Have you ever seen the movie Bowfinger? It is a hilarious movie that somehow flies under the radar despite starring Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy. Quick synopsis, Steve Martin is a down-on-his-luck director who needs to revive his career and the only scheme he comes up with is to shoot an alien invasion movie starring the most famous action star of the times, Kit Ramsay played by Eddie Murphy. The only problem with this plan is that Kit will not accept the part.
So what does one wild-and-crazy guy do? He works around this minor hiccup and decides to shoot the movie anyway and film Kit unknowingly, forced into recreating movie scenes as if they are real life scenarios and filming Kit’s reactions in secret. This is of course before he finds Kit’s brother Jiff to do the part (also played by Eddie Murphy) who Steve Martin THEN decides to make into a movie star. Are you confused yet? Well you shouldn’t be, I have done a fantastic job at describing the plot.
During the beginning of the movie when Steve Martin first hatches his plan to film Eddie Murphy without his knowing, he utters this line to his assistant “Did you know Tom Cruise had no idea he was in that vampire movie until two years later?” He is referencing Interview with a Vampire. And this notion that Tom Cruise didn't know he was in a vampire movie is hilarious. But it really begs the question, could there be movies out there where the actors didn’t now they were in them? Or did the actors in fact think they were experiencing real life events and that’s why their performances were so genuine? Well, I have a few performances in mind that fit this theory. Hear me out.
Any movie with Keanu Reaves
I really do think you could make a case for Keanu believing that he is actually the character in any movie he is in. He just seems that crazy. But I REALLY think Keanu Reaves thought that the Matrix was real and that he was being woken up to the fact that we all live in a computer simulation. How else could you possibly explain a big time Canadian hockey player high school drop-out in "real life" becoming a movie star and starring in a movie about teenagers who time travel through a telephone booth. And then that same person is cast as a secret agent surfer opposite Patrick Swayze in one of the all time great bank robbing movies? I’ll tell you how you explain it. Some machine intern outside of the Matrix wrote that story line for his creative writing machine high school class. And the crazy part is, I think Keanu realized that and therefore all of his scenes in the Matrix are genuine. He actually thinks he knows Kung Fu!!!
Did you know that Get Out is actually a documentary? That is actually how white people live their lives. All of our mothers are hypnotists and all old white dudes wish they had the body of Daniel Kaluuya. The real miracle of the movie is how Jordan Peele found a way to film it. I can’t imagine Daniel’s relief when he found out at the end of shooting that it was all a fake.
Apparently the story goes that a good friend picked up Kevin Bacon for a roadtrip and mentioned that there was a small Midwestern town that had banned Rock’n Roll and dancing. Young Kevin was so appalled that he demanded they detour their road trip to the town so that he could overthrow the local minister (who looked a lot like John Lithgow, who Kevin knew from his Hollywood career) and reinstitute fun in the town again. It really speaks to Kevin Bacon’s philanthropic side but I still can’t figure out why he didn’t think it was weird they kept calling him Ren McCormack the whole movie.
Leaving Las Vegas
This one might edge out the Matrix as my favorite theory so far. For those of you who don’t know, Leaving Las Vegas is a movie starring the one and only Nicholas Cage about a loser screenwriter who decides that he is going to move to Las Vegas and drink himself to death. It is basically a 2 hour roller-coaster in which we watch Nicholas Cage consume roughly an oil tankard of hard alcohol while acting ridiculous and in the process falling in love with a prostitute. It has actually been verified by sources in Hollywood that a camera crew just followed Nick Cage around on his annual trip to Las Vegas for two weeks and his behavior apparently fit nicely with the plot mentioned above. If you know anything about Nick Cage, it starts to really get believable. When told by the director at the end of the shoot that they had just made a movie of his drunken escapades Nick apparently became so mad that he said “Fuck you, I’m going to steal the Declaration of Independence. Let’s see you catch that on film.”
That's all I've got, but I think it's pretty convincing. If you needed more proof, think about this; each of the movies listed above was and is critically acclaimed. There is clearly a cohort of directors in Hollywood that have cracked the code to making a great movie and they don't want any of us to know about it. Just trick your actor into thinking he is living the real thing and keep the camera rolling.
If you have any other theories about movies that you think fit the bill, comment below!