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Feud (TV Series 2017– ) Poster

(2017– )

Trivia

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The series was in development - with Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon on board - for seven years before finally being given the green light.
Three Oscar winners (Jessica Lange, Susan Sarandon, Catherine Zeta-Jones) portray three other Oscar winners (Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, and Olivia de Havilland, respectively).
Ryan Murphy interviewed Bette Davis months before her death in 1989. The agreed-upon 20-minute interview lasted four hours, and inspired his characterization of Davis. When he asked her about Joan Crawford, she would talk about how much she hated her, before saying "She was a professional. And I admired that."
Catherine Zeta-Jones was Ryan Murphy's only choice for the role of Olivia de Havilland, which he offered to her personally.
During the beginning credits of each episode, both Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon's name switches for who's is shown first each week - as if they are fighting for top billing, much like their respective characters in Feud (2017).
Although Bette Davis is seen maliciously wearing Joan's old wig, in actuality neither of them knew about this until after filming because the wig had been groomed.
Both leading actors are considerably older than the real life individuals they are playing. Bette Davis was 54 during filming of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) - Susan Sarandon is 70. Joan Crawford was 56, Jessica Lange is 67.

Additionally, 63 year old Alfred Molina is much older than the real Robert Aldrich's age of 44 at the time. On the other hand, Stanley Tucci is 56 years old and playing 70 year old Jack L. Warner.
Catherine Zeta-Jones claimed that while she did not contact 100 year old Olivia de Havilland to advise on her portrayal, she did consult her (also 100 year old) father-in-law Kirk Douglas for advice. She claimed that Douglas described de Havilland as "Aaah Olivia," Bette Davis: "Aww, she was a broad. She told it as it was," and Joan Crawford: "She was out of her fucking mind!"
Season 1 is based on a feature-length script called Best Actress by Jaffe Cohen and Michael Zam which was featured in the 2009 Black List (a compilation of the most liked unmade screenplays of the year).
Olivia de Havilland, played in the series by Catherine Zeta-Jones was 100 years old when the program aired. Asked for her opinion, de Havilland responded "Having not seen the show, I cannot make a valid comment about it...However, in principle, I am opposed to any representation of personages who are no longer alive to judge the accuracy of any incident depicted as involving themselves."
Months of preparation were spent preparing the unbroken tracking shot of Joan Crawford escorting David Lean backstage to the press room at the Academy Awards. The original theater had been extensively remodeled, so a replica set was painstakingly recreated.
Onset in the first episode, Robert Aldrich (Alfred Molina) wears his tie undone yet clipped near the bottom. This is the same way the director wears his tie early on in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962).
Scenes for The 35th Annual Academy Awards (1963) that takes place in episode 5 were shot at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, the actual location of the 1963 Oscars.
Bette Davis works with Faye Dunaway on "The Disappearance of Aimee (1976)" and explains that Ms. Dunaway is even more difficult to work with than Joan Crawford who Ms. Davis admitted to being professional and prompt. Five years after making that film, Faye Dunaway portrayed Joan Crawford in "Mommie Dearest (1981)" and received numerous negative reviews for her over the top and downright inaccurate portrayal of Joan. To this day, Ms. Dunaway refuses to discuss "Mommie Dearest (1981)" or her experience making it.
Susan Sarandon claimed that she never met the real Bette Davis, but that during the 1980s Davis got word to Sarandon through a mutual acquaintance that she was her actress of choice to play her in a bio-pic. Sarandon was interested, but it was never followed-up on and the two women didn't have any correspondence.
Jessica Lange, who has won two Oscars in her career, plays Joan Crawford, who won one Oscar in her career. Susan Sarandon, who has won one Oscar in her career, plays Bette Davis, who won two Oscars in her career.
B-movie director William Castle is played by cult film director John Waters. The casting is a wish-fulfillment for Waters, who was heavily influenced by Castle. The production deliberately did nothing to make Waters resemble Castle so that any viewer who recognized him would get the joke. Waters also recorded a commentary track for the Joan Crawford bio-pic Mommie Dearest (1981).
Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon were nominees at The 67th Annual Academy Awards (1995), where Lange won the Oscar for Blue Sky (1994). Sarandon would win the next year for her performance in Dead Man Walking (1995).
In June 2017, Olivia de Havilland sued FX and Ryan Murphy Productions due to what she felt was an unauthorized and inaccurate portrayal of her in the show's first season "Bette and Joan". A statement from her lawyers read: "Miss de Havilland was not asked by FX for permission to use her name and identity and was not compensated for such use." "Further, the FX series puts words in the mouth of Miss de Havilland which are inaccurate and contrary to the reputation she has built over an 80-year professional life, specifically refusing to engage in gossip mongering about other actors in order to generate media attention for herself."
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Ryan Murphy himself is a great impressionist of the characters, as said by Susan Sarandon on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (2014).
Jessica Lange claimed that she has never seen the film Mommie Dearest (1981) with its infamously scathing portrayal of Joan Crawford, and having made the series doubts that she ever will want to.
In real-life, Freddie Francis the B-movie director of Trog (1970) had a more auspicious career in Hollywood as a cinematographer for which he won two Academy Awards.
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According to director Walter Hill, Robert Aldrich's daughter was displeased with her father's portrayal in the series. For example, in real-life he had developed What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) before offering Joan Crawford a chance to star, rather than the other way around as dramatized in the show.
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In reality Joan Crawford had penciled eyebrows since the 30's when she had her brows plucked.
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The show features Barbara Merrill, the daughter of Bette Davis. Hyman would later write a tell-all book about life with Davis called My Mother's Keeper (1985).
Jessica Lange previously starred alongside Sarah Paulson and Kathy Bates in American Horror Story (2011).
The Tudor style house occupied by Bette Davis was featured in the movie Donnie Darko.
In 2006, Susan Sarandon narrated the Emmy-Winning Turner Classic Movies' documentary Stardust: The Bette Davis Story (2006). Sarandon went on to play Davis in this series.
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The series features many Academy Award winners and nominees, the winners being Jessica Lange, Susan Sarandon, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Kathy Bates. The nominees include Judy Davis and Stanley Tucci.
The first season is a concoction of fiction and reality regarding the historical rivalry between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, using biographies, facts, rumors and tales over the years to construct its story line, but some true facts are misinformed:

