Entertainment

20 Random Pop Culture Facts

20 Random Pop Culture Facts
Written by Arindam

Sarah Paulson and Cate Blanchett were actually drunk when filming a bar scene in Carol: “We were having martinis, and the props guy said: ‘Do you want to go hot?’ So, we went hot — and we learned that the alcohol was real.”

1.

Jonathan Bailey gifted his Bridgerton costar Simone Ashley a bee bracelet after filming Season 2. The bee played a major role in the second season, most notably during an intense scene where Bailey’s character (Anthony) was afraid Ashley’s character (Kate) would die from a bee sting.

2.

It’s no secret that Harry Styles is a pretty big Joni Mitchell fan (his new album, Harry’s House, shares the same title as Mitchell’s 1975 song “Harry’s House”). In a 2019 interview with Rolling Stone, Styles revealed he was glued to the sound of Mitchell’s dulcimer on her album Blue. He wanted to emulate the same sound on his album Fine Line: “I was in a big Joni hole — I kept hearing the dulcimer all over Blue,” Styles said. “So, I tracked down the lady who built Joni’s dulcimers in the ’60s.” She ended up making a dulcimer for Styles, which he played on “Canyon Moon.”


Anthony Pham / GAB Archive / Getty Images

Kid Harpoon, the coproducer on Fine Line, added: “We turned up at her house and [Harry] said: ‘How do you even play a dulcimer?’ She gave us a lesson, then got a bongo, and we were all jamming with these big Cheshire Cat grins.”

3.

Zendaya is known for putting a lot of thought, detail, and care into her red carpet/awards show looks, especially when it comes to honoring pop culture figures. At the 2021 BET Awards, she wore the same purple and green dress Beyoncé rocked in 2003. Zendaya honored Cher at the 2021 Oscars with her signature long dress and long hair look from the ’70s. And Zendaya showed up to the Spider-Man: No Way Home premiere in 2021 in a spider-web dress, in honor of…well, Spider-Man.


Bennett Raglin /  Steve Grayson / Matt Petit / Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / Getty Images / Marvel / Sony Pictures Releasing / Courtesy of Everett Collection / CBS

4.

Maggie Rogers’ new single, “That’s Where I Am,” was inspired by 10 Things I Hate About You. In a TikTok video, Rogers said: “I made this song at the end of Oct. 2020 at Real World Studios in England. On the plane ride over, I watched 10 Things I Hate About You and thought that it would be really fun to make a song that sounded like it could be the end credits of a rom-com.”

5.

Prince loved New Girl so much, he asked Zooey Deschanel if he could be a guest star on it. On Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Deschanel recalled the early stages of Prince’s guest appearance on the show. She said: “I got a cold email from his manager, and it was the most on-brand Prince email ever — like, too on-brand. It was like: ‘Hello, I am manager to legendary artist Prince. He is loving the show New Girl. He would like 2 B — you know, ‘2 B’ — on the show.’ And I’m like: ‘This has to be a prank — there’s no way!'”


Fox

Deschanel also told Kimmel: “We had no backup plan, but he showed up. He was awesome — he was such a pro. A good actor and very kind of chill all the time. Such a cool guy.”

6.

The iconic opening credits to Sex and the City were inspired by the opening theme to The Mary Tyler Moore Show from the ’70s. According to SATC creator and executive producer Darren Star, the MTMS opening told “a story about the character,” which is what he wanted for Carrie Bradshaw. He said: “I came up with the idea that she would be walking in a confident, cocky way through the streets, this bus would splash her, and then she would turn around and see that it was her image. The show is about someone who is constantly getting surprised by life, and I felt the sequence encapsulated who Carrie was.”

7.

Almost a year after Speed was released, Keanu Reeves surprised Sandra Bullock with truffles, champagne, and flowers. When they were hanging out together, Bullock casually mentioned she never had truffles before — so, like the kind-hearted man he is, Reeves eventually surprised her. He showed up at her house, saying: “I just thought you might want to try champagne and truffles to see what it’s like.” Bullock then invited him inside, where she and her friend were painting their nails, and she painted Reeves’ nails as well.


