Now and Then Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary! Did You Know These 16 Behind-the-Scenes Facts?

Writer Marlene King, stars Thora Birch and Devon Sawa and more revealed behind-the-scenes secrets at a recent screening in Los Angeles

By Tierney Bricker Oct 20, 2015 3:00 PMTags
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All for one. And one for all. 

It's October 20, 2015. Do you know what that means? It's the 20th anniversary of the release date of Now and Then, which hit theaters on October 20, 1995. Go on, we'll give you a minute to reflect/feel old/go find your copy of the movie. 

At a 20th anniversary screening at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, Calif. on Friday, Oct. 16, producers Suzanne and Jennifer Todd, writer Marlene King (who now runs a little show you may have heard of: Pretty Little Liars), stars Thora Birch (Teeny!) and Devon Sawa (Scott Wormer!) revealed juicy behind-the-scenes secrets that will have fans of the iconic film knocking three times on the ceiling. E! News was on the scene and compiled 16 of the facts you absolutely have to know, including which of the girls hooked up with Sawa and the role Leonardo DiCaprio almost played...

Leonardo DiCaprio was supposed to be in the movie: The Oscar nominee was originally set to play the role of the Vietnam War veteran the girls meet on their bike-adventure, but he dropped out at the last minute. "It was a big deal because we had to get someone on a plane pretty quickly to come down," Todd said. "And agent had called and pitched me and said, 'You should look at this new guy, Matt Damon.'" Alas, Todd said they didn't even end up getting to Matt Damon as they saw Fraser and liked him.

All four lead girls had a "wild crush" on Devon Sawa: Hey, didn't everyone have a "wild crush" on Sawa?! Young stars Birch, Christina Ricci (Roberta), Ashleigh Aston Moore (Chrissy) and Gaby Hoffman (Samantha) had a bet going about who would "get with" Sawa while filming. "There  was  some kind of contest, I remember they said, 'get with Devon.'" We were like,' What does get with mean?!'" Todd recalled. 

And the winner was...: While Sawa politely said "no comment," Birch wasn't so tight-lipped, revealing his Casper co-star Ricci won the contest. (Our inner '90s-child is freaking the eff out right now.) "She got out front and the other girls weren't happy about it," Todd spilled. 

"I was the only 15-year-old boy with the cast of the hottest young girls in town, so it was a lot of fun," Sawa said. 

The four girls fought over more than Devon Sawa: Birch revealed that the four leading ladies were as close as sisters ("These four are always correcting each other," she said of the characters, "that dynamic was really cool and it was present on-set off-camera, too"), which lead to some arguments on-set. "That's how we knew we were close," Birch said, "we were really good at fighting."

It was based on Marlene King's childhood: King wrote the movie when she was 10 and said it was about her group of friends growing up. (When asked which girl she was, King joked, "everyone but Chrissy.")

"This really was my childhood...I had some best friends, we did séances in the graveyard, we loved a good mystery," she said. "And my parents were also getting divorced at that time. It really was a true-to-life thing for me." (Samantha was based on her sister, Sandra.)

How the casting process actually happened: The four younger version of the girls were cast first, noting Ricci was the very first actor cast, before the adults were brought in for the final week of filming in Savannah. King revealed that Demi Moore (who played Samantha and was a producer on the film), Rosie O'Donnell (Roberta), Melanie Griffith (Teeny) and Rita Wilson (Chrissy) watched footage of the girls' performances to inform their own. 

Rosie O'Donnell originally didn't want to do it: While she eventually agreed to play the older version of Roberta, it took a lot of effort from Todd and Moore. "We really wanted Rosie and Rosie really wasn't convinced she wanted to do it and we went on this crazy adventure," she said, explaining she and Moore went to New York to see O'Donnell in Grease on Broadway in an attempt to woo her. "We did that rude, pushy thing were we went backstage afterwards, and were like, 'Hi, can we take you to dinner?'"

Death on the set: Remember the scene in the cemetery where a bird scares the girls? "That was scripted to be an owl and the owl died on set," King revealed. "We used a hawk instead as an owl." RIP owl!

Pudding actually works: Birch confirmed that there was actually pudding in the balloons that Teeny used to stuff her bra in the movie. "It's the texture," she joked. 

Training wheels needed: "I couldn't ride a bike," Birch revealed. "That's really was horrible. I was the one with the skinniest tires on my bike so I was just flopping all over."

Now and Then wasn't the original title: While filming, the movie was called The Gaslight Addition, the sub-division the girls lived in. 

Roberta's mom revealed: The photo of Roberta's mom she carried everywhere? It's producer Jennifer Todd!

Song change explained: The infamous bike-ride sing-a-long set to "Knock Three Times" was originally scripted to include a Diana Ross song, King revealed. "No one could sing it because it was too hard," she explained of the change. 

No accidental nudity occurred: That rumor about pausing the movie at a a certain time so you can see Sawa's penis? So not true, according to Sawa. "I've always wanted to address that," he said. "It's not true, we wore these sock things, which at the age of 14 or 15, was extremely embarrassing!"

What the cool kids were doing: "We all were oddly and creepily obsessed with Pulp Fiction," Birch revealed of the younger cast. "I remember we all went and saw it like 10 times." The most obsessed? "I know Christina was like, the most obsessed," she added. "She went 14 times and announced it to everyone."

Did you notice...: Samantha's little sister in the movie was played by Demi Moore's oldest daughter, Rumer Willis?!

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