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Trivia / Hard Candy

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  • Advertised Extra: Initially. Sandra Oh got prominent billing alongside the two leads, despite having a cameo. Though this is partly due to the fact that Jeff and Hayley are the only two characters for the majority of the film - and Judy Tokuda is simply the one with the next amount of prominence.
  • Dawson Casting: Ellen Page was seventeen playing a (supposedly) fourteen year old girl. This has sparked fan theories that Hayley was pretending to be underage.
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  • Executive Meddling: Mostly avoided, except for one part where producers wanted Hayley to reveal that she was actually eighteen. Ellen Page refused, feeling it would undermine the premise.
  • No Budget: The film was made for $950K, mainly to avoid Executive Meddling due to the controversial topic. It was filmed in 18 days, in chronological order, in the director's own house, and used a bare minimum of takes.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The screenplay was inspired by stories from Japan about schoolgirls ambushing men who surfed the net looking for underage dates.
  • Technology Marches On: Hayley's inability to find porn in Jeff's apartment is seen as damning evidence. Today, she would just assume he watched it online.
  • Throw It In!: Jeff's neighbour is only called Mrs Tokuda in the script. Sandra Oh ad-libbed the name Judy, which the director loved. However the studio asked her to do one more take saying "Mrs Tokuda" just in case the name wasn't cleared by their legal department. She obliged but said the line in a ridiculous mid-western accent, rendering the take unusable.
    • Rumor has it that Hayley's red hoodie was one of several random offerings from the costuming department, not a deliberate Shout-Out to "Little Red Riding Hood". It just happened to be the costume Page liked best for the character; the connotations came later. Likewise, in the final scene, Page pulls up the hood to obscure her face as she walks away. This was an unscripted, spur-of-the-moment decision by Page, but the director loved the air of finality and the evocative image, so he kept it.
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  • Vindicated by History: Not to Donnie Darko levels, but word of mouth has definitely spread this film. The fact that both of its stars have gone onto greater things (X-Men Film Series, Juno, Watchmen, Insidious) hasn't hurt either.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Ellen Page very nearly didn't get the role of Hayley. She had shaved her head for another film and producers mistook her for a boy. She donned a wig and they were instantly impressed enough by her audition to cast her.
    • According to Patrick Wilson, shots were filmed showing Jeff's body hanging from the roof but the film leaves his fate slightly ambiguous. Wilson prefers the final version.
  • Word of God:
    • Breaks the ambiguity to some degree, while enhancing the Misaimed Fandom aspects. At one point, the filmmakers as much as said that both characters are villain protagonists. Jeff is a pedophile, child molester, and possible murderer; Hayley is a fledgling serial killer.
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    • In an interview panel the director revealed that Jeff did not commit the crime of murder that Hayley accused him of.
  • Word of Saint Paul: In an interview, Ellen Page confirms that she played the character as a 14 year old on what she believes is a righteous crusade, lashing out because of her anger at uncaught pedophiles. In fact, she refused the line "Maybe not even fourteen" because she believed it went against the character she had built through her performance. She also commented on how cruel her character is. Hayley clearly enjoys everything she does to Jeff, making her a sadist either way. Page has also discredited her comparing Hayley to Joan of Arc, saying "I said "Joan of Arc" because it was a stupid question and it was the first thing I thought of." Also worth nothing that Page and the script writer had vastly different opinions of Hayley.

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