30 Times Viewers Were Impressed By Actors’ Amazing Unscripted Performances

Published 3 years ago

Every great actor will tell you that simply memorizing the script is not enough to put on an impressive performance. In fact, there are times when delivering an outstanding performance involves forgetting the script altogether – and believe it or not, some of the most memorable scenes in Hollywood history were completely ad-libbed.

Today we’d like to introduce you to some incredible unscripted performances from well-known movies that left the viewers absolutely amazed. Check them out in the gallery below, and who knows – maybe you’ll find some of your own favorite movies in this list!

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#1 In Monty Python’s Life Of Brian The Soldier’s Reaction During The Famous Biggus Dickus Scene Is Completely Genuine. He Was An Extra Who Had Been Told Simply Not To Laugh And Had No Idea What Was About To Happen

Image source: swild92

#2 In Die Hard (1988), When Filming Gruber’s Death Scene, Rickman Was Told He Would Be Dropped On The Count Of Three. The Director Counted To Two Before Dropping Him, Making His Reaction Genuine

Image source: Jwgt32

#3 In Rocky (1976), When He Runs Through The Italian Marketplace, The People’s Amused Expressions As They Look On Is Genuine, As They Had No Idea Why A Man Was Running Back And Forth Being Followed By A Van. The Man Who Throws Him The Orange Was Completely Improvised

Image source: Chief_DaVinci

#4 In The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (2005), When Lucy First Enters Narnia, Her Reaction Is Genuine. The Director Purposefully Never Showed His Actress The Set. He Also Did The Same With Edmund’s Actor

Image source: Tokyono

#5 In The Fugitive [1993], Harrison Ford (Playing The Framed Dr. Kimble) Was Not Provided A Script For The Interrogation Scene. His Answers And Mounting Frustration With The Detectives Were Improvised In Order To Seem More Genuine

Image source: chefr89

#6 Et Was Filmed In Chronological Order And None Of The Kids Had Seen The Puppet Before Filming, So Their First Impressions Were Totally Real

Image source: Universal Pictures

#7 For The Chestburster Scene In Alien (1979) The Effects Used To Achieve The Scene Were Deliberately Kept Secret From The Actors Who’s Reactions Of Surprise And Shock Were Completely Genuine

Image source: Stonewalled89

#8 In Django Unchained, Leo Dicaprio Accidentally Cut His Hand Open But Kept Acting. Between Takes, They Cleaned It Up And Replaced The Real Blood With Fake Blood, Which He Smeared All Over Kerry Washington’s Face

Image source: The Weinstein Company

Leo said that the cast and crew gave him a standing ovation after the scene was finished, and he kept acting in the scene because “it was more interesting to watch Quentin’s and Jamie’s reaction off-camera than to look at my hand.”

#9 Julia Roberts, ‘Pretty Woman’ – Richard Gere Unexpectedly Snapped The Jewelry Box Shut, And Her Surprise Was Real

Image source: Buena Vista Pictures

#10 The Lineup Actors, ‘The Usual Suspects’ – Benicio Del Toro Kept Farting During Filming And The Actors’ Laughter Made It Into The Final Cut

Image source: Gramercy Pictures

#11 In The Dark Knight (2008), Joker Is Constantly Licking His Lips. This Is Actually Because Of The Prosthetic Scars That Heath Ledger Wore. They Kept Falling Off, So Heath Would Lick His Lips To Keep Them In Place. Gradually, It Became A Part Of The Joker’s Character

Image source: Russian_Bagel

#12 Dustin Hoffman, ‘Midnight Cowboy’ – ‘Hey, I’m Walkin’ Here!’ Was His Reaction To Real New York Traffic

Image source: United Artists

#13 When Julia Stiles Read Her Poem At The End Of Ten Things I Hate About You (1999) It Was Done In One Take And She Wasn’t Supposed To Start Crying

Image source: klsi832

#14 “Now You See Me”

Image source: https://www.lionsgate.com/

In the movie Now You See Me, Isla Fisher’s character performs a magic trick that requires her to be in a tank underwater that she needs to escape from. In the scene, she struggles and starts to drown, unable to get out. While filming the scene, Isla was actually in the tank, and she wasn’t pretending to drown — she was actually drowning. Her release chain got stuck on her costume, and she wasn’t able to get out quickly. Everyone thought she was just acting really well, however, she was actually panicking, struggling to get out of the tank for nearly three minutes before she was rescued.

