"Reality Bites" debuted in 1994, coming along at the perfect time to serve as one of the quintessential movies about the Generation X experience. And now that the movie is 25 years old, those same Gen-X'ers are probably feeling very old right about now. Ease that sting by reading some fun facts about this cult classic romantic drama.
1.Ben Stiller was approached by the film's producers on the strength of the pilot episode for "The Ben Stiller Show." Originally Stiller signed on only to direct, but he eventually took on the role of Michael Grates as well.
2. The film was originally titled "The Real World," but had to be changed after MTV debuted the reality TV series of the same name.
3. While the movie is set in Houston, most of the interior shots were filmed in Los Angeles instead.
4.Winona Ryder was so adamant that co-star Ethan Hawke be included that she made his casting a stipulation of her contract.
5. Ryder also campaigned for Janeane Garafalo after Garafalo was temporarily fired during production over disagreements with Stiller.
6.Quentin Tarantino attempted to include The Knack's "My Sharona" in the soundtrack to "Pulp Fiction," only to discover "Reality Bites" had beaten him to the punch.
7. As for Lisa Loeb's "Stay," that song was added to the soundtrack at the express request of Hawke.
8. Writer Helen Childress was a 19-year-old college freshman when she penned the screenplay.
9. "Reality Bites" originally featured a subplot about Leilana's sister struggling with rehab for alcoholism, but these scenes were cut from the final film.
10. Both Stiller's mother, Anne Meara, and sister Amy have small roles in the film. The former plays the woman who requests a definition for irony and the latter plays the telephone psychic.
11. A man named Troy Dyer sued Childress, Stiller and producer Danny DeVito in 2005, complaining the film's DVD commentary track caused people to associate him with Ethan Hawke's character. The suit was eventually settled when Childress provided Dyer with written confirmation that he had no connection to the film.