Secrets From The Set Of ‘Ghost’ You Never Knew

Watching Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze in the 1990 hit Ghost will forever be ingrained in our minds. While their on-screen love became one of the biggest hits of the year, there are some secrets from the film that may strike you by surprise.

Swayze’s Whoopi Demand

It was Swayze who convinced producers to cast Whoopi Goldberg for the role of Oda Mae Brown. They were reluctant at first but, even though Swayze had never met Goldberg, he explained he was not going to do the film unless she was cast.


Swayze Nearly Missed Out

Director Jerry Zucker originally exclaimed to screenwriter Bruce Rubin “over my dead body” when questioned if Swayze should be cast in the film. After watching Swayze in Roadhouse, he walked out of the theater unimpressed by his performance and did not wish even to consider him when it was suggested. To his surprise, Swayze’s audition blew him away, recalling, “We all had tears in our eyes, right there in the office—and we knew how it ends.”


Many Actresses Were Considered For Molly

Demi Moore was not the only leading lady considered for the role of Molly. Other actresses considered for this lucrative part were Kim Basinger, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Madonna, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Molly Ringwald. However, Demi had the upper hand with her ability to cry on demand out of either eye. It is also hard to imagine anyone else executing the role in such a way Moore did, and having the incredible chemistry with Swayze.

Playing His Part

Sometimes actors really get into the role of their character so they can play their part in the film as best they can. However, it seems that on the set of Ghost, the production team made sure that Patrick was playing his part as a ghost in the best way possible. While filming on cold New York nights, Swayze was given no warm clothes like the rest of the cast and crew because they explained that climate does not affect ghosts.


A Talented Cryer

It is hard to believe that anyone else could have played the role of Molly Jensen as well as Demi Moore. Seeing as though Demi was not the most in-demand actress when she was cast, there was a reason as to why she was chosen as opposed to anyone else. Demi may be a talented actress but her talents lie elsewhere, and that is with her ability to cry on demand. Furthermore, she can choose which eye she wishes to cry from, and this fascinated the movie makers.


Sam Nearly Went To Bruce Willis

At the time that Ghost was in production and released, Demi Moore was married to fellow actor Bruce Willis. Before the role of Sam went to Swayze, the Die Hard actor was asked to film alongside his wife for the upcoming film. However, Willis declined the offer as he believed acting as a ghost for a full movie would not fit him well.


It Adds To The Buzz

Demi’s look on Ghost is a memorable one, but would you believe it if we told you she was never meant to have the short haircut? Well, this was the case since Demi went for the brave chop after her audition for Ghost and did not inform the film’s director about her decision. Initially, director Jerry Zucker was unsure of what to think about it, but he was soon convinced that this was the best for the character’s look.

Scary Baby Noise

The film certainly had an eerie effect to it, after all, Swayze played a dead ghost. In addition, when it was the bad people’s turn to go to the bad afterlife, they were taken by creepy shadows. The noises played by these creepy shadows will make anyone think of choosing a more righteous path. However, according to IMDB, the noises being used in the film are actually the noise of a baby crying which was slowed down and played backward.


Ghost Changed Swayze’s Career

Swayze was already a huge hit after his role in Dirty Dancing some years prior, but the downside to his success was that he was typecast for particular roles. While Zucker made his feelings known for not wanting to originally cast Swayze for the role of Sam, his decision to do so completely revitalized Swayze’s career. He was suddenly seen in a different light to his previous roles, and this opened even more doors for the actor.


A Dark Time For Swayze

He may have given a star-studded performance when he took on the role as Sam in Ghost. However, there were certain scenes which he found very hard. Speaking to PEOPLE in 1990, Swayze admitted that the plaster dummy representing his character’s body reminded him of his fathers funeral. “I had pushed that memory out of my life until that moment on location when it all came back, big time,” he said. “There were a few scenes where something happened to me that was very scary.”