#15 Steve Carell, ‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin’ – He Really Got His Chest Waxed, And Those Screams Of Agony Are Genuine

Image source: Universal Pictures

#16 Will Ferrell’s Reactions During The Jack-In-The-Box Scene Were Genuine. The Director Surprised Him Every Time By Triggering The Toys With A Remote Control

Image source: Ghostss412

#17 Stallone Reportedly Told Lundgren To Really Go At Him For The First 15 Seconds. “Just Bomb Away,” He Asked. Well, Lundgren Did. The Resultant Chest Punch, Which You Can See In The Movie, Sent Stallone To The Hospital For Nine Days

Image source: United Artists

#18 Viggo Mortensen, ‘The Two Towers’ – He Broke His Toe While Kicking A Helmet In Frustration, Eliciting A Real Scream Of Anguish

Image source: warnerbros

#19 In The Princess Diaries (2001), The Scene Where Mia Trips And Falls In The Bleachers Wasn’t A Part Of The Script. Anne Hathaway Had Accidentally Slipped In A Puddle. Director Garry Marshall Liked It So Much That He Decided To Keep It In The Movie

Image source: Numerous-Lemon

#20 To Prepare For Saving Private Ryan, All The Main Cast Members Were Sent To A Harsh 10-Day Boot Camp, Except For Matt Damon, Who Stayed In America. Matt’s Character Was Resented By Everyone, And He Was Purposefully Excluded So That The On-Screen Hostility Would Be As Realistic As Possible

Image source: Paramount Pictures

Camp may be the place for bonding, but this boot camp was really tough, and the fact that Matt was at home relaxing definitely created a divide. It was so horrible that after day four, everyone wanted to quit, but Tom Hanks encouraged them to stick it out. Matt said that when he eventually showed up on set there some resentment from the guys, and it translated onto the screen.

#21 Cary Elwes Wasn’t Acting When He Got Hit In The Head In Princess Bride

Image source: 20th Century Fox

In one scene in Princess Bride, Cary Elwes’ character Westley gets clonked on the head pretty hard by the six-fingered man, played by Christopher Guest.

But when it came time to film the scene, the stunt didn’t look realistic enough. So Elwes suggested that Guest knock him as hard as he could using a real metal sword.

“Because of the angle, we couldn’t sell a fake blow well enough for the camera, so I told him to just hit me hard,” Elwes wrote in his book, As You Wish.

“And that’s the last thing I remember. I woke up in the hospital.”

#22 Due To A Miscommunication On The Set Of The Hateful Eight, Kurt Russell Accidentally Smashed A 140-Year-Old Antique Guitar Instead Of The Prop

Image source: The Weinstein Company

In the scene, you can see Jennifer Jason Leigh break character and scream and look at the crew because she was in disbelief when the antique guitar – which was supposed to be swapped out with a prop in between takes – got smashed.

The old guitar, which was made in 1870, was actually on loan from a museum. Dick Boak, the museum’s director, changed their policy because of this mishap and said, “As a result of the incident, the company will no longer loan guitars to movies under any circumstances.”

#23 In The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), When A Corpse Is Revealed Under The Dining Table, The Actors Were Genuinely Shocked. None Of Them Knew That The Body Was There – With One Exception, Tim Curry, Because He Was The One Who Had To Whip The Tablecloth Off

Image source: Numerous-Lemon

#24 Matt Damon, ‘Good Will Hunting’ – The Fart Story Was Improvised, And Damon’s Laughter Was A Real Reaction

Image source: Miramax Films

#25 To Recreate The Revolutionary Spirit, The Cast Of Les Miserables Were Told To Build A Barricade In 10 Minutes. The Cameras Were Rolling And What They Made Ended Up Being Used In The Final Film

Image source: Universal Pictures

The actors didn’t know where the cameras were placed and it looked like complete chaos, but the structure turned out to be quite realistic and just needed a bit of drilling to remain held together

#26 Michael J. Fox In ‘Back To The Future Part III’

Image source: universalpictures

In one scene, Marty gets strung up on the famous Hill Valley clock tower. In what was without a doubt something he later regretted, Fox said “Sure” to performing the stunt himself.

The plan was for him to use his hand to keep the noose from tightening around his neck and actually strangling him. In practice, he couldn’t get his hand into position and actually blacked out for a minute, until the crew realized what was happening and saved his life.

#27 In Se7en [1996], Fincher Never Told John C. Mcginley That The Corpse Used For ‘Sloth’ Was Actually A Living Actor In Heavy Makeup. Mcginley’s Character’s Initial Shock When ‘Sloth’ Wakes In The Movie Was In Fact Mcginley’s Genuine Surprise From The First Take

Image source: DaveInLondon89

#28 In Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971), When The Kids First See The Chocolate Room, Their Reactions Are Genuine. Director Mel Stuart Took Great Care To Ensure That None Of The Child Actors Saw The Gigantic Set As It Was Being Built

Image source: Russian_Bagel

#29 Everyone On Titanic Knew That The Water Was Gonna Be Cold, But They Weren’t Prepared For Just How Freezing It Was. The Water Was So Icy That Kate Winslet Couldn’t Stop Shaking During The Axe Scene

Image source: 20th Century Fox

#30 The Office

Image source:  TheThings

It was hard for the actors to say goodbye to Steve Carell. That’s why in the scene Pam rushes in the airport to say goodbye to Michael the emotional performance by Jenna Fisher was not a performance at all

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acting, actors, movies, unscripted performances
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