The high-school movie genre is a well worn one which never seems to get old and even though several of them are made and released each year, a few stand out above the rest. With Mean Girls dominating the 2000’s, Dazed and Confused is without a doubt the high school film of the ’90s but more importantly highly regarded as the pinnacle of all high school movies. Although it is set in 1976, the film came out in 1993, but to many it perfectly encapsulates high school life of the ’70s down to its iconic Led Zeppelin title. Fans of all ages still flock to the film, making it a classic and while you may watch it and notice quite a few stars of today in their youth, there is a lot about this film you probably didn’t know. Check out 14 Things You Didn’t Know About Dazed and Confused.
14. Famous Faces
As you are well aware, this film is packed full of stars before they were A-listers including Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, Cole Hauser and Adam Goldberg however there is one you might have missed. A young Renee Zellweger can be seen in the background of one of the party scenes holding a beer funnel, although she also auditioned for the role of Darla that went to Parker Posey. Vince Vaughn was also rejected for the film after auditioning for Fred O’Bannion, the role that went to Affleck, and Benny O’Donnell that went to Hauser. Meanwhile Brendan Fraser rejected the role of Randall ‘Pink’ Floyd that ended up going to Jason London.
13. Wiley Wiggins
On the other hand, Wiley Wiggins who ended up playing the lead role of Mitch Kramer originally only signed on to be an extra but had a much easier time of getting his starring spot. His odd name and long hair got him noticed by producers who then thrust him into the role of Kramer.
12. The Stoner Speech, Man
It’s all about havin’ a good time man, not cursing. Due to the centrality of stoners, the F-bomb is only said 49 times, way less in comparison to the word “man” which is said a total of 203 times.
11. Stoner Hair
There was a lot of pot smoking by a lot of characters in the film but the main stoner was without a doubt Slater played by Rory Chochrane. While his portrayal was very real, his hair was not, Cochrane wore a long hair wig for the film.
10. The Marriage
On-screen love between Michelle (Jovovich) and Pickford (Shawn Andrews) became real when the two eloped to Las Vegas and got married during filming. While Andrews was legal at 21, Jovovich was only 16 and her mother had the marriage annulled.
9. Jovovich’s Role
Milla Jovovich’s character is considered one of the main ones although she ended up having a pretty small role. Originally she had a lot more dialogue but it ended up being cut including a whole subplot that had to with the KISS statues that Michelle paints. There was a whole other story that went with those statues that didn’t make it to the final cut of the film. KISS member Gene Simmons ended up buying the statues before selling them at a KISS auction in 2000.
8. Cast Clash
Everything was not all groovy with everyone on-set. Apparently actors Jason London (‘Pink’ Floyd) and Shawn Andrews (Kevin Pickford) did not get along and even got in an on-set fight that director Richard Linklater had to break up. As a result the original script had to be altered to include fewer interactions between the two characters, resulting in a lot less lines for Pickford. In fact the last scene which focuses on the group smoking pot on the 50-yard line was supposed to feature Pickford instead of Wooderson (McConaughey).
7. Casting Matthew McConaughey
Speaking of Wooderson, not long ago an amazing video surfaced of Matthew McConaughey auditioning for his iconic role in the film but the story behind how he got there is also pretty great. The film was shot in Texas where McConaughey happens to be from and one night in Austin he was hanging out a bar when he ran into the casting director Don Phillips. The two then got so drunk they got kicked out by management but Phillips told McConaughey to go to the casting office the next day, and well, we all know what happened there.
6. The Lawsuit
In 2004, 11 years after the movie’s release three former classmates of Linklater’s filed a defamation lawsuit against him stating that three of the central characters were based off of them without their permission. The case was dimissed due to statute of limitations but they had a point considering their names were Bobby Wooderson, Andy Slater and Richard Floyd.
5. Marissa Ribisi
Actress Marissa Ribisi plays Cynthia Dunn, the redheaded love interest of Wooderson and while she has continued acting, her biggest role remains to be that of Cynthia. She is however the twin sister of actor Giovanni Ribisi who you would recognize from pretty much everything. She has also been married to Grammy-winning singer Beck since 2004 and they have two children.
4. Drugs/Alcohol On-Set
Contrary to popular belief Linklater did not actually let the actors get stoned while filming but he admitted that did not stop them from getting stoned before the scenes, although they did apparently light one up for real for the final scene where Pink, Wooderson, Simone and Slater drive away to go get Aerosmith tickets. However, some of the party scenes included real beer and alcohol drunk by the actors, except for the minors of course.
3. The Freshmen Hazing
A huge part of the film focuses on the hazing of the Freshmen class by the Seniors which was inspired by Linklater’s own high school experience, especially the scene where Mitch is targeted after his baseball game which also happened to Linklater at his own summer-league game. The wooden paddles used by the guys were designed by the actors themselves and one had “17” on it to indicate the time between the film’s setting (1976) and the release (1993).
2. The Music
Obviously the music was central to the film and an incredible 15% of the entire $6.9 million budget was spent on getting copyrights for the songs featured. Even though the Aerosmith song “Sweet Emotion” features in the film’s opening scenes, the band would not allow it to go on the movie’s soundtrack and you may have noticed that even though the whole thing is named after an iconic Led Zeppelin song, not one of the band’s songs including “Dazed and Confused” appear in the movie. Linklater asked the remaining members of the band if he could use “Rock and Roll” for the movie and Page and Jones agreed but Robert Plant refused, so no-go on the Zeppelin- denied!
1. Wooderson’s Lines
“All right, all right, all right” has become Matthew McConaughey’s most famous line even after his huge Hollywood career and it all began with this movie. McConaughey’s first scene for the film was when he used the line to hit on Cynthia Dunn so to calm his nerves he meditated to The Doors and on the live album Jim Morrison yells out “All right” four times in between two songs. McConaughey later explained he only said it three times because he had his rock ‘n’ roll, his car and his weed but didn’t have the woman yet, 3/4. While “all right” is the actor’s most famous line, the best line of the movie is also delivered by McConaughey, “That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.” And of course, “You just gotta keep livin’ man. L-I-V-I-N,” which is behind the name of his production company (JKL Productions) and his charity (Just Keep Living Foundation).