The amount of effort that goes into making a modern movie is pretty insane, so with that in mind it's not that surprising to learn that working as part of the crew can be pretty tough sometimes. What it is surprising to learn though is that sometimes the crew doesn't just have to deal with long hours and the occasional Christian Bale outburst, they have to deal with some seriously weird stuff.
The Matrix is a movie that has something for everyone, for action nuts it has some of the best gunfights and car chases ever filmed, for romance fans it has the blossoming romance between Neo and Trinity and for everyone else it has Laurence Fishburne headbutting Hugo Weaving in the face. The movie also has a very dense philosophical element that you'd need a degree in the subject to actually understand (the DVD releases even have commentaries by philosophers, for those of you who hate yourselves and don't value your time).
Which is presumably why the Wachowskis totally made everyone on set read a book on philosophy called Simulacra and Simulation before they even started filming anything. Oh wait, we left a part out of that previous sentence because we meant to say that they made everyone read and understand a book on philosophy called Simulacra and Simulation before they were allowed to film.
According to Carrie Anne Moss, this was one of the parts of making The Matrix that she personally found the hardest, and this is a woman who spent 6 months learning to throw her foot over the back of her own head.
Sources: NY Times / NewPhilSoc
Fun fact: The guy who played Winston Churchill in Inglourious Basterds was big-name actor from the 50's called Rod Taylor, whom Quentin Tarantino specifically requested for the role. Rod, who was retired from acting at the time the movie was being made, only agreed to take the role when Tarantino personally called him to say he couldn't think of anyone else who could possibly pull it off.
Now you'll notice that at no point during that paragraph did we mention that the movie crew gave any sort of a shit about who played Churchill, because as far as we can tell, they didn't - they were just there to do their jobs. Which didn't stop Tarantino making them all stay after work just to watch a selection of movies starring Rod Taylor so that they would have something to talk about with him when he arrived on set to film his two lines.
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