18 Things You Might Not Know About Just One of the Guys

Columbia Pictures via foodandlacquertoo
Columbia Pictures via foodandlacquertoo

Poor Terry Griffith. The girl just cannot catch a break. Sure, she’s young and gorgeous and adored by her college boyfriend. But none of that’s going to help the budding reporter land an internship at the local newspaper. In fact, in Terry’s mind, being female is part of the problem. To prove that she is merely a victim of sexism, Terry decides to do what all teenage girls would do in that same situation: transfer to a new school and pretend to be a teenage boy. So goes the plot of Just One of the Guys. We caught up with the film’s director, Lisa Gottlieb, who helped us uncover 18 fun facts about the 1985 gender-bending teen comedy.

1. THE FILM MADE A BIG IMPACT ON MANY GAY AND TRANSGENDER WOMEN.

“I would say the most interesting and surprising thing I learned about Just One of the Guys is the huge influence it had on young gay and transgender women,” says Gottlieb. “I learned this when we did a live chat on Jezebel a few years ago. For hours, women posted their stories and I was genuinely moved.”

2. ITS ORIGINS ARE SHAKESPEAREAN.

Just One of the Guys is loosely based on The Bard’s Twelfth Night, with Terry playing the role of Viola/Cesario.

3. LISA GOTTLIEB AND MITCH GIANNUNZIO WROTE SEVERAL DRAFTS OF THE SCRIPT, BUT YOU’D NEVER KNOW IT FROM THE CREDITS.

“I wrote six drafts of the screenplay with my writing partner, Mitch Giannunzio,” says Gottlieb. “We got the project green lit. We were denied writing credit and the producers did not invite Mitch to the wrap party. I brought him to the party.” 

4. “GUY” TERRY WAS BASED ON RALPH MACCHIO.

Getty Images

“Dresses like Elvis Costello, looks like the Karate Kid... I'm gonna get him,” was the declaration made by Sherilyn Fenn, as high school vixen Sandy, when she caught a glimpse of Terry. Which was no coincidence. “We based Terry the guy on Ralph Macchio, a.k.a. The Karate Kid,” says Gottlieb. “We saw the physical resemblance and went with it. Remember that Columbia [the studio that released Just One of the Guys] was the studio that made The Karate Kid movies and the first one was a giant hit as we were prepping.”

5. SPEAKING OF THE KARATE KID

Terry’s resemblance to Ralph Macchio must have made playing the role of Greg, the school bully, much easier for William Zabka. He also played the leg-sweeping nemesis to Macchio’s Daniel LaRusso in The Karate Kid.

6. SHERILYN FENN REALLY DID THINK TERRY WAS CUTE.

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“I thought Joyce made a really cute boy,” Fenn told The A.V. Club earlier this year. “I did! I was like, ‘She’s actually cute!’ It was sweet. Instead of making Friday The 13th, Part VIII or whatever, I was making the girl-meets-boy, girl-meets-girl-dressed-as-boy movie.”

7. JENNIFER JASON LEIGH WAS UP FOR THE LEAD.

Though she played a teenager in the film, “I think I was 26 when we made the movie and I had to screen test for it,” actress Joyce Hyser, who played Terry, recalled to the Kickin’ It Old School blog in 2010. “There were three women who tested and one of them was Jennifer Jason Leigh. Going into it I was a little nervous about Jennifer because she got a part over me once before, but once the test was over I felt pretty confident. I did not think that anyone could play that part as well as I could.”

8. JOYCE HYSER WAS A VIDEO VIXEN.

A year prior to Just One of the Guys, Hyser starred in Dan Hartman’s video for “I Can Dream About You,” which was featured on the soundtrack for Streets of Fire. Ten years later, she was featured in ZZ Top’s video for “Pincushion.”

9. ACTOR PAUL LIEBER WAS HYSER’S “MANLY MAN” COACH.

“In early rehearsals in L.A., the production hired a friend of mine named Paul Lieber,” says Gottlieb. “Paul is a gifted actor. He gives off an ultra-macho manly man air, even though he loves and respects women. He’s definitely not an a**hole but can play one on TV. Joyce Hyser and I hung out with him for a week or so to hone in on his behavior, his movements, his line delivery, his sense of himself in relation to the world around him, etc. It was great!”

