It's become one of the most iconic shots in film history. Even if you've never seen Say Anything... you almost certainly know the moment. John Cusack with a boombox over his head as Peter Gabriel sings "In Your Eyes." However, it turns out that moment was almost quite different. Apparently, director Cameron Crowe originally wanted an entirely different artist to sing the song in that scene and Peter Gabriel only came into the picture after the first choice declined. Also, an entirely different song was actually used during filming. According to actress Ione Skye, who played Diane in the memorable scene...
Cameron Crowe really wanted Elvis Costello to do that song, and then he saw an early screening of it and didn't want to. And we were all really bummed out. But the Peter Gabriel song was later, so I don't think --I'm sure he played a great song at the time --and in my memory it was "In Your Eyes" when I was doing my scene, but it wasn't.
It's almost hard to imagine any voice other than that of Peter Gabriel in that famous scene, but it could have just as easily been the voice of Elvis Costello singing an entirely different song if the singer and decided to do it. For some reason, maybe he just didn't care for the film, he declined to contribute a song for Say Anything... Who knows if he feels any differently now. The scene is so famous that it's been copied and parodied numerous times in other films and on television. It's one of those moments that you recognize, even if you've never actually seen the movie the moment is based on.
The moment is iconic that even actress Ione Skye admits to Entertainment Weekly that she knows a different song was actually used when her part of the scene was filmed, but her memory is of "In Your Eyes" actually being played. The song is so infused with the scene that she even remembers things differently.
Not that Ione Skye had any idea at the time that this particular scene would become as famous as it did. She admits to not having a clue that the boombox moment would be the part of the movie that everybody remembers. If somehow you've been living under a rock since the 80s. Here's the moment under discussion.
Looking back on it, the moment in Say Anything... could have come off as more than a little creepy and stalker-like. However, as Ione Skye says, there's an earnestness to Cameron Crowe that comes through, and that's certainly the case here. Would it have sounded better with the voice of Elvis Costello? Who knows.