Movie Trivia: Heathers. What's Your Damage?

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Ah, Heathers. As a dark humor lover and a girl who totally resents her high school experience, I think this movie is fantastic. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I think the trivia is pretty interesting whether you're a die-hard fan of the film or not. Grab a Diet Coke and some Corn Nuts (BQ, of course) and enjoy!

Oh, and a quick Heather Recap as requested in the comments: Heather Chandler is the blonde Alpha-Female (Kim Walker), Heather Duke is the brunette (Shannen Doherty) and Heather McNamara is the ditzy cheerleader (Lisanne Falk).



New World Pictures was floundering when this movie was made. Apparently there was so little money at the company that some weeks they were unable to take out ads to promote their movies in the paper. Heathers didn't even get an ad in the L.A. Times.

The night they shot the scene where Christian Slater and Winona Ryder play a little strip croquet, Winona was in a hurry because she was trying to make the premiere of Beetlejuice.

Heather Duke's Moby Dick book was supposed to be Catcher in the Rye, but they couldn't get the clearance for it. Catcher in the Rye makes a lot more sense when you think about it, right?

Westerburg High was actually Corvallis High School (Studio City, I think). The interiors, anyway. The exteriors were shot at John Adams Middle School.

Writer Daniel Waters had originally had Stanley Kubrick in mind to direct because of his shooting style and the film's length (the original script was more than three hours long). Also, Dan Waters was only 24 when he had his script made into this fabulous movie, which makes me feel like a complete loser.

A real Heather - Heather Graham - was cast as Heather McNamara, but her parents wouldn't let her take the part because they thought the language and the content were too risque.

The writer got his inspiration for the note forged from the hot jock to the fat Martha Dumptruck from his sister - apparently she and her friends used to pull that trick on their fellow high school students.

Winona Ryder turned 16 on the set of this movie. Christian Slater was 19.

New World wanted Justine Bateman as Veronica Sawyer. Dan Waters wanted Jennifer Connelly. Originally, all of the casting department thought Winona Ryder wasn't pretty enough, because they had only seen her in Beetlejuice and Lucas - two movies where she wasn't exactly flaunting her beauty. They met her in an elevator on the way up to read for the part and were all instantly struck by how perfect she was for the part.

Kim Walker, the actress playing Heather Chandler, was actually Christian Slater's girlfriend at the time.

The kitchens in the houses of Heather Duke and Heather Chandler are the same kitchen. The crew couldn't afford to make two different kitchen sets, so they just used the same one and dressed it differently.

When Heather Chandler falls through the glass coffee table, check out the CliffsNotes laying on the floor - it's The Bell Jar.

Two really strange coincidences: Kim Walker died of a brain tumor in 2001. Her character, Heather Chandler, says the line, "Did you have a brain tumor for breakfast?" The year before, Jeremy Applegate, who played Peter Dawson, killed himself. In the movie, his character declares that he will never kill himself.

The frat house scene was shot at a real frat house at UCLA.


The movie uses the Doris Day song "Que Sera, Sera." Not the Doris Day version, obviously, but the song she was known for nonetheless. Doris Day wouldn't let her version be used because of the profanity in the movie. Oddly enough, producer Denise Di Novi is the daughter of Gene Di Novi. Gene was a musician who worked with Doris Day on multiple occasions, and he said that when he was recording with her, she implemented a strict swear jar rule and made all of her musicians abide by it.

The scene of the cow tipping date that Heather McNamara and Veronica have with Kurt and Ram was shot in Griffith Park, which is where the Hollywood sign is located. The "cow" that was tipped, by the way, was just some cowhide stretched over sawhorses.

Brad Pitt read for Christian Slater's part, but everyone felt he was too cute and too nice for the role.

Ich Luge means "I'm Lying" in German, so when J.D. says that he's using "Ich Luge" bullets on Kurt and Ram, he's actually telling you what's going to happen.

Speaking of Kurt and Ram, the scene where they meet Veronica in the woods was supposed to be shot at night. Since Winona was underage, though, they could only have her work so many hours a day and only so late into the day. They applied for an exception but were refused, and so the scene was shot as if it was supposed to take place at dawn (it was really mid-afternoon).

There are a lot of feet/leg shots in the movie is for the same reason. When they really needed to shoot a scene but were out of hours for Winona for the day, they just shot her double walking down a hall (or the like).

In the scene where Winona burns her palm with the cigarette lighter and Christian grabs her hand and lights his cigarette off of her skin, Winona was holding a heating element with wires running up her sleeve. She had to be careful not to burn herself during the scene, and Christian Slater really did light his cigarette out of her hand.

Westerburg High is named after Paul Westerberg of the Replacements.

Renee Estevez played Betty Finn, Veronica's old best friend before she got into The Heathers. Renee is Martin Sheen's daughter (and Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez' sister, obviously). Also, Veronica Sawyer and Betty Finn represent two of the most amazing friendships of all time, according to writer Daniel Waters. Veronica and Betty are the best friends (frenemies, really) from the Archie comics, and Sawyer and Finn are the last names of Tom and Huckleberry (respectively).

Shannen Doherty was apparently very difficult to work with even back then. The director kept saying, "She was very professional," and the writer and producer were both snorting and laughing every time he said it. "So was Mussolini," was Dan Waters' response, at one point.

Veronica Sawyer always wears a monocle when she writes in her diary just to show a level of pretentiousness. It's never really referenced in the actual movie, but it's there just to show that although Veronica might be rebelling against the whole teen girl hierarchy, she's still part of it.

At the funeral during the dream sequence, everyone in attendance is wearing 3-D glasses. They were originally supposed to be wearing real sunglasses, but were replaced by 3-D glasses for two reasons: to parody the famous photo and because they were a lot cheaper than real sunglasses.

There's an alternate ending that wasn't used because it was considered just too over-the-top. It's on the DVD extras, though, if you'd like to see it. And if not, I'll just tell you about it: After Veronica shoots J.D. in the boiler room, he dies. Veronica walks outside, much like she does in the regular ending, but when she turns around, we see that the bomb is strapped to her chest. The screen goes dark and Veronica says "Boom." Then it cuts to the school prom with a banner that says "What a waste, oh the humanity." People from different cliques are all mingling and getting pictures taken together. The end.

Do you have a movie you’d like to know some behind-the-scenes info on? Leave me a Tweet and let me know!

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@kzmcgrl - Boogie Nights was made like 9 years later

I know this post is about Heathers. But I just watched Boogie Nights again and its great.
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I think it's hilarious that Heather Graham wasn't allowed by her parents to do this movie for it's content... then she goes on to do Boogie Nights!
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Just thought it was worth mentioning that the reason everyone is co-mingling in the alternate ending is because they're in the afterlife together. Ok, maybe it's not worth mentioning so just call me Capt. Obvious.
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