13 Heartwarming Stories Most Fans Don’t Know About ‘Steel Magnolias’ • MetDaan

13 Heartwarming Stories Most Fans Don’t Know About ‘Steel Magnolias’

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The 1989 classic Steel Magnolias was based on a successful eponymous theater play written by American writer Robert Harling. The story was inspired by his experience of losing his sister. It is a bittersweet tale of a small community in the Southern United States whose members cope with the loss of loved ones. The title tributes the “female characters as delicate as magnolias but as tough as steel”.

Check out these heartwarming stories about Steel Magnolias you probably never knew about this beautiful film.

1. The Writer Thought Julia Roberts Reminded Him Of His Sister

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Source:YouTube / Movie Clips

Robert Harling confessed about Julia, “She walked into the room and that smile lit everything up and I said ‘That’s my sister.’”

2. Meg Ryan Was Initially Cast As Shelby

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Source:YouTube / Movieclips

Ryan was contracted to perform the role, but the producers allowed her to back out in order to star in the iconic When Harry Met Sally with Billy Crystal.

3. The Director Questioned Dolly Parton’s Acting Talent

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Source:YouTube / Movieclips

After the country legend messed up one take, Herbert Ross actually asked her if she even knew how to act. Of course, Dolly had the perfect comeback: “No, but it’s your job to make me look like I can!”

4. Parton And Daryl Hannah Took Lessons From Stylists

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Source:YouTube / Movieclips

In order to make sure their performances didn’t look out of place in the beauty salon, the actresses spent time with actual stylists so they could study their methods.

5. The Director Found Daryl Too Pretty

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Source:YouTube / Movieclips

Ross was unconvinced that the bombshell could effectively play the subdued and modest Annelle. To convince him otherwise, Daryl showed up on set dressed as the character and was so unrecognizable that security almost wouldn’t let her in.

6. There Are No Men In The Original Script

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Source:YouTube / Movieclips

All of the women appear in the original stage adaptation and they discuss the men in their lives at length, but none ever appear on stage with them.

7. Producers Thought Sally Field Was Too Young

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Source:YouTube / Movieclips

Producers thought that no one would believe the actress was the mother of the 22-year-old Shelby. Sally kindly pointed out to them that her eldest son was just shy of 22 at the time.

8. The Cast Stayed In Local Lake Homes

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Source:YouTube / Movieclips

When the principal cast arrived for filming in Natchitoches, Louisiana, most of them rented property on the Cane River Lake which runs through Natchitoches’ historic district. This included Shirley MacLaine, who reportedly asked her realtor, “Would my nude sunbathing cause any problems?”

The quick-witted real estate agent simply replied: “Only a traffic jam on the lake.”

9. Princess Diana Attended The U.K. Premiere

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Source:Wikimedia Commons / Rick

She was still married to Prince Charles, and the royal couple made an appearance at the emotional London premiere in 1990.

10. The Onscreen Hospital Staff Were Not Actors

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Source:YouTube / Movieclips

The film hired the actual doctors and nurses who helped care for Robert’s sister, Susan, to give the scenes an authentic emotional weight.

11. The Writer’s Parents Found Peace From The Film

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Source:YouTube / Movieclips

Robert Harling was concerned about his mother being on set for one of the most heartbreaking scenes involving Shelby, as he thought re-living the experience would be too painful.

When he asked how she could put herself through the emotional moment and still have dry eyes, she explained, “I wanted to see Julia get up and walk away.”

12. Dolly Parton Wrote An Original Song For The Movie

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Source:YouTube / Movieclips

Unfortunately, it did not make the final cut. However, Robert remembered her coming into his family’s home nearby while filming and announcing that she had written a song for Susan titled “Eagle When She Flies.”

The song was released on Dolly’s 1991 album of the same name.

13. The Success Of The Film Fulfilled Susan’s Wishes

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Source:YouTube / Movieclips

When talking to her brother before she passed away, Susan told him how she wished she could help with his writing career but had no idea how.

Following her death, he channeled his grief into the script, finishing it in only 10 days.

Source:littlethings

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