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10 (More) Outrageous Movie Theories You Didn’t See Coming

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Sometimes fans come up with wild theories to explain gaping plot holes in movies or just to find deeper meanings and themes. While some theories seem far too improbable to believe, others make perfect sense and can actually make a movie more enjoyable to watch. We’ve shared some outrageous movie theories with you in the past; here are 10 more.

1. THE THEORY: HOGWARTS IS JUST HARRY POTTER'S FANTASY

As the theory goes, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) became a victim of child abuse and emotional neglect following the death of his parents. His aunt and uncle force him to live in a small cupboard underneath the stairs and act as if he doesn’t exist. Since Harry is unwanted and abused, he copes with his trauma through elaborate fantasies of magic and Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he has lots of friends and is one of the most important people on campus. If you subscribe to this theory, then it explains all the plot holes and “deus ex machina” moments throughout the series.

2. THE THEORY: FERRIS BUELLER AND CAMERON FRYE ARE THE SAME PERSON

This fan theory suggests that Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) doesn’t exist; he’s just part of Cameron Frye’s (Alan Ruck) psyche. The movie introduces Cameron in bed with multiple and mysterious illnesses. Cameron hates his parents and his father is emotionally abusive, so he copes with his reality by having an imaginary friend named Ferris, who is everything that Cameron is not: confident, cool, and charming.

After he embarks on an adventure of watching a Cubs game, eating fine French cuisine, and going to a world-class art museum, Cameron learns to finally confront his demons when he takes responsibility for trashing his father’s car. The theory further suggests that Cameron is the real protagonist of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, as Ferris is merely Cameron’s “Tyler Durden” from Fight Club.

3. THE THEORY: BACK TO THE FUTURE’S DOC BROWN IS SUICIDAL

In Back to the Future, Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) stand right in front of the DeLorean time machine during its first test run. When the speeding car hits 88 miles per hour, it will travel one minute into the future. As the car speeds toward the pair, Marty tries to get out of its way, but Doc pulls him back to watch the DeLorean go into the future. When the car disappears, Doc is surprised that it vanishes.

Throughout the entire Back to the Future trilogy, it’s established that Doc Brown is a failed scientist and the DeLorean time machine is the first thing he’s ever invented that works. There’s a theory that suggests Doc Brown wanted to kill himself after a lifetime of failure and misery. He wanted to commit suicide by way of the invention that consumed his life and drained his family’s fortune. Doc was also on the run after stealing Plutonium from a Libyan terrorist group and he felt that he would be caught soon. Luckily, the time travel experiment worked!

4. THE THEORY: ANDY DUFRESNE IS A MURDEROUS SOCIOPATH

A fan theory suggests that The Shawshank Redemption’s Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is really a cold and remorseless murderer and a master manipulator. Here’s why: Andy is convicted of killing his wife and her lover after he finds out that she’s cheating on him. He gets drunk, buys a gun, and loads it with bullets, only to change his mind at the last minute and not commit the murder. Unfortunately, his wife and her lover were murdered by another person on the same night mere hours after he left the scene. Now that’s a pretty big coincidence!

The police investigation found bullets with his fingerprints on them and the gun was unable to be recovered. Once in prison, he convinces everyone that he’s innocent, even though all the evidence points to his guilt. Andy is obsessed with chess, but it never really plays out as a movie theme, unless it turns out that he was playing everyone—including the audience—as pawns. He only befriends Red (Morgan Freeman) when he needs something from him; he gets friendly with the prison guards to get special treatment for his fellow prisoners; and he helps the warden embezzle money so that he can later escape. He even planted a fake story in Tommy’s (Gil Bellows) mind about “the real killer,” so that he could help him get a new trial. Andy has already established that he’s smarter than everyone at the prison and escapes in the dead of night without anyone having a clue.

