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30 Mind-Blowing Facts We Bet You Never Knew About Darren Aronofsky

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Darren Aronofsky, known for his frequent use of the hip-hop montage technique, which is a sequence of images or actions shown in fast-motion with sound effects, is often noted for his surreal, melodramatic, and often disturbing films. Here are some really interesting facts about the American filmmaker and screenwriter:

  1.  Being known for his environmental activism, he was honored with the Humanitarian Award from both the Humane Society of the United States and PETA.
  2.  It was reported that he first envisioned his movie "Black Swan" as a part of "The Wrestler" as a love affair between a ballet dancer and a wrestler. But he quickly realized that taking two worlds like wrestling and ballet was much too much for one movie.
  3.  One of his trademarks is to use sounds to objects that are not always seen on screen like a train horn or slurping liquid. He also uses a string instrument and techno beat combination for the soundtrack to his films.
  4.  His 1998 movie "Pi," reportedly cost only $60,000 to make, most of which was raised as individual $100 contributions, from his friends and family. Later, when the Artisan Entertainment bought the movie, each contributor was given a $150 return on their investment.
  5.  His father Abraham Aronofsky can be seen at around 1 hour 14 minutes into his movie "Requiem for a Dream," when a man tells Sara Goldfarb - "You are whacked." The man is none other than the director's father himself.
  6.  During the shooting of the "Black Swan," it was revealed that he would subtly try to pit Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis against each other, in an attempt to increase the on-screen tension between their characters, by sending each of them intimidating text messages about each other’s performance that day.
  7.  However, the plot is said to have kind of backfired at Aronofsky, as the duo being already good friends, would often end up in congratulatory support, not rivalry as a response to his messages.
  8.  For his movie "The Wrestler," he revealed that he had Mickey Rourke as the first choice to play Randy "The Ram" Robinson, but Nicolas Cage was the studio's choice. He claimed that he fought to have Rouke and ultimately won out.
  9.  He is known to follow a tradition during the production of his movies - he does not shave his beard till the production is over, which he reportedly started while working on his movie "Pi."
  10.  Aronofsky had actually started penning the script of "The Fountain" in the year 1999, when he turned 30 years. It was after his parents were diagnosed with cancer that he began reflecting on human mortality, and started focusing on the concept of a young man saving a loved one from a life-threatening disease.
  11.  He had initially wanted the three main heroin addicts featured in the film "Requiem for a Dream," to be of the ages of around 14 to 16, to demonstrate the devastating impact of drugs and lead to a greater emotional reaction from the audience, but the producers felt it to be too horrific for the American audiences and rejected the idea.
  12.  His 2014 movie "Noah," with its religious theme, had the Paramount Pictures screen-test three different rough cuts of the film without the approval and knowledge of Aronofsky, which made him very unhappy. After much discussion and compromise, his final version was not test screened until post-production was finished, as per his wishes.
  13.  The 1998 movie "Pi," was a very small budget film, which had things done to save a few thousand dollars. In fact, the subway scenes in the movie were said to be illegally filmed to save $18,000 a night. During the entire production phase of the movie, Aronofsky's mother is said to have catered to the entire crew.
  14.  For his movie "Requiem for a Dream," he shot the film like a hip-hop montage, which is actually a sequence of extremely short shots with over 2000 cuts, in an effort to get the sense of overwhelming addiction and loss of control.
  15.  His movies are often based around obsession and its damaging effects on people's lives, and his characters are known to have strong obsessions that drive them towards self-destruction.
  16.  He has always maintained that his 2010 movie "Black Swan" was meant to be a psychological horror film, though the film was never marketed as such.
  17.  Though Rourke was the first choice for the role of Randy "The Ram" Robinson, in the movie "The Wrestler," Aronofsky had to convince him to take the role and also let him rewrite much of his dialogue, for the actor to agree to play in the movie.
  18.  In his movie "The Fountain," he reportedly chose to do the visual effects for the film by using micro-photography of chemical reactions on tiny petri dishes, instead of the usual CGI effects, as he claimed that CGI would take away from the timelessness of the film.
  19.  He claimed in an interview that he had been fascinated with the character of Noah since childhood, seeing him as "a dark, complicated character who experiences real survivor's guilt," which led him to director the 2014 movie "Noah."
  20.  For his movie "Black Swan," he first approached Natalie Portman about making a film set in the dance world of 2001, and envisioned it as a film loosely based on "The Double: A Petersburg Poem" by Fyodor Dostoevsky.
  21.  In an effort to gain inspiration for his movie "The Wrestler," he reportedly lent a copy of the 1999 professional wrestling documentary "Beyond the Mat," to the writer Robert Siegel.
  22.  It was reported that Warner Bros. refused to do a director's commentary for the DVD release of his movie "The Fountain," following which he recorded one in his living room and released it on his website.
  23.  His movie "Mother!" went under a good amount of fire, when the marketing team hired an artist to paint a mural of the film in Sydney, Australia. The said mural had actually covered up a 20-year-old painting by a local artist.
  24.  The said painting was depicting animals in a cityscape below the words "it's like a jungle sometimes, a reference to a song by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five. Aronofsky was reportedly embarrassed about the mural being painted over the historic piece of art and even apologized on behalf of the ad agency, Apparition Media.
  25.  Later, a spokesperson for the agency said they were unaware of the iconic nature of the mural and regretted their "terrible mistake." They went on to contact the mural's original artist and offered their help in restoring the artwork to its original form.
  26.  It was reported that he had initially hope for a budget of about $28-30 million for his 2010 movie "Black Swan," but the budget eventually raised for the film was only around $13 million.
  27.  Two years after the movie "The Wrestler," he revealed that he changed his entire directing style for the movie, after being highly influenced by the Belgian directors Dardenne brothers - Luc Dardenne and Jean-Pierre Dardenne.
  28.  He started working on the movie "The Fountain" in early 2002, casting Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, with a budget of $75 million, but it was shut down, when Pitt left the movie due to creative differences with Aronofsky.
  29.  Two years later, he again started filming with Hugh Jackman as Tom and Rachel Weisz as Izzi, with a smaller budget of $35 million. Warner Bros., agreed to finance the new version, as they had already invested $20 million in the cancelled version.
  30.  He reportedly collaborated with the artist JR on "The Standing March," which is actually a public art installation in Paris that is said to encourage diplomats at COP21 prompting action against climate change, in the year 2015.
  31.  Darren Aronofsky Net Worth: $25 Million

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