moment was captured on camera, and it was included in the film.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
In the roof scene, Brad Pitt takes off his clothes and remains topless. The director of the film, Quentin Tarantino, says that the original script had a different version of the scene. Pitt’s character was supposed to unbutton the shirt slowly and only then take off the T-shirt. The actor decided to do it faster and Tarantino thought it looked so good that he included it in the film.
Even before the film was released, one of the scenes with Jared Leto went viral and became a meme. In the trailer, he says he is Venom, and then he adds, “I’m just kidding. It’s Dr. Michael Morbius, at your service.” Later, the actor explained that he made this line up. The improvisation seemed so funny that they actually used it.
Free Guy (2021)
Taika Waititi played a small role as the silly boss in Free Guy, but he made of the most of his time there. He was joking on set all the time, and thanks to his improvisation, a title for the sequel of the film was made up. In the scenes where Taika’s character is talking about sequels, he throws out the phrase “Albuquerque boiled turkey.” The director of the film, Shawn Levy, and Ryan Reynolds both thought it was the best title for a sequel.
Sometimes, improvisation can get kind of philosophical. This happened in Eternals. In one of the scenes, Ajak (Salma Hayek) advises Thena (Angelina Jolie) not to listen to her head. In an interview, Hayek said that this line wasn’t in the original script. It appeared on its own during a very emotional rehearsal. The actresses were both so deep into the drama of their characters that they couldn’t stop crying.
Black Widow (2021)
It’s so fun to watch Florence Pugh’s character, Yelena, make fun of Black Widow’s pose. But did you know this joke wasn’t scripted? When they were working on the stunts, the stunt doubles explained to Pugh that the way Natasha lands is actually dangerous and unhealthy. In real life, it would lead to multiple bone fractures. So, Pugh started joking about this pose, and some of those jokes made it to the film.
Stranger Things (2016-present)
There have been a lot of talented actors on the set of Stranger Things. So, of course, there were some improvisations. In the supermarket, the main character Eleven was supposed to take 2 packs of waffles, but actress Millie Bobby Brown decided to make the scene more dramatic and took as many packs as she could carry. The director liked the idea and used it in the final cut.
Kevin’s performance in one of the music episodes was pretty electric already, but the kiss with Archie made it even spicier. The actors Casey Cott and KJ Apa decided not to warn the Riverdale cast and crew about the improvisation, so that everyone would be genuinely surprised on-camera. And this is exactly what happened, so we got to see the scene in the series.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Margot Robbie surprised everyone during her audition when she decided not to follow the script and refused to kiss DiCaprio. Thanks to her bold improvisation, Margot got her part in The Wolf of Wall Street. The director of the film, Martin Scorsese, was so impressed with Margot’s decisiveness that he hired her right away. He also added the passionate argument scene into the script.
In your everyday life, do you prefer to improvise or follow a prepared plan? Which of these improvisations impressed you the most?