It’s been 30 years since John Hughes assembled his gang of adolescent misfits and delivered one of the most — if not, the most — iconic teen movies of all time. The film, which is being screened at SXSW today, was just re-released as a special Blu-ray edition, and later this month, fans will get an in-depth look at the work of the late director with the release of the book, John Hughes: A Life in Film. To celebrate this Brat Pack nostalgia, let’s take a look at what happened on-set when the cameras weren’t rolling:
1. Judd Nelson had security called on him at his audition. Nelson took the Bender attitude with him to his audition. Dressing for the part in boots, gloves, and all, he fully embraced Bender’s f-you attitude, proving to be a little much for the secretary, said Nelson:
“I was just about thrown out of the waiting room — a little gypsy actor was in the waiting room, as well, and I kept telling him to “stand up.” He was standing up — he was really short. The secretary in the waiting area called security, so as the elevator doors open and the security guard gets out, that’s when someone from the behind the office doors said, “Judd Nelson, we can see you.” I gave the finger to the security guard and walked into the room.”
2. Nelson nearly got fired for picking on Molly Ringwald. Judd Nelson fully embraced Bender’s rebellious, bully attitude and picked on Ringwald a little too much, nearly getting himself fired by John Hughes. The other members of the Brat Pack told Nelson to tone it down and were able to convince Hughes not to send him walking.
3. Nelson bought the local teens beer. MORE Judd Nelson drama! Prior to filming, the actors were allowed to wander around the halls of Maine North High School. Nelson said that the location was more than appropriate as the halls had been nicknamed “jock hall” and “freak hall.” He also said that while exploring the high school, he got to know a few of the students and even bought them some beer in return for a ride back to his hotel. “They would ask me why I was staying there, and I told them my dad was in jail. I’m staying at the Westin O’Hare while my dad’s incarcerated.”
4. The original script had a topless scene. Looking back a the film, a topless scene would’ve been incredibly out-of-place, but Hughes wrote the script in just a couple of days and fell back on the common risqué humor during his time at National Lampoon. One scene that was never shot involved the students discovering a peep hole into the girls’ swim team locker room and spying on a very well-endowed female coach. Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, and co-producer Michelle Manning voiced their disapproval of the scene, and Hughes came in the next day with a reworked script and new character: Carl the janitor.
5. Rick Moranis was originally going to play the janitor. After the sexy swim coach was cut from the script, Second City veteran Rick Moranis was brought in to play the role of Carl the wisdom-spewing janitor. Moranis showed up to set with a strange haircut, gold caps on his teeth, and goofy Russian accent. This didn’t fly with film producer Ned Tanen, and Moranis was cut and replaced with John Kapelos.
6. The library was actually a gym. If the school looks eerily familiar to you, that’s because several of its scenes were shot at the same school from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, which is not exactly surprising because many of Hughes’ movies take place in suburban Chicago. Producers didn’t like the school’s library, so they converted the gymnasium into what they thought the library should look like.