20th Century Fox / Courtesy of Everett Collection / Denny Keeler / Getty Images

8.

While filming the bar scene in Carol, Sarah Paulson and Cate Blanchett were actually drunk. In an Instagram Live for W Magazine in 2020, Blanchett revealed: “We were having a martini together in a bar, and the wonderful props guy said: ‘Do you want to go hot?’ So, we went hot — and what we learned was that the alcohol would be real alcohol.” Sarah Paulson’s drink was poured a while before they started filming, so she was “slightly more [drunk]” than Blanchett was during their scene together.

9.

I’m personally always shocked when I learn which celebrities in the entertainment business are related to each other, and these connections have especially remained stuck in my head. Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Moennig are cousins, Ludacris and Monica are cousins, Snoop Dogg is Brandy and Ray J’s cousin, Beyoncé’s step-sister is Bianca Lawson, and Cree Summer is Zoë Kravitz’s godmother.


Manny Carabel / Amanda Edwards / Paras Griffin / Michael Caulfield / David Becker / Kevin Winter / Momodu Mansaray /  Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images

10.

Speaking of Cree Summer, if you don’t recognize her by her face, then you’ll definitely know her by her voice. She’s one of the most iconic voice actors of all time, lending her talents to such characters as Susie Carmichael from Rugrats, Miranda from As Told by Ginger, and Kida from Atlantis: The Lost Empire. During a 2017 panel at BoroughCon, Summer said: “I don’t adhere to competition — I believe that the jobs I get are only mine. I’ve gone into auditions and [have] just taken a dump — and I get that gig, ’cause that’s my job. No one else was meant for that job.”


Gregg DeGuire / Getty Images / Nickelodeon / Disney

11.

In a 2021 interview with People, Bowen Yang talked about the legendary Saturday Night Live afterparties and his personal experiences with them. When he first became a cast member in 2019, he said: “Everybody [usually] goes to a steakhouse in Midtown and sits at a table and sips on one martini and leaves — but you’d have to go to the after-afterparty with a password.” He went into detail about his best afterparty experience in 2020. “One of my happiest moments [was when] RuPaul hosted and all of the Season 12 girls [from RuPaul’s Drag Race] came,” Yang said. “The DJ played house music from the ’90s, and everyone got on tables and danced — and it was Cecily [Strong’s] birthday. It was one of the best nights. I feel like that’s the potential an SNL afterparty usually has.”

12.

In Almost Famous, when Russell screams “I AM A GOLDEN GOD” on top of the roof, screenwriter Cameron Crowe took that line directly from Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin. When Crowe was a writer for Rolling Stone as a teenager in the ’70s, he wrote several profiles about big rock stars (including Plant). At one point, when Plant was on the balcony of the Continental Hyatt House, he looked at the West Hollywood view and said: “I am a golden God.” In a New York Times oral history of Almost Famous, Crowe said: “When I was writing it, I was thinking: ‘I love the playful relationship Plant had with his own image.’ Sometimes, he’d wear a Robert Plant fan T-shirt that someone had thrown on stage. He had a wonderful sense of humor about his position as a big-time rock star.”


Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

13.

When Christina Aguilera recorded her 2002 hit “Beautiful,” the opening line “don’t look at me” was completely ad-libbed. Linda Perry, the songwriter behind “Beautiful,” told Rolling Stone in 2019: “[Christina] stood there in my studio with the lyrics in her hands, and then said to this friend she brought along, ‘Don’t look at me’ in that little whispery voice. I knew I was going to keep that on the record, and I knew she was the right person for the song. I realized: ‘Oh, she’s insecure. She’s one of those beautiful people who’s got everything but is super insecure. Okay, this song is hers.'”

14.

Mariah Carey’s closet in her Tribeca apartment is not only a giant walk-in, but she has various rooms in her closet to organize her luxurious items. One room is for gowns and dresses, another room is for shoes, and one room is strictly for lingerie. She also has Marilyn Monroe’s white piano from her childhood on the first floor of her apartment.

