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20 Things You Never Knew About 'Jerry Maguire'

The movie that "had us at hello" turns 20 years old.

20 Things You Never Knew About 'Jerry Maguire'
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Admit it, you like Jerry Maguire. Everyone does. Writer/director Cameron Crowe has always known how to appeal to both men and women and Jerry Maguire is the perfect example. It transcends mere "chick flick" status. Set in the high stakes and very masculine world of big money sports agents, Crowe manages to create a memorable romance from nothing when an impulsive secretary quits her job along with her fired boss

That boss is, of course, Jerry Maguire. The secretary is Dorothy Boyd and the two set off on a new business venture that leads to romance, heartbreak and romance again. Played by Oscar nominee Tom Cruise, Jerry is a combustible combination of slick, savvy, and hopeless. His love interest (Renée Zellweger) is grounded, but also hopeless (in the romance department). Much of the movie's fun is watching these two talented actors play off one another as their relationships, both business and personal, run the gamut of emotions.

Crowe's style is towards sweet and Jerry Maguire is certainly that. But it's also heartwarming, funny, sad, and inspirational. This year marks the film's 20th anniversary and we thought we'd look back at some fun facts about the movie you never knew about.

1. Crowe took so long (over three years) to write the Jerry Maguire screenplay, he reconsidered his first choice for the title role. He wanted Tom Hanks, but felt Hanks was too old by the time he finished. 

2. Along with Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, John Travolta and Bruce Willis were all considered for the lead.

20 Things You Never Knew About 'Jerry Maguire'
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3. Winona Ryder was Crowe's first choice for the role of Dorothy Boyd. But that plan was abandoned when she screen tested with Cruise. Crowe thought they looked like brother and sister, not a couple.

4. Along with Zellweger, Patricia Arquette, Cameron Diaz, Bridget Fonda, Nicole Kidman, Courtney Love, Molly Ringwald and Uma Thurman were all considered for Dorothy. Allegedly, Crowe also told Janeane Garofalo the part was hers if she could lose weight. Garofalo slimmed down, but when she came back to Crowe, he had already cast Zellweger in the role.

5. Zellweger kissed Cruise during one of her auditions for the movie.

6. Cuba Gooding Jr. beat out 50 other actors to land the role of Rod Tidwell, including Jamie Foxx and Damon Wayans. Gooding would win a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the role. 

20 Things You Never Knew About 'Jerry Maguire'
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7. Gooding also auditioned with the late, great Robin Williams for the movie. He assumed Williams would be playing Jerry, but the actor was just in town doing a favor for the studio.

8. Jennifer Lopez was reportedly offered the role of Dorothy Boyd, but turned it down thanks to her agent's advice. Mira Sorvino, Marisa Tomei and Parker Posey were also considered. Connie Britton read for the role and was nearly cast. It was reportedly down to her and Zellweger at the end.

9. Jennifer Connelly and Meg Ryan were each offered the role of Avery Bishop, but both turned it down. Diane Lane, Alyssa Milano and Tori Spelling all auditioned as well, but Kelly Preston won the part.

10. Cruise didn't remember Bonnie Hunt (who plays Dorothy's older sister, Laurel) was in Rain Man with him. When she told him they had worked together before, Cruise had no clue. Hunt plays the waitress with the toothpicks in that film.

20 Things You Never Knew About 'Jerry Maguire'
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11. Jonathan Lipnicki, who plays Dorothy's son, Ray, showed up on the set one day telling everyone, "The human head weighs eight pounds!" Crowe loved it and wrote it into the script for Ray.

12. Zellweger was a virtual unknown outside of Hollywood when she was cast in Jerry Maguire. She admitted the day she was told she had the job it had been so long since she'd worked that she didn't have enough money in her account to make an ATM withdrawal.

13. The character of Jerry Maguire is loosely based on real-life sports agent Leigh Steinberg who had a partner named David Dunn turn on him and try to recruit clients out from under him (a la Bob Sugar in the film). Steinberg appears in the movie as Troy Aikman's agent, which he was in real life.

20 Things You Never Knew About 'Jerry Maguire'
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14. The phrase "Show me the Money!" is generally credited to former NFL defensive back Tim MacDonald who also played for the Arizona Cardinals like Rod Tidwell. Crowe borrowed it for Rod.

15. Country star Kenny Chesney stole the film's second most-famous line for his song, "You Had Me From Hello." Years later, Chesney would coincidentally marry Renée Zellweger, although it didn't last long. 

16. Zellweger has said it took her several tries to say the famous line "You had me at 'Hello'" correctly. She told Newsweek, "Cameron had me say it a few different ways. It's so funny because, when I read it, I didn't get it. I thought it was a typo somehow. I kept looking at it. It was the one thing in the script that I was looking at going, 'Is that right? Can that be right? How is that right?' I thought, 'Is there a better way to say that?'"

17. The scene where Jerry and Ray meet and talk in the living room was completely improvised. Crowe wanted to create something genuine between the two and no script was the solution. 

20 Things You Never Knew About 'Jerry Maguire'
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18. Cruise has admitted he cried when he first read the script.

19. Crowe's mother is among those attending the divorced women's group. She's the one who says, "I finally got in touch with my anger."

20. Crowe wanted his hero, legendary director Billy Wilder, to play the part of uber-agent Dicky Fox. Wilder agreed but backed out on the first day of filming. Crowe then took Cruise to Wilder's office in an effort to convince him but Wilder still said no. Crowe would later write a book about Wilder. He also modeled the role of Dorothy Boyd on Shirley MacLaine's Fran in The Apartment.

20 Things You Never Knew About 'Jerry Maguire'
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H/T to Wikipedia, IMDb 

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