The year was 1999 and by the summer, teen films were all the rage. The year kicked off with two unexpected box office success, Varsity Blues and She’s All That, before studios started pumping out hit after hit. In the same year, Drop Dead Gorgeous, a dark comedy about teenage girls competing in a local Minnesota beauty pageant, bombed at the box office. Unable to capture the same excitement as American Pie or 10 Things I Hate About You, the film quickly disappeared from theaters after earning a dismal .5 million at the box office.
It was only later, when released on DVD and VHS, did the movie become a cult classic. Similarly to Jawbreaker, which also came out in 1999, Drop Dead Gorgeous proved to be a pivotal film — introducing audiences to Amy Adams, making use of the mockumentary style — even if it was overlooked at the time.
On the 15th anniversary of the theatrical release, we talk to cast members, including Allison Janney, Denise Richards, and Mindy Sterling, who all shared tidbits from the set.
The film is a parody of the real life beauty pageant experience.
Taking place in Mount Rose, Minnesota, the film parodies the real life experiences of screenwriter Lona Williams, who grew up Rosemount. Williams was a beauty pageant survivor, winning runner up (and a ,000 scholarship) at America’s Junior Miss in 1985. Like the character Amber Atkins, Williams was only in it for the money.
“It wasn’t a dream. It was a way out,” Williams told BuzzFeed. “I used my scholarship to go to the University of Minnesota, and that was great.”
Goldie Hawn and Sigourney Weaver were wanted for the main adult roles.
Director Michael Patrick Jann and producers originally wanted Hawn as Kirsten Dunst’s mother, a role that later went to Ellen Barkin. As for Kirstie Alley’s character, the murderous Gladys Leeman, the studio wanted Weaver.
Melissa Joan Hart reportedly auditioned for Amber Atkins.
The role ultimately went to Kirsten Dunst, who followed up the role with Bring It On a year later.
Extras walked out on Denise Richards’ performance of “Can’t Take My Eyes of You.”
Richards said that a number of extras had not read the script prior to filming. Her tone-deaf rendition of the Frankie Valli hit while dancing with a Jesus doll on a crucifix did not sit well with unsuspecting audience members. “Halfway through my performance they were offended and actually walked off the set and left,” Richards told VH1. But it turned out the worst Richards was at singing, the better. “That was the fun of the movie.”
Being on set was like being at camp.
“It was like being at camp,” Richards said. “It was a really fun environment.”
The fun environment carried over to most of the cast in the film. Mindy Sterling, who played Iris Clark, echoed that sentiment. “I remember hanging out with all the girls on the set,” Sterling told VH1. She also recalled really connecting with the male cast, including Mike McShane.
Everyone had a sense that Amy Adams was a star.
Making her big screen debut, Adams was hardly remembered in the film until fans revisited the cult classic years later. However, her co-stars knew she was a star-in-the-making. “I remember Amy coming in, and immediately I was like, ‘Well, that’s it, she’s got that part,’” Jann told BuzzFeed.
Janney also remembered there was something special about her but didn’t put it together until many years later when they filmed The West Wing. “We were filming in Pittsburgh and we went out to dinner together and she was like, ‘Do you remember I was in [Drop Dead Gorgeous]?’” Janney recalled with a laugh to VH1.
The movie proved to be a breeding ground of Hollywood stars.
In addition to Adams, the film cast a number of up-and-comers, including Allison Janney (The West Wing), Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!), Brittany Murphy (8 Mile), and Will Sasso (MADtv).
Critics ripped apart the movie.
Cult films tend to come out of a dismal box office or just missing the moment. But not helping Drop Dead Gorgeous were the harsh reviews from critics, including Roger Ebert, The New York Times, and Entertainment Weekly, which gave it a “D”.
“Sometimes I wonder how anyone could have thought a screenplay was funny enough to film,” Ebert wrote. “The script for Drop Dead Gorgeous, on the other hand, must have been a funny read. It’s the movie that somehow never achieves takeoff speed.”
Despite the negative feedback from media, fans on Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a 75 percent freshness rating.
The movie came out at the wrong time.
As to why it flopped at the box office? It didn’t hit at the right time, at least, that’s according to Sterling. If it came out a few years later, maybe it would have been saved through social media much like The Notebook was when it first stalled in theaters.
The movie is not available on Netflix or iTunes.
Prepare to drop some money on the DVD copy of the film, which can be found at Amazon or big box retailer (if you’re lucky). The film has not been transferred to streaming devices despite other late-’90s cult classic, such as Jawbreaker and Dazed and Confused, finding their way onto digital providers.
[Photos: New Line Cinema]
Since LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian are just beginning the exciting journey of reality television, we thought we’d give them (and other couples out there) a few pointers on how to make your relationship last once America is in your living room.
