13. Holly Hunter Was Cast After Introducing Joel Coen To His Wife
Back in 1984, Holly Hunter had been cast as the lead in the Coens first film Blood Simple, but had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts. As she was leaving the project, she had a suggestion for her replacement: her college roommate at Yale and future two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand... who just so happened to marry director Joel Coen the year of its release.
While Hunter having to turn down the role was probably a blow to the Coens at the time, it resulted in something even greater for Joel. But that didn't mean they weren't still keen to work with her when it came to making their next picture, and the role of Ed was written specifically with Hunter in mind.
As a frequent collaborator, McDormand also appeared in the film, though in a smaller role as Dot: the wife of a friend of H.I. attempting to blackmail their way into custody of Nathan Junior. McDormand would win her first Oscar for Fargo, another Coen brothers flick, in 1996.