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23 Things You Might Not Know About Heathers

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It’s doubtful that the dark comedy Heathers, with its shocking violence and politically incorrect teen speak, would likely be made today. But as a sharp satire of teen movies that favored the idea of teenage life as a time full of innocence and whimsy over the reality of high school angst, it was widely embraced by film critics and its (initially tiny) audience.

1. IT WAS WRITTEN BY A VIDEO STORE CLERK.

Daniel Waters moved to Los Angeles during the 1980s and was working at what he described as “the least cool video store" in Silver Lake when he wrote Heathers. In 2008, Waters insisted to The Hollywood Interview blog that he was working on the whole video store clerk-to-screenwriter metamorphosis "before I knew it was a cliché."

2. THE INITIAL SCRIPT WAS MUCH LONGER AND FEATURED MORE VIOLENCE.

When Waters finished his first draft of Heathers (which was the first script he'd ever written), it was 200 pages long, which would have roughly amounted to a three-hour film. The body count was higher, too; not even the editor of the school newspaper survived.

3. WATERS WANTED STANLEY KUBRICK TO DIRECT THE FILM.

Waters wanted the legendary moviemaker to direct his film, back in its initial stages when it was 180 minutes long. It didn't happen. But director Michael Lehmann, who did direct the film, had Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket in mind when he shot the opening cafeteria sequence.

4. THE HIGH SCHOOL WAS NAMED AFTER THE SINGER IN WINONA RYDER’S FAVORITE BAND.

Westerberg High was named after The Replacements' singer-songwriter Paul Westerberg. At one point in the film, Christian Slater's character J.D. says “color me impressed,” which references a song by The Replacements.

5. THE FILM WAS SET IN OHIO FOR THREE REASONS.

Waters chose to set Heathers in the Defiance County, Ohio village of Sherwood because: Waters’ favorite book is Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio; Robin Hood was the benevolent rebel of Sherwood Forest; and Waters grew up on Sherwood Street in Cleveland.

6. BOTH JENNIFER CONNELLY AND JUSTINE BATEMAN TURNED DOWN THE ROLE OF VERONICA.

But 15-year-old Winona Ryder really, really wanted the role. Initially, Waters didn't think Ryder was pretty enough to play the lead. "I was like, 'The girl from Lucas? She’s just not attractive," Waters recounted to Entertainment Weekly. But Ryder was undeterred: "You have to understand, at the time, I didn’t look that different from my character in Beetlejuice," Ryder explained. "I was very pale. I had blue-black dyed hair. I went to Macy’s at the Beverly Center and had them do a makeover on me."

7. RYDER’S AGENT BEGGED HER NOT TO TAKE THE PART.

"My agent at the time ­literally got on her knees and begged me not to do [the movie]," Ryder recalled to Entertainment Weekly. "She had her hands together, and she goes, 'You will never. Work. Again.' We parted ways later."

8. BRAD PITT AUDITIONED FOR J.D.

Pitt participated in an informal read-through as Jason Dean, and told Waters the script was “brilliant.” His compliment didn’t get him the part though, since producers decided that Christian Slater had the right look for a murderer, and Pitt looked too nice.

9. HEATHER GRAHAM’S PARENTS REFUSED TO LET HER BE IN THE MOVIE.

She had that first name and everything, but the Grahams were convinced that the script was offensive and not the right fit for their 17-year-old daughter (who would later play porn star Rollergirl in Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights in 1997). Kim Walker, Christian Slater’s girlfriend at the time, landed the role of Heather Chandler instead.

10. SHANNEN DOHERTY HAD ISSUES WITH ALL THE SWEARING.

Though she has since developed a reputation as a wild child, back in 1989 Shannen Doherty was uncomfortable with the script's frequent use of profanity. According to Ryder, it was Doherty who was supposed to ask be gently loved with a chainsaw, but the actress refused. "It was definitely the first time I had ever, ever spoken like that in my entire life," Doherty admitted to Entertainment Weekly. "I was a very sheltered 17-year-old. My mom was on set with me. I definitely had moments where I was blushing through my makeup."