Over the years, we’ve seen couple after couple grow dysfunctional and fall apart once they let the cameras into their life. Whether they’re singers, actors, or professional athletes, stars in the spotlight are unfortunately prone to the lying, cheating and divorce that comes with the territory of fame. However, certain TV couples have managed to survive, emerging out of the reality TV fog happier than ever. From The Bachelorette‘s Trista and Ryan Sutter to the titular stars of Giuliana and Bill, these lovebirds are still going strong, providing us with 10 rules any reality TV couple can use to make their relationship work. We suggest they take note.
1. Keep hold of your traditional values.
Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes tells it how it is, and we like that. She has a firecracker personality, but still holds traditional values near and dear to her heart, no matter how she chooses to express them. “Your marriage is supposed to just compliment and enhance who you are,” NeNe said last year. “Like, if you want to jump over the damn moon, your partner should support you jumpin’ over the damn moon.” Despite divorcing her husband of 15 years in 2011, NeNe remarried Gregg Leakes in 2013.
We’ve recapped the day’s best celeb news so you don’t have to. Lauren Conrad calls out a popular magazine, Kris Jenner takes family photos to an uncomfortable new level, and even a federal agency can’t get enough of Kim Kardashian.
- Lauren Conrad really isn’t down with Allure magazine calling her style “basic.” [The Hollywood Gossip]
- Kris Jenner posted a topless and apparently photoshopped family picture of herself and her daughters. [Us Weekly]
- And speaking of the Kardashians, even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is keeping up with them. [People]
- It sounds like Sean Penn and Charlize Theron are ready to tie the knot and adopt a baby. [New York Daily News]
- Emma Stone totally has psychic powers. Just watch the video above to hilariously see for yourself. [MTV News]
- A San Francisco gallery is hosting an exhibit featuring portraits of Bill Murray‘s most beloved characters. [Fast Company]
- Late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman rejected the idea of creating trusts for his children, instead leaving his assets to their mother. [CNN]
- Fans of Xena: Warrior Princess can now catch Lucy Lawless on Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. [Huffington Post]
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]
Need to get caught up on the day’s celebrity news? Zac Efron fuels relationship rumors, Cameron Diaz gets testy during a phone interview, and Rachel McAdams tells fans how she really felt about Lindsay Lohan while on the set of Mean Girls.
- Carrying an overnight bag, Zac Efron was seen leaving Michelle Rodriguez‘s home. [Celebuzz]
- If you plan to interview Cameron Diaz, don’t talk crap about her best buddy, Drew Barrymore. [Huffington Post]
- Rachel McAdams was totally “in awe” of Lindsay Lohan’s talent while filming Mean Girls. [E!]
- Anna Paquin schools us all about bisexuality and marriage. [Perez Hilton]
- Finally, fans get to see Taylor Lautner‘s abs once again. The former Twilight star will soon be making his debut on the BBC Three show, Cuckoo. Watch the trailer above. [MTV News]
- Despite being an actress, wife, and mom, Jessica Alba hasn’t stopped having girls’ nights with her pals. [Us Weekly]
- Jada Pinkett-Smith is advocating against sexual assault following an attempted attack on her niece. [People]
- Louie fans will have to deal with a short season next year, with only seven episodes airing in 2015. [Vulture]
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]
Today marks Selena Gomez‘s golden birthday. As the singer and former Disney actress turns 22, we can’t help but think that she doesn’t look markedly different from when she was a kid. However, she’s not the only grown celebrity that has retained cherubic features well into adulthood.
While some celebs like Sarah Hyland and Lucy Hale are simply known for their iconic roles playing teens, some stars like Gomez are ditching their old images for more sultry personas. Watch the video below to see the birthday girl talk about Justin Bieber, her on-and-off boyfriend who also looks pretty young and is still trying to shed his former saccharine image.
Browse through our gallery to find out which stars are still rocking baby faces even as they make their ways through their 20s.
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]
It’s Transformation Tuesday and Cameron Diaz is the star! Remember when she popped onto the scene as a hot, young thing in 1994′s The Mask?
Now she’s making dirty movies in Sex Tape with Jason Segel. From her early days of sporting “The Rachel,” to sexy beach waves, Cameron has experimented with countless styles over her 20-year career. With so many shades of blonde over the years, she’ll always be our favorite California girl. Cameron will be turning 42 this year and looks hotter than ever — how on Earth does she do it? Check out her style transformation through the years, and let us know your favorite look in the comments below.
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]
Blue Ivy Carter has a solid gold rocking horse. North West has a wardrobe any adult woman would envy. That’s the life of a celebrity baby — a King’s ransom worth of expensive gifts come birthday time. Sitting in the lap of luxury, these tiny tots have it all. So as we wish a very happy first birthday to little Prince George of Cambridge, we’re speculating the treasure troves of gifts he might be receiving from his high-flying celebrity pals to celebrate his first year on planet Earth.
