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18 Hearty Facts About Breakfast at Tiffany's

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Keystone Features/Getty Images

The 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, based on Truman Capote’s novella, starred Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, one of the most iconic characters to ever appear on screen. The seemingly naive young girl who is sought out by wealthy men and looking to marry into money is befriended by struggling writer Paul Varjak (George Peppard), a fellow inhabitant of a New York City apartment building. Holly and Paul grow close, as her ex-husband unexpectedly shows his face in town, and the status of her beloved brother’s well-being remains in doubt.

The controversial aspects of the movie—including Mickey Rooney’s portrayal of I.Y. Yunioshi, and Holly’s occupation—haven’t done much to hurt the popularity of the Blake Edwards classic. Here are some facts about the movie on its 55th anniversary.

1. TRUMAN CAPOTE WANTED MARILYN MONROE TO PLAY HOLLY.

Monroe’s advisor and acting coach, Paula Strasberg, said she shouldn’t play a “lady of the evening”, and Monroe took her advice. Capote said Paramount Pictures “double-crossed me in every way” when they cast Audrey Hepburn instead. The outspoken author also proclaimed it to be the “most miscast film I've ever seen.” Over time, Capote would go on to say that Tuesday Weld or Jodie Foster would be good choices to play Holly in a remake.

2. SHIRLEY MACLAINE TURNED DOWN THE LEAD.

Shirley MacLaine said it was one of her biggest regrets. Kim Novak also said no.

3. AUDREY HEPBURN HESITATED BEFORE ACCEPTING THE PART.

“It’s very difficult and I didn’t think I was right for it,” Hepburn told The New York Times. "I’ve had very little experience, really, and I have no technique for doing things I’m unsuited to. I have to operate entirely on instinct. It was Blake Edwards who finally persuaded me. He, at least, is perfectly cast as a director, and I discovered his approach emphasizes the same sort of spontaneity as my own.”

4. JOHN FRANKENHEIMER WAS ORIGINALLY SUPPOSED TO BE THE DIRECTOR.

John Frankenheimer had been on board to direct the film, but Hepburn wanted a bigger name. It was only after Blake Edwards (director of Operation Petticoat, and later The Pink Panther series) was attached that Hepburn accepted the role.

5. STEVE MCQUEEN COULD HAVE BEEN PAUL.

Edwards wanted Steve McQueen, but he was still under contract and under the control of television (CBS and the producers of Wanted: Dead or Alive wouldn’t allow the up-and-comer time off from the show). Edwards also suggested Tony Curtis to the producers. While Curtis was interested, the producers were not.

6. GEORGE PEPPARD ANNOYED EVERYBODY.

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Edwards did not want George Peppard for the role of Paul. He went so far as to drop to his knees on the sidewalk and beg producers Martin Jurow and Richard Shepherd not to bring him in. Peppard ended up not listening to Edwards’s direction if he didn't agree with it. Hepburn was annoyed that Peppard overanalyzed everything, finding him “pompous.” Mrs. “2E” herself, Patricia Neal—a former friend of Peppard’s—thought he wanted to be an “old-time movie hunk,” and didn’t think her character should be so domineering of him.

7. THE SCRIPT HAD TO TRICK THE CENSORS.

Screenwriter Sumner Locke Elliott first attempted to write the adaptation. George Axelrod (who wrote The Seven Year Itch and The Manchurian Candidate) took over and lost the unhappy, unresolved ending and put in more Paul sex scenes which he had no intent on keeping. He figured—correctly—that the censor would focus more on finding issue with the now more promiscuous Paul and not pay attention to Holly.

8. HOLLY'S DRESS WAS CUSTOM MADE.

Hubert de Givenchy designed Holly's famous little black dress. It was auctioned off in 2006 at Christie’s for over $900,000. Hepburn and Givenchy had worked together in the past on Sabrina (1954), Funny Face (1957), and Love in the Afternoon (1957).

