This film was made over a 17-year period. The Roberto Benigni and Steven Wright segment was filmed in 1986. The Tom Waits and Iggy Pop segment was shot in 1995.
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Jim Jarmusch shot the scene in which Cate Blanchett plays a double role on two different days, to give Blanchett time to transform her appearance and character.
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Tom Waits improvised his excuse for being late for his rendezvous with Iggy Pop. In it he explains that he had to perform "roadside surgery" to deliver a baby in the back of a car. Waits is known for toying with journalists and is fond of altering his place of birth (barn, elevator, etc.). In one such interview he claimed to have been born in the back of a taxi cab.
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Jim Jarmusch usually took no more than two to three takes for each scene in this film, in which most actors improvised parts of the conversation.
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As Jim Jarmusch, together with Tom Waits and John Lurie, is a member of the Lee Marvin look-alike club "Sons of Lee Marvin", a portrait is hanging over The White Stripes during the "Tesla" section.
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Because they are very health-conscious, RZA and The GZA (credited as GZA) do not drink coffee. So they are drinking tea in the film.
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In the "Those Things'll Kill Ya" there is, hanging on the wall, a picture of Henry Silva, famous for his portrayals of gangsters and evil characters. Silva played a mob boss in Jarmusch's Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999).
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Jack White and Meg White from the "Tesla" segment formerly performed together as the sole members of The White Stripes.
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Due to the structure of the film (11 separate vignettes), each cast member appears on screen for a short time. Coincidentally, many of the film's actors are well known for making cameo appearances. Bill Murray and Steve Buscemi are notable examples of this trend.
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