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Poll: Hollywood's Greatest Untold Stories

Entertainment Weekly magazine recently devoted an entire issue to "Hollywood's Great Untold Stories" - a behind-the-scenes look at entertainment's unpublicized occurrences, everything from alternative film titles to rejected TV plotlines.

We've shared some of the juicier stories below. Which do you find most interesting?

Discuss the list here

Make Your Choice

  1. Vote!
     

    Mickey Rooney c. 1967

    Mickey Rooney could have been Archie Bunker on All in the Family (1971). All in the Family creator Norman Lear explains, "I called his manager, and he said, 'Oh, Mickey happens to be in the office. Why don't you talk to him!' And I said, 'No, no, this is a character I would rather talk to him about and then have him read,' and he said, 'No, no, no.' Anyway, before I know it, Mickey [was on the phone] talking about himself in the third person. 'You got the Mick!' 'Mickey is gonna be out there, can I see you out there? I'll be out there Tuesday.' 'You got something for the Mick, just tell him!' I said, 'Well, he's a bigot, he'll say spics and spades and hebes' — and he said, 'Norm, they're gonna kill you. They're gonna shoot you dead in the streets.' I can never forget this speech. 'You wanna do something with the Mick? Listen to this: Vietnam vet. Private eye. Short. Blind. Large dog.'"
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    Paul Rudd and Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids (2011)

    Paul Rudd was edited out of Bridesmaids (2011). Rudd and Kristin Wiig's Annie go out on a blind date. He seems perfect until he freaks out at a kid following a mishap on the ice skating rink. The performance was reportedly hilarious but was cut for time since the film was running long and the sequence didn't further the main storyline.
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    Henry Thomas in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

    Elliott's principal in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) was Harrison Ford. After the frog riot and his kiss with his blonde crush, Elliott was sent to the principal's office to receive a scolding from Spielberg's friend and frequent collaborator Harrison Ford. Ford's soon-to-be wife at the time, Melissa Mathison, wrote the script for ET so when Ford was visiting the set one day he got roped into a cameo. The scene was ultimately cut as Spielberg felt it put too much focus on an adult.
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    Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990)

    The creation of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990) happened lightening fast. DJ Jazzy Jeff breaks it down: "We had a day off. Will said, 'Hey, I got to jump a plane to L.A. because they want me to read for a TV show.' Twenty-four hours later, he came back and was like, 'Hey, I just got a TV show.' We literally went into the studio and made the theme song in about 15 minutes. One of the things Will used to always say is the hardest part to come up with for a song is the concept, but the concept behind the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was already laid out. I ended up just going in and programming some music, and he wrote something and laid it down. I did rough mix and sent it in, and in about three weeks it was on NBC. In my mind, it was just kind of like, 'Oh my God, so that's how it works? It's that easy?'"
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    Idina Menzel in Frozen (2013)

    Frozen (2013) could have gone in several different directions. Originally Elsa and Anna weren't even sisters and Elsa froze her own heart after being stood up at the altar. Also the ending was written and rewritten many times and included in different iterations a battle between snowmen and guards and Prince Hans causing an avalanche aimed to crush Arendelle. Producer Peter Del Vecho explains, "The problem was, [the audience] didn't care about Elsa because she had spent the whole movie being the villain. So Elsa became a much more sympathetic character, and instead of the traditional good-versus-evil theme, we had one that we felt was more relatable: that love is stronger than fear."
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    Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Segel, and Josh Radnor in How I Met Your Mother (2005)

    Casting for a long-forgotten sitcom led to hiring the three lead actors from How I Met Your Mother (2005). Longtime casting director Jeff Greenburg saw 637 women and 336 men for roles in the short-lived comedy Four Kings, including Jessica Chastain, Busy Phillips, Krysten Ritter, Channing Tatum, Sebastian Stan and Max Greenfield. He also saw Neil Patrick Harris, Josh Radnor and Jason Segel; "How I Met Your Mother (2005) was casting at the same time, and I wisely plucked all three."
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    Allison Janney and Mark Pellegrino in Lost (2004)

