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What actors are actually drinking instead of alcohol in Hollywood films

Jess Battison

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| Last updated 

What actors are actually drinking instead of alcohol in Hollywood films

Featured Image Credit: Paramount Pictures / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

A couple sips of wine, a few gulps of a vodka soda or a chug of beer, alcohol can quickly add up.

Anyone who’s partial to a drink knows you can start to feel the effects quicker than expected.

Regardless, alcohol is a core part of many people’s culture or social life and that of course gets portrayed on screen.

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From James Bond’s martinis to a sweet vermouth on the rocks with a twist in Groundhog Day to an Old Fashioned in Mad Men and Cosmopolitans in Sex and the City, it’s not uncommon to see our favourite characters having a sip or two.

But with the effects alcohol has, actors obviously can’t be drinking on the job. Especially when you consider how many takes they may have of that one scene of that one drink, over and over.

I mean, not every actor always swaps out the alcohol though.

It’s reported that Johnny Depp is a star who often prefers to drink the actual hard stuff rather than a fake swap.

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A vodka martini instantly reminds fans of James Bond. Credit: cottonbro studio/Pexels
A vodka martini instantly reminds fans of James Bond. Credit: cottonbro studio/Pexels

Apparently during the filming of one scene for 1993’s Arizona Dream, in which he played lead Axel, Depp took 11 shots of Jack Daniels.

There’s also the likes of Shia LaBeouf, who admitted to drinking straight moonshine to prepare for his role in 2012’s Lawless.

He told Page Six: “I did it for the movie. I didn’t drink off set for no reason… Moonshine is different than liquor. Moonshine is closer to heroin.”

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However, there are tasty swaps offered to actors whose character is required to drink.

According to IndieWire, when you see the characters on screen knocking back the likes of a whiskey, scotch or bourbon, they actors are probably just having a nice glass of iced tea instead.

And there’s other swaps too, although less flavoursome.

Iced Tea is a popular choice of fake alcohol. Credit: Barbara Webb/Pexels
Iced Tea is a popular choice of fake alcohol. Credit: Barbara Webb/Pexels
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According to Thrillist, some actors actually just have a glass of water that might be dyed with food colouring.

So, in that case, you can assume Bond’s shaken-not-stirred martinis are just plain and simple water with olives popped in.

It’s not only alcohol that actors will be given a fake drink for either - some even swap out coffee.

Anyone who has watched even just one episode of Gilmore Girls will now how essential the caffeine drink is to the mother-daughter duo Rory and Lorelai.

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However, according to Cheat Sheet, Alexis Bledel (Rory) hated coffee. She instead would get mugs of soda to sip on because she just couldn’t bear the taste.

As with most things in the world of TV and film, everything is not what it seems.

Topics: Film & TV, Film and TV, Entertainment, Food and Drink

Jess Battison
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