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Trivia / RENT

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  • Cast the Expert: Roger is usually played by a guitarist.
  • Cut Song:
    • The stage show is nearly entirely sung-through; the movie converts several songs into dialogue or nixes them completely. Notable cuts include the various "Tune-Up" and "Voicemail" sequences, "We're Okay", "Christmas Bells", "Happy New Year" and "Contact". Furthermore, "Halloween" and the full "Goodbye Love" were recorded and filmed, but cut from the theatrical release. This is a big point of contention for the movie's detractors, because removing these two songs means Mark's and Benny's Hidden Depths are never explored.
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    • Not to mention all the songs that got cut from the stage version. Some are rather bad ("You'll Get Over It"—a duet between Mark and Maureen about her leaving him for a woman, made Maureen sound dismissive about breaking his heart while he was dismissive of her bisexuality). Others, like "Real Estate" (a trio between Benny, Mark, and Alison where she and Benny try to convince Mark to give up filmmaking and go into the real estate business with Benny instead) were cut for length. Some would keep their melody with their lyrics being almost entirely rewritten, like "Right Brain" would become "One Song Glory".
    • The high school edition of RENT cuts Contact on account of the onstage orgy.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • Mimi "You look like you're sixteen." "I'm nineteen, but I'm old for my age!" Marquez, originally played by the 27-year-old Daphne Rubin-Vega (though, since many of the other characters are only mid-twenties, the potential exists for them as well).
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    • The age of the cast in the film seems to add to this as well — most of the actors were in their thirties at the time, and while their ages weren't set in stone in the play or film, they certainly felt more like twenty-something "starving artists".
    • The 20th anniversary tour in the UK removed the line about her age entirely due to Mimi being played by the gorgeous but in no way teenager like 32 year old Kerry Ellis.
  • Deleted Scene: The movie has several and they can all be found on the DVD
    • "Halloween", which although filmed was never meant to be in the film.
    • "Goodbye Love" was filmed in its entirely, but the second half after Angel's funeral was cut because Chris Columbus thought it was an emotional overload. Considering that a major criticism of the film was being too "soap opera" like, it was probably for the best.
    • The scene with Benny reconciling after Angel's funeral including the bit where he always hated his wife's dog.
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    • Originally, "Finale B", would've had the gang going to back to the theatre where they sang "Seasons of Love" in the opening, and Angel would've joined them. But test audiences were confused as to why Angel was back, so for the theatrical cut the finale was kept in Mark's apartment.
  • Died During Production: Jonathan Larson, the author of both the book and the music, died on the night of the final dress rehearsal. It's a tragically appropriate illustration of the show's message that you never know when your life will be over, so you should do as much as you can all the time. Contrary to popular belief, he died from an acute aortic aneurism, and not AIDS.
  • Irony as She Is Cast
    • In a Cast Full of Gay, the only actor in the original cast who was actually gay was Anthony Rapp as Mark, a straight man (Rapp initially identified as gay but later came out as queer).
    • Wilson Jermaine Heredia, who plays a character dying of AIDS, studied medicine before getting into acting.
  • Focus Group Ending: The film adaptation cut its original ending, in which the metaphor of the characters singing their lives together onstage was revisited. Focus groups shot that one down, as the reappearance of a certain beloved dead character apparently gave the impression that the whole movie had been a dream. Instead we're treated to a rousing climax of the entire cast sitting on a sofa trying not to cry.
  • The Other Darrin: Only Mimi and Joanne are recast in place of the originals for the movie, because Daphne Rubin-Vega was pregnant at the time and obviously gained too much weight to play a junkie dancer with AIDS, and Fredi Walker felt she was too old to portray a recent law school graduate. Her one request was to keep Joanne black, which the film did, casting Tracie Thoms in the role.
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  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Inverted — Jonathan Larson wrote this in memorial to his friends who had died of AIDS, but it's almost as if he wrote his own memorial. See the book "Without You" by Anthony Rapp for details.
  • Referenced by...: See here.
  • Romance on the Set
    • Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel met during the original production and were then married for ten years, afterwards becoming Amicable Exes.
    • Wilson Heredia and his makeup artist from the movie.
    • In the 2007 Australian production, Anthony Callea (Mark) and Tim Campbell (Roger), perhaps ironically.
    • Mimi and Roger's original actors (Daphne Rubin Vega and Adam Pascal) had a fling during the show's initial Broadway run.
  • Star-Making Role: Idina Menzel quickly became a Broadway sensation after playing Maureen. Taye Diggs and Jesse L. Martin went on to have careers onscreen.
  • Technology Marches On: Benny's big plan is to open a cyber cafe at the site of the homeless camp. However, cyber cafes became obsolete in the United States by the late 2000's due to innovations like wi-fi, smartphones, and computers coming way down in price. Benny would've had until 2012 at the absolute latest before his beloved Cyberland went belly-up.
  • Those Two Actors: Movie version - Tracie Thoms and Rosario Dawson also starred together in Death Proof.
  • Throw It In:
    • In the movie version of "The Tango Maureen" the eyebrow lift and jacket toss were added in for fun during rehearsals, and the director kept it in.
    • In the movie's "Today 4 U" Tom making the 'whipped' gesture and sound effect, and Angel popping out of the frame were ad-libs the actors after the director called "cut".
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The movie, starts on Christmas Eve 1989, but the show has always been synonymous with The '90s. The internet and Virtual Reality as an evil takeover plot, AIDS spreading like wildfire, etc. However, the movie also created a serious anachronism: The Thelma & Louise joke in "Today 4 U".
  • What Could Have Been
    • One pass of the script began at Angel's funeral, with Mark flashing back to How We Got Here.
    • NBC reportedly considered televising a live production in December 2017, until they instead decided to air Bye Bye Birdie in that timeslot.note  FOX ended up obtaining rights to RENT.
    • Jennifer Hudson auditioned for the role of Joanne in the film version. American Idol contestant Frenchie Davis was also considered.
    • There was a shot of April lying dead in the bathtub but they couldn't decide where to put it in, and left it out of the final film.
    • An early idea for the film adaptation was to have it all revealed to be a Film Within a Film.


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