8 Iconic Movie Characters That Were Mostly Improvised

1. Dr. Strangelove - Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb

Peter Sellers is a genius. That's not a disputable statement. If there's any confusion about this, one has to look no further than his work in Dr. Strangelove. Playing multiple characters in the film, Sellers is the core of the film. Which is weird, because his titular role wasn't even in the novel, Red Alert, from which the film was adapted. But that just goes to show that the brilliance of one man can occasionally overpower a script and inspire a mad man like Stanley Kubrick to go places even he wouldn't have thought to go. Speaking of Kubrick, most of the loose, impromptu vibe of the film came from a little white lie the director told his actors: namely, that the scenes they were "practicing" were actually being filmed and would be used in the final cut of the movie. This was because Kubrick decided to turn the serious political drama into a satire after he'd already cast guys like George C. Scott, who were serious, dramatic actors. The ridiculous nature of the film lent itself quite well to having Sellers go wild and basically tear the script up. The most iconic scenes from Dr. Strangelove were nowhere to be found in that original script. For instance, Strangelove accidentally referring to the United States President as "Mein Fuhrer?" Sellers' idea. The involuntary Nazi salutes? Seller's idea. Strangling himself with his possessed arm? Yep. Without Peter Sellers, there is no Dr. Strangelove. Literally.

Jacob is a part-time contributor for WhatCulture, specializing in music, movies, and really, really dumb humor. You can follow him on Twitter @JakeTrowbridge.