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9 Things You Never Knew About 'Kids,' 20 Years Later

Long-lost truths about Casper, Jennie, Telly and more.

July 28, 2015 will mark the 20th anniversary of the Larry Clark-directed, Harmony Korine ("Spring Breakers")-penned flick "Kids." If you're still a kid right now this might not mean a whole lot to you, but to anyone who grew up in the New York City area in the early '90s, it's both a stark reminder of how much things have changed, and an excuse to look back fondly at one of the most daring films about teens ever made.

To celebrate the big 2-0, The New York Times released a look back with the film's cast and crew -- minus a couple, who tragically passed away -- revealing behind-the-scenes details and personal anecdotes about the film that even its most dedicated fans probably never knew. Here are some of our favorites:

  1. Rosario Dawson was much more "inexperienced" than her character, Ruby.
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    Even though Ruby loves to preach openly about the joys of oral sex and more, Dawson herself -- who was discovered by director Larry Clark on her stoop in Alphabet City -- told the Times she was a "boyfriend-less virgin" when she took on the role.

    “I can remember us sitting when we’re waiting to get our [HIV] test results and I’m telling [Chloë] I just had my first kiss playing Spin the Bottle in Tompkins Square Park… and she’s like ‘Rosario!'" Dawson reiterated at BAMcinemaFest's 20 year anniversary screening of the film.

  2. Telly was almost someone famous.
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    Much like Dawson, Clark scouted out his male lead in the mean streets of '90s NYC -- specifically, at the skate park. But unlike with Dawson, Telly was almost someone much more recognizable to the movie-going public.

    “They wanted Ricky Schroder or something, whoever the hot kid was,” Fitzpatrick told the Times. “They wanted somebody who was probably more charismatic, better looking, that you could understand what he was saying. But Larry knew that wasn’t authentic.”

  3. ... And Leo Fitzpatrick had a hard time with the ladies after playing him.
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    Turns out, being the "virgin surgeon" who statutory rapes young girls onscreen wasn't a lady-killer back in the mid-'90s! Who knew.

    “Man, I was so bad with girls before the movie,” Fitzpatrick said. “And it sure didn’t help my cause any. People attached me to the character a lot more than I attached myself to it.”

  4. Harold's pool-side, um, "sound effects" were totally real.
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    Harold Hunter, who died in 2001 of a cocaine-related heart attack, has a famous scene in the film where he gyrates and impresses the pool-going ladies with some slapping-noises. And according to Fitzpatrick, that was all real, and was the definite moment when the whole cast started "gelling."

  5. People thought Chloë Sevigny really had HIV.
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    The realism of "Kids" must have really fooled people, because according to Sevigny, she had a whole lot of awkward conversations after the film came out.

    “I remember people hugging me and thinking it really happened,” she told the Times. “Kids crying, ‘Oh, my God, I feel this way, too,’ or ‘I have H.I.V.’ I was happy that it was resonating with kids. It also made me wary of being a public figure and giving over your anonymity.”

  6. The infamous cab driver was an IRL rug salesman.
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    According to Clark, the dispenser of sage wisdom was not an actor, but "a rug salesman that the production designer knew."

  7. Casper's self-destructive nature came straight from the actor.
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    The role of the drug-addled Casper was specifically written for Justin Pierce, who met Korine at the skate park. “His style, his swagger, his whole thing was kind of unprecedented," Korine explained. "He was supermagnetic, and there was something really beautiful about him. At the same time, he was completely uncontrollable. He went for it all of the time, and that’s part of what got him into trouble."

    Tragically, Pierce died in 2000 when he hung himself in Las Vegas.

  8. ... And Rosario had a crush on him.
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    Dawson fondly reminisced about her late costar, saying he was "a mess" but she "had such a crush" on him anyway. "He's really riveting," she explained.

  9. Harvey Weinstein says it's still the most controversial film he's ever been involved with.
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    ... And given that he's executive produced well over 50 of them, that is really saying something.