10. TERRY’S BOYFRIEND ONCE LIVED WITH KELSEY GRAMMER.

Leigh McCloskey, who plays Terry’s boyfriend Kevin, was a classmate—and roommate—of Kelsey Grammer’s at Juilliard.

11. HYSER WAS ATTRACTED TO THE FILM BECAUSE OF ITS TAKE ON GENDER IDENTITY.

“Although it may be cloaked in a silly teenage romp I was absolutely drawn to this project because of its subversive gender identity messages (for both young women and young men),” Hyser told Kickin’ It Old School. “The film actually operates on so many different levels and deals with so many teenage issues from homophobia to the pressure that is put on kids to conform to a certain ideal, that it always surprised me that at the time of its release it was not really judged for the sum of all its parts.”

12. BUT SHE HADN’T INTENDED TO BARE IT ALL.

In order to prove to the guy she’s been pretending to be a guy around that she is in fact a girl (got that?), Hyser rips open her shirt toward the end of the movie. While it seems like the most logical way to get the point across, Hyser was not sold on doing a topless scene. (She even had a no nudity clause in her contract.) It was Gottlieb who finally persuaded Hyser to reconsider. “I added in the boobage,” the director told Jezebel in 2010. “I went to Joyce and I said, ‘I keep rewriting these scenes… Honestly, I think you’ve gotta show ‘em.”

13. ROSANNA ARQUETTE WARNED HYSER TO KEEP HER TOP ON.

“At the time, one of Joyce's best friends was Rosanna Arquette,” Gottlieb told Jezebel. “Rosanna said, ‘I would say you shouldn't do it because no one will ever look into your eyes again as long as you'll live. On the other hand, people will look at you and see those breasts forever, even when you're an old lady.’ And I said, ‘Wow, I'll strip myself after hearing that reason.’”

14. JAMES BROWN HELPED CLAYTON ROHNER PERFECT HIS MOVES.

The Godfather of Soul spent three days on the set to help Clayton Rohner, who plays Terry’s social experiment-turned-love interest Rick, perfect his dance moves.

15. ROHNER BEAT OUT JAMES LE GROS FOR THE ROLE.

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Just One of the Guys marked Rohner’s movie debut. But he had some stiff competition from fellow up-and-comer James Le Gros. “We had these dueling auditions back and forth and back and forth and back and forth for the part,” Rohner told MisenPOPic in 2009. “Then I ended up getting it, although James had gone on to do great things.”

16. SEXISM SPILLED OVER ONTO THE SET.

“Terry” wasn’t the only one faced to deal with a bit of sexism on the set. “I fired our first cinematographer because he refused to shoot my shot list during screen tests and kept declaring, ‘Don't worry sweetie, I'll make your film look good,’” recalls Gottlieb. “I said, ‘Have you read the script?’ He said, ‘Don't waste my time, honey.’ So I fired his ass. I did not wish to waste anymore of his time.”

17. THE STUDIO DISAPPEARED DURING POST-PRODUCTION.

“While we were shooting on location, Coca Cola bought Columbia Pictures,” Gottlieb recalls of the studio that produced the film. “This was the early days of massive corporations buying and selling the studios. We returned and were editing on the lot in Burbank. I met with the music, publicity, and post executives to plan, inform, collaborate on marketing strategies, etc. All the things filmmakers need to muck about in so they are done well. One day, weeks later, I showed up in the executive building and they were all gone. Offices empty, security guards checking ID and barring entry. It was truly weird.”

18. A SEQUEL COULD VERY WELL HAPPEN.

“Joyce Hyser and I had lunch a while back and she pitched me a hilarious idea for a sequel,” says Gottlieb. “So far we haven't sold it, but we also haven't tried that hard. We need a producer. But we would love to do it. It's a hoot!”

Celebrate the Holidays With the 2020 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar

Funko
Funko

Though the main book series and movie franchise are long over, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains in the spotlight as one of the most popular properties in pop-culture. The folks at Funko definitely know this, and every year the company releases a new Advent calendar based on the popular series so fans can count down to the holidays with their favorite characters.