Andy Dufresne played everyone for fools, even the viewer, because the whole account of The Shawshank Redemption is from Red’s point of view and the only things he knows about Andy came from Andy directly. In that respect, Red is an unreliable narrator. Red even described Andy as having “a quiet way about him, a walk and a talk that just wasn't normal around here. He strolled, like a man in a park without a care or a worry in the world, like he had on an invisible coat that would shield him from this place.” If this theory holds true, that nonchalance is because Andy is a sociopath.

5. THE THEORY: ALADDIN TAKES PLACE IN A POST-APOCALYPTIC FUTURE

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The proof that Disney’s Aladdin is set in the future comes from the Genie (Robin Williams). During the film, Genie gives Aladdin a makeover and tells him his look is “much too third century,” which implies that the last time he was out of the lamp was sometime between the years from 201 to 300 A.D. In addition, when Genie does get out of the lamp, he remarks that he’s been inside for 10,000 years. This suggest that Aladdin takes places sometime after the year 10,300.

This would explain the movie’s setting and why there are so many modern pop culture references, such as Genie’s celebrity impressions and the appearance of Disneyland memorabilia.

6. THE THEORY: THE ROCK IS REALLY A JAMES BOND MOVIE

In The Rock, Sean Connery plays John Mason, an ex-British secret service agent who is described as a lethal and highly trained killer. He’s detained in the United States after getting caught spying during the 1960s. If the character from The Rock sounds like another British super spy from the ‘60s that was also played by Sean Connery, it’s because John Mason and James Bond are the same character, according to some fans.

The theory goes on to attribute more 007-like qualities to Connery’s character in The Rock, including his winning charm and his sophisticated style after he’s released from prison. He even wears a snazzy new tailored suit and gets a fresh haircut after spending more than 30 years behind bars.

7. THE THEORY: FROZEN'S ELSA AND ANNA ARE NOT SISTERS

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There are a few fan theories that state Frozen and Tangled take place in the same universe. In fact, Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) and Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi) make a brief cameo appearance in Frozen during the royal party. Moreover, it was revealed that King Agnarr and Queen Iduna were making a journey to Rapunzel and Flynn’s wedding at the beginning of Frozen when they were lost at sea. But there’s a fan theory out there that takes this idea even further and suggests that Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell) aren’t sisters at all. Instead, Elsa’s real sister is Rapunzel.

Here’s the evidence: They’re both from neighboring kingdoms; Rapunzel is from Corona while Elsa is from Arendelle. They are both similar in age because they’re twins. It’s established Rapunzel is 18 years old at her wedding and Elsa’s coronation takes place three years later on her 21st birthday, so at the time of the royal party, Rapunzel and Elsa are both 21 years old. Lastly, they’re the only two princesses from both Tangled and Frozen (or any of the Disney Princesses) who have magical powers; Rapunzel with her hair and Elsa with her snow and ice powers. In addition, they both have the same power to give and heal life

8. THE THEORY: ALIEN AND FIREFLY TAKE PLACE IN THE SAME UNIVERSE

In the opening scene of Firefly’s pilot episode, Captain Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) gets behind a large cannon to shoot an Alliance spaceship out of the sky during the Battle of Serenity Valley. When he has the ship in his sights, you can plainly see a Weyland-Yutani Corporation logo in the cannon’s display. It suggests that Firefly takes place 200 years after Alien: Resurrection in the same cinematic universe. It’s probably worth noting that Firefly creator Joss Whedon also penned the script for Alien: Resurrection.

9. THE THEORY: BRICK TAMLAND IS A TIME TRAVELER

Steve Carell’s Brick Tamland from the Anchorman movies is really a time traveler moving back and forth in time and space. The biggest clue to this theory comes from the epic battle scene in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. In the middle of the scene, Brick uses a ray gun that he says he got from the future. But before the scene, Brick also subtly references things from the future, such as saying “I ain't afraid of no ghosts” when the movie is set in 1979, which is five years before the release of Ghostbusters in 1984; he can recall his own birth, and plans his own funeral. He knows exactly when he’s going to die in the future because he’s already been there.

