Paramount Pictures; DreamWorks
Some of the most iconic lines from popular movies weren't actually in the scripts, they were improvised by the actors.
Tom Holland ad-libbed in "Avengers: Infinity War" and Robert Downey Jr. added a now-famous line to the ending of "Iron Man."
The most memorable lines from classic films like "Casablanca," "The Godfather," and "Jaws" weren't all planned.
Other famous improvised lines come from "Titanic," "Good Will Hunting," and "Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back."
More often than not, if an actor says a great line in a film, it was written intentionally.
But occasionally, actors go off-book while the cameras are rolling, and what they come up with is so good that it makes the final cut.
Here are some of the most iconic lines from famous movies that weren't in the original scripts.
"I don't wanna go." — "Avengers: Infinity War" (2018)
At the end of "Avengers: Infinity War," Peter Parker (Tom Holland) has a heartbreaking moment with his mentor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.).
As Peter's body turns to dust, he says "Mr. Stark, I don't feel so good ... I don't wanna to go."
Per Fansided, during a 2019 event at The Second City in Chicago, director Joe Russo said he knew the scene would be an emotional one, so he wanted to make it count.
"I was like, until I cried on set, I didn't want to be done with the scene. And we did it a few times and it was very short. And he just kind of fell into Downey's arms and laid down on the ground," he said.
Russo told Holland to stretch the scene out, and that his motivation was "You don't want to go."
Holland confirmed the story in a 2019 interview with GQ.
"... A technique I do if I'm trying to cry is I'll say a phrase over and over again," Holland shared. "... In that scene it was 'I don't wanna go,' and I just thought I would say it out loud and it works. It's really good in the film."
"... Take the cannoli." — "The Godfather" (1972)
According to The Hollywood Reporter, in the original script for "The Godfather," Clemenza (Richard S. Castellano) was only supposed to tell Rocco to "Leave the gun" after he murdered Paulie.
Instead, Castellano improvised the line and made it "Leave the gun, take the cannoli" — based on a suggestion from his wife, actress Ardell Sheridan — in reference to a previous scene where the character was asked to pick up dessert on his way home.
The addition stuck, and it has since become one of the most quoted lines from the film.
"What an incredible Cinderella story ..." — "Caddyshack" (1980)
Warner Bros. Pictures
As Carl Spackler in "Caddyshack," Bill Murray improvised the entire "Cinderella Story" monologue.
"All it said in the script is: Carl is outside of the clubhouse practicing his golf swing, cutting the tops off flowers with a grass whip," director Harold Ramis shared in the book "Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story" by Chris Nashawaty, according to Golf magazine.
Murray did the monologue in "one unbroken take."
"I was good back in those days," Murray said. "I could do something when they turned the camera on. I was wired into what I was talking about. Improvising about golf was easy for me. And it was fun. It wasn't difficult to come up with stuff. And there was a great crowd of people there to entertain."
"Everyone wants to be us." — "The Devil Wears Prada" (2006)
20th Century Fox
According to Variety, the iconic line from Streep's monologue, "Everyone wants to be us," was originally scripted as "Everyone wants to be me." But Streep changed the line during the film's table read.
Emily Blunt also did a little improvising in the film.
Durning a 2015 interview with Howard Stern, Blunt said that she took the "I'm hearing this, and I want to hear this" insult from a mother she observed at a store and put it into the film.
"Mein Führer! I can walk!" — "Dr. Strangelove" (1964)
Unable to hide his Nazi tendencies, the titular character (Peter Sellers) of this war comedy rises from his wheelchair at the end of "Dr. Strangelove" and exclaims "Mein Führer! I can walk!"
The original ending was a little different, but filmmaker Stanley Kubrick was open to Sellers' interpretation.
In the book "Calling Dr. Strangelove: The Anatomy and Influence of the Kubrick Masterpiece" by George Case, Kubrick explained his artistic technique.
"Peter said he couldn't promise to do the same thing twice. And he couldn't do anything more than two, three times," he said. "So the day we did the sequence that ended with 'Mein Führer, I can walk,' I had six cameras lined up and he came in and ... no one knew what he was going to do, himself included."
"You talkin' to me?" — "Taxi Driver" (1976)
During a 2016 interview with Today for the 40th anniversary of "Taxi Driver," director Martin Scorsese recalled the day that actor Robert De Niro improvised one of the most iconic movie quotes of all time.
"There was no dialogue, I believe, in the scene, and I remember asking [De Niro], 'Can you say something to yourself? In the mirror?'" Scorsese said.
The director let De Niro work through the scene on his own in a locked studio.
"... He kept saying, 'You talkin' to me?'" Scorsese added. "... He just kept repeating it, kept repeating it ... and the [assistant director] was banging on the door saying, 'Come on, we got to get out of here.' And I said, 'No, this is good, this is good. Give me another minute.'"
"You're gonna need a bigger boat." — "Jaws" (1975)
When police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) finally gets an up-close look at the shark in "Jaws," he backs away and tells the Quint (Robert Shaw), "You're gonna need a bigger boat."
