It's no secret that actors can sometimes get up to some shenanigans while filming movies, so it's not hard to imagine that if you have a film which stars a ginormous ensemble of actors who are mostly in their teens through their mid-20s, that, you know, things might get a bit wild. This can certainly be said for the cast of the 1993 classic coming-of-age film Dazed and Confused. But, for all of the intriguing mischief that one might think the young cast got up to while working on the movie, I bet you probably wouldn't have guessed that some of them ate mushrooms and then went shooting at a gun range, would you?
Obviously, this story is only worth a good laugh in retrospect, seeing as how everyone who participated in this ill-thought-out adventure managed to come away unscathed. Much of the cast recently spoke with author Melissa Maerz for her book Alright, Alright, Alright: The Oral History of Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused (via Vulture), and they spent a lot of time talking about the "summer camp" feeling behind the scenes, which including lots of imbibing adult beverages, smoking things a lot stronger than tobacco and indulging in other controlled substances.
One of these substances just so happened to be mushrooms of the "magic" variety, known to make people do all kinds of wild and wacky stuff because of the psychoactive and hallucinogenic chemical contained within. According to Dazed and Confused star Ben Affleck, some of the cast was very taken with how easy it was to buy guns in Austin, Texas, where the movie filmed, so they did exactly that and then went to gun ranges on the weekend to...I'm going to call it "practice." You know, to be kind. Rory Cochrane, Cole Hauser, and Nicky Katt then discussed one particular range visit, which was at least partially fueled by 'shrooms:
Rory Cochrane: We went shooting on magic mushrooms. Which was not a great idea. Some of the girls were just waving the guns around, and we were supposed to be in lanes.
Cole Hauser: I wasn’t on mushrooms. Rory might’ve been. He’s pretty good about doing that stuff and you not knowing that he’s on it. He’s not one of those guys dancing around in the tulips, speaking to the sky.
Nicky Katt: He was probably on mushrooms. I was not. But that probably explains why Rory discharged a firearm into the roof of the place. He was like, ‘Hey, how do I …’ Boom! And it went off right over his head.
Wow. Young people. They can get up to some mess, can't they? Firing weapons while under the influence of anything at all can be way more dangerous than necessary, so the fact that everyone involved (and nearby, for goodness sakes!) came through this excursion without being riddled with wounds most serious is a pure miracle.
Some of you reading this right now can probably remember the days when you had so little care for your own safety and that of others, but I am a proud square, through and through, and rarely do anything more mechanically troublesome than change the channel on my TV after a strawberry margarita. I simply cannot dream of taking my ass to a gun range and trying to fire off rounds while higher than an angel on a cloud.
Being crazy and reckless is really fun for a lot of people, so I'm glad that everyone who participated in the madness which was Dazed and Confused got to enjoy themselves but also live to tell the tale. You can stream Dazed and Confused on Hulu and Showtime with a subscription, or rent the film from Amazon if you'd like to relive a smidge of those crazy times.