11. LISANNE FALK LIED ABOUT HER AGE TO PLAY HEATHER MCNAMARA.

Falk claimed to be 18 years old at the time of filming. In reality, she was 23.

12. THE MOVIE WAS TITLED LETHAL ATTRACTION IN EUROPE.

It was an unsubtle attempt by New World Pictures to exploit the successes of Lethal Weapon and Fatal Attraction.

13. WATERS STOLE A FEW OF THE MOST MEMORABLE LINES.

When the screenwriter was a camp counselor, a camper named Jamie used to ask people “What’s your damage?” “I just completely stole that from her,” Waters admits. “And one of my college friends used to say 'F*** me gently with a crowbar.' And then I realized crowbar sounded too masculine. Chainsaw was more feminine. And apparently 'f*** me gently' was at one time a common expression in England. This is the evolution of nasty language. That’s where my friend extrapolated 'F*** me gently' into 'F*** me gently with a crowbar.' And then I had to have him killed so I could take credit.”

14. HEATHER CHANDLER WAS SUPPOSED TO READ THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, NOT MOBY DICK.

Permission from J.D. Salinger was, unsurprisingly, never obtained.

15. DORIS DAY REFUSED USAGE OF HER VERSION OF “QUE SERA, SERA” BECAUSE SHE DISLIKED PROFANITY.

Heathers producer Denise Di Novi had a feeling that only versions by Syd Straw and Sly and the Family Stone would end up in the movie and/or the soundtrack; her father was a session musician for Day, and he claimed that the actress/singer would make musicians add to a swear jar if they cursed.

16. "ICH LÜGE" IS GERMAN FOR "I’M LYING."

J.D. tells Veronica that the “ich lüge” bullets he'll use to scare the school jocks will do just that—scare them—when, in fact, they're intended to kill them.

17. SLATER WAS DOING AN IMPRESSION OF JACK NICHOLSON THROUGHOUT THE MOVIE.

The actor failed to get in touch with Nicholson to ask him to watch and give approval.

18. THE STUDIO WOULDN’T ALLOW AN ENDING WITH A PROM TO BE FILMED.

New World Pictures didn’t like the part in the original screenplay when J.D. successfully blows up all of Westerberg High, but the prom commences—in heaven. In another alternate ending, Martha stabs Veronica.

19. IT ONLY MADE $1.1 MILLION IN THEATERS.

Because Heathers, which was released on March 31, 1989, was made for $3 million, it wasn’t technically a box office bomb. It’s still considered to be a “cult classic” though, because it became much more popular when it aired constantly on cable and was released on video.

20. RYDER AND SLATER GOT TOGETHER AFTER SHOOTING.

Slater and Walker broke up after filming, freeing Christian and Winona to make out “a few times," according to Ryder. Oh, you kids.

21. THERE HAVE BEEN THREE FAILED ATTEMPTS TO MAKE A HEATHERS TV SHOW.

In 1990, Fox chose to go ahead with Beverly Hills, 90210, starring Shannen Doherty, over a pilot script for Heathers. A TV adaptation for Fox was also announced in 2009, but nothing came of it there. In 2012, Bravo announced that it would develop that adaptation, which was set 20 years later and had Veronica moving back to Sherwood with a teenage daughter who would have to face her own version of the Heathers: the Ashleys. One year later, Bravo said they weren’t going to pick up the series.

22. THERE WAS A HEATHERS MUSICAL.

An initial reading took place in 2010, with Kristen Bell as Veronica. After a limited Los Angeles engagement in 2013, Heathers: The Musical ran Off-Broadway from March through August 2014.

23. KIM WALKER PASSED AWAY IN 2001.

In one of her most famous lines from the film, Kim Walker—as Heather Chandler—asks Shannen Doherty's Heather Duke, "Did you have a brain tumor for breakfast?" Tragically, Walker passed away 12 years later, at the age of 32, from a brain tumor.