9. BLAKE EDWARDS WENT ALL OUT FOR THE PARTY SCENE.

The party scene took six days to film on a Paramount soundstage. The extras who played the guests were all friends of Edwards. Real champagne, 120 gallons of soft drinks, 60 cartons of cigarettes, hot dogs, cold cuts, chips, dips, and sandwiches were involved. A smoker used by a beekeeper was brought in to create enough smoke.

10. FRED FLINTSTONE AND POSSIBLY BARNEY RUBBLE WERE IN IT.

Alan Reed, who was the original voice of Fred Flintstone, played mobster Sally Tomato in the movie. The voice of Holly’s over-eager date remained officially uncredited, but some believe it sounds a lot like legendary voice actor Mel Blanc, who voiced Barney Rubble—not to mention Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and other classic Warner Bros. cartoon characters in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts.

11. TIFFANY’S OPENED ON A SUNDAY FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE 19TH CENTURY TO ALLOW FILMING.

Forty armed guards had to work on the floor to prevent thievery.

12. MICKEY ROONEY DEFENDED HIMSELF, THEN DIDN’T.

Both Edwards and Rooney expressed regret at Rooney’s over-the-top portrayal of the Japanese character Mr. Yunioshi. According to Turner Classic Movies, Rooney wrote in his 1991 memoir, Life is Too Short, “I was downright ashamed of my role in Breakfast at Tiffany's ... and I don't think the director, Blake Edwards, was very proud of it either." He was more defensive in 2008, after a Sacramento screening of the film was canceled after there were protests over Rooney’s portrayal. “They hired me to do this overboard, and we had fun doing it. Never in all the more than 40 years after we made it—not one complaint. Every place I've gone in the world people say, ‘God, you were so funny.’”

13. "MOON RIVER" WAS ALMOST CUT FROM THE FILM.

Lyricist Johnny Mercer initially titled it “Blue River,” before realizing there were already other songs with the title. Henry Mancini spent a month to come up with the right melody. “It was one of the hardest things I ever had to write, because I couldn’t figure out what this lady would be singing up there on the fire escape,” Mancini said. In one version of the story, the president of Paramount Pictures, Marty Rankin, after the first preview screening of the movie, said the song had to be taken out. Hepburn told the man they would cut it out of the movie over her dead body. In another version of the story, one of the producers said after the screening that the song had to go, followed by Hepburn’s uncharacteristic response. In a different retelling of the legend, Rankin said it had to go, but it was producer Richard Shepherd who reportedly told the studio head he would had to contend with his dead body. “Moon River” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

14. HEPBURN WROTE A NOTE TO MANCINI.

It read: "I have just seen our picture—Breakfast at Tiffany's—this time with your score. A movie without music is a little bit like an aeroplane without fuel. However beautifully the job is done, we are still on the ground and in a world of reality. Your music has lifted us all up and sent us soaring. Everything we cannot say with words or show with action you have expressed for us. You have done this with so much imagination, fun and beauty. You are the hippest of cats—and most sensitive of composers. Thank you, Dear Hank.” She signed it “Lots of love, Audrey.”

15. CAPOTE SAID HOLLY WASN’T A CALL GIRL.

He explained as much to Playboy in 1968. “Holly Golightly was not precisely a call girl. She had no job, but accompanied expense-account men to the best restaurants and night clubs, with the understanding that her escort was obligated to give her some sort of gift, perhaps jewelry or a check … if she felt like it, she might take her escort home for the night. So these girls are the authentic American geishas, and they’re much more prevalent now than in 1943 or 1944, which was Holly’s era.”

16. THE STUDIO MADE SURE SHE WASN’T SEEN AS A CALL GIRL.

Rather than “call girl,” Golightly was described officially by Paramount Pictures as a “kook,” and a press release was written and sent out during filming which quoted the actors in the film defining the term "kook." (Producer Martin Jurow: “A kook is a kitten who’ll never grow up to be a cat.”) It also stipulated that ‘kook’ was not a beatnik term, because “The star is Audrey Hepburn, not Tawdry Hepburn.”

