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10 Improvised Movie Scenes That Made Actors React Out Of Nowhere


Making a film requires a lot of dedicated crew members and there are many people on set whose roles help keep the production on track, including:

  • Script supervisor,
  • Production manager,
  • Producer.

However, sometimes scenes end up straying from the script and the result can be even better than what was originally planned. When actors decide to improvise, it can elevate the material, but it’s not always easy for the other actors in the scene to maintain in character when they are caught off guard.

Here are 10 improvised movie moments that made the other actors in the scene react.

1. Matthew McConaughey may not have had the biggest role in Martin Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street, but he certainly made his time in the film count. One fan favorite moment in the film is the odd scene where McConaughey starts beating his chest and humming.


Turns out, this moment was purely improvised by McConaughey. The chest-beating is actually a ritual of McConaughey’s before shooting and Leonardo DiCaprio told him he should try adding it to the scene. DiCaprio’s face throughout the scene indicates that he never expected McConaughey to take it so far. The improvised moment not only ended up making it into the final cut, it also was used in the marketing of the film.


2. The cult classic satire of the modeling world, Zoolander, featured a number of comedic improvised moments throughout. In one scene, David Duchovny explains to Ben Stiller’s character in detail how the fashion industry has been behind every high-profile political assassination.

improv3Paramount Pictures

After the long explanation, Stiller repeats his original question, “But why male models?” Apparently, Stiller did this because he forgot his line, but Duchovny stayed in character and his reaction worked so well that the blunder was kept in the film.

improv4Paramount Pictures

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