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Ernest Hemingway’s Guide to Life, In 20 Quotes
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Central Press/Getty Images

Though he made his living as a writer, Ernest Hemingway was just as famous for his lust for adventure. Whether he was running with the bulls in Pamplona, fishing for marlin in Bimini, throwing back rum cocktails in Havana, or hanging out with his six-toed cats in Key West, the Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author never did anything halfway. And he used his adventures as fodder for the unparalleled collection of novels, short stories, and nonfiction books he left behind, The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, Death in the Afternoon, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea among them.

On what would be his 119th birthday—he was born in Oak Park, Illinois on July 21, 1899—here are 20 memorable quotes that offer a keen perspective into Hemingway’s way of life.

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF LISTENING

"I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen."

ON TRUST

"The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them."

ON DECIDING WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT

"I never had to choose a subject—my subject rather chose me."

ON TRAVEL

"Never go on trips with anyone you do not love."


Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston. [1], Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INTELLIGENCE AND HAPPINESS

"Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know."

ON TRUTH

"There's no one thing that is true. They're all true."

ON THE DOWNSIDE OF PEOPLE

"The only thing that could spoil a day was people. People were always the limiters of happiness, except for the very few that were as good as spring itself."

ON SUFFERING FOR YOUR ART

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."

ON TAKING ACTION

"Never mistake motion for action."

ON GETTING WORDS OUT

"I wake up in the morning and my mind starts making sentences, and I have to get rid of them fast—talk them or write them down."


Photograph by Mary Hemingway, in the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston., Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

ON THE BENEFITS OF SLEEP

"I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?"

ON FINDING STRENGTH 

"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places."

ON THE TRUE NATURE OF WICKEDNESS

"All things truly wicked start from innocence."

ON WRITING WHAT YOU KNOW

"If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water."

ON THE DEFINITION OF COURAGE

"Courage is grace under pressure."

ON THE PAINFULNESS OF BEING FUNNY

"A man's got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book."


By Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston. - JFK Library, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

ON KEEPING PROMISES

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut."

ON GOOD VS. EVIL

"About morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after."

ON REACHING FOR THE UNATTAINABLE

"For a true writer, each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed."

ON HAPPY ENDINGS

"There is no lonelier man in death, except the suicide, than that man who has lived many years with a good wife and then outlived her. If two people love each other there can be no happy end to it."

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11 of the Most Extreme Junk Foods Ever Created
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iStock

It should come as no surprise that National Junk Food Day is traditionally celebrated on July 21—smack dab in the middle of the dog days of summer, when the streets run thick with ice cream trucks and county fairs boast the kind of fried treats that can only be described as “awesome” (both in the modern sense and the more dated, whoa, we are in awe of that usage). But National Junk Food Day shouldn’t be celebrated with commonplace junk food; oh, no, it deserves something far bigger and better. So save your potato chips and chocolate bars for another day, and get ready to try some truly wild treats.

1. THE KFC DOUBLE DOWN


KFC

Perhaps the most unexpectedly clever way to create a new extreme junk food item is to turn a non-junky foodstuff into something that just oozes calories and decadence. Fried chicken giant KFC knew that—and played it up to major effect—when they introduced the KFC Double Down to America back in 2010. The sandwich foregoes the most traditional aspect of any sandwich (the bread!) and substitutes two fried chicken filets. In between the two pieces of chicken? Bacon, two different kinds of cheese, and the Colonel’s “secret sauce.” There’s no room for a bun here, folks.

2. PIZZA HUT'S HOT DOG STUFFED CRUST PIZZA

We may associate items like fast food pizza and hot dog-stuffed anything with all-American palates, but cheesy juggernaut Pizza Hut saw things a bit differently. In 2012, the chain introduced a pizza with a hot dog-stuffed crust to our neighbors across the pond, treating their UK customers to the kind of taste sensation some people might have had literal nightmares about. Is it a pizza? Is it a hot dog? Somehow, it’s both—and yet something much more.