    But for lack of airfare Lost (2004) might have ended with a volcano and not a cave of light. Co-creator Carlton Cuse got the idea to have Jack and John (aka the Smoke Monster) have their final battle on a volcano, strengthening the metaphor of the island as a cork holding in all the evil of the world, sort of like a geographic Pandora's Box. But ABC said it would be too expensive to fly the whole cast and crew from Oahu to the Big Island, where the volcanic landscape is located.
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    Mark Harmon and Lisa Hartman in The Love Boat (1977)

    Life was a party for not just the guests of The Love Boat (1977) but some of the writers too. Says Lee Aronsohn, "One of my fondest memories was how I actually got to go on one of the first cruises in Alaska. I sat on a glacier shorting cocaine with your cruise director, Julie McCoy. Nobody minded in those days, as long as you were getting your job done." Aronsohn, who later co-created Two and a Half Men, remembers, "For a while I thought that was going to be on my tombstone—that my only accomplishment in life was that I created the character of the captain's bastard daughter, Vicki, on The Love Boat."
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    Julia Roberts and Rupert Everett in My Best Friend's Wedding (1997)

    At the end of My Best Friend's Wedding (1997), Julia Roberts's Julianne danced her last dance with a guy she met at the wedding, played by John Corbett. After showing the original cut to test audiences a studio exec asked director PJ Hogan, "What are you going to do to save this movie?" The test audiences hated it and especially despised Roberts' character so eight months after the end of the original filming period Roberts and Rupert Everett were back to shoot those film-saving scenes. With more scenes of Everett's George woven in throughout the film and his appearance at the wedding reception viewers knew Julianne couldn't be all that bad. George's love humanized her.
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    Olivia Newton-John and Rod Stewart in The Music for UNICEF Concert: A Gift of Song (1979)

    Olivia Newton-John's mega-hit Physical was written for Rod Stewart. While it would probably be interesting to hear Rod's raspy whine croaking out lines like, "Let me hear your body talk," it doesn't take much effort to imagine Rod in the signature ultra-tight costume Olivia wore—pants that shiny and tight were a staple in Stewart's wardrobe at that time.
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    Bruce Willis in Pulp Fiction (1994)

    The "Gimp" scene almost sounded very very different. Though Quentin Tarantino wanted to use The Knack's My Sharona as the soundtrack to Zed's violation of Marcellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction (1994), the band had other options. The makers of Reality Bites, which executive producer Stacey Sher was also working on at the same time, also wanted to use Sharona so The Knack's Doug Fieger had a choice to make. My Sharona ended up playing at the gas station dance party. "He loved the notion of this sweet moment commemorating the person [the real-life Sharona] that he always loved very much," says Sher.
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    Marlene Dietrich in Shanghai Express (1932)

    Freddie Mercury as Marlene Dietrich? When photographer Mick Rock was preparing to shoot the cover of Queen's second album, he was inspired by still photographs from Dietrich's Shanghai Express (1932). The layout of the now-classic album cover ended up being duplicated in the video for Bohemian Rhapsody. Rock remembers, "I showed the picture to Freddie and he bought into it—I'm not sure if it was the shot itself or that he saw himself as Marlene Dietrich."
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    Danny Lloyd, Barry Nelson, and Robin Pappas in The Shining (1980)

    The Shining (1980) ended with Wendy and Danny in the hospital. The two are visited by the hotel's manager who hands Danny the same ball that was previously rolled to him by unknown forces from room 237. Director Stanley Kubrick excised the scene after critics reported the film was too confusing.
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    Kristen Bell and Enrico Colantoni in Veronica Mars (2004)

    Veronica Mars (2004) started as an evil, friendless boy?!?? Veronica was first written as a loner teen named Keith (the name was, of course, used for Veronica's PI dad). This character used his mad detecting skills for messing with, rather than helping, other people; creator Rob Thomas used the motto, "Information is power" in the show proposal. One other detail: no Neptune High—the main character lived in a wealthy suburb of Austin, TX.

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