Reality Bites (1994)

Reality Bites, Ben Stiller’s directorial debut, is an engrossing character study of a group of friends in the early 20s as they struggle to find their footing in the adult world. Often called a portrait of Generation X, much to the dismay of the people who made it, the film instead focuses on the fertile ground of early adulthood, a subject examined by literally thousands of movies. Winona Ryder gives a luminous performance alongside a brooding Ethan Hawke, an endearing sarcastic Janeane Garofalo, and the cinematic debut of the goofy Steve Zahn. Uproxx catches up the cast and crew for a 2oth-anniversary retrospective.

20 years later: An oral history of ‘Reality Bites’, 2.18.14

Les Grossman: Tom Cruise’s Wildly Profane Redemption Song

The Les Grossman part in Tropic Thunder (2008) was added late because the screenwriting team thought they needed another villain besides a 12-year-old Asian drug kingpin. Tom Cruise was originally targeted for the lead ultimately played by Ben Stiller, but agreed to play Grossman and he played the part to the max: an iconically demonic portrayal of a Hollywood studio boss with many incredible one-liners–most of which are completely unrepeatable in decent company.

The Making of Les Grossman: An Oral History, 7.30.15