23 Lesser-Known Facts about Fight Club
When Fight Club came to the theaters in 1999, it was a disappointment financially. Poor marketing was to blame as people felt that this was yet another movie about men fighting each other. But the DVD did quite well and sold over a million copies. Today, this movie has a tremendous cult following, but we bet there are still some things that you didn’t know about Fight Club. Thanks to IMDB, we bring to you 23 lesser-known facts about Fight Club.
1 The movie is based on a novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk, and he came up with the idea when he was beaten up on a weekend camping trip. When he returned, none of his colleagues acknowledged his injuries, and this societal reluctance became the foundation of the novel.
Fight Club is originally a novel by Chuck Palahniuk. Palahniuk was inspired to write the novel after he had an altercation at a weekend camping trip. He was beaten badly when he complained about the sound of the radio of some nearby campers.
When Palahniuk returned to his office, he was surprised to see that his colleagues were only interested in knowing how his trip was, and they completely ignored his bruises. The “don’t-care-about-your-personal-life” attitude that people displayed inspired Palahniuk to jot down Fight Club.
Palahniuk joined a writing group in Portland that practiced a type of writing called “dangerous writing.” This type of writing was developed by Tom Spanbauer, an American author, and involves the usage of one’s personal and painful experiences to gather inspiration. He produced his first draft which later became the novel Invisible Monsters but faced rejection from publishers because they thought it was too dark. He then set out to write an even darker novel expanding his short story Fight Club. Fight Club was originally a seven-page short story. Finally, Fight Club: A Novel was published in 1996. (source)
2 Sean Penn and Matt Damon almost got the role of the narrator which was ultimately played by Edward Norton.
When 20th century Fox set out in search of an actor for the role of the narrator, they wanted a “sexier marquee name” so that the film would do good commercially. Hence, they considered names like Matt Damon and Sean Penn. But the director of Fight Club, David Fincher, had his eyes on Edward Norton because of his amazing performance in the movie The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996). At that time Norton was also being eyed by other studios for films like The Talented Mr. Ripley and Man on the Moon. So Fincher went ahead and offered the role to Norton. Initially, Norton was unable to accept because he had a contract with Paramount Pictures, but things worked out and Norton was cast in the movie. (source)
3 Brad Pitt’s salary was almost seven times higher than his co-star Edward Norton.
Initially, Russell Crowe was sought for the role of Tyler Durden by producer Ross Bell. At the same time another producer, Art Linson, met with Brad Pitt regarding the same role. As Linson was senior among the two producers, the studio agreed to cast Pitt instead of Crowe. Pitt was on the lookout for a new film after his 1998 flop Meet Joe Black, and the studio also believed that Fight Club would do better commercially if they cast a major star. Hence, they sealed the deal with Pitt for $17.5 million.
David Fincher, the director, selected Edward Norton for his role because of his brilliant performances in the movie The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996). Other studios were also after Norton for movies like The Talented Mr. Ripley, but 20th-century Fox sealed the deal with Norton for $2.5 million. (source)
4 Brad Pitt volunteered to remove pieces of his front teeth during the filming of the movie.
Brad Pitt has been known to glam down his perfect looks as part of his Method Acting strategy in order to perfectly portray a character. He did the same with Fight Club. To get the rugged look of a fighter, he volunteered to get few pieces chipped from his front teeth. He restored them once the filming was over. (source)
5 Edward Norton cracked his thumb hitting Brad Pitt during shooting because Pitt’s stomach was really hard at that time.
In an interview with Premiere magazine, Edward Norton jokingly recalled how sometimes they needed to actually hit each other during shooting as not all actions could be faked.He also recalled how he broke his thumb while hitting Brad Pitt on his stomach. The actors further added that “We both caught knees in the chest. Cracked ribs. Just had the wind knocked out of us.”(source)
6 Helena Bonham Carter’s makeup for the role of Marla was done by the makeup artist with her left hand on Carter’s suggestion. Carter believed that her character, Marla, wouldn’t really care about putting her makeup right.
Helena Bonham Carter is famous for the myriad of eccentric characters that she portrays on the screen. She is most often seen in dark roles. While many actors shy away from dark roles as they believe it would harm their future roles, things are the opposite with Carter. She has taken up numerous dark roles over the years and has owned each and every one of them. She has portrayed villains, murderers, and psychologically unstable characters, and each role she portrayed was full of conviction.
The reason she is so convincing in her roles is that she is very keen on attention to details. During the filming of the movie Fight Club, she urged the makeup artist, Julie Pearce, to apply all her eye makeup with her left hand. This is because Carter felt that Marla, the character she was portraying in Fight Club, would not be very worried about applying her makeup correctly, let alone be skilled at it. (source)
7 Tyler Durden appears in the movie five times before he is formally introduced. Four of the times he just appeared in flashes, and the fifth time was in the “welcome” video of the hotel where the narrator was residing.
If you have watched the movie multiple times, you might have noticed Tyler Durden flashing on your screen even before he was formally introduced in the movie. The first four instances happen respectively: at the photocopier at the narrator’s workplace, in the corridor when the narrator is talking to the doctor, at the testicular cancer meeting, and when the narrator is staring at Marla leaving the meeting.
The fifth time he appears, it is in the “welcome” video of the hotel the narrator was staying at. Observe the guy in the extreme right of the first row – that’s Tyler Durden!
8 The sex scene between Tyler and Marla was done with CGI, and the actors spent three days recording orgasmic sounds.
Fight Club has a scene in which the narrator was unable to sleep because of the heated sex between the characters Tyler Durden and Marla. For those unseen sex scenes, both Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter had to spend three days to record the orgasmic sounds, and that’s not all. For the sex scene between Tyler and Marla, CGI was brought in to create the effects. The sex positions were picked up from the Kama Sutra as normal pornography positions were found to be too mainstream by the cast of the movie.
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