Much like Jack Horner, Paul Thomas Anderson is all about the art of making movies.
And while the 11-time Oscar nominee's films may not have the praise-to-box-office ratio they deserve, he has still presided over some truly iconic cinematic moments—so many of which occur in Boogie Nights.
Tonally all over the place—Is it funny? Tragic? Smutty? Absurd? Brilliant? Yes—the 1997 film put Anderson on the map as the bard of the San Fernando Valley, now known for the homegrown writer-director almost as much as it is for being the Hollywood of the porn industry. And it turned Mark Wahlberg into a big, bright, shining star.
"It could have been really good, which it ended up being, or it could have been really bad," Wahlberg reflected recently to Kevin Hart on Peacock's Hart to Hart. "The subject matter was pretty out there."
It turns out a lot of people were into the nearly three-hour-long saga about the adult film business and the colorful characters who flock to it, and Boogie Nights—with its $43 million box office haul on a $15 million budget—remains one of Anderson's top-grossing films. (There Will Be Blood, which made $76 million, is the only one of his movies to cross the $50 million mark.)
And NSFW subject matter notwithstanding, Boogie Nights evolved into a classic, the still-groovy 1970s production design, all-star cast, memorable soundtrack (if you hear "Jessie's Girl" and think of anything else, well good for you) and the way Anderson treated borderline satire with utmost earnestness making for a timeless piece of filmmaking.
So in honor of the 25th anniversary of Wahlberg whipping out that much-talked-about fake penis, here are some behind-the-scenes secrets about the making of Boogie Nights: