Creator Adam McKay is giving audiences a look at some behind-the-scenes facts about his recent Netflix hit, “Don’t Look Up.”
Last week, the movie became the second most-watched film in Netflix history, falling just shy of beating out the Netflix crime comedy “Red Notice.”
The A-list cast includes Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Cate Blanchett, Timothée Chalamet, Chris Evans, and a performance by Ariana Grande.
The film tells the story of two astronomers (Lawrence and DiCaprio) from Michigan State who start on a media tour to warn the public that an approaching comet is about to destroy the planet after the President (Streep) and her son (Hill) tell them to “sit tight” with the information until after the mid-term elections are over.
In a recent interview with Insider, McKay sat down to dish on some interesting details that went on behind the scenes.
Adam McKay Worked On The Script With Leonardo DiCaprio Five Months Before Shooting!
Fans might not have realized that the former “Titanic” actor was so heavily involved with the filming! For example, he worked on the script with McKay for five months before the shooting started.
“With Leo, it was always productive,” McKay said. “He’s really smart. He understands tone and character and narrative at a high level.”
“Maybe a few lines Leo would question, but he was always respectful about it and I would just say, ‘Let’s get it on camera, and if it sucks I’m not going to use it.’ He even came into the editing room and looked at cuts of the film and really gave us some incredibly valuable notes,” he added.
There is one stand-out line that was apparently all Leo’s idea!
“I’ll give him a giant hunk of credit,” McKay continued. “Believe it or not, that line at the end of the movie where he says, ‘We really did have it all,’ that wasn’t in the script. He came with that the day we were filming.”
During the editing process, they were considering cutting that line out of the film. “You don’t want to traumatize the audience, but you want it to hit them,” he explained. “So we didn’t have that line in, and this is nearing the final cut.”
“And Leo was there and said, ‘Don’t you have to try that line? It really felt powerful when we did it.’ I was afraid to use it and we put it just before a test screening and it just landed. So I thanked Leo for pushing me on that. That’s really the line of the movie.”
As it turns out, fans can thank Leo for that powerful ending!
McKay’s Daughter Created A Line For Ariana Grande!
Apparently, McKay’s daughter “worships” pop star Ariana Grande, who gives a stellar performance in the film.
During the film, Ariana’s character insults Leo’s character by calling him an “old f—.” Apparently, that was not in the original script!
“I originally had a different line there,” McKay explained. “It was ‘mind your own business, you boomer f—.’ And my daughter, Pearl, and her friend, Ava, were both like, ‘No one says boomer anymore.’ They were like, ‘You can’t have her say that.’ So I was like, ‘Well, what would she say to him?’ And they were both like, ‘She would just call him an old f—.’”
“So because of their note, I changed the line,” he added. “I give them all the credit.”
Turns Out They Didn’t Plan On Adding In A Number To A Sex Line!
In the film, a 1-800 phone number shows up during a PSA in the movie. Naturally, curious fans actually dialed the number… and realized that they had called into a sex line! McKay said that the original plan was to actually set up their own phone number and use that in the movie.
“We were going to set up a line for that,” he explained. “But we didn’t think of doing it until the end and we didn’t have enough time to get our own phone number so that’s just a random phone number. We in no way planned on it being a sex hotline. Pure accident.”
He added “hand to Bible” that he honestly didn’t know that he was adding in the number to a sex line!
“Hand to Bible,” he said. “Unless someone at Netflix or our graphics house picked it and I didn’t know about it, I have no idea. In fact, no way. They wouldn’t have done that on purpose.”
Believe him or not, “Don’t Look Up” is available to stream on Netflix.