We've all heard about actors going to great lengths in order to prepare for a scene but sometimes being spontaneous is better than preparing. Directors also at times give freedom to actors to just be themselves. Below are some of the scenes which were improvised by the actors on their own and what they have done beautifully fits in the ongoing scene.
Let's have a look at some of the best actor improvisions.
When screenwriter Paul Schrader wrote this scene, it just said Travis talks to himself in the mirror and no dialogues were written. The whole scene was improvised by Robert DeNiro himself and the way he does it is just sheer genius. " You Talkin' To Me" is the most iconic dialogue in the cinematic history.
When Jewish comedian Alvy Singer( woody Allen) is at a party and a friend passes him a tin of cocaine, he sneezes. This was not scripted and his friends burst into laughter which was genuine and spontaneous.Allen decided to keep the scene in the final cut. this made it one of the most popular sneezes.
The hssssss sound made by Anthony Hopkins while telling his story about how he ate a liver with "fava beans and a nice chinati" was not in the script. It was improvised by Anthony Hopkins then and there. Hopkins used to do it to creep out Jodie Foster during the rehearsals. Hopkins hd a screen time of lesser than 18 minutes and that was enough for him to show his skills which earned him an Oscar.
There's a scene in Good Will Hunting where Robin Williams shares some incidents about his wife during his therapy sessions with Damon to make him comfortable in order to open up emotionally. Williams start to tell a story about his wife and her flatulent habits. This made Damon burst into uncontrollable laughter and event the camera shakes a bit because the cameraman was laughing too. Eventually ,this led to Robin Williams winning an academy award for his role.
During a scene when Jim Carrey is with Jeff Daniels and the hitchhiker hitman Mike Starr, Jim tells them about the most annoying sound in the world which was not scripted. His strange yell produced a genuine reaction from the other two which was kept in the movie. Jim, you are the best.
As the Joker was alone in the jail and quietly listening to the conversations outside, which were about promoting Gordon to the position of Commissioner. As people start applauding for Gordon, Joker starts clapping soon which was unscripted but this clap brings out the notorious and dark-witted side of the Joker very well.
During a non-fighting scene, Tom Hanks, and Matt Damon sat together and exchanged stories about how it was like back at home. The story which Damon tells about his brother and barn was completely made up by him during the scene. ImmediatelyTom realizes what Damon is doing and gets along with him.
During this scene Heath Ledger had to walk away while the hospital exploded instead, he stops for a minute, laughs and then starts fidgeting with the detonator in an unusual way which makes the scene more humorous in a dark manner and also shows what a badass joker is. This wait for a minute and act was improvised by Ledger. For this role Heath had won an academy award for best supporting actor.
During a scene in "The Warriors", David Patrick Kelly calls out the rival gang members by clinking bottles together in order to provoke them. During the scene kelly spontaneously added the line "Warriors, come out to play! which he remembers from his childhood days when a bully used to taunt him by saying "come out to play."
This is the scene when police chief Broody gets a 1st look of the man-eating aggressive shark.To his surprise by looking at the massive shark Broody gets up and says "You are going to need a bigger boat" to the orca captain Quint. This sentence was unscripted and was very well delivered by Roy Scheider.
During a scene in "Pretty Woman" when Richard shows the very expensive diamond set to Julia Roberts and then she wants to touch the jewels and Richard shuts the box in the spur of the moment, which was not mentioned in the script. Julia Roberts bursts into her iconic laughter which makes this scene more memorable.
In Tarantinos violet and raw flick Reservoir Dogs when Michael Madsen cuts the ear of Kirk Blatz, he didn't know what to do with the ear as Tarantino had not mentioned any specific instructions about what to do with the ear after it was cut. All of Madsen's lines after that were original and also the line " You hear that".
During a scene in Django Unchained, Leonardo severely gets his hand cut on a glass and then instead of stopping Leonardo continues to act. He improvised the scene and also smudged blood on Kerry Washington's face. Later he needed stitches.