Oscar Worthy

Whoopi Goldberg’s Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Ghost made her the first African-American actress to be nominated for that category, as well as, a nomination for Best Actress. She had previously been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1985 for her role in The Color Purple. She did not win this award, but her award for Ghost marked her first win toward her EGOT. She went on to win a Tony Award in 2002 for Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Tony Goldwyn Got Hate For His Role

Tony Goldwyn’s portrayal as the villain in the film resulted in a lot of hate towards the actor. Goldwyn told A.V. Club in 2014 that he had been denied service by a waitress in a restaurant who had spent the entire time giving Tony death stares, of which he could not understand why. When she finally asked if he was an actor, “She said, “I’m so sorry! I knew I hated you, but I didn’t know where from, and because I couldn’t place who you were,’ ”


An Unchained Melody

We can all recite word for word of “Unchained Melody,” and with it being the theme song for the film, it will forever be associated with Ghost. However, there is a reason for its title and why it is actually called “Unchained Melody.” It was first written for the 1955 prison film Unchained and it was meant to be sung by an inmate in the film. That is why the lyrics state how hard is it to wait so long as the song was about serving time.


The Power Of Ghost

In 1990, following the release of the film, Swayze told PEOPLE what he felt the message of Ghost was. “Ghost was about living your life for the moment, because that’s all you’ve got … If you don’t communicate with the people you love, you set yourself up for incredible pain if you lose them.” Sadly, Swayze died of pancreatic cancer in 2009 at age 57, and it can only be hoped that he took his inspirational message on board and lived a very happy life.


Mexican Provided Tissues

It is hard to watch Ghost without shedding a tear or two, and the people working in a theater in Monterrey, Mexico, wanted to help movie watchers out. They handed out envelopes marked “solo para mujeres,” meaning for women only, and they were filled with tissues. While the envelopes may have been created for women alone, many men were feeling the heightened emotions from the film, and they were soon reaching straight for those envelopes too! Can’t deny a tissue to those in need.

Sad Time For Ghost

2009 was a sad year for Ghost fans, and people in the film industry. In that year, there was a tragic turn when two of the ghosts from the film died from different forms of cancer. Both Patrick and Vincent Schiavelli, the actor who played the ghost in the subway, died at the age of 57. Patrick died of pancreatic cancer, and Vincent died from lung cancer. Fortunately, they were both involved on Ghost which was an experience that many could have only dreamed of.


A Life Changing Role For Demi

Demi Moore may have had her fair share of acting roles before Ghost, but it was not until the release of the box-office hit that Moore became a bankable star. She went on to become box-office gold, and the film turned Moore into the highest-paid actress at the time. Just five years after the release of Ghost, Moore was cast to star in the film Striptease and was paid $12.5 million for her appearance. Unfortunately, the film did not do so well, but she had certainly lucked out from it.

The Highest Grossing Film Of 1990

Ghost took an unprecedented turn when it made a whopping $505,702,588 at the box office. When it was released in 1990, millions flocked to see the film and it became an international success. No-one involved in the film expected this to happen and, with the film being made for $22 million, the profit highlighted that this was one surprising, yet serious, hit. Home Alone may now be considered the highest grossing film of 1990, but it only surpassed Ghost in February 1991, making Demi and Patrick big names in the film industry during the time of the release.

A Box-Office Turn

Following the release of Ghost, there was a flood of successful romantic drama’s hitting the box-office. “The success of Ghost and Pretty Woman has revitalized the romantic comedy, a genre that in recent years had become less appealing to Hollywood studios intent on making blockbuster action-adventure films,” read a The New York Times article in 1990. Pretty Woman was another film that made a staggering sum in the box-office during that time, and this was followed by The Bodyguard, Jerry Maguire, and Titanic.


Such Success Led To A Remake

Ghost was so successful in Japan, that the Japanese decided to remake the movie. After the original made a healthy $48,449,689 in Japan, Paramount and other companies got involved in the Japanese film’s production and release. In 2010, Ghost: Mouichido Dakishimetai was released in Japan, which translates roughly in English to – Ghost: In Your Arms Again. This remake of the film had a slight twist to the original, and in this version, the leading woman played the ghost.


The Tragedy Of Macbeth

Ghost makes reference to William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” and Molly’s line to Sam before he goes to live a charmed life, is in reference to the iconic tragedy. The title character in the play believes he cannot be killed and recites the same line. However, in an ironic twist, Macbeth is killed immediately after finishing the line. In a similar turn, after Sam watches the  production of Macbeth in the film, Sam is also tragically murdered.


