Trivia / American Beauty

  • Dawson Casting: Downplayed with Mena Suvari, was about 19 or 20 at the time playing the teenage Angela (this was probably necessary — depicting an adult character lusting over a teenager who was actually played by a teenager likely would've turned a lot of people off to the movie. Not to mention potentially made the actress involved uncomfortable), and with Wes Bentley, who was also 20. Averted by Thora Birch, who really was 16, meaning that for her brief topless scene her parents and child labor representatives were on the set for the shooting.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Kevin Spacey actually did bulk up that much.
  • Enforced Method Acting / Throw It In: Spacey was only supposed to drop the plate in the dinner scene, but he wasn't getting the right reaction, so after a few takes, he threw the plate against the wall as hard as he could.
    • The scene where Lester attacks Carolyn's feet with a remote control car was also unscripted, and Annette Bening's surprise and annoyance are a real reaction.
  • Follow the Leader: Is said to have been the movie that inspired Desperate Housewives.