The Most Famous Ad Libs In Movies
Having a great script is a large part of the battle when it comes to making a great movie. However, an excellent cast is also an essential ingredient for the potion. Great actors will always add their own flavor and instincts to their character and the movie as a whole. This is where the magic truly happens – when the actors have some fun and improvise their lines to make something good into something that everyone will remember.
In fact, some of the most memorable lines in the history of film come from the actors ad libbing on set and in the moment.
Who hasn’t got onto a boat and yelled “I’m the king of the world”? Since the movie Titanic came out back in 1997, many a person has had the urge to do so and probably followed through if they could. The truth is, this moment of sheer joy from Leonardo DiCaprio’s character was an on-the-spot feeling that the actor just went with. The director, James Cameron, liked it so much that the moment made the Oscar-winning final cut.
We all know the punchline, but most of us don’t actually remember the reference of the famous line “Here’s Johnny”. As Jack Nicholson sticks his head through the door he has just ripped a whole in with an axe in this 1980 classic, the actor apparently improvised a number of different lines. Stanley Kubrick, the director, wasn’t sure what would work best and played around with the actor on different ideas for lines in that moment. The option that made it into the film was a reference to the Johnny Carson Show’s catchphrase.
Great improvisation has been going on since movies began and the 1942 epic Casablanca is a classic example. In that dreamy setting with the tragic yet hopeful ending, Humphrey Bogart turns to Ingrid Bergman and says, “Here’s looking at you, kid.” It was the perfect line for the moment. However, it was not in the script. Bogart had apparently used the line earlier in the day when he was playing poker with Bergman and felt it would be ideal for the film. He was definitely right.
The Empire Strikes Back
It’s a love story for the ages and it comes with some serious sass and cockiness from Harrison Ford. In the second instalment of the original Star Wars Trilogy, the character Han Solo was meant to reply to Princess Leiea’s outburst of “I love you” with “I love you too”. However, the actor decided his character would not say that and replied with “I know”.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has a long history of ad libbing by their big stars. One of the funniest and quintessential character moments came from Thor himself. When he unexpectedly met the Hulk on an alien planet, the demi-god told the crowd that they knew each other and Hulk was “a friend from work”. The line was definitely not in the script.