Did you know that the 1991 The Addam’s Family movie was originally slated to be directed by Tim Burton? Would have been something awesome, right? But the Barry Sonnenfeld directorial was no less enchanting. All the actors nailed their characters to the ‘T’ and even after 26 years, the movie is a classic. More so because of all the things the actors did to slip into their roles.
Take a look. Don’t be surprised and thank us later.
The character of Morticia Addams required actor Angelica Huston to have her eyes glued upwards with thread and glue to give it a slanted look, leaving her with painful headaches on a daily basis. But she could not lie down either, because of a metal corset she had to wear to look the part.
The actor who played Gomez Addams, Raul Julia, was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 1991, the year the movie was released. In fact, it was a moving moment for the cast during the shooting of the scene where Gomez is on his deathbed, singing, as they thought that he’d have already known about his ailment. He died three years later.
The actor who played the first born of the family, Christina Ricci, gave up her role in Beetlejuice to Winona Ryder to audition for the role of Wednesday Addams. And she was quite a rebel too! In the original script for the film, Uncle Fester was going to be revealed as an impostor. She was the only cast member who pleaded with the filmmakers to change the storyline to portray Uncle Fester with real memory loss.
Jimmy Workman, who played Pugsley Addams, was just plain lucky. He was scouted for the role when he accompanied his sister on an audition for Wednesday. The casting directors saw him playing and asked him to read for the part. And the rest is, well, history.
After the role of Uncle Fester was turned down by Danny DeVito and Anthony Hopkins, it landed with Christopher Lloyd who actually went bald for the part. Also, he spent the whole shoot crouching because he is…wait for it…over six feet tall! Six feet and an inch, to be precise.
If you’re wondering who – it’s the actor who plays Cousin Itt. Remember the short being whose entire body is hidden beneath layers if long hair? Yes, that! The wig that Franklin wore weighed more than 35 pounds and the actor had to wear a neck brace and other paraphernalia just to support it!
A Canadian magician, Chrish Hart was Thing – the helping ‘hand’ of the Addam’s household. Literally! It took four months for Hart to shoot his scenes. Every scene was shot twice: first with Hart being wheeled around on a cart so his hand could run around, then again without him. Afterwards, they’d erase Hart’s body from each scene. As a magician, he was used to sitting still under a table for hours at a time, but his hand would go completely numb because all the blood drained out of it.