It also explains why Brick randomly seems to say nonsensical things, as it’s the only way his brain can deal with his time traveling.  

10. THE THEORY: ANT-MAN IS IN EVERY MOVIE IN THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE

A fan theory appeared on Reddit (albeit in the Sh*tty Fan Theories thread) suggesting that Ant-Man has appeared in every Marvel Cinematic Universe movie just before the release of his own movie in July 2015, but that he was stuck in “Ant” mode and the audience just couldn’t see him. Regardless, he was still in every other Marvel movie helping Iron Man, Captain America, and the rest of the Avengers, just shrunken down.

Ant-Man director Peyton Reed even commented on the theory, telling The Huffington Post, “I love that theory. I think it’s a funny theory. I’m not quite sure that the timeline works out, but I like the idea of it.”

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10 of Benjamin Franklin’s Lesser-Known Feats of Awesomeness
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We all know about Benjamin Franklin’s kite-flyin’, library-establishin’, Declaration-signin’, newspaper-printin’, lady-killin’ ways. But let’s celebrate some of his lesser-known but very cool contributions to society, on what would be his 312th birthday.

1. HE SWAM WITH THE FISHES.

As a youngster, Ben learned to swim in Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River and became somewhat of an expert. On a Thames River boating trip with friends, a 19-year-old Franklin jumped into the river and swam from Chelsea to Blackfriars (around 3.5 miles), performing all sorts of water tricks along the way or, as he described it, “…many feats of activity, both upon and under the water, that surprised and pleased those to whom they were novelties.” Franklin’s Phelpsian feats earned him an honorary induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1968.

He was such an excellent swimmer, one of the careers he considered (and seemingly one of the few he did not choose) was running a swimming school of his own. Of course, he also invented his own swim fins.

2. HE PRINTED BENJAMINS, BEFORE THEY WERE BENJAMINS.

Many people know that Ben Franklin owned a printing company and the Pennsylvania Gazette. But it may be new knowledge that his company also printed all of the paper money for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Beginning in 1929, his face would grace the front of the $100 bill and people would call them “Benjamins” in his honor.

3. HE DEVELOPED AN ELECTRIC VOCABULARY.

Because the things Franklin was doing in his experiments with electricity were so new, he had to make words up for them as he went along. One scholar suggests that Franklin may have been the first to use as many as 25 electrical terms including battery, brushed, charged, conductor, and even electrician.

4. HE WAS NO DEBTOR.

Franklin was terrified of debt and viewed it as similar to slavery because he believed that, through the acquisition of debt, man essentially sold his own freedom. He was so anti-debt that he often spoke (seriously) about forming an international organization called The Society of the Free and Easy for virtuous individuals who, among other things, were free of debt and, therefore, easy in spirit.

5. HE WAS ALWAYS PUTTING OUT FIRES.

In addition to being a famously calming voice of reason and a frequent mediator at the Constitutional Convention, Franklin organized the first volunteer fire company in 1736: The Union Fire Company (nicknamed Benjamin Franklin’s Bucket Brigade). Among his many writings are articles on fire prevention, stressing that an "ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” He was more eloquent than Smokey Bear.

6. HE INVENTED A TON OF COOL STUFF, INCLUDING THE ROCKING CHAIR AND THE ODOMETER.

Of course, you probably know that Franklin is responsible for the lightning rod, bifocal glasses, and the Franklin stove. But in 1761, Franklin also invented the glass harmonica (or "armonica," as he called it). It became quite popular during Franklin’s time and armonica-specific pieces were composed by the likes of Mozart, Beethoven, and Handel.

Some of Franklin’s other inventions include:
• The library stepstool, a chair whose seat could be lifted and folded down to make a short ladder.
• A mechanical arm for reaching books on high shelves. (Book retrieval—clearly a focus of Franklinian innovation.)
• The rocking chair—a chair that rocks.
• The writing chair—a chair with an arm on one side to provide a writing surface. (Activities one can do while seated were also a focus.)
• The odometer—used in Franklin’s time to measure distance along colonial roads used by the postal service.
• A pulley system that enabled him to lock and unlock his bedroom door from his bed.
• The flexible urinary catheter.

