The pottery scene from “Ghost” has become an iconic moment in cinematic history, etched into our collective memory. Love stories are a dime a dozen in Hollywood. What made that scene so special? In a 1990 interview, Swayze shared how the pottery scene wasn’t just about steamy passion but the deep human connection between two people.
The goal was to bring out the intimacy and vulnerability that can exist between two people – the power of love against all odds. Safe to say they succeeded, and how! Swayze referred to the pottery scene as “the sweetest, sexiest love scene” he had ever done. The film showed us that love is more than just physical desire. It’s about finding a connection that transcends the boundaries of the physical world.
When it came to casting for the role of psychic Oda Mae, it was none other than Patrick Swayze who stepped in and convinced the producers to hire Whoopi Goldberg. Initially, Goldberg was told she wasn't the right fit for the role. In a candid 1990 interview, she shared how producers had their sights set on an unknown talent instead.
Six months later, those same producers circled back and offered her the part, realizing that no one could bring Oda Mae to life quite like Whoopi Goldberg. Goldberg won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role. She thanked Swayze in her acceptance speech for helping her land the iconic part.
His Commitment to the Role, Any Role
Here’s another behind-the-scenes tidbit about Patrick Swayze's commitment to his roles. For instance, how does an actor go the extra mile to ensure authenticity while portraying a ghost on the big screen? Swayze had a unique trick up his sleeve! To create the illusion of being an otherworldly presence, he chewed ice!
Swayze would regularly chew ice before he was supposed to speak onscreen. Why? So that the camera wouldn't capture his breath as he delivered his lines. There are good actors. And then there are legends. It's the little details that make an actor iconic, and Patrick Swayze was right up there!
Some Scenes in the Film Were Triggering for Him
While filming the emotionally charged scenes of "Ghost," Patrick Swayze found himself confronted with painful flashbacks of his father's death eight years before. At some points, filming became tough for the actor, who had to navigate the depths of his own grief while bringing his character to life. Swayze revealed in an interview that certain moments on set triggered vivid memories of his father's funeral.
Seeing the plaster dummy representing his character's lifeless body took him back to the overwhelming shock he felt when he touched his father's body in the coffin. “Ghost” became more than just a movie for Swayze. The film was a cathartic journey, intertwining his own grief with the fictional world of the film.
How “Ghost” Breathed New Life Into Patrick Swayze's Career
After the massive success of "Dirty Dancing," Patrick Swayze found himself trapped in the clutches of typecasting. Everything changed when "Ghost" came along, even though the film's director, Jerry Zucker, initially had reservations about casting Swayze due to his previous roles in action films like “Roadhouse.” Everything shifted when Swayze delivered a reading from one of the film's heartfelt farewell scenes.
There was not a dry eye in the room. It was a side to Patrick Swayze nobody had ever seen before. "Ghost" became a turning point in Swayze's career, proving that he was more than just a unidimensional leading man.