3. FRIENDLY'S GRILLED CHEESE BURGERMELT


Friendly's

Once again, a wily restaurant chain took a normal food item—in this case, a hamburger—and amped up its junk factor by doing away with something as commonplace as buns, in favor of an entirely different (and, yes, very junky) item. In 2010, Friendly’s rolled out its very own spin on the Double Down, slamming a regular old burger between not one, but two grilled cheese sandwiches. Who needs buns when you can have four pieces of bread, gooey cheese, and unfathomable amounts of butter?

4. GUY FIERI'S CHEESECAKE CHALLENGE

Whiz-bang chef Guy Fieri has long drawn ire for his more wild culinary creations, but what sets his cuisine apart from that of other junk food aficionados is his steadfast dedication to the key elements of any extreme item: size and odd combinations. Fieri’s “Guy's Cheesecake Challenge” is currently on the menu of his Vegas Kitchen and Bar, but it’s easy enough to replicate at home: Just halve a cheesecake, throw it on a plate, and douse liberally with hot fudge, pretzels, and potato chips. (What, no bacon?)

5. DENNY'S FRIED CHEESE MELT


Denny's

In August 2010, Denny’s introduced the Fried Cheese Melt, a grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with fried mozzarella sticks. Yes, it was served with both French fries and a side of marinara sauce, because it’s important to eat vegetables with every meal.

6. DUNKIN' DONUTS'S GLAZED DONUT BREAKFAST SANDWICH


Dunkin' Donuts

If you’ve ever hit up your local Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast and found yourself stumped when it came time to decide if you wanted a donut or a breakfast sandwich to get your morning motor revving, Dunkin' Donuts came up with a brilliant culinary brainstorm in 2013: the fast food favorite unveiled a breakfast sandwich that used glazed donuts as “bread,” wrapped around bacon and peppered egg.

7. JACK IN THE BOX MUNCHIE MEAL

What Jack’s Munchie Meals lack in creativity, they more than make up for in pure, unadulterated size and content. Each Munchie Meal—there are four total—features a massive sandwich (from the Stacked Grilled Cheese Burger to the Spicy Nacho Chicken Sandwich, and all sorts of wild fried things in between) accompanied with two beef tacos, “Halfsies” (a combo of fries and curly fries), and a 20-ounce fountain drink. These intense snack boxes are still available at most Jack in the Box locations, but you’ll have to wait until after 9 p.m. to procure your very own.

8. PIZZA HUT CHEESY BITES REMIX PIZZA

Apparently, there’s nothing that Pizza Hut loves more than using its crust as a delivery system for other junk food items. The hut that pizza built may have crammed hot dogs and hamburgers on to their pie sides, but there was something special about the Cheesy Bites Remix pizza. It featured fried cheese pockets stuffed with three different varieties of extra junk, from spicy seasoning to cream cheese and sesame to mozzarella and parmesan.

9. DEEP FRIED BUTTER

County and state fairs have long been hotbeds (sizzling, oily hotbeds) of wild, deep-frying invention. Dunking things in batter and then tossing them into a vat of oil is a nifty way to turn almost anything into a delicious crisp pocket of junky decadence, perfect for utensil-free eating—but that doesn’t mean that everything needs to get the deep-fried treatment. While deep-fried Oreos may be a stroke of brilliance, deep fried butter is just plain madness. Here’s a quick test: If you wouldn’t eat something if it weren’t deep-fried, don’t eat it if it is deep-fried. When was the last time you ate an entire stick of butter? See? Point proven.

10. THE BACON BUN BURGER

Not content to have a bacon sandwich between two chicken filets? Is a grilled cheese bun replacement not for you? Then try making your very own hamburger buns out of bacon. Carbs are bad for you, right?

11. FRIED ICE CREAM SANDWICH

The Florida State Fair is the proud home of the first fried ice cream sandwich, a junky treat that bears a name that doesn’t even begin to explain what it holds between its buns. It’s not a fried ice cream sandwich so much as a bacon cheeseburger (technically a sandwich) topped with a ball of fried ice cream. It might be a good meal for multi-taskers—no need to worry about dessert—but it doesn’t sound like the kind of thing good for anything else.

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