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18 Straightforward Facts About Donnie Darko

Image: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment 

Director Richard Kelley's film Donnie Darko was released in 2001. The story of the deliciously eerie puzzle that is Donnie grossed a respectable $7.7 million after the initial budget of $4.5 million. Yet unsurprisingly, elements of the tale continued to capture the imagination of viewers for years to come, guaranteeing the film a definite "cult hit" status. Part of Darko's appeal was its many memorable characters, one of which was the late Patrick Swayze's portrayal of Jim Cunningham. According to Kelley, Swayze relished the part, and dug into fleshing out the character with enthusiasm — and personal touches. 


Jim Cunningham’s Cunning Visions infomercials were even shot at Swayze’s ranch in Calabasas, California. When asked about working with the actor, Richard Kelly confirmed that, "He'’s the nicest guy ... He wanted to take a flame-thrower to his image. He was fearless. We shot the infomercials on his ranch. Those were his real clothes from the '80’s. He frosted his hair specifically for the part. He totally got it and was so cool about it."

Read 17 more facts about Donnie Darko here.

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