These actors bring on a slice of their real abilities and gifts to make their job that much easier and more believable
Angelina Jolie has some intense knife-throwing talent apart from her gorgeous looks. A hangover from her troubled teen days when she experimented with knives in bed and cut her troubled self, she became quite adept at using the Balisong (Butterfly knife). Then she went on to master the art of throwing knives, and it came to use in her role as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, where Croft’s weapon of choice for most of the film is the legendary Gerber Guardian knife. But Brad Pitt is clearly paying for this talent, as he apparently needed to get her to anger management classes after it turned into more than just a hobby for Angie!
Neil Patrick Harris (NPH) doesn’t share a lot in common with his famous character Barney Stinson, but in their quest to make How I Met Your Mother interesting, Craig Thomas and Carter Bays, the creators, wanted to include the quirks of each character. So NPH, who is a magician and has even served as the President of the Board of Directors of Hollywood’s Magic Castle (an exclusive private club), had to get up to tricks on the show. In many of his acting spots, like when he tricks Lily, he performs the magic himself. He also did illusions and card tricks on the show.
Robert Pattinson isn’t only eye-candy on screen but is capable of turning ear candy too! The musically inclined actor plays the piano as Edward in Twilight, and also wrote Bella’s Lullaby for the film. It was eventually replaced with a more professional tune. But on-screen, it is Pattinson who plays the music. He followed it up with a duet with the digitalised Renesmee (Bella and Edward’s daughter) where he plays live on set with an older musician, whose figure is then swapped for the little girl in the final print.
While the world admired Kate Winslet in the artistic nude in Titanic, they failed to notice that the artist’s hands (meant to be Jack’s, played by Leonardo Di Caprio) are actually director James Cameron’s, who used to draw his ideas on the back of his bathroom door. The hands shown sketching Rose sprawled out nude on the couch are those of the famous director, as they had to get the whole scene on camera. In fact, all the art in Jack’s sketch book are his work. The portrait was apparently auctioned off in 2011, fetching about $16,000. Perhaps, that is Cameron’s way of doing a cameo on his films!
Christina Hendricks is best known for playing the sassy Joan Harris on Mad Men. But she also plays the accordion. The script writers asked her if she played piano and she didn’t. But since she was skilled at the accordian, they weaved that ability into the story. The newlywed Joan is pressed into playing the accordion for her husband’s dinner guests in season three, as her melancholic mindset on-screen comes through in the lilting rendition of C’est Magnifique – a song written by Cole Porter for his 1953 musical, Can-Can.
-— Compiled by Aakanksha Devi