SIGN UP TODAY: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping Newsletter!

Right now, you can pre-order the 2020 edition of Funko's popular Harry Potter Advent calendar, and if you do it through Amazon, you'll even get it on sale for 33 percent off, bringing the price down from $60 to just $40.

Funko Pop!/Amazon

Over the course of the holiday season, the Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas, starting on December 1, by opening one of the tiny, numbered doors on the appropriate day. Each door is filled with a surprise Pocket Pop! figurine—but outside of the trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the company isn't revealing who you'll be getting just yet.

Calendars will start shipping on October 15, but if you want a head start, go to Amazon to pre-order yours at a discount.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

6 Fascinating Facts About Vincent Price

There’s more to Vincent Price than just his iconic horror movie roles.
There’s more to Vincent Price than just his iconic horror movie roles.
Photoshot/Getty Images

It’s basically impossible to talk about classic horror movies without mentioning at least one film starring Vincent Price. With his menacing voice, laugh, and presence, Price easily became a staple in Hollywood horror cinema. The actor may be known for House of Wax (1953), The Last Man on Earth (1964), and The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), but he has more than 200 acting credits across film, television, and theater.

Although his contributions to the horror genre are truly unparalleled, few people know that there is much more to him beyond these performances. He once wrote that he is passionate about three things: work, art, and food. Here are six fascinating facts you may not know about Vincent Price.

1. Vincent Price initially studied for a master’s degree in Fine Arts.

Price graduated from Yale University with a degree in English and a minor in Art History. He taught at his alma mater for a year before entering the Courtauld Institute of Art of the University of London. Although he fully intended to study for a master’s degree in Fine Arts, he was drawn to theater and decided to become an actor instead.

2. A museum in East Los Angeles is named after Vincent Price.

In addition to being an actor, Price was also a well-respected art collector and consultant. In 1957, he and his then-wife Mary Grant donated 90 pieces of art to the East Los Angeles College (ELAC) because they wanted students to have “first-hand experiences with art.” The institution named the art gallery, now the Vincent Price Art Museum, in their honor. Price had recognized art’s significance in education ever since he was a student himself. As he once said, "A picture was worth a thousand words, even if I had to read 10 million words to get to see more pictures.”

3. Vincent Price was a major foodie.

Vincent Price was as talented in the kitchen as he was on the screen.Frank Barratt/Stringer/Getty Images

Price was born into a family of food businessmen, so it's perhaps no surprise that he embarked upon his own culinary adventures. He went on to earn a reputation as a gourmet cook, cementing his culinary legacy by authoring several cookbooks and hosting his own cooking television show, Cooking Price-Wise.

4. Tim Burton’s Vincent Price documentary remains incomplete and unreleased to this day.

Price was Tim Burton’s good friend, frequent collaborator, and childhood idol. During the filming of Edward Scissorhands (1990), Burton approached Price to discuss the idea of an independent documentary about the actor’s life. They shot some interviews at the ELAC, and the project was tentatively titled Conversations with Vincent.

After Price’s death, Burton wanted to complete the documentary, which he then renamed A Visit with Vincent. However, it never happened. Some say the film wasn’t released because it became too personal for Burton, while others believe studios refused to grant any budget for the project.

5. Vincent Price's daughter says he was bisexual.

“I am as close to certain as I can be that my dad had physically intimate relationships with men,” said his daughter Victoria Price in an exclusive interview with #Boom Magazine. He was also supportive of her when she came out to him. She recalled that he said, “You know, I know just how you feel because I have had these deep, loving relationships with men in my life and all my wives were jealous.”

6. Vincent Price’s voice is featured on a Disneyland attraction.

With a voice as iconic and distinctive as Price had, it’s no wonder Disneyland Paris hired him to record narration for their dark ride attraction, Phantom Manor. However, the audio was shortly replaced by a French narration, so only Price’s evil laugh remained. After a major renovation in 2019, Walt Disney Imagineering brought back his recordings and included previously unused material in the refurbished attraction.