It’s obviously only the best Kate and William’s son. Perhaps he’ll receive a mini James Bond suit from Daniel Craig, or a diamond encrusted pacifier from Kate Moss? Considering his family’s connections, Elton John could write him a song, or maybe he’ll get one of those mini electric cars for kids — a Beamer or a Merc, naturally — from Jason Statham? The sky’s the limit for a Prince — even one too tiny for the throne.
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]
Generally, when we get a manicure, it’s at a local salon, costs less than , and will probably chip within, oh, one day after getting them done. But for celebrities who probably don’t have to do banal tasks like cleaning, opening bags of chips, or taking out the trash, getting a manicure is a much more decadent affair. From Zooey Deschanel‘s 0 nail art to Toni Braxton‘s million diamond manicure, these women are not messing around when it comes to dressing their talons.
We were lucky enough to speak to celebrity manicurists like Leighton Denny and Sophy Robson to get the low down on what happens when celebrities go large on one of their smallest body parts. With jeweled polishes from Azature and real gold from Red Carpet manicure, everyone from Kelly Osbourne to Ke$ha is putting their money where their hands are. And if you thought that was decadent, Beyoncé‘s manicure consists of nail “rings” — putting actual jewelry in lieu of polish to create an ostentatiously regal look. Check out our gallery to find some of the world’s most expensive manicures, who’s had them, and who’s behind them, above.
[Photo Credit: @katyperry]
Rise and shine. The Kardashian family is even closer than we thought, Scarlett Johansson could have a wedding as soon as next month, and spoilers from the next Star Wars film are circulating around the Internet.
- Is Scarlett Johansson getting married in a few weeks? The actress and her fiancé are rumored to be getting hitched in August. [Daily Mail]
- Scott Disick and Khloe Kardashian are such good pals these days, they even take bubble baths together. [The Hollywood Gossip]
- Plot tidbits from Star Wars: Episode VII have hit the web, complete with an awesome opening sequence. [Complex]
- The Rock isn’t afraid to engage in old-school playground games like pat-a-cake. [MTV News]
- Elizabeth Berkley plans to skip Lifetime’s Saved By The Bell movie. [People]
- Charlie Hunnam opens up about leaving Fifty Shades of Grey. [Us Weekly]
- Hollywood lost legendary actor James Garner this past weekend. He was 86. [Washington Post]
Curious to know which soccer stud hangs with The Rock? Did J.Lo rock a bathing suit harder than Kim Kardashian? Hop into the gallery below to find out what you missed on Instagram over the weekend.
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]
Liv Tyler is sad — at least, according to the Internet. Thanks to the new HBO series, The Leftovers, and Vulture (see Lindsey Weber’s “The Saddest Faces of Liv Tyler, Who Is Always Sad”), one would think that the actress is upset all the time. But when Tyler spoke to VH1, it became clear that she is, in fact, not miserable. “They just picked every sad face,” Tyler said with a chuckle in response to the story. “I challenge them to make a happy face one.”
Here at VH1, we will not let a challenge go unanswered, so we pulled together the actress’ happiest moments from her 20-year film career to prove that Tyler is a happy person. (Check it out the gallery above.)
But what also makes Tyler happy is talking about her varied career, which includes cult classics (Empire Records), Tom Hanks’ directorial debut (That Thing You Do!), and one of her father’s music videos. The actress recalled memories of some of our favorite roles:
Favorite memory from Empire Records:
“I just remember it was a special time. We were all so young. There were so many great actors. It was sort of the beginning of all our careers in a way. We lived on the beach in these condos and would all eat dinner together, spend time together, and everyone had dogs. We just had a blast!”
Why working with Tom Hanks was the best:
“He was amazing director. I think he did a really good job… [That Thing You Do!] was one of my favorite movies I’ve ever made. It was so fun. Everywhere we went there were all those real state fairs and they had them all set up with the stuffed animals and all the games. It was incredible — all the sets and everything.”
Watching herself on MTV:
“I remember in the morning we used to watch the MTV countdown — the morning countdown with the top ten videos. I used to put it on when I woke up in the morning when I was getting ready. Whenever my video [for "Crazy"] came on that’s when I would go jump in the shower or go into the other room because I was too shy to watch it.”
- 15 Years Later: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Drop Dead Gorgeous
- 10 Ways Reality TV Couples Can (Actually) Make It Work
- Lauren Conrad Is Far From “Basic,” Kris Jenner Posts An Awkward Photo + More In Last Lap
- Zac Efron’s Late Night, Cameron Diaz’s Short Fuse + More in Today’s First Dibs
- Adult Celebrities Who Still Look Like Kids