17. GLORIA VANDERBILT MIGHT HAVE BEEN THE INSPIRATION FOR HOLLY.

Suspected influences for Holly include heiress Gloria Vanderbilt, dancer Joan McCracken, Carol Grace, Capote’s mother Lillie Mae (similar to Holly’s real name of Lula Mae), Carol Marcus, author Doris Lilly, Capote high school friend Phoebe Pierce, Oona O'Neill Chaplin, writer and journalist Maeve Brennan, and model/actress Suzy Parker. Capote called the speculation "the Holly Golightly sweepstakes,” and claimed that the real Holly was a woman who lived downstairs from him in the early 1940s. One Bonnie Golightly filed a lawsuit for libel and invasion of privacy against Capote saying she was the inspiration, but she officially lost the “sweepstakes.”

18. HOLLY’S APARTMENT SOLD FOR $7.4 MILLION.

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The interiors of her place were shot on a Paramount soundstage, but the Upper East Side brownstone on East 71st Street that was used for exteriors hit the market in 2014 for $10 million. It was sold to ‘169 E. 71st LLC’ for $7.4 million in June 2015.

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10 Things We Know About The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2
Hulu
Hulu

Though Hulu has been producing original content for more than five years now, 2017 turned out to be a banner year for the streaming network with the debut of The Handmaid’s Tale on April 26, 2017. The dystopian drama, based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 book, imagines a future in which a theocratic regime known as Gilead has taken over the United States and enslaved fertile women so that the group’s most powerful couples can procreate.

If it all sounds rather bleak, that’s because it is—but it’s also one of the most impressive new series to arrive in years (as evidenced by the slew of awards it has won, including eight Emmy and two Golden Globe Awards). Fortunately, fans left wanting more don’t have that much longer to wait, as season two will premiere on Hulu in April. In the meantime, here’s everything we know about The Handmaid’s Tale’s second season.

1. IT WILL PREMIERE WITH TWO EPISODES.

When The Handmaid’s Tale returns on April 25, 2018, Hulu will release the first two of its 13 new episodes on premiere night, then drop another new episode every Wednesday.

2. MARGARET ATWOOD WILL CONTINUE TO HELP SHAPE THE NARRATIVE.

Fans of Atwood’s novel who didn’t like that season one went beyond the original source material are in for some more disappointment in season two, as the narrative will again go beyond the scope of what Atwood covered. But creator/showrunner Bruce Miller doesn’t necessarily agree with the criticism they received in season one.

“People talk about how we're beyond the book, but we're not really," Miller told Newsweek. "The book starts, then jumps 200 years with an academic discussion at the end of it, about what's happened in those intervening 200 years. We're not going beyond the novel. We're just covering territory [Atwood] covered quickly, a bit more slowly.”

Even more importantly, Miller's got Atwood on his side. The author serves as a consulting producer on the show, and the title isn’t an honorary one. For Miller, Atwood’s input is essential to shaping the show, particularly as it veers off into new territories. And they were already thinking about season two while shooting season one. “Margaret and I had started to talk about the shape of season two halfway through the first [season],” he told Entertainment Weekly.

In fact, Miller said that when he first began working on the show, he sketched out a full 10 seasons worth of storylines. “That’s what you have to do when you’re taking on a project like this,” he said.

3. MOTHERHOOD WILL BE A CENTRAL THEME.

As with season one, motherhood is a key theme in the series. And June/Offred’s pregnancy will be one of the main plotlines. “So much of [Season 2] is about motherhood,” Elisabeth Moss said during the Television Critics Association press tour. “Bruce and I always talked about the impending birth of this child that’s growing inside her as a bit of a ticking time bomb, and the complications of that are really wonderful to explore. It’s a wonderful thing to have a baby, but she’s having it potentially in this world that she may not want to bring it into. And then, you know, if she does have the baby, the baby gets taken away from her and she can’t be its mother. So, obviously, it’s very complicated and makes for good drama. But, it’s a very big part of this season, and it gets bigger and bigger as the show goes on.”

