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Trivia / The Counselor

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  • Ability over Appearance: Malkina was Argentinian in the screenplay, but became a Barbados native to match Cameron Diaz's appearance.
  • Actor-Inspired Element:
    • Cameron Diaz insisted on Malkina's outfit in her final scene having no hood.
    • Javier Bardem came up with Reiner's hairstyle - inspired by producer Brian Grazer.
    • Brad Pitt has a nod to his role in Ridley Scott's Thelma & Louise - where he stole from a woman after seducing her. He ends up a victim of such a scam in this film.
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  • All-Star Cast: Not including the five leads on the movie's poster, other actors such as Dean Norris, Édgar Ramirez, Natalie Dormer, and Rosie Perez appear in the film.
  • Cast the Runner-Up: Brad Pitt was interested in playing Reiner before being cast as Westray.
  • Contractual Obligation Project: Michael Fassbender agreed to star in this as part of a two-picture deal. The next film would not be a sequel; instead the studio would fund Assassins Creed 2016 C.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Michael Fassbender has blamed his performance for the divisive reactions to the movie - though says he's usually hard on himself anyway.
    • Cameron Diaz was so annoyed at having to dub all her lines that she refused to promote the film.
  • Deleted Role: Benedict Wong shot scenes for this film as Malkina's Hong Kong partner, but was cut from the finished film. Footage of his time on set can be seen on the Blu-ray's Special Features.
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  • Executive Meddling: The censors asked for Westray's sidewalk death be toned down.
  • Fake American: The Counselor (German/Irish Michael Fassbender), and the Blonde (Natalie Dormer, who's English). Also, Tony and his girlfriend are played by Toby Kebbell and Emma Rigby, both of whom are English.
  • Hide Your Pregnancy: Penélope Cruz was pregnant during filming.
  • Looping Lines: Malkina originally spoke with a Bajan accent, but test audiences didn't like it - so the studio had her dub her lines with her natural voice.
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: In interviews with Deadline and Empire, Ridley Scott speaks highly of the film, saying that it was "One of the best things I've done and it got fucking murdered".
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Penelope Cruz normally is a Spicy Latina and would be more likely to play Malkina. Here she's the soft-spoken Laura.
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    • Cameron Diaz has spent most of her career playing The Cutie, but here plays a Femme Fatale.
  • Real-Life Relative: Subverted. Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz are husband and wife in real life, but had no scenes together.
  • Troubled Production: Ridley Scott took up the project after trying to get Blood Meridian away from Development Hell (a script was written but they execs wouldn't greenlight it due to the book's grim content). About halfway during filming, Scott's brother Tony Scott tragically committed suicide and production was halted for a week. After production finished up, some of the higher ups demanded changes to be made, such as trimming down the film's running time (which was reinserted back into the film on video) and redubbing Cameron Diaz's lines. When the film came out, it was widely panned by critics.
  • Uncredited Role: John Leguizamo has a small part in this movie but his name does not appear in the cast credits at the end of the movie.
  • What Might Have Been:
    • Angelina Jolie was originally cast as Malkina, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts.
    • Natalie Portman was considered for the role of Laura
    • Jeremy Renner and Bradley Cooper were among the actors considered for the parts of Reiner and Westray.
    • The project was actually born out of Scott's failed attempts to bring McCarthy's Blood Meridian to the screen.


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