Extras know everything about what really happened on your favourite movies.

Weight Watchers
Thanks to our brand partner, Weight Watchers

What has a bus, a bomb, and the most sexual chemistry we’ve ever seen on public transport?


When action film burst onto our screens in 1994, most of us couldn’t keep our eyes off the odometer. KEEP IT ABOVE 50 KPHR, DAMMIT. The rest of the time, we were eyeballing Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves.

But there were 18 OTHER PEOPLE on that bus, guys.  And those passengers have pretty great behind-the-scenes stories about what really happened on LA City route 2525.

The podcast I Was There Too is a show that tracks down extras who were in the room and goes behind the scenes of great movies.  It’s the inside stories of how cinema and TV history is made, from a fly-on-the-wall perspective.

And they tracked down five of the passengers on Bus 2525 including “Bus Passenger 1” and the driver, Sam.

James Hawthorne, who played Bus Driver Sam.

Even though the film was over in less than two hours, turns out that bus ride went for 14 hours a day, for four months of their life.

The guy that played the Bus driver Sam, Hawthorne James, told host Matt Gourley that producers used 13 buses over the entire shoot. Depending on what part they were filming, they would use different ones; buses with no floors, buses that were higher off the ground, buses with everything stripped out of them. And in the days before CGI, where there were no special effects they could fall back on, the engineers spent months configuring a bus that would ACTUALLY leap over a gap.

Come fly with me

The reason you can’t see any passengers in the bus as it leaps the caverous gap, is because there weren’t any in there. They had to completely strip the bus of all extra weight to make it happen.

(Of course, in the film, they get around it by Jack (Keanu Reeves) telling everyone to hold on and get down.  So they all bend forward to protect themselves, which is why you can’t see anyone from the outside shot. TRICKY)

During one stunt, the bus traveled over 100 feet in the air and was 20 feet off the ground. When it landed, the tires were blown and the suspension was completely mangled.

And all those highway scenes were shot on the unfinished Century Freeway, which had been under construction for over a decade.  And there were so many cars to co-ordinate that whenever a highway scene was shot, all the cars were tuned to a specialised radio station that they had built for the show, so they could broadcast to everyone at once.


The film won two Oscars and was a breakthrough role for Sandra Bullock, who was paid $500,000 for her role, (which paled in comparison to Keanu’s 1.2 million). She’s now one of Hollywood’s highest paid actresses and was named People’s mag’s most beautiful person of 2015.

Our favourite looks from Oscars past (post continues after video)

And in case you were wondering, Sandra Bullock is the loveliest human to ever exist, and Keanu Reeves is an introvert who cooked his own brown rice in the catering tent.

This is just one of the recommendations from our podcast, Mamamia Out Loud. Every week we talk about what’s making news, and the best things to read, listen to or watch. You can listen on the bus if you like. And if you’re stuck on your bus for four months, there’s plenty of episodes that will keep you entertained.

The full episode is in itunes, and here:

00:00 / ???