It can not be overstated how big a hit There’s Something About Mary was when it was released.
Released in cinemas on 15 July 1998, There’s Something About Mary very quickly became a worldwide phenomenon. This was a time when comedies could absolutely demolish their competition at the box office, and There’s Something About Mary made just shy of $370 million, becoming the fourth biggest hit of 1998, behind only Armageddon, Saving Private Ryan and Godzilla.
It was also a surprise hit with critics, scoring 84% on Rotten Tomatoes, the darkly sweet romantic comedy was directed and co-written by Bobby and Peter Farrelly, who were coming in hot off the one-two punch of Dumb & Dumber and Kingpin.
In the year 2000, as part of the American Film Institute’s countdown of the 100 funniest films of all time, it was ranked at No.27, one position above Ghostbusters! So, yeah, it was loved.
As we were coming up to the movie’s big quarter of a century anniversary, when we were chatting to Lin Shaye, we couldn’t not mention it! Shaye is best known today for being a bit of a scream queen – we were interviewing the actress for her role in new horror sequel Insidious: The Red Door – but back in 1998, Shaye was probably best known for her supporting role in Kingpin.
You can check out our interview with Shaye and her Insidious co-stars right here:
When we asked Shaye, who plays Mary’s (Cameron Diaz) neighbour Magda, about her memories looking back on There’s Something About Mary a full 25 years later, this is what she told us:
“There is such a story about how they didn’t want to see me for the role. And I had met the Farrellys when I did Kingpin, which was the first movie I did for them. And when I read they were doing this, I asked could I audition for Magda, and they said ‘No, you’re not right for it’.
“They did that to me twice! And I had to convince them. I begged them to let me come in and read for them. And then they did cast me, and [Magda] is just such a wonderful person.
“We just saw it again, I think it was in honour of this anniversary, so we saw it in the theatre just a few weeks ago. And it totally holds up, it is one of the funniest movies ever.
“I mean, that scene with Ben Stiller and Puffy. The physical comedy that he displays in that film. All of them. Matt Dillon. Cameron [Diaz] is just a beacon. She is so beautiful in that movie, she lights you up watching her. So I think it is a timeless film, I think in 50 years it is still as wonderful as it is today.”
There’s Something About Mary is available to watch on Disney+ right now.
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