Carl Gottlieb, one of the screenwriters, told The Hollywood Reporter that the phrase was something they'd taken to saying on set in reference to the "stingy producers" who wouldn't give the filmmakers what they wanted.
Scheider tried adding the line into his dialogue a few times throughout filming, and it eventually stuck.
"It was so appropriate and so real," Gottlieb said. "And it came at the right moment, thanks to Verna Field's editing."
"Funny how?" — "Goodfellas" (1990)
The tense moment between Tommy (Joe Pesci) and Henry (Ray Liotta) at the Bamboo Lounge in "Goodfellas" was inspired by Pesci's real life.
During the 25th anniversary celebration of "Goodfellas" at the Tribeca Film Festival, Ray Liotta shared the story of the origins of the "Funny how? Funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?" line.
According to Liotta, Pesci told a story about the time he called someone in the Mafia funny while working as a waiter. Scorsese, who directed the film, liked the story, so he had them improvise it in rehearsal before adding it to the scene.
"I know." — "Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back" (1980)
20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm
In "Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back" when Han Solo (Harrison Ford) is about to be encased in carbonite, Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) confesses her love for him to which he responds, "I know."
In the original script, Solo was supposed to return the sentiment by saying "I love you too," but Ford suggested the now-iconic line to director Irvin Kershner.
"I was very interested in that moment and how it works. We never even shot 'I love you, too,'" Ford said in an interview for Starlog magazine.
"We just went ahead. It gave George [Lucas] pause. He had not written the scene with a laugh. But that laugh opens you up emotionally. You don't have another emotional outlet in that scene," Ford said. "The kiss, as the Princess and I are pulled back, is visually strong, and there'll never be a payoff for the scene without a laugh."
"All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain." — "Blade Runner" (1982)
While playing Roy Batty in "Blade Runner," actor Rutger Hauer was given the opportunity to tweak the lines he felt were "overwritten."
In a 2019 interview with Radio Times, he dissected the famous "tears in rain" speech and shared that he only kept some of the written monologue.
"I kept two lines, because I thought they were poetic. I thought they belonged to this character, because somewhere in his digital head he has poetry, and knows what it is. He feels it! And while his batteries are going, he comes up with the two lines," he said.
However, Hauer suggested cutting most of the originally scripted speech and instead wrote the now-famous ending line, "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
"For the end line I was hoping to come up with one line where Roy, because he understands he has very little time, expresses one bit of the DNA of life that he's felt. How much he liked it. Only one life," Hauer said.
"Alright, alright, alright!" — "Dazed and Confused" (1993)
Matthew McConaughey came up with Wooderson's "Alright, alright, alright" line in "Dazed and Confused" on a day he wasn't even supposed to be shooting.
In an interview with George Stroumboulopoulos, McConaughey said that he was asked to join the scene the day-of by director Richard Linklater. And before filming, the actor had been listening to a live album by the band The Doors, in which Jim Morrison can be heard repeating "all right" four times between songs.
"So right before we're about to go I'm like, 'What is Wooderson about?'" McConaughey said. "And I go, 'He's about four things: He's about you, know, his car, he's about gettin' high, he's about rock 'n' roll and pickin' up chicks.' I go, 'I'm in my car, I'm high as a kite, I'm listenin' to rock 'n' roll ...' Action ... and there's the chick. Alright, alright, alright ... three out of four."
"Molly, you in danger girl." — "Ghost" (1990).
Whoopi Goldberg is a celebrated comedian, so it's no surprise that she infused some of her own style into one of her most iconic characters: Oda Mae Brown from "Ghost."
According to The Telegraph, in the scene where Oda is relaying messages from Sam (Patrick Swayze) to his widow Molly (Demi Moore), Goldberg tweaked the scripted line and turned it into "Molly, you in danger girl."
"I love lamp." — "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" (2004)
Put some of the most successful comedians of the early 2000s in a room and they're bound to mess around a little. That's exactly what happened in "Anchorman."
"[Director] Adam [McKay] was like, 'We should have more lines for you, but we don't have any on the page.' He literally said 'Just say something,' and hence came 'I ate a big red candle' and 'I love lamp,'" Carell said. "The 'I love lamp' thing was just me at the end of a scene staring at a lamp and I said 'I love lamp' and Will [Ferrell] picked up on it and said, 'You're just saying things you're looking at.'"
"I am Iron Man." — "Iron Man" (2008)
According to producer Kevin Feige, Downey Jr. surprised everyone when he improvised the final line in "Iron Man," and it turned out to be perfect for the character.
"It's a fine line," Feige said. "If you're changing something for no reason, that's one thing, but if you're changing something because you want to double-down on the spirit of who the character is? That's a change we'll make.
He continued, "Tony Stark not reading off the card and not sticking with the fixed story? Him just blurting out 'I am Iron Man?' That seems very much in keeping with who that character is."
"I'm the king of the world!" — "Titanic" (1997)
20th Century Fox/Paramount Pictures
Most improvised lines come from the actors themselves, but this one from "Titanic" actually came from director James Cameron during filming.