4. THE RESISTANCE IS COMING.

Just because June is pregnant, don’t expect her to sit on the sidelines as the resistance to Gilead continues. “There is more than one way to resist," Moss said. “There is resistance within [June], and that is a big part of this season.”

5. WE’LL GET TO SEE THE COLONIES.

A scene from 'The Handmaid's Tale'
Hulu

Miller, understandably, isn’t eager to share too many details about the new season. “I’m not being cagey!” he swore to Entertainment Weekly. “I just want the viewers to experience it for themselves!” What he did confirm is that the new season will bring us to the colonies—reportedly in episode two—and show what life is like for those who have been sent there.

It will also delve further into what life is like for the refugees who managed to escape Gilead, like Luke and Moira.

6. MARISA TOMEI WILL APPEAR IN AN EPISODE.

Though she won’t be a regular cast member, Miller recently announced that Oscar winner Marisa Tomei will make a guest appearance in the new season’s second episode. Yes, the one that will show us the Colonies. In fact, that’s where we’ll meet her; Tomei is playing the wife of a Commander.

7. WE’LL LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ORIGINS OF GILEAD.

As a group shrouded in secrecy, we still don’t know much about how and where Gilead began. That will change a bit in season two. When discussing some of the questions viewers will have answered, executive producer Warren Littlefield promised that, "How did Gilead come about? How did this happen?” would be two of them. “We get to follow the historical creation of this world,” he said.

8. THERE WILL BE AT LEAST ONE HANDMAID FUNERAL.

A scene from 'The Handmaid's Tale'
Hulu

While Miller wouldn’t talk about who the handmaids are mourning in a teaser shot from season two that shows a handmaid’s funeral, he was excited to talk about creating the look for the scene. “Everything from the design of their costumes to the way they look is so chilling,” Miller told Entertainment Weekly. “These scenes that are so beautiful, while set in such a terrible place, provide the kind of contrast that makes me happy.”

9. ELISABETH MOSS SAYS THE TONE WILL BE DARKER.

Like season one, Miller says that The Handmaid’s Tale's second season will again balance its darker, dystopian themes with glimpses of hopefulness. “I think the first season had very difficult things, and very hopeful things, and I think this season is exactly the same way,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “There come some surprising moments of real hope and victory, and strength, that come from surprising places.”

Moss, however, has a different opinion. “It's a dark season,” she told reporters at TCA. “I would say arguably it's darker than Season 1—if that's possible.”

10. IT WILL ALSO BE BLOODIER.

A scene from 'The Handmaid's Tale'
Hulu

When pressed about how the teaser images for the new season seemed to feature a lot of blood, Miller conceded: “Oh gosh, yeah. There may be a little more blood this season.”

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6 Surprising Facts About Nintendo's Animal Crossing

by Ryan Lambie

Animal Crossing is one of the most unusual series of games Nintendo has ever produced. Casting you as a newcomer in a woodland town populated by garrulous and sometimes eccentric creatures, Animal Crossing is about conversation, friendship, and collecting things rather than competition or shooting enemies. It’s a formula that has grown over successive generations, with the 3DS version now one of the most popular games available for that system—which is all the more impressive, given the game’s obscure origins almost 15 years ago. Here are a few things you might not have known about the video game.

1. ITS INSPIRATION CAME FROM AN UNLIKELY PLACE.

By the late 1990s, Katsuya Eguchi had already worked on some of Nintendo’s greatest games. He’d designed the levels for the classic Super Mario Bros 3. He was the director of Star Fox (or Star Wing, as it was known in the UK), and the designer behind the adorable Yoshi’s Story. But Animal Crossing was inspired by Eguchi’s experiences from his earlier days, when he was a 21-year-old graduate who’d taken the decisive step of moving from Chiba Prefecture, Japan, where he’d grown up and studied, to Nintendo’s headquarters in Kyoto.

