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20 Things You Never Knew About 'Austin Powers'

"Name? Austin Danger Powers. Sex? Yes please!"

20 Things You Never Knew About 'Austin Powers'
New Line

It's been two decades since Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery arrived and had everyone across the globe doing bad British accents. The comedy was a smash hit in 1997 and Mike Myers was one of the biggest movie stars around. Twenty years later, where does Austin stand? 

The story was centered around a horrifically ugly, but suave, British spy who freezes himself in 1967 and is woken up again 30 years later to combat his old nemesis, Dr. Evil (also played by Myers). The plot is a lampoon of old James Bond movies and a ridiculous cat and mouse game ensues. Myers, a master of accents, brought the horny enthusiasm as Austin and the deadpan deliveries as Dr. Evil. Both characters were hilarious and hugely quotable. Both live in comedy history.

Today, Austin has aged pretty well. While some jokes are dated, Myers' performances reign supreme and the film boasts an amazing supporting cast. (Austin was one of Will Ferrell's first films). To celebrate the movie's 20th anniversary, we're going back to the production to reveal 20 things you never knew about Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.

1. Dr. Evil was originally envisioned as a non-Mike Myers entity. Myers wanted Jim Carrey to play the role, but Carrey was making Liar Liar at the time.

2. Myers has said the character of Austin Powers was born out of his father's love of old British comedies and the talents of Peter Sellers and Alec Guinness. He would also flirt with his then-wife, Robin Tuzan, in a randy British accent and she loved it. She encouraged him to make the routine a character.

20 Things You Never Knew About 'Austin Powers'

3. Tuzan also came up with the idea to begin the movie with a dance routine, something Myers did at home a lot, except nude. (In the sequel, The Spy Who Shagged Me, Myers does dance naked as well.)

4. Dr. Evil is based on James Bond's arch nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld in You Only Live Twice. Both characters sport bald heads, gray suits, scars over their eyes, and cats on their laps. Myers also based Dr. Evil's voice on his old Saturday Night Live boss, Lorne Michaels.

5. Austin's style was partially based on old photos of Stephen Hawking.

6. Dr. Evil's line, "There's nothing more pathetic than an aging hipster," is an homage to Lenny Bruce, who said it first.

20 Things You Never Knew About 'Austin Powers'

7. The real name of the sphinx cat used for the 1990s "Mr. Bigglesworth" was Ted Nude-gent (a reference to rock guitarist Ted Nugent).

8. The Lucky Charms lines were improvised on set by Mindy Sterling, who plays Frau Farbissina.

9. Myers and Seth Green, who plays Scott, improvised the shushing scene.

10. Elizabeth Hurley and Mimi Rogers asked and received permission to keep their tight leather jumpsuits.

11. The Quartermaster Clerk (famed for his "one Swedish-made penis enlarger" dialogue) is played by Neil Mullarkey, an old comedy partner of Myers. They toured as "Mullarky and Myers" in the '80s.

20 Things You Never Knew About 'Austin Powers'

12. Myers grew up listening to Quincy Jones and is a big fan. He used "Soul Bossa Nova" as the main theme to the movie.

13. In the Las Vegas bar scene, when Austin throws a peace sign and is laughed at, Myers originally wanted to be drinking Zima to show Austin desperately trying to be cool and failing. But, Coors (owners of Zima) wouldn't give permission since they were being mocked. Austin drinks a Tab instead.

14. Austin Powers didn't fare well in England upon its release, but it also opened the same week Princess Diana was killed in a car crash caused by paparazzi photographers. The country was in mourning and the production was sensitive. A reference to Prince Charles was cut from the UK version. 

15. Austin Powers meant there wouldn't be a Wayne's World 3. Myers, who had risen to fame thanks to Wayne's World had already done one sequel and wanted to focus his attention on a new character - a secret agent.

20 Things You Never Knew About 'Austin Powers'

16. The marching band in the opening sequence is the band from Riverside Community College in California.

17. The characters General Borchevsky and Commander Gilmour are named after two Toronto Maple Leafs hockey players. Myers is a huge hockey fan; he also named his dogs after those guys.

18. Colin Quinn was offered the role of Scott Evil, but he turned it down to focus on his writing projects. Seth Green would land the part.

19. The handgun Austin uses is a Walther PPK/S .380, the same weapon used by James Bond.

20. The exterior location shot of Austin and Vanessa's (Elizabeth Hurley) honeymoon scene is of The Broadmoor, a world famous five-star resort hotel in Colorado Springs, CO.

20 Things You Never Knew About 'Austin Powers'

H/t to IMDb, Wikipedia, and the Austin Powers DVD.

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