Craziest Things You Never Knew About Thelma & Louise


To this day, there has been no movie quite like Thelma & Louise. Once the titular characters link up, we are treated to something in between road trip comedy and deep exploration of feminism. The movie is unforgettable due to its quality, and the fact that we can’t stop watching it has burned almost every scene into our brains.

Despite this, we were pleasantly surprised to discover there are plenty of facts about this fan-favorite film that even the biggest fans don’t know. Want some wild trivia that will completely change your perspective next time you hit “PLAY?” Keep reading to discover the craziest things you never knew about Thelma & Louise!

The movie launched Brad Pitt’s career

It may be tough to imagine Thelma & Louise without Brad Pitt, but that nearly happened. Originally, the role was going to go to William Baldwin, but he had to eventually bow out of the production. That led to Brad Pitt getting the part, and this future rockstar actor was relatively unknown at the time.

Incidentally, William Baldwin went on to star in Backdraft, another vintage movie that we love. However, we’re happy that Pitt got the role that helped take his career to the next level. Plus, some of Pitt’s future performances were so red hot that not even the firefighter heroes from Backdraft could put his fire out!

Quentin Tarantino helped reunite two ‘Thelma & Louise’ stars

It’s an open secret that Thelma & Louise had an amazing cast. That included supporting actors Harvey Keitel and Michael Madsen, who played the detectives in charge of tracking both the title characters and Louise’s boyfriend.

After seeing their chemistry onscreen, many audiences wanted to see these two actors reunite. Those audiences didn’t have to wait very long: when Quentin Tarantino brought his debut film Reservoir Dogs to life, he brought both of these charismatic characters back together on the big screen.

We almost had two very different lead actors

At this point, it’s utterly unthinkable that anyone else could have brought the title characters from Thelma & Louise to life. Nonetheless, Hollywood almost gave us a very different film. Originally, Jodie Foster and Michelle Pfeiffer were attached, but each of them had to eventually bail due to other responsibilities.

That worked out for the best. Not only did we get a final film with actors that are impossible to replace, but Foster left this gig to go film Silence of the Lambs, a movie for which she would win Best Actress! Meanwhile, Pfeiffer got an Oscar nomination of her own the following year thanks to her performance in Love Field.

Larry David inspired the film

That’s right: Larry David is technically part of how Thelma & Louise got made, though you won’t find his name anywhere in the credits. His connection to the movie begins with his professional connection to Callie Khouri, the screenwriter for Thelma & Louise. She did improv comedy before she wrote this film and one night, Larry David was escorting her back to her car after her performance.

That night, the two were held up at gunpoint. Both obviously survived the experience, but Khouri was inspired by the scary incident to write Thelma & Louise. For this reason, Larry David will forever be connected to the origin of this hit film!

George Clooney repeatedly auditioned

These days, George Clooney is rightfully considered one of the biggest stars in the world. He could pretty much get himself cast in any movie that he wanted to star in. When Thelma & Louise came out, though, Clooney wasn’t nearly as much of a star and he got a rude awakening about this fact when he went to audition.

Clooney ended up auditioning a whopping five times, and at the end of it, the role ended up going to Brad Pitt. For this reason, Clooney ended up bearing something of a grudge and didn’t want to watch Thelma & Louise for a good, long time. When he did, though, even he had to admit that Pitt was the better man for the job.

The movie accidentally changed Oscar history

Growing up, many of us wanted to make history. Generally speaking, that means making history for something positive we have done. However, the stars of Thelma & Louise ended up making Academy Award history in the most unexpected and unfortunate of ways.

After Thelma & Louise came out, the movie was nominated for six different Oscars, and leading actresses Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon were each nominated for Best Actress. They both ended up losing to Jodie Foster thanks to her performance in Silence of the Lambs, but many studios believed that nominating both leads meant they effectively canceled each others’ votes. Since then, if a movie has two male or female leads, they will both be nominated for different awards so they don’t spoil each other’s chances of winning. 

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