Fighting For What You Believe In

It is hard to believe that such a film could not have been made. Rubin had been fighting to get the Ghost made since he began pitching it to studios in 1984. Many were not keen on the idea, and even the actors involved when it was finally picked up were reluctant that the film would do well. Zucker explained that the movie was set out to make “you laugh, cry, [and] get scared. The movie is a roller-coaster ride.” This proved to be the perfect combination to make a successful film.

Wives Are Always Right

When discussing Tony Goldwyn, who played the role of Carl, Jerry Zucker told Entertainment Weekly in 1990 that he was skeptical of Tony. “We saw his tape and were immediately struck by how good he was, but I wasn’t sure he was right for the part. He seemed too nice.” However, the production designer on the movie was Goldwyn’s wife and she convinced Tony to audition for the role originally since it had not yet been cast. Carl later changed his mind, and a good thing too!

Rubin’s Decision Earned An Oscar

The Los Angeles Times revealed how Bruce Rubin was originally skeptical about hiring Zucker for the director’s role in the film. “I wanted Milos Forman or Stanley Kubrick [to direct the movie],” Rubin said. “When I was told that the guy who made Airplane! was going to direct Ghost, I cried.” Together, the pair went through 19 drafts of the screenplay and Zucker decided to give it more structure and “more twists and turns.” It certainly worked out, and Rubin’s screenplay came to life the best way it could.


Demi Thought It Was A Recipe For Disaster

In 2013, Moore admitted her initial feelings towards the film, stating, “It’s a love story, and it’s a guy—a dead guy—trying to save his wife, and there is a comedy part, but really, really it’s a love story.” She continued, “And I thought, ‘Wow, this is really a recipe for disaster.’ It’s either going to be something really special, really amazing, or really an absolute bust.” Well, it is safe to say that it went better than anyone could have hoped!

Live In Sam And Molly’s Soho Loft

Want to relive the famous pottery scene in the New York loft apartment seen in Ghost? Perhaps you can if you can afford the hefty $9 million Soho loft where Sam and Molly lived. The loft was originally listed at $10.5m but has now gone down to just over $9 million – a bargain! The 4,341-square-foot loft on 102 Prince Street hosts three bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths, and a Sub-Zero refrigerator – what more could you ask for? Perhaps an even lower listing price, but this apartment is iconic!


The Art Of Pottery

The infamous pottery scene is definitely the most memorable scene of the film. Since the film was such a success, there is no surprise that the scene made such an impression and has since been reenacted by multiple people. A great one was in a 2014 episode of Two and a Half Men, where Moore’s ex-husband Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer make beautiful pottery together. Jerry Zucker’s brother David directed the 1991 film, The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear, which reenacted the scene in a comedic way.

A Potential TV Adaptation

A report came out in 2013 which announced that there could be a potential TV adaption of Ghost. It was reported that Paramount TV had approached writer-producer Akiva Goldsman and show-runner Jeff Pinkner to write a pilot episode which was based on the movie. However, since this report, nothing else has been released, and it is unknown as to whether the pilot ever came to fruition. Sometimes it is better just to leave good things how they are since nothing can really compare to the original movie.


The Righteous Brothers

The 1990 cover of “Unchained Melody” shot to number one on the Billboard U.S. Adult Contemporary Chart after the song was used in the film. However, the song used in the film was the 1965 cover version sung by the Righteous Brothers. “So I didn’t know what it was going to do to the song, but, boy, when it came out in that movie, that song became a monster,” co-Righteous Brother Bill Medley told Songfacts. “I mean, a monster. I didn’t see that coming, that’s for sure.”


When Things Do Not Go To Plan

No one can forget the infamous pottery scene. Demi and Patrick worked their magic to make this an unforgettable moment for viewers, and their portrayal on screen was tantalizing. However, what many may not know, is that the pottery was never meant to fall apart. While they worked hard to keep their work going strong, the pot broke. The actors continued to be professional and kept on going. It seemed to work anyway, and it made it into the scene of the film!