7. HE WAS PARTIALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AMERICA'S FIRST HOSPITAL.

Established in 1751 by Ben and Dr. Thomas Bond, Pennsylvania Hospital was built “… to care for the sick-poor and insane who were wandering the streets of Philadelphia” (those sound like some wild streets). While the hospital was Bond’s brainchild, Franklin’s support and advocacy got the project off the ground. He galvanized the Pennsylvania Assembly and helped raise the necessary funds. It appears that Franklin was more proud of this accomplishment than most (even all those outrageous swimming tricks); he said later of the hospital’s establishment, “I do not remember any of my political maneuvers, the success of which gave me at the time more pleasure.”

8. HE HAD SEVERAL PSEUDONYMS.

Franklin was prolifically pseudonymous and his pseudonyms were pretty wonderful:

• Richard Saunders. Richard Saunders is Franklin’s most well-known pseudonym; it’s the one he used for his wildly popular Poor Richard’s Almanac, which ran annually from 1732 to 1758. Poor Richard was partially based on one of Jonathan Swift’s pseudonyms, Isaac Bickerstaff – Saunders and Bickerstaff shared a love of learning and astrology. The Richard character brought a comic frame to what was otherwise a serious resource in the almanac and, over the years of publication, the fun but likely unnecessary character gradually disappeared.

• Silence Dogood. When Ben was 16 years old, he desperately wanted to write for his brother James’s newspaper, The New England Courant, but James was something of a bully and wouldn’t allow it. So, Ben contributed to the paper as a middle-aged widow named Silence Dogood whose witty and satirical letters covered a range of topics from courtship to education. A total of 15 Dogood letters were published, resulting in the amusement of Courant readers, several marriage proposals for the pretend Mrs. Dogood, and, ultimately, a rise in the ire of James Franklin.

• Anthony Afterwit. Mr. Afterwit, a gentleman, wrote humorous letters about married life that appeared in Benjamin Franklin’s own Pennsylvania Gazette.

• Polly Baker. Polly Baker was a pseudonym Franklin used to examine colonial society’s unequal treatment of women. She was pretend punished by society for having pretend children out of pretend wedlock while the fathers of the pretend children went pretend unpunished.

• Alice Addertongue. Alice is another middle-aged widow who wrote what amounts to a gossip column for Franklin’s Gazette in the form of scandalous stories about prominent members of society.

• Caelia Shortface and Martha Careful. These pseudonyms were used by Franklin to settle a personal dispute; they wrote letters mocking Franklin’s former employer, Samuel Keimer, who had stolen some of Franklin’s publishing ideas. Shortface and Careful’s letters were published in The American Weekly Mercury, a publication by a Keimer rival.

Busy Body. Also published in The American Weekly Mercury, Miss Body’s letters were basically gossip stories about local businessmen.

• Benevolous. Benevolous wrote letters to British newspapers while Franklin was in London. The primary focus of the letters was to correct negative statements made about Americans in the British press.

9. HE WAS A TRAVELING FOOL.

During Franklin’s life, the average person never traveled more than 20 miles from their home. Franklin, on the other hand, crossed the Atlantic Ocean eight times (the first time at age 18 and the last time at age 79) and spent 27 years of his life overseas.

10. HE THOUGHT GETTING TOGETHER WITH HIS BUDDIES TO DRINK BEER AND CHAT WAS A FANTASTIC WAY TO IGNITE SOCIAL ACTION (AS IT TURNS OUT, HE WAS RIGHT).