"It was made up on the spot," Cameron said during an interview on a BBC program. "I was in a crane basket, and we were losing the light. I had tried this and we had tried that, tried this line and that line and it was just coming up snake eyes."
When he fed Leonardo DiCaprio the now-iconic line, the actor was not convinced.
His response to the director over walkie-talkie was "What?!"
To which Cameron responded, "Just f---ing sell it."
"Yippee-ki-yay motherf---er!" — "Die Hard" (1988)
20th Century Fox
Sometimes a simple change can make a big difference.
John McClane's (Bruce Willis) famous one-liner from "Die Hard" was written with a different expletive that actor Willis edited on the fly.
"I wrote 'Yippee-ki-yay, a--hole,'" screenwriter Steven E. de Souza once told The Hollywood Reporter. "But Bruce, on his final take, ad-libbed the 'motherf---er,' much to the amusement of the crew. The studio nervously left it in for the first test screening and the reaction made it permanent. But you don't always know."
Per Mental Floss, Willis told Ryan Seacrest in 2013 that he changed the line to "crack up the crew," and that he had no idea it would make it into the film.
"I'm walkin' here!" — "Midnight Cowboy" (1969)
While filming the famous scene from "Midnight Cowboy," Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman were actually nearly clipped by a real New York City cabbie while crossing the street.
Despite the real-life inconvenience, Hoffman delivered the improvised line like it was all a part of the plan.
According to the HuffPost, at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2017, the actor shared what was going through his mind at that moment.
"The truth is, this is the way the brain works: What was in my head was, 'We're makin' a movie here!' And then just as I'm about to say that, I realize, 'Oh, you can't do that,' the brain changes it to, 'I'm walkin' here!'" Hoffman said. "What was really being said, for me, was, 'We're shooting here!'"
"Reading? I didn't know you could read?" — "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" (2002)
In the second "Harry Potter" film Ron (Rupert Grint) and Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) take Polyjuice Potion to turn into Draco Malfoy's (Tom Felton) cronies, Crabbe (Jamie Waylett) and Goyle (Josh Herdman).
When they meet up with Draco, he asks Goyle why he is wearing glasses, and Goyle (really Harry) responds by saying he was reading.
To this, Draco responds, "Reading? I didn't know you could read."
While answering fan questions during a Facebook Live, Felton said that his response was improvised by director Chris Columbus during shooting and that it's one of his favorite Draco lines.
"Here's looking at you, kid" — "Casablanca" (1942)
"Here's looking at you, kid" was something that actor Humphrey Bogart improvised on the fly.
According to the BBC, the actor ad-libbed the phrase during one of the flashback scenes, and the writers liked it so much they had Bogart say it more than once in the film.
"I'm totally buggin' myself." — "Clueless" (1995)
"Buggin'" was a popular phrase in "Clueless," but not every usage of it in the '90s flick was planned.
Donald Faison (who played Murray), told Vulture that Paul Rudd (who played Josh) improvised the line "I'm totally buggin' myself."
"When you see us laughing at the end, we're literally laughing for real because nobody expected him to say that. And how he said it," Faison said.
"I think sometimes I would say, 'I'm bugging.' Not buggin', bugging — 'I'm bugging myself.'" Rudd recalled. "And then we kept trying to do different versions of it. Then we all couldn't stop laughing for a little too long."
"Not you, I don't even know you." — "The Princess Diaries" (2001)
The late director Garry Marshall was known for running very collaborative sets, and "The Princess Diaries" was no exception.
Heather Matarazzo (who played Lilly) told Cosmopolitan in 2016 that one line people always quote back to her from the film is, "Not you, I don't even know you" — which the character says during a scene where she's running down the street trying to catch up to Mia (Hathaway) and Michael (Robert Schwartzman).
According to the interview, the line was ad-libbed at the suggestion of producer Debra Martin Chase.
"Debra Martin Chase, who was one of the producers, was like, 'Say something like, Not you, I don't even know you.' That was the kind of set, where it was just collaboration, and just wanting to make the best film possible, and a lot of laughs and a lot of love," Matarazzo recalled.
"One night it was so loud it woke the dog up." — "Good Will Hunting" (1997)
In "Good Will Hunting," Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) tells a story about how his wife farts loudly in her sleep during one of the film's therapy scenes.
The camera reportedly even shakes up and down for a moment in the scene because the operator was also laughing uncontrollably.
"Have fun storming the castle!" — "The Princess Bride" (1987)
20th Century Fox
According to Atlas Obscura, in his book "As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride," actor Cary Elwes (who played Westley) wrote that his costar Billy Crystal (who played Miracle Max) was given a script, but he immediately started improvising his lines.
During an interview with EW, Crystal confirmed that some of his most memorable lines with his on-screen wife, Carol Kane, weren't written.
"We ad-libbed a lot of stuff: "Have fun storming the castle." "Don't go swimming for an hour — a good hour."
He continued, "There was a lot of really funny stuff that never made it into the movie."
Read the original article on Insider