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10+ 'Miss Congeniality' Behind The Scenes Secrets Fans Didn't Know

Sarah Kester 14 Jul 2020

It's hard to believe that Miss Congeniality came out 20 years ago.

It's still one of the best Sandra Bullock films to date and one of the best romantic comedies, period.

No matter what she does, Sandra Bullock will be iconic for this role.

If you're still obsessed with the film like it was just yesterday, you'll love these 10+ behind-the-scenes secrets that fans didn't know.

1. Sandra Bullock decided to do the movie for its physical comedy:

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"Through the years I'd always looked for something that had a lot of physical comedy and sort of the great fish-out-of-water story and having to do something that they would never normally do. . ." she told ET in a 2000 interview.

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"I didn't read a lot of scripts for women that had that sort of humor."

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"It was always sort of like we're supposed to keep it together and look relatively attractive," she added.

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"This is sort of nice because it takes a person from one end to the other end."

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"And it just shows a side to women and men — it shows the men what women really go through and it shows women what they really don't have to go through."

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2. The "I'm Gliding Here" line is from a famous movie:

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You know the scene: Victor Melling has agreed to take on Gracie as his new client and he's working on teaching her how to walk like a lady.

But during their lesson, a taxi almost hits Gracie.

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When this happens, she slams her hands on the hood and yells out, "I'm gliding here!"

It's believed that this line is actually a parody of the original line, "I'm walking here!" from the famous 1969 film Midnight Cowboys.

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3. April 25 is Miss Congeniality Day:

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This is all thanks to the character Cheryl's adorable answer about her perfect date.

"I'd have to say April 25, because it's not too hot, not too cold. All you need is a light jacket."

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And if you don't have at least one friend share a clip of this scene on social media every year on April 25th...

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You're lying.

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4. William Shatner, who played Stan Fields in the film, even revealed a fan factoid about this date:

As it turns out, the film chose April 25 as the perfect date since it's the birthday of the wife of Miss Congeniality's director.

Aww! This makes this date even sweeter.

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5. Edward Herrmann's cameo was cut.

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Gilmore Girls fans will recognize the actor as Richard from the popular show.

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While his cameo takes place in the trailer, it was ultimately cut from the film.

His line: "Honey, are you a lesbian?" is at the 0:30 mark.

What a shame!

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6. It has a sequel:

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Like most sequels, it's not as popular — or as well-reviewed — as the first.

Sandra starred in the second one, which is called Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous and came out in 2005.

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7. LeeAnne Locken was in the film:

Real Housewives fans know LeeAnne as one of the former stars on The Real Housewives of Dallas. She was fired from the show in 2019.

LeeAnne appeared with blonde hair in the film as Miss Nebraska.

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8. Sandra wanted the swimsuit scene cut out:

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In an interview with ET, she called it a huge "bone of contention" for her.

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"I was trying to get it written out so many times," she said, adding that she had to work out a lot to get bikini-ready.

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9. Sandra played the tambourine in the song "Mustang Sally":

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While everyone on set agreed that the song was perfect for Sandra's makeover unveiling, it was also agreed that it needed to be peppier.

This is why Sandra stepped in to play the tambourine on the final track that was in the movie and on the soundtrack.

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Steve Schnur, who was the film's music supervisor, even told People that he has the video of Sandra recording it.

"I have her being so serious in there cutting it," he said. "You know, she really got into it."

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10. Both Sandra and Benjamin did their own stunts:

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Remember that wrestling scene between the two actors? That was done entirely by them instead of stunt doubles.

Bullock even revealed that the combat scenes were easier than the pageant scenes.

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“The most difficult thing for me is walk and talk with breasts that aren’t mine in six-inch stiletto heels," she said.

"That's my action, like the leaping and jumping, that's no problem. It's the walking and talking with the breasts that's going to be my difficult part."

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11. Getting Gracie pageant-ready took two and a half hours:

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This is in comparison to the 30 minutes it took to transform the actress into her FBI attire.

This included baggy clothes, no makeup, and her hair pulled back messily.

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12. Four Statue of Liberty heads were made for the film's finale explosion:

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That final explosion at the end took a lot of work.

As you know, the bomb inside the crown goes off when Gracie throws it towards the statue's head.

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"We've made four heads: one good one and three filled with sawdust and dynamite," revealed production designer, Peter Larkin.

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"And we'll have to probably clean it up after each explosion," he said in a behind-the-scenes clip.

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13. The "Miss United States" song was written by a six-year-old:

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You'll never listen to the song the same way again. Executive producer Marc Lawrence enlisted his six-year-old son, Clyde, to create a version of the song.

In the end, he ended up winning against adult music professionals!

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14. The infamous lavender dress was off the rack:

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It's hard to believe considering that the lavender Herve Leger bandage dress was seemingly made for Sandra.

The film's costume designer, Susie DeSanto, told People she chose that dress since she wanted to make jaws drop.

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15. Going down the stairs without looking was no easy task.

YouTube | Movieclips Classic Trailers

Pageant contestants have mastered walking down the stairs (in heels) without looking down even once. Sounds dangerous!

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The first scene of the movie took 12 whole hours to film.

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You know the one, where she drives through the city with her sirens on just to get to Starbucks and uses her FBI status to get to the front of the line?

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Even though it looks like it was shot in New York, it was actually filmed in Texas.

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And it was so hot out that day that somebody had the job of holding an umbrella over Sandra so she wouldn't get too hot or sweaty.

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They lined the streets with brown paper bags and fake trash to really give it that New York vibe.

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And it worked!

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The scene was filmed inside an actual Starbucks.

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If you feel like visiting, it's located at One American Center at 6th Street and Congress Avenue.

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And as for all those crazy driving stunts?

They did use a stunt driver, but Sandra also did some of her own stunt driving in some of the takes, thanks to the skills she learned while making Speed.

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