Franklin formed a group that he called the Junto. The group’s purpose was to gather and debate philosophical questions on topics from ethics to business. Initially composed of 12 members, the group brought together people from different backgrounds (among the originals were printers, surveyors, a cabinetmaker, a clerk, a glazier, a cobbler, and a bartender) and gathered in a tavern on Friday nights. In his autobiography, Franklin described the group as a “…club for mutual improvement.” But the group discussions resulted in not only self-improvement, but societal improvement: The Junto has been credited as the breeding ground for some of Franklin’s greatest achievements, including the establishment of the first library, the first volunteer fire departments, the first public hospital, and even the University of Pennsylvania. Makes your Friday night pub trivia team seem like a bunch of underachievers, doesn’t it?

This post originally appeared in 2011.

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15 Things You Didn't Know About Betty White
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Happy birthday, Betty White! In honor of the ever-sassy star of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls's 96th birthday, let's celebrate with a collection of fun facts about her life and legacy. 

1. HER NAME IS BETTY, NOT ELIZABETH

On January 17th, 1922, in Oak Park, Illinois, the future television icon was born Betty Marion White, the only child of homemaker Christine Tess (née Cachikis) and lighting company executive Horace Logan White. In her autobiography If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't), White explained her parents named her "Betty" specifically because they didn't like many of the nicknames derived from "Elizabeth." Forget your Beths, your Lizas, your Ellies. She's Betty.

2. SHE'S A GUINNESS WORLD RECORD HOLDER.

In the 2014 edition of the record-keeping tome, White was awarded the title of Longest TV Career for an Entertainer (Female) for her more than 70 years (and counting) in show business. The year before, Guinness gave out Longest TV Career for an Entertainer (Male) to long-time British TV host Bruce Forsyth. As both began their careers in 1939, they'd be neck-and-neck for the title, were they not separated by gender.

3. HER FIRST TELEVISION APPEARANCE IS LOST TO HISTORY.

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Even White can't remember the name of the show she made her screen debut on in 1939. But in an interview with Guinness Book of World Records, she recounted the life-changing event, saying, "I danced on an experimental TV show, the first on the west coast, in downtown Los Angeles. I wore my high school graduation dress and our Beverly Hills High student body president, Harry Bennett, and I danced the 'Merry Widow Waltz.'" 

4. WHITE'S RISE TO STARDOM WAS DERAILED BY WORLD WAR II.

Before she took off on television, White was working in theater, on radio, and as a model. But with WWII, she shelved her ambitions and joined the American Women's Voluntary Services. Her days were devoted to delivering supplies via PX truck throughout the Hollywood Hills, but her nights were spent at rousing dances thrown to give grand send-offs to soldiers set to ship out. Of that era, she told Cleveland Magazine, "It was a strange time and out of balance with everything." 

5. HER FIRST SITCOM HIT WAS IN THE EARLY 1950S.

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Co-hosting the Al Jarvis show Hollywood on Television led to White producing her own vehicle, Life With Elizabeth. As a rare female producer, she developed the show alongside emerging writer-producer George Tibbles, who'd go on to work on such beloved shows as Dennis The Menace, Leave It To Beaver, and The Munsters. Though the show is not remembered much today, in 1951 it did earn White her first Emmy nomination of 21 (so far). Of these, she's won five times.

6. WHITE LOVES A PARADE.

From 1962 to 1971, White hosted NBC's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade alongside Bonanza's Lorne Greene. But that's not all. For 20 years (1956-1976), she was also a color commentator for NBC’s annual Tournament of Roses Parade. However, as her fame grew on CBS's The Mary Tyler Moore Show, NBC decided they should pull White (and all the rival promotion that came with her) from their parade. It was a decision that was heartbreaking for White, who told People, "On New Year's Day I just sat home feeling wretched, watching someone else do my parade."

7. SHE HAS BEEN MARRIED THREE TIMES.


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White and her first husband, Dick Barker, were married and divorced in the same year, 1945. After four months on Barker's rural Ohio chicken farm, White fled back to Los Angeles and her career as an entertainer. Soon after, she met agent Lane Allen, who became her husband in 1947, and her ex-husband in 1949 after he pushed her to quit show biz. She wouldn’t marry again until 1963, after she fell for widower/father of three/game show host Allen Ludden.

