In Ben Stiller’s new movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” you’ll get to see the director/star climb mountains, swim oceans, and fight Adam Scott in the streets. But there’s one scene you’ll never get to see.
“There was actually a whole sequence where Walter, still trying to find the negative, he ends up in Los Angeles,” Stiller told MTV News. In the movie his character Walter Mitty has lost a negative that was to be used for the cover of the last ever issue of Life Magazine. Both in his fantasy life, and in the real world, Mitty heads off to find the negative.
“He gets detained in Los Angeles, which he still does in the movie,” Stiller continued. “But they let him out in Los Angeles and he ends up at a Rage Against the Machine concert up against the stage singing with the band, then trying to break through some police barricade, and ends up on CNN. They call him man with a suitcase, or man with case.”
Unfortunately, Rage Against the Machine were never approached, and the sequence was never filmed: it was cut in the script stage, so file it under “what might have been.”
One sequence involving music that did make the final cut? Actress Kristen Wiig, who plays Stiller’s love interest Cheryl, singing a cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.”
“It came out of trying to find a way to have Walter’s daydreams, and his feelings for Cheryl, and his need to step out into reality and do something real all come together,” Stiller said on the genesis of the scene. “We wanted to figure out a way that she could be the one propelling him into the world to take that chance. So it happened late in the development of the script.”
It’s always a stab in the dark when you have singing sequences in otherwise non-musical films. For every great, surprise performance, there’s always one slightly off-key one. Stiller, though, didn’t leave this to chance when it came to Wiig.
“I knew she could sing because I had seen her sing on ‘Saturday Night Live’, but I didn’t know she was that great of a singer,” Stiller said. “She went into Electric Lady studios here, and recorded it, and it was amazing. It ended up being, for me, one of my favorite moments in the movie.”
So there you go. No Rage Against the Machine, but you do get Wiig doing a Bowie cover. Fair trade?
“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is currently in theaters.