We’ve already broken the first rule of Fight Club, which is … you don’t talk about Fight Club. On the surface, the film depicts a depressed man, known only as The Narrator (Edward Norton), who meets a soap salesman named Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). The two form an underground boxing club and get mixed up in a relationship with the chain-smoking and mentally unstable Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter).
Throughout the cult classic '90s film, Fight Club explores the ideas of toxic masculinity, consumer culture, and mental illness. Weaved into an intricate web of of controversial plot points and infamous lines, the film continues to be a fan-favorite among audiences. Today, we're celebrating the 20th anniversary of the 1999 film Fight Club with a few fun facts from the movie that even die-hard fans may not know.
Celebrate the 20th anniversary of Fight Club with these fascinating facts about the movie.
1. Edward Norton and Brad Pitt reportedly got really drunk on set.
In one of the funniest scenes of the film, both Tyler (Pitt) and The Narrator (Norton) hit golf balls while under the influence. However, the two actors weren't just pretending to be heavily intoxicated or sipping sweet tea. Numerous reports state that the stars were instructed by the director to have a few drinks before shooting the scene. The actors were actually laughing as they hit golf balls into the catering truck on set.
2. Jared Leto's fight scene was cut by the studio.
Before the 30 Seconds to Mars frontrunner became an Oscar-winning actor, Jared Leto played Angel Face in the 1999 film Fight Club. Director David Fincher revealed on the uncut version that the network had to cut his big fight scene because it was so disturbing. He explained that his nose was split open and a "kind of jelly-like bubble of blood gushes out like a volcano." Yikes!
3. Helena Bonham Carter's dedication got her sick after filming.
Helena Bonham Carter (who plays Marla) told Total Film that constantly smoking during the six month shoot made her very sick. “At the end of the shoot I gave Fincher an x-ray of my lungs,” she said. “I had to have an x-ray because I got bronchitis — surprise, surprise — during the six months of filming. And Fincher does so many takes and lots of smoke shots. He got obsessed with the smoke. It had to float in a particular way. So I was just always sitting there in a cemetery of cigarette ends.” Luckily, her illness was not long-term and she recovered.
Long before Game of Thrones broke the internet in 2019 with a coffee cup mistakenly making its way into a scene in Season 8 because of poor editing, Fight Club used the mega conglomerate coffee company to aid the story. In an interview, Fincher said that if viewers look closely, there is one Starbucks cup always visible in every scene of the movie. "There are Starbucks cups everywhere, in every shot," he said.
5. Brad Pitt's abs of steel
Though it is a movie, sometimes the fighting on set wasn't a choreographed "fake fight" sequence. During the scene, The Narrator (Norton) is supposed to "punch" Tyler (Pitt) in the shoulder, at the last minute, the director told Edward to actually hit Brad in the ear. Watching the film, you can see Brad's pain-filled wince was not just acting.
During an interview with Premiere (via The Huffington Post), Edward revealed that he injured himself on his co-star's ripped body. "I cracked my thumb on Brad one time, on his stomach,” he said. Ouch!
6. Marla Singer is no beauty guru.
During filming, Helena reportedly told her makeup artists to use their left hands when applying her makeup. She wanted Marla's look to be a bit smudged since she felt her character would not care about correctly applying eye makeup.