8. HER MEET-CUTE WITH HUSBAND #3 HAPPENED ON PASSWORD.

Bubbly Betty was a regular on the game show circuit, but she met her match in 1961 when she was a celebrity guest on Password, hosted by Allen Ludden. Though White initially rebuffed Ludden's engagement ring (he wore it around his neck until she changed her mind), the pair stayed together until his death in 1981. Today, their stars on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame sit side-by-side.

9. WHITE ORIGINALLY AUDITIONED FOR THE ROLE OF BLANCHE ON THE GOLDEN GIRLS.

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Producers of the series thought of White for the role of the ensemble's promiscuous party girl because she'd long played the lusty Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Meanwhile, they eyed Rue McClanahan for the part of naive country bumpkin Rose Nylund because of her work as the sweet but dopey Vivian Harmon on Maude. Director Jay Sandrich was worried about typecasting, so he asked the two to switch roles in the audition. And just like that, The Golden Girls history was made.

10. IF SHE HADN'T BEEN AN ACTOR, SHE'D HAVE BEEN A ZOOKEEPER.

"Hands down," she confessed in a 2014 interview. This should come as little surprise to those aware of White's reputation as an avid animal lover and activist. Not only does she try to visit the local zoo of wherever she may travel, but also she's a supporter of the Farm Animal Reform Movement and Friends of Animals group, as well as a Los Angeles Zoo board member, who has donated "tens of thousands of dollars" over the past 40 years. In 2010, White founded a T-shirt line whose profits go to the Morris Animal Foundation.

11. SHE DIDN'T DO AS GOOD AS IT GETS BECAUSE OF AN ANIMAL CRUELTY SCENE.

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White was offered the part of Beverly Connelly, onscreen mother to Helen Hunt, in the Oscar-winning movie As Good as It Gets. But the devoted animal lover was horrified by the scene where Jack Nicholson's curmudgeonly anti-hero pitches a small dog down the trash chute of his apartment building. On The Joy Behar Show White explained, "All I could think of was all the people out there watching that movie … and if there's a dog in the building that's barking or they don't like—boom! They do it." She complained to director James L. Brooks in hopes of having the scene cut. Instead, he kept it and cast Shirley Knight in the role.

12. A FACEBOOK CAMPAIGN MADE WHITE THE OLDEST SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE HOST EVER.

In 2010, a Facebook group called Betty White To Host SNL … Please? gathered so many fans (nearly a million) and so much media attention that SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels was happy to make it happen. At 88 years old, White set a new record. Her episode, for which many of the show's female alums returned, also won rave reviews, and gave the show's highest ratings in 18 months. White won her fifth Emmy for this performance.

13. SHE IS THE OLDEST PERSON TO EARN AN EMMY NOMINATION.


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In 2014, White earned her 21st Emmy nod—and her third in a row for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program—for the senior citizen-centric prank show Betty White's Off Their Rockers. She was 92. She also holds the record for the longest span between Emmy nominations, between her first (1951) and last (so far).  

14. SHE LOVES JUNK FOOD.

The key to aging gracefully has nothing to do with health food as far as White is concerned. In 2011, her Hot in Cleveland co-star Jane Leeves dished on White's snacking habits, "She eats Red Vines, hot dogs, French fries, and Diet Coke. If that's key, maybe she's preserved because of all the preservatives." Fellow co-star Wendie Malick concurred, "She eats red licorice, like, ridiculously a lot. She seems to exist on hot dogs and French fries." 

15. SHE WANTS ROBERT REDFORD.

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White once gave this cheeky confession: “My answer to anything under the sun, like ‘What have you not done in the business that you’ve always wanted to do?’ is ‘Robert Redford.'” Though she has more than 110 film and television credits on her filmography, White has never worked with the Out of Africa star, who is 14 years her junior.

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