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Trivia / Evita

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  • California Doubling: Most of the film was shot in Hungary. Averted with "Don't Cry For Me Argentina", which was filmed on the balcony of the Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires.
  • Dawson Casting: Unavoidable, unless the production opts for Playing Gertrude instead. In Eva's first appearance, she is 15 years old; she ages 18 years over the course of the show, dying at age 33.
  • Extremely Lengthy Creation: The film version started development before even the musical. It was released in 1996, a full twenty years later.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: In a special about Madonna, while talking about her role in the movie, Madonna's two backup singers (who had toured with her for years and probably knew her voice almost as well as she did) mentioned that the songs for the movie were quite a bit outside Madonna's normal range and to stretch her voice as far as she did to sing in the movie was a minor miracle.
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  • Fake Nationality: None of the main actors in the 1996 film are Argentinians, despite the film taking place there.
  • Follow the Leader: Evita was followed by a slew of European sung-through musical biopics about glamourous political women (Elisabeth of Austria, Marie Antoinette, Catherine the Great, and their ilk) narrated by a sarcastic male character.
  • Hide Your Pregnancy: About midway through the film production, Madonna discovered that she was pregnant with her first child. The film directors went to great lengths to cover up the possibility of her "Eva Peron" getting pregnant, even if it meant removing some scenes of her being carried out of the church for fear she might slip. The music video for 'You Must Love Me' was filmed after production had wrapped which is why she spends the entire video standing behind a piano.
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  • Star-Making Role: The role of Eva is perhaps one of the greatest examples of modern musical theater. The original productions launched the careers of Elaine Paige and Patti LuPone, two of the most respected musical actresses of their generation; "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" remains a Signature Song for both of them to this day. The movie version was perhaps Madonna's best reviewed acting performance, and the 2006 revival introduced Elena Roger to the English-speaking world.
  • Troubled Production: The film spent 20 years in development, at the end of which screenwriter Oliver Stone sued the production for denying him a screenwriter's credit and forcing the Writers Guild to step in.
  • What Could Have Been: There were multiple attempts to make a film version of Evita, dating back its to first wave of its fame in the 1970s:
    • Ken Russell was attached to direct, but left over an irreconcilable difference of opinion regarding the casting of the lead role; the producers were determined to cast Elaine Paige, the actress who had created the role in the West End, and Russell was equally determined not to. His own first choice was Karla DeVito, and after she was turned down he also considered Liza Minnelli.
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    • After Russell dropped out over the producers' refusal to cast Minnelli, they went approached multiple high-profile directors, including Herbert Ross (who turned it down to direct Footloose), Richard Attenborough (who claimed adapting the musical would be impossible), Alan J. Pakula, Hector Babenco, and Francis Ford Coppola.
    • Hot off the success of Platoon, Oliver Stone lobbied to direct the project, going so far as to meet with the President of Argentina to secure location permits and extras. He cast Meryl Streep as Eva, who began recording the musical dub track (that Andrew Lloyd Webber called "staggering"), but the production imploded due to the 1989 Argentina riots and a pay dispute with Streep.
    • Stone left to work on The Doors and the producers hired Moonlighting creator Glenn Gordon Caron as a replacement. That arrangement, in turn, fell apart when Disney backed out as a financier, at which point Stone was rehired, and then fired again.


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