Jon Lovitz Also Talks About His Scenes From ‘Happiness’ That Were Cut
OK, so the “Bad Boys” we know and grudgingly love stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, but what if it had instead starred two pasty white dudes from “Saturday Night Live“?
In a great “Random Roles” piece for the AV Club, Jon Lovitz reveals that at one point early on, he and SNL alum Dana Carvey were being eyed for the lead roles in “Bad Boys.” “But yeah, [Don] Simpson and [Jerry] Bruckheimer, they wanted Dana, and then they added me into it afterward. But the script—oh, another George Gallo script—the script was awful. They rewrote it for three months, but Disney didn’t want to do the new script. They wanted to do the original one, and it ended up going to Columbia. And Barry Josephson—who is a friend and used to be my manager—he decided to make it with two black actors, and that’s what happened. It was disappointing. I wanted to do it.”
Lovitz goes on to say that Smith and Lawrence were “great” in the film, and his hesitation to work on a script by George Gallo isn’t surprising. His recollection of working on the Gallo written and directed “Trapped In Paradise” is too good to chop up here, but we’ll give you this great opening salvo: “Well, I feel like I’m very fortunate to be in movies at all, but I called it Trapped In Shit.”
But that’s not all Lovtiz chatted about. The actor revealed some very interesting details about Andy Kornbluth, his memorable character from the unforgettable opening scene of “Happiness.” Firstly, Lovitz has nothing but the most effusive of praise for Todd Solondz, whose writing he compares to Shakespeare, Gershwin, Tchaikovsky and Liszt and adds, “Everyone goes, ‘What’s Todd Solondz like?’ And I say, ‘Well, if Penny Marshall and Woody Allen had a kid, it’d be Todd.'”
If you’ve seen “Life During Wartime,” the quasi-sequel to “Happiness,” you’ll know that Paul Reubens takes over the role from Lovitz, playing the ghost of his character. But what you don’t know is that originally Lovitz filmed his character’s suicide in a sequence that was ultimately cut from the original film. “That was in the movie, and then they cut it. I have that one scene in the beginning, and then there was another scene where I drop her off, and I don’t even look at her. And then there’s a third scene where I’m in my bedroom, and I end up killing myself. I drink and then take pills. For whatever reason, he cut those two scenes. When you have three scenes, it’s kind of like the beginning, middle, and end. You know everything—the actor knows, but the character doesn’t. You make specific choices that set up the next scenes. You’re doing certain things, so that by the time you get to the part where the guy kills himself, you understand why he was so upset, and also you understand that there’s something wrong with this guy. You make certain choices. The scene they shot where I drink, take some pills, and put a bag over my head, I had the ashtray. I’m petting it like it’s her. Todd didn’t write that—I added that part. And in the scene, the phone rings and the answering machine answers, and it’s her. She goes, ‘Hey, maybe we could go out again. I changed my mind.’ I’m like [makes a choking sound], and I drop dead. [Laughs.]”
So, a little something to file away in your movie trivia folder. The rest of the interview with Lovitz is hilarious and fascinating and is pretty much a must-read. But “Bad Boys” with Lovitz and Carvey? Yeah, probably a good thing it ultimately didn’t happen.