Wayne’s world Director Penelope Severis sets the record straight about rumors of clashes with co-star Mike Myers on the set of 1992. Wayne’s world – first feature written for both.
“It wasn’t an uncomfortable group,” says Spheeris, 77, THR‘s It happened in Hollywood Podcast. “Mike is hypoglycemic, so if he has low blood sugar, he might get angry. Very big deal. I worked with Richard Pryor and Albert Brooks. They’re going to give you a heart attack.”
Spheeris says the feud began after filming ended and the final film was shown to test audiences. Myers’ father died at the time, so he returned to Canada for the funeral and missed those early performances.
“I got a great reaction from the audience in the test environment. That’s when the fan crap hit,” Spheeris recalls. “He wasn’t there to witness the amazing crowd reaction and look at the test cards and realize we had something on our hands.”
Instead, Myers watched the movie on his own and wrote 11 pages of notes — many of them suggestions for cuts — spaced out on legal paper.
“Most of them are full,” says Spheeris.
Among the cuts Myers wanted was a scene in which Lara Flynn Boyle, who plays an ex-girlfriend who still pines for Wayne, crashes her bike into a car. “Mike didn’t want her there because she was laughing, not him,” Spheeris explains. “This is how Lorne teaches his players – to always get one step ahead of each other.”
Myers also had his skepticism about one of the film’s most iconic sequences: when Wayne, Garth (Dana Carvey) and his cohorts lip-synthesize to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody in a 1976 AMC Pacer referred to as the Mirthmobile.
“They hated doing it. They hated banging their heads in the car. It hurt.” [Metallica’s] James Hetfield, all these hitters, are used to it. These guys were not used to doing that. They had no muscles in their necks and it started to hurt so bad. They started ordering Advil on the set,” Spheeris recalls. “The worst part is Mike said not only does it hurt, it’s not funny.”
Spheeris strongly opposed Meyers’ suggestions and told producer Lorne Michaels and Paramount executives that the film would suffer creatively – and comically – if it implemented them.
Lorne took me aside and said, “Penelope, if you don’t change the movie, you can’t direct me.” Wayne’s World 2. “Mike won’t agree with you,” you remember.
Paramount executives told her, “We really want to do Wayne’s World 2 with mike. We won’t tell him you won’t change it – you have to tell him. And Lorne said, “I don’t tell him, you tell him.” ‘
“So I told him,” Severis says. “I have been canned.”
While Spheeris approved a handful of Myers’ changes, most of them saw her visual audience on screens. And watch it: The film grossed $183 million worldwide, or $400 million in 2023.
When a sequel was immediately produced later that year, Spheeris was replaced by Stephen Surgic, the Canadian director who had worked with Michaels on the sketch show. Kids in the hall.
When she got the news, Spheeris pulled her phone out from the wall and “cried for two weeks. Then I got over it,” she says. Wayne’s World 2 It grossed $48 million worldwide, or $102 million today.
Spheeris and Michaels never spoke again, despite knowing and working together since 1976 in the first season of SNLWhere she acted in short films.
Myers did not immediately respond THR’Comment request.
Listen to the entire Penelope Spheeris episode of It happened to Hollywood below and be sure to subscribe.