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About Schmidt (2002) Poster

(2002)

Trivia

When Jack Nicholson received the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama, he commented afterward, "I'm a little surprised. I thought we had made a comedy."
When Jack Nicholson met Alexander Payne to discuss his role, Payne had a one-sentence directive for him; it was "Jack, I want you to play a small man."
The Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society is an actual organization. Jack Nicholson filmed his scenes at the company's offices and was given a plaque making him an honorary Woodmen member.
The film's plot involves the children's charity "Childreach". Since 2002, the year of the film's release, the organization has referenced the film and featured its poster in its literature for prospective child sponsors.
The shot where Schmidt has dozed off while writing a letter in his bathtub is supposed to resemble the Jacques-Louis David painting "Death of Marat".
The word "Ndugu" means "brother" literally in Kiswahili (same as Swahili). It is also used as slang for "friend" as in the US.
Listed on a cinema marquee: (Left) Closed for repairs / (Right) Sideways (2004), the next movie directed by Alexander Payne.
The production crew created a lifetime Endowed Scholarship for the real-life Ndugu, Abdallah Mtulu, through the real Childreach organization.
Melissa Hanna, who plays "Dairy Queen Employee", is an actual employee of the Dairy Queen in Omaha, Nebraska where her scene was filmed.
The word Warren finds when doing the puzzle in his study is "Vassal" the solution to the puzzle is "Tabs on the tabs".
Scenes supposedly taking place at the University of Kansas were actually shot at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln.
A scene that echoes Jack Nicholson's famous diner scene in Five Easy Pieces (1970) (his exchange with the waitress) was in an early cut of the movie in which Schmidt concedes in a cowardly fashion to the dictates of the waitress. Though the preview audience went wild over it, director Alexander Payne cut it from the final film because he felt that the scene was too much of a pointed reference to Nicholson's iconography and that something so referential took the audience out of the film.
Once the filmmakers bought the rights to the Louis Begley novel, they kept the title and the main character but changed just about everything else. In the book, the main character lived in the Hamptons and his daughter was about to marry a lawyer.
Thomas Haden Church was originally considered for Randall.
The exterior shots of the "fraternity house" are of the actual Delta Delta Delta house at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Len Cariou plays Ray and Angela Lansbury narrates the Childreach commercial. They played Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett respectively in the original Broadway version of the musical "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street."
Miriam Margolyes turned down the part played by Kathy Bates
The person Warren listens to on his car stereo is famous conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
The church shown during the wedding rehearsal is in Boulder, Colorado, 20 miles northwest of Denver. The church can be seen on the right from Hwy. 36 just as you enter town.
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The scene where Warren is swinging on the monkey bars was filmed at Steinhart Park, in Nebraska City, Nebraska.
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The movie theater that Warren drives by before he goes to the museum to look at the arrowheads is the Pioneer 3 in Nebraska City, Nebraska. The "museum" is a Civil War museum in the same town, just down the street.
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Other actors were also in the movie but cut before release. These were (with their character names): Tim Driscoll (Grocery Store Manager) and Jeff Morris (Farmer at Gas Station).
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Nationally syndicated political cartoonist Jeff Koterba had a walk-on role in the film; however, it was cut from the final version.
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For the role of Roberta Hertzel, Shirley Jones was considered but lost the part to Kathy Bates.
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