15.

Jordan Peele made Daniel Kaluuya film the famous “Give me the keys, Rose” scene in Get Out several times. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Peele pushed Kaluuya that day on set because he wanted his character (Chris) to finally break free. “Each take I was trying to rev [Daniel] up more and get him to this point where he was going to essentially lash out for the first time in the film,” Peele said. “[Chris has] been so patient, he’s been so contained, [and] he’s suppressed so many uncomfortable emotions throughout the movie that this is going to be his chance to lash out in the form of yelling at Rose (Allison Williams’ character).” After shooting several takes, Peele finally got the emotional reaction he wanted from Kaluuya on the last take.

16.

Before she tragically died in a plane crash in 2001, Aaliyah was set to star as Zee in The Matrix: Reloaded. She had shot several scenes for the movie and even took a deep interest in making films in addition to making music — she starred in movies like Romeo Must Die (2000) and Queen of the Damned (posthumously released in 2002). Nona Gaye ultimately replaced Aaliyah in The Matrix: Reloaded and reprised her role as Zee in The Matrix Revolutions in 2003.


Warner Bros. Pictures / Courtesy of Everett Collection / Via youtube.com

17.

On The Graham Norton Show in 2016, Catherine Zeta-Jones revealed a hilarious bet she has with her husband, Michael Douglas, whenever they play golf together. When Graham Norton asked what the bet was, she said: “If [Michael] can’t get his ball over the ladies tee, he has to take his pants off. But it’s not just my husband — it’s any man I play with. There has been an issue with paparazzi, but I made him go into the bushes and drop his pants. A deal is a deal.”


Scott Halleran / Getty Images

18.

Stephanie Beatriz, who played Mirabel Madrigal in the iconic Disney movie Encanto, recorded “Waiting on a Miracle” while she was going into labor. In a 2022 interview with Variety, Beatriz revealed: “I didn’t want to tell anybody at Disney because I didn’t want anyone to freak out. But I was already having some contractions when we were scheduled to record that day — I was like, ‘Well, fingers crossed I finish the song before [the baby] comes!'” Variety reported that Beatriz’s daughter was born the day after she recorded “Waiting on a Miracle,” so it was all a miracle indeed!


Kevin Winter / Getty Images / Disney

19.

In 1971, Carole King, James Taylor, and Joni Mitchell were each recording legendary albums at the same studio in Los Angeles. King was recording Tapestry, Taylor was recording Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon, and Mitchell was recording Blue. Because they were in such close proximity to each other, the three famous musicians performed on each other’s albums, singing background vocals, playing guitar, and playing piano. The most iconic collaboration was on “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” from King’s Tapestry, where all three artists recorded parts for the song. King sang lead vocals and played piano, Taylor sang background vocals and played guitar, and Mitchell sang background vocals with Taylor.


Jim McCrary / Getty Images

As a teenager in the early ’60s, Joni Mitchell’s favorite song was “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (a song Carole King originally cowrote for the Shirelles with her then-husband, Gerry Goffin). So, to sing background vocals on her favorite song nearly 10 years later with the original songwriter herself feels like a true full-circle moment.

20.

And Meryl Streep was at the Beatles’ legendary Shea Stadium concert in 1965, where they performed for thousands of fans and could barely hear the songs they were playing. When honoring Paul McCartney at the Grammys in 1990, Streep recalled her experience at Shea Stadium. “After I cried for three days and promised I’d do the dishes for the next four years, my parents finally relented and let me go into New York on a date for the first time to see this new English band that we were all so emotional about,” she said. “I sat in the 116th row, and I had a better view of New Jersey than I did of the little stage that was set up on center field. But as indelibly as the words of those songs are written across my heart, I can remember the sight of those four boys running across the grass to the stage. I had a sign that said: ‘I love you forever, Paul’ — but I don’t think he saw it.”

What’s a fun pop culture fact that most people don’t know, but *you* have up your sleeve? Let us know in the comments below!

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Arindam

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