It’s been a spring of endless “Hoosiers” references, so what’s one more?
Turns out one of the movie’s most famous lines – “Now boys, don’t get watchin’ the paint dry!” – was ad-libbed by the actor who spoke it, the late Dennis Hooper.
“(Hopper) had an interesting way of rehearsing and memorizing lines — he didn’t,” Angelo Pizzo, who wrote and produced the movie, told the Indianapolis Star. “We’d written something else completely, which I don’t remember exactly. If you watch the first take, all of the players are laughing because they’d never heard that before in rehearsal. We liked it so much — even though we weren’t sure what it meant — that we left it in.”
Maybe Hopper just inhabited his character, Wilbur “Shooter” Flatch, who happened to be the town drunk, a former high school baller and an assistant coach in the movie. Sounds like a random “Shooter” saying.
Turns out Hopper’s dad used to say it.
“He told us his father used to say that to him,” Pizzo remembered. “But then he said that he never knew what it meant. It was completely spontaneous and became a really famous line.”
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