“They Used To Use Asbestos For Snow”— 19 Christmas Movie Facts For Anyone Trying To Be A Real Life Wiseman

‘Tis the season for some exciting Xmas movie facts! Christmas movies are an important staple of the holiday season along with hot cocoa, bringing a giant tree inside your house, and buying yourself a ton of gifts on Black Friday (if you don’t do this, you’re stronger than I am).

Know any more cool Christmas movie facts? Drop them in the comments!

1. The shower scene in Elf wasn’t scripted.

Director Jon Faveau learned Zooey Deschanel could sing while they were filming and added in the scene.

New Line Cinema

2. The hotel from Last Holiday is called Grandhotel Pupp.

It’s a real hotel in the Czech Republic and it’s as beautiful as it is in the movie!

Paramount Pictures

3. Buzz’s girlfriend in Home Alone was actually the art director’s son wearing a wig.

They decided it might be too mean to use a picture of a real girl. The art director’s son was very excited to play the part.

20th Century Fox

4. In It’s A Wonderful Life, a new type of snow was invented just for the movie.

Previously, movie sets had used asbestos or white painted corn flakes, which were too noisy for the cast to walk on. Instead, they used a combination of foamite, soap, sugar, and water.

RKO Radio Pictures / Liberty Films
RKO Radio Pictures / Liberty Films

5. Jingle All The Way was based on Cabbage Patch Dolls.

Parents during the Christmas season of 1983 were literally fighting over the dolls in stores.

Via: Twentieth Century Fox / 1492 Pictures, History Channel
Via: Twentieth Century Fox / 1492 Pictures, History Channel

6. People on the street in the movie Elf were not actors.

Will Ferrell, Jon Favreau, and a cameraman ran around New York to get these hilarious shots. They weren’t paid extras, just random New Yorkers.

New Line Cinema

7. Emma Thompson wore a fat suit in Love Actually.

She said she knew exactly how to play a woman who may have just discovered her husband’s infidelity.

Universal Pictures

8. Die Hard was offered to Frank Sinatra before Bruce Willis.

Sinatra was contractually obligated to get first dibs because he was in the film’s prequel The Detective, in 1968. Sinatra was 73 at the time, so he turned down the role.

20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures / Arcola Pictures Corporation
20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures / Arcola Pictures Corporation

9. It’s A Wonderful Life was actually shot in the summer of 1946 and production was above 90 degrees.

Filming had to shut down for a few days to give people a chance to recover from exhaustion.

RKO Radio Pictures / Liberty Films

10. Michael Caine said he would only play Scrooge in The Muppet Christmas Carol if he was dead serious.

He said he didn’t want to act like he was talking to Muppets. Instead, he wanted to behave like he was acting in the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Via: Buena Vista Pictures / Jim Henson Productions

11. In Love Actually, there was an additional storyline with the school’s headmistress and her partner.

Her partner was battling a terminal illness. The director said the scenes had to be cut but can still be found in the DVD extras.

Universal Pictures / Studio Canal

12. Jingle Jangle actually features three different stars of Dreamgirls from the last 5 decades.

Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose, and Marisha Wallace played characters for the project writer-director David E. Talbert spent over 20 years creating.

Via: Netflix / Magic Radio / youtube.com

13. The tarantula in Home Alone was originally a prop.

The director insisted on using a real one instead. Actor Daniel Stern was concerned about screaming in the tarantula’s face. Luckily, the animal trainer was there to remind him that tarantulas don’t have ears.

20th Century Fox

14. In A Christmas Story, the pole Flick got his tongue stuck on actually had a vacuum in it.

The small vacuum inside made the scene look much more realistic.

MGM/UA Entertainment Company / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

15. Both Eddie Murphy and Jack Nicholson were considered for the Grinch.

The role ultimately went to Jim Carrey, who knocked it out of the park.

Universal Pictures / NBC / Columbia Pictures

16. In The Santa Claus 2, Tim Allen had to stay in character because the child actors thought he was really Santa.

Tim Allen also said, “I didn’t want to disappoint them. I had to stay in character all the time, so I couldn’t swear or get mad. The elves would gaze at me all day long and ask me ridiculous questions about Christmas.”

Buena Vista Pictures Distribution / Walt Disney Pictures

17. Happiest Season, was based on co-writer and director Clea DuVall’s life.

She said she loves Christmas movies and had never seen one about lesbians. Cowriters Mary Holland and Clea DuVall had previously worked together on the show Veep.

Via: Hulu

18. In Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Donald Trump required he was written into the script.

At the time, he owned the Plaza hotel. He required any movies filmed there to have a scene with him where the actor says his name. In other movies, they usually cut the scene in post.

20th Century Fox

19. All of the parade scenes from Miracle On 34th Street had to be filmed in one day.

All the scenes were shot during the 1946 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which meant they only had one morning to film the movie’s opening. 
20th Century Fox

20th Century Fox