Sometimes there are unplanned moments where things turn out even better than we expected. When shooting a movie, there are scenes that, although unscripted, work out really well and sometimes become iconic.
10. Pretty Woman — the jewelry box
This became one of the most famous scenes from the film. Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) presents Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) with a gorgeous and rather expensive diamond necklace. As Roberts reaches out to touch the precious jewels, Gere — in an unscripted playful moment — quickly snaps the box shut, genuinely surprising her.
Her laugh was so honest and the scene was so good that the director decided to leave it in the film.
9. The 40-Year-Old Virgin — the chest-waxing scene
The whole chest-waxing scene was completely authentic. It was Steve Carell’s first time being waxed, and every single swear word was a genuine response to the pain.
8. Dumb and Dumber — the hitchhiking scene
The entire scene was improvised. Carrey and Daniels ended up performing a whole bunch of craziness in addition to the original script.
7. Bridesmaids — in the airplane
The airplane scene where McCarthy aggressively flirts with “Air Marshall John” was all her. Ben Falcone, who played John, is McCarthy’s real-life husband. He said he ruined most of the takes by laughing at each new grotesque come-on McCarthy would put out.
6. Ghostbusters (2016) — the interview
Hemsworth’s first scene in the film where his character interviewed for a receptionist job was almost completely made up on the spot. Writer Katie Dippold said they had to take the lenses out of Kevin’s glasses because they were too reflective for the camera. Then, when Hemsworth absentmindedly rubbed his eye through the frames, Melissa McCarthy called him out, and Hemsworth just went with it, claiming he took them out on purpose so he wouldn’t have to clean them anymore.
5. Annie Hall — the sneeze
The script called for an entirely different scene. But when Woody Allen’s allergic reaction to the powder brought on one of the funniest sneezes of all time, the cast could barely keep it together. Allen agreed that this was much better and kept it in the final cut of the film.
4. This Is 40 — in the bed
Rudd’s fart scene was unscripted, but he thought it was appropriate for the character and the scene. Mann and the rest of the crew were not pleased.
3. Knocked Up — the car ride
The entire dialogue was improvised by the 2 actors. In the DVD extras, it runs for over 6 minutes. Rogen and Rudd first came up with the mindless idea on the set of 2005’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin in the 30-second “Know how I know you’re gay?” scene. They later decided to continue the joke in Knocked Up. Comedy maestro Judd Apatow, who was the director and screenwriter for both projects, was confident in letting both guys run with their own creativity.
2. Good Will Hunting — “My wife used to fart in her sleep”
When playing psychologist Sean Maguire, Williams told stories which ended up helping Will trust him more and let down his walls a bit. The story that really sticks is one about his late wife’s idiosyncrasies, specifically how she would fart in her sleep. That story was made up and filmed in one take (you can even see the camera shake a bit from the cameraman’s laughter). Matt Damon’s reaction was completely real.
1. Zoolander — “But why male models?”
After David Duchovny’s speech about the corruption of the modeling world, Ben Stiller forgot his line and asked, “Why male models?“ again.
Ben Stiller confirmed: ”I literally was listening to what David Duchovny said, and I’m not really that much smarter than the character of Derek, and I honestly forgot. I hadn’t followed what he was saying, I said it again and got my lines wrong, and David (who’s a very funny guy) improvised the ’Are you serious? I just explained that.’ Which just goes to show you that Derek and I are actually closer than you might think.”
Bonus: This Is 40 — the bra scene
Another scene from This Is 40 actually was in the script, but the film’s director, Judd Apatow, is uncomfortable asking actresses to disrobe on camera. Therefore, the scene with Megan Fox stripping down to her underwear was only made easier by her own comfort level with her body.