Trivia / The Birdcage

  • Actor Allusion:
    • Nathan Lane is openly gay.note 
    • Robin Williams dips into his trademark John Wayne impression at one point.
    • The dancer whom Armand instructs to do an "eccentric celebration of dance" is told to do, among others, "Madonna! Madonna! Madonna!" The actor playing him was, in fact, a former backup dancer for Madonna.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • 32-year-old Calista Flockhart unconvincingly plays a 19-year-old. (Being so waifish, she could pass as a senior or graduate student, but come on.)
    • Dan Futterman was 27, playing the 20 year old Val.
  • Harpo Does Something Funny: Due to the nature of the story, Mike Nichols made Nathan Lane and Robin Williams promise to do one take exactly as scripted before they could go wild in retakes. This is bound to happen.
  • Playing Against Type: One of Robin Williams' few comedic roles as the (no pun intended) Straight Man. In fact, he was originally cast as Albert before he asked to switch roles with Nathan Lane in fear of Typecasting.
  • Technology Marches On: It's a fairly major plot point that while a character can dial out from her car phone, she can't receive calls on it. Thus while she can call out for her messages, and then call the protagonists, they can't call her back to say that plans have changed yet again.
  • Throw It In!
    • Reportedly, this happened between Nathan Lane and Robin Williams quite a bit. They did it so often that they were forced to promise that they would do one take exactly as the script said before they were allowed to ad-lib anymore.
    • Robin Williams' pratfall in the kitchen was entirely accidental, but the other actors held it together enough to use the take.
    • Director Mike Nichols added "...but you keep it all inside" to the end of Armand's "eccentric celebration of dance."
  • What Could Have Been: Before he had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts, Steve Martin was set to play Armand, with Robin Williams as Albert.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/TheBirdcage