There are some movies that just stick into your head for no reason. Even if they aren’t your favorite movies and you might have seen them only a few times, you will have memories of some random scenes or quotes that always pop up into your mind everywhere you go. This happens to me with the movie “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” directed by Lasse Hallstöm. The American drama had Johnny Depp, Juliette Lewis, Darlene Cates and Leonardo DiCaprio starring in it.
Here are a few commonly unknown facts about the film.
1. It was Darlene Cates’ first and only movie.
But not a bad performance at all. Good job Darlene!
2. Cates’ character’s name is actually Bonnie.
But she is credited as “Momma” since her kids are the only people she talks to in the movie.
3. Cates hadn’t left her home in five years when the film was released.
She even admitted that the character’s problems were similar with hers.
4. Arnie was one of the most amazing roles of Leo’s career.
He did a fantastic job too.
5. Johnny Depp paid Leo $500 off set.
It is actually very cool seeing them so young and the pair went along so well. Johnny dared Leo to sniff a rancid pickle and then paid him $500 when he did it.
6. Depp was cast in the movie simply for his ability to express emotion without words.
Director Lasse Hallström says Johnny Depp was ultimately chosen for the role of Gilbert Grape because he is so expressive through his eyes. Don’t you agree on that?
7. Momma never actually climbed the stairs.
Darlene only climbed the first few and then the filmmakers looped it to make it look as if she climbed them all.
8. Her bedroom was actually just a pre-built set on the first floor.
9. Leo was never supposed to kill that grasshopper.
There were a lot of animal rights activists that were offended when he killed it but when the director told Leo to slam the grasshopper in the mailbox, he just assumed that he should’ve followed the instructions literally.
10. The interior of Gilbert’s house was the exact same set used for the film The Roadie. Oops!
11. The photo of Momma as a young girl is actually Darlene Cates as a young girl.
12. Leo spent time with mentally disabled teens to research his role.
He found the whole experience very refreshing because “everything is so new to them”.