Eguchi wanted to recreate the feeling of being alone in a new town, away from friends and family. “I wondered for a long time if there would be a way to recreate that feeling, and that was the impetus behind Animal Crossing,” Eguchi told Edge magazine in 2008. Receiving letters from your mother, getting a job (from the game’s resident raccoon capitalist, Tom Nook), and gradually filling your empty house with furniture and collectibles all sprang from Eguchi’s memories of first moving to Kyoto.

2. IT WAS ORIGINALLY DEVELOPED FOR THE N64.

Although Animal Crossing would eventually become best known as a GameCube title—to the point where many assume that this is where the series began—the game actually appeared first on the N64. First developed for the ill-fated 64DD add-on, Animal Crossing (or Doubutsu no Mori, which translates to Animal Forest) was ultimately released as a standard cartridge. But by the time Animal Crossing emerged in Japan in 2001, the N64 was already nearing the end of its lifespan, and was never localized for a worldwide release.

3. TRANSLATING THE GAME FOR AN INTERNATIONAL AUDIENCE WAS A DIFFICULT TASK.

The GameCube version of Animal Crossing was released in Japan in December 2001, about eight months after the N64 edition. Thanks to the added capacity of the console’s discs, they could include characters like Tortimer or Blathers that weren’t in the N64 iteration, and Animal Crossing soon became a hit with Japanese critics and players alike.

Porting Animal Crossing for an international audience would prove to be a considerable task, however, with the game’s reams of dialogue and cultural references all requiring careful translation. But the effort that writers Nate Bihldorff and Rich Amtower put into the English-language version would soon pay off; Nintendo’s bosses in Japan were so impressed with the additional festivals and sheer personality present in the western version of Animal Crossing that they decided to have that version of the game translated back into Japanese. This new version of the game, called Doubutsu no Mori e+, was released in 2003.

4. K.K. SLIDER IS BASED ON ON THE GAME'S COMPOSER.

One of Animal Crossing’s most recognizable and popular characters is K.K. Slider, the laidback canine musician. He’s said to be based, both in looks and name, on Kazumi Totaka, the prolific composer and voice actor who co-wrote Animal Crossing’s music. In the Japanese version of Animal Crossing, K.K. Slider is called Totakeke—a play on the real musician’s name. K.K. Slider’s almost as prolific as Totaka, too: Animal Crossing: New Leaf on the Nintendo 3DS contains a total of 91 tracks performed by the character.

5. ONE CHARACTER HAS BEEN KNOWN TO MAKE PLAYERS CRY.

A more controversial character than K.K. Slider, Mr. Resetti is an angry mole created to remind players to save the game before switching off their console. And the more often players forget to save their game, the angrier Mr. Resetti gets. Mr. Resetti’s anger apparently disturbed some younger players, though, as Animal Crossing: New Leaf’s project leader Aya Kyogoku revealed in an interview with Nintendo's former president, the late Satoru Iwata.

“We really weren't sure about Mr. Resetti, as he really divides people," Kyogoku said. “Some people love him, of course, but there are others who don't like being shouted at in his rough accent.”

“It seems like younger female players, in particular, are scared,” Iwata agreed. “I've heard that some of them have even cried.”

To avoid the tears, Mr. Resetti plays a less prominent role in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and only appears if the player first builds a Reset Surveillance Centre. Divisive though he is, Mr. Resetti’s been designed and written with as much care as any of the other characters in Animal Crossing; his first name’s Sonny, he has a brother called Don and a cousin called Vinnie, and he prefers his coffee black with no sugar.

6. THE SERIES IS STILL EVOLVING.

Since its first appearance in 2001, the quirky and disarming Animal Crossing has grown to encompass toys, a movie, and no fewer than four main games (or five if you count the version released for the N64 as a separate entry). All told, the Animal Crossing games have sold more than 30 million copies, and the series is still growing. In late 2017, the mobile title Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp was released for iOS and Android. It's a big step for the franchise, as Nintendo is famously selective about which of its series get a mobile makeover. A game once inspired by the loneliness of moving to a new town has now become one of Nintendo’s most successful and beloved franchises.

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