1) In the the show, during a dinner, Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) says to Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) that she lost her virginity when she was 25. But in 1971, during The Dick Cavett Show (1968), real Bette alleged to have lost her virginity when she was 26 and married.

2) The show changes the date of journal advertisement in which Bette is seeking a job in Hollywood. It was actually published before production of "Baby Jane" starts, the advertisement was kind of a personal joke regarding the situation of aging actresses,.

3) In the Pilot, Robert Aldrich says to Jack L. Warner that he has written the script of "Baby Jane" himself, but in real life the screenplay was written by Lukas Heller.
Susan Sarandon broke her foot during production and wore a supportive boot out of frame whenever possible.
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Catherine Zeta-Jones has previously worked with Stanley Tucci on America's Sweethearts (2001) and The Terminal (2004).
Susan Sarandon claimed that there were four to five other projects she was aware of since the 1980s in which she was suggested to play Bette Davis.
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At one point in the movie the two Divas are discussing Oscar contention and Joan Crawford says that Bette Davis has "Bookend Oscars whereas I only have one." In reality, Jessica Lange has two Oscars to Susan Sarandon's one. Though they both have the same number of Oscar nominations.
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Both Catherine Zeta-Jones and Kathy Bates have starred in a TV show and film, respectively, about the Titanic.
Ironically, the troglodyte mask used for the low-budget Trog (1970), that Joan Crawford is depicted pulling over her head in loathing, was in fact left from the production of the big budget science fiction movie 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) that had also filmed in England. The ape head was originally a state of the art prosthetic, tailored for the original performer to create realistic eye and jaw movement as well as a remote controlled tongue. Unfortunately the head was not re-fitted for the new performer, rendering a tacky pullover mask appearance.
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In the actual film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) it's more apparent that Robert Aldrich and the stars were aware that the self-referential nature of the movie was the point. Clips of Joan Crawford and Bette Davis's old movies are actually featured in the film and commented on. Robert Aldrich had also directed a previous behind-the scenes look at Hollywood actors The Big Knife (1955)
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The series features many Academy Award winners and nominees, the winners being Susan Sarandon, Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Catherine Zeta-Jones; and two Oscar nominees: Judy Davis and Stanley Tucci. Interestingly enough, Judy Davis is an Emmy-winner, and she won for portraying another Oscar winner, Judy Garland.
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Susan Sarandon and Stanley Tucci previously appeared in Shall We Dance (2004) and The Lovely Bones (2009).
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Creator Jaffe Cohen was a member of The international touring comedy standup trip "Funny Gay Males" and co-author of "Growing up Gay."
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Alfred Molina and Stanley Tucci worked together before on The Impostors (1998).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In the series Joan Crawford's maid Mamacita resigns due to Crawford's abusive treatment in 1964. In real-life Mamacita continued working for Crawford until 1970, when Crawford was cash-starved and forced to downsize.
One point not made clear in the show is that there was a 26 year age difference between Robert Aldrich and Jack L. Warner. Aldrich was only 44 in 1962, while Warner was 70. Knowing that fact helps to explain Aldrich's rebuke to Warner "It may be twilight for you Jack, but it's not for me. From where I'm standing, it's a new dawn."
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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