Mike Myers and Dana Carvey in ‘Wayne’s World’
Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection
Wayne’s Planet director Penelope Spheeris is setting the record straight about rumored clashes with star Mike Myers on the set of 1992’s Wayne’s Planet — the initial scripted function for each of them.
“It was not an uncomfortable set,” Spheeris, 77, tells THR‘s It Occurred in Hollywood podcast. “Mike is hypoglycemic, so if he got low-blood sugar he could get grumpy. So large deal. I worked with Richard Pryor and Albert Brooks. They’ll result in you a heart attack.”
Spheeris says the discord started soon after filming had wrapped and the completed film was screened for test audiences. Myers’ father died at that time, so he returned to Canada for the funeral and missed these early screenings.
“I got fantastic audience reaction in the testing setting. That is when the crap hit the fan,” Spheeris recalls. “He wasn’t there to witness the unbelievable audience reaction and appear at the test cards and comprehend that we had anything on our hands.”
Alternatively Myers watched the film alone and wrote 11 pages of notes — lots of of them ideas for cuts — single-spaced on a legal pad.
“Most of them sucked,” says Spheeris.
Amongst the cuts Myers’ wanted was a scene in which Lara Flynn Boyle, who plays an ex-girlfriend nevertheless pining for Wayne, crashes her bike into a automobile. “Mike didn’t want it in there mainly because she was having the laugh, not him,” Spheeris explains. “That’s the way Lorne teaches his players — to usually a single-up a single an additional.”
Myers also had his doubts about a single of the most iconic sequences in the film: when Wayne, Garth (Dana Carvey) and pals lip-sync to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the 1976 AMC Pacer referred to as the Mirthmobile.
“They hated performing it. They hated banging their head in the automobile. It hurt. [Metallica’s] James Hetfield, all these headbangers, they’re applied to it. These guys weren’t applied to performing that. They didn’t have the muscle tissues in their neck and it began hurting actual terrible. They began asking for Advil on the set,” Spheeris recalls. “The worst component is Mike mentioned not only does it hurt, it is not funny.”
Spheeris strongly opposed Myers’ ideas and told producer Lorne Michaels and Paramount executives the film would endure creatively — and comedically — have been she to execute them.
“Lorne took me aside and mentioned, ‘Penelope, if you do not adjust the film, you will not be in a position to direct Wayne’s Planet two. Mike’s not going to approve you,’” she recalls.
Paramount execs told her: “We genuinely want to do Wayne’s Planet two with Mike. We’re not going to inform him you will not adjust it — you have to inform him. And Lorne mentioned, ‘I’m not telling him, you inform him.’”
“So I told him,” Spheeris says. “And I got canned.”
Although Spheeris agreed to a handful of Myers’ adjustments, it is mainly her vision audiences saw on screens. And saw it they did: The film grossed $183 million worldwide, or $400 million in 2023.
When a sequel was promptly place into production later that year, Spheeris was replaced by Stephen Surjik, a Canadian director who had worked with Michaels on the sketch show The Little ones in the Hall.
When she received the news, Spheeris pulled her telephone out of the wall and “cried for two weeks. And then I got more than it,” she says. Wayne’s Planet two grossed $48 million worldwide, or $102 million now.
Spheeris and Michaels never ever spoke once more, in spite of possessing recognized each and every other and collaborated collectively considering that 1976 on the initial season of SNL, exactly where she worked on brief films.
Myers did not promptly respond to THR’s request for comment.
Listen to the whole Penelope Spheeris episode of It Occurred to Hollywood beneath and be positive to subscribe.