Breakfast at Tiffany’s is an American classic. The movie was released in 1961 and was based off a novella of the same name written by Truman Capote in 1958. The plot follows Holly Golightly, played by Audrey Hepburn, who is a café society girl who falls in love with her new neighbor Paul, played by George Peppard. Holly’s her favorite place on the planet is Tiffany’s, she claims having breakfast at Tiffany’s is the only thing that cure her “mean reds”. These are like the blues except, to her, completely different because they are so much worse and full of fear. Holly is woman on the run, but she doesn’t know what she is running from and her past slowly finds her. The movie was directed by Blake Edwards and the screenplay was written by George Axelrod. Check out various screen facts below.
Audrey Hepburn Earned $750,000
For the role of Holly Golightly, Audrey Hepburn was paid $750,000. Making her disputably the highest paid actress of the times. Elizabeth Taylor was earning around the same amount per film but surpassed Hepburn when she made one million dollars for her role in Cleopatra in 1963.
Marilyn Monroe Was Almost Holly Golightly
Marilyn Monroe was hired and set to star as Holly Golightly initially. The author of the novella had always envisioned her as Holly, though he did not base the character off her. She backed out of the role after those close to her said it may not be a good idea to play a “call girl-like” character.
Fortunately, Audrey Hepburn did an amazing job in the role. Though she had challenges playing Holly who she considered to be the most extroverted character she had ever portrayed. Hepburn considered herself to be introverted in comparison to Holly.
Truman was upset that Hepburn was cast saying, “Paramount double-crossed me in every way and cast Audrey”. This lead Hepburn to be self-conscious when Capote was on set for filming. Actor Steve McQueen was offered the role opposite Hepburn, but had to turn it down because of another acting commitment. George Peppard and Audrey Hepburn were both alternative choices for the iconic film.
Audrey Hepburn Hates Danish Pastries
Breakfast at Tiffany’s opens with Audrey Hepburn getting out of a taxi early in the morning wearing an elegant gown. She’s shown eating a danish pastry while looking in the window of Tiffany’s. Hepburn hates danish pastries and did not particularly enjoy filming this scene. Hepburn was further challenged filming the opening scene because hundreds of fans were watching it being filmed across the street and out of camera shot. She kept getting nervous and making mistakes. Only when a crew member almost got electrocuted behind the scenes did she do the take which would end up in the movie.
Moonriver was Almost Cut from the Film
Moonriver was a song incorporated into the movie. It was specifically made for the film in one octave for Audrey Hepburn’s voice, since she had no training as a singer. The scene with the song seemed a little odd to a studio executive who said in post-production, “Well, I think the first thing we can do is get rid of that stupid song.” Audrey Hepburn was present and declared, “Over my dead body!” The song was included in the final release. Moonriver was nominated and won the Oscar for Best Original Song.
Tiffany’s Opened on a Sunday for Filming
This was the first film Tiffany’s allowed their store to be used as a filming location. They hired forty armed guards to protect their jewelry while the cast and crew was in the store. They even opened their doors for the first time on a Sunday since the turn of the century. Tiffany’s was exceptionally cooperative and accommodating.
You Can Buy Holly’s Famous Sunglasses
Holly Golightly is seen in numerous shots wearing the iconic, oversized sunglasses people often assume are Ray-Bans. The sunglasses are actually made by Oliver Goldsmith. These sunglasses can still be purchased today for $535.