7 Uncomfortable Facts That Ruin Beloved Movies

7. Richard Parker Was Nearly Drowned On Set - Life Of Pi

Everybody loves a film with an animal at its core - that's the human way. Free Willy, Beethoven, Homeward Bound... a handful of iconic films featuring animals in the lead roles. And then there's Life of Pi, of course, Ang Lee's wonderful 2012 epic about a young boy lost at sea, featuring that loveable tiger with the human name: Richard Parker. Whilst Richard Parker was partly rendered with CG, though, a real tiger named "King" was used for filming certain scenes. And according to a leaked email from a American Humane Association Official named Gina Johnson (who was monitoring the animal on the set of the movie), King did not have a particularly pleasant time making Life of Pi:
"Last week we almost f*cking killed King in the water tank. This one take with him went really bad and he got lost trying to swim to the side. Damn near drowned. I think this goes without saying but don't mention it to anyone, especially the office! I have downplayed the f*ck out of it."
As is always the case with these matters, the studio - 20th Century Fox - denied this ever happened and insisted that King was treated with respect. Johnson had no reason to lie about such happenings in an email she never thought anybody would see, though, surely? Whatever happened, these allegations put a downer on an otherwise beloved flick.

Sam Hill is an ardent cinephile and has been writing about film professionally since 2008. He harbours a particular fondness for western and sci-fi movies.