Any child of the 80s and 90s will tell you that My Girl is the movie that emotionally wrecked them. You wanna know why our generation is so stone cold? Because we had to watch Anna Chlumsky mourn the loss of Macaulay Culkin.
Even though we may not have forgotten the emotional betrayal that My Girl served to us on a silver platter, there are some things you may have never known about everyone’s favorite 90s movies.
1. Title Troubles
The original title of the movie was actually “Born Jaundiced.” The producers wanted to change it, but they weren’t having any luck with alternatives. They ended up offering a $500 incentive to whichever employee could come up with the best one. The film’s producer, Brian Grazer, was ultimately the one who came up with the now-famous title, but there were some other suggestions:
- In Lieu of Flowers
- Dearly Departed
Because Chlumsky and Culkin were kids, and Dan Aykroyd was known for his “trucker talk,” Jamie Lee Curtis started a “swear can” to prevent foul language on set.
“I said every time I say s–t, I’ll give you $5 and every time I say f–k, I’ll give you $10,” Curtis told the kids. “So, of course, Macaulay said, `That’s $15 right there.’ At the end of shooting, I handed Mack and Anna $200 each and said, `F–k you!’”
“It was $5 for this word and $10 for another word and by end of the movie the kids had about five grand in there,” Aykroyd said.
3. Blood Brothers
Vada and Thomas J. mix their blood together from cuts they each have, which to them makes them “blood brothers.” Because of this unsanitary practice, the British Board of Film Classification forced the film to have a warning against these types of rituals to prevent the spread of HIV.
4. Practice Makes Perfect
The on-screen kiss between Thomas J. and Vada was Macaulay Culkin’s first kiss, but not for long. It took the young actors 15 takes to get the final shot.
“I just wanted to get it over with,” Chlumsky said. “I wasn’t thinking about kissing the Macaulay Culkin. It wasn’t a good or bad experience – it was just acting. We had to do it 15 times before we got it right. Thankfully it was a short kiss!”
5. Danny Boy
Though Dan Aykroyd may seem like the perfect fit for Harry Sultenfuss, the role wasn’t immediately his. Tim Allen, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, and Steve Martin were all considered for the part. Ultimately, it was Aykroyd’s experience with dramatic acting that landed him the role.
6. Young Love
Because Culkin was the hottest child star at the time, and he and Chlumsky were about to star in a big film, everyone had the same question: are they going to date? Of course, it’s insane to think about two 11-year-olds being asked about their romantic life, but Chlumsky answered like a pro.
“I think we’ll just be good friends,” she said.
7. Tricky Trickster
Chlumsky revealed that Culkin used to play pranks on her constantly.
“He stuck double-sided sticky tape to the loo and I sat on it!” a young Chlumsky said at the time. “It wasn’t like Superglue or anything, but it hurt! He was in the other room and when he heard the bathroom door close, he thought he’d got our tutor. He was going ‘Ye-e-e-s!’ Then our tutor came in and he said ‘Aren’t you in the bathroom?’ she said, ‘No Mack, I’m right here!’”
The two also teamed up to try and prank their tutor.
“Mack had this big plastic alligator,” Chlumsky laughed. “He made me lie on the floor of our school trailer and pretend to be dead. Then he put the jaws around the neck and looked around for some ketchup to put over me. When our tutor came in Mack shook it to make it look alive. She didn’t believe I was dead though. She just laughed.”
8. Bad Reuptation
A lot of the cast and crew were worried about Culkin being on set, seeing as he was a huge movie star. However, Curtis says he just hung around and played poker with the crew or listened to his walkman.
“He’s such a kid,” Curtis revealed at the time. “It blows me away that we thought he’d have some kind of attitude. He’s just a kid who wears mismatched sneakers and listens to Vanilla Ice all day.”
9. Those bees…
Macaulay Culkin was chased by REAL BEES during the movie, and they even put pollen on his fingers so they would run after him.
“They would put pollen on each of my fingers so that every time I’d move my hands, the bees would go after them,” Culkin said at the time. “The [bee wrangler] would shovel bees right towards me. There were millions of them. I’d go, `Yikes! Get away.’ When they yelled cut, I’d run to the water, wash off the pollen and then I’d run out of the woods and wait until they were ready to do it again.”
10. Blabber Mouth
The original plan was that Thomas J.’s death was a secret. No one was supposed to know he died before the movie came out, but gossip Marilyn Beck columnist saw an early screening of the film and told all her readers.
“He’s America’s Kid,” sighed director Howard Zieff during an interview. “But in ‘Terms of Endearment,’ no one announced Debra Winger’s death. This woman who wrote the column was just tooting her own horn. For her to give away the ending of the movie was like breaking a pact.”
11. Psych Says
Because the movie was relatively traumatizing, “some child psychologists [were] worried” about what impact the movie would have on kids. The press kit featured six pages of testimony from educators, psychologists, and authors about the movie’s “appropriateness for children.”
“I want parents to know this isn’t ‘Home Alone 2,’” said Grazer. “It’s a movie that’s sometimes very funny but also very emotional. I don’t want parents thinking it’s a complete romp.”
Yeah, no kidding.
[h/t: Mental Floss, IMDb]