Hello Wisconsin! That ‘70s Show ran for eight seasons from 1998-2006 and launched the careers of all of its young stars, including Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis. The series expertly conveyed the timeless awkwardness of growing up, which is something that any generation of teens – or adults for that matter – can relate to. Viewers got swept up by the nostalgia, relationships,and savage burns.
The show followed the lives of six Wisconsin teenagers as they attempted to navigate their way through the treacherous waters of adolescence. Eric, Donna, Kelso, Jackie, Fez, and Hyde were as lovable as they were relatable. That ‘70s Show may have been a comedy, but the series also had undeniable heart. Despite having been off the air for over ten years, That ’70s Show still maintains a rather dedicated fanbase.
Although the laugh track was always there to remind fans how hilarious the gang’s onscreen hi jinx were, it wasn’t all fun and games when the cameras stopped rolling. These revelations range from comical to bizarre to truly upsetting, so strap in, because it turns out that the kids aren’t “all alright” after all.
Here are 16 Secrets Behind That ‘70s Show You Had No Idea About.
16. Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis didn’t get along at all
It’s difficult to believe, considering the couple is now married with two young children, but contrary to what you might think, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis didn’t exactly hit it off on the set of That ’70s Show. Their relationship was as tumultuous as the one between Jackie and Kelso, only without the romantic component. They were not close on set and according Kunis, the two had “friendship breakups” before they ever actually dated.
“Ugh, I don’t like you. I don’t even know you anymore,” is how Kunis stated that she felt towards Kutcher at the height of his fame. However, these communication breakdowns never lasted for too long and one of them was always willing to come forward and apologize.
These days, the same history that once divided the actors keeps them together.
15. Lisa Robin Kelly was replaced due to addiction issues
Fans never fully accepted Lisa Robin Kelly’s replacement, Christina Moore, and with good reason. They had gotten used to Eric’s older sister Laurie as portrayed by Kelly and after five seasons, the actress was simply replaced. Although this is a long standing tradition in soap operas, on That ‘70s Show, it was jarring to say the least. However, what many viewers didn’t realize is that Kelly was fired due to her battle with substance abuse.
The actress continued to struggle with addiction in the years after losing her longterm gig, and in the process had several run-ins with the law. Sadly, Kelly died in her sleep in 2013 at the age of forty-three, mere days after checking into a rehab facility. The coroner concluded her death was an accidental overdose.
14. Mila Kunis lied about her age to get the role
Mila Kunis was cast in the role of Jackie Burkhart in 1998. The issue was that the age requirement for everyone who auditioned for the series was 18 years old.
Kunis was only fourteen at the time, but told casting directors she would be eighteen on her birthday.
She just didn’t specify which birthday, so it wasn’t a total lie, right? She would, in fact, eventually be turning eighteen.
Of course, Kunis’ ruse was eventually uncovered, but by that point, she had already proven herself perfect for the part. Seeing a teenager played by an actual teen is a rarity in television and it helped that trying to act older than she was happened to be a part of Jackie’s personality. We can’t imagine anyone bringing her to life the way that Kunis did.
13. Laura Prepon and Danny Masterson’s Scientology connections
The Church of Scientology has never had the best reputation, but in recent years, even more criticism has been leveled at the organization. It’s interesting and a little strange that not one, but two cast members from That ‘70s Show are practicing Scientologists.
Although many stars who worship at L. Ron Hubbard’s alter are notoriously tightlipped about their beliefs, Laura Perpon and Danny Masterson have both been quite open about it, albeit in different ways.
Masterson has explicitly explained his views – without a single mention of the horrific practices the Church has been accused of – and stated that if you think it’s weird, “you can go f—k yourself.” Leah Remini, ex-Scientologist and activist, has implied that Scientology worked with the LAPD to suppress allegations against Masterson.
Prepon was less defensive, but her explanations were equally baffling, with the actress saying things like, “when you really cognate that you are a thetan and you have a mind and body, and that the MEST universe does not control you.”
12. “The Circle” was the show’s way around the censors
Fox’s censors would not allow the series to explicitly show substance use, which both makes sense and kind of doesn’t Sure, you don’t want to glorify teens using substances, but it’s unrealistic to pretend that they don’t.
The showrunners discovered a way around this and managed to get pretty creative when shooting scenes.“The Circle” became a staple of That ‘70s Show and the conversations held therein made it abundantly clear what they were smoking, but never actually showed them doing so.
Despite the implications of the scene, the smoke surrounding the actors was actually strawberry scented. Well, that is except for the cigarettes Laura Prepon, Danny Masterson, and Ashton Kutcher were hiding under the table, so that they could smoke between takes.
11. Leo disappeared because Tommy Chong was in jail
Known for the Cheech and Chong films of the ‘70s, the gang’s pal was written specifically with Tommy Chong in mind. Leo appeared fairly often during seasons 2, 3 and 4, only to disappear the next year. He didn’t return until the show’s 7th season, at which point he explained his absence by saying that he was “just wandering around, trying to find my place for a while.” It turned out that this meant that he was too inebriated to find his way home.
What it really meant was that Tommy Chong was a little tied up.
Despite Chong’s claims that 9/11 was to blame for his character being written out of the show, in 2003, he was sentenced to nine months in jail for selling drug paraphernalia. It’s kind of funny that they never wrote that into the show.
10. Josh Myers (Randy) was originally going to play a newly grown Eric
When Topher Grace left That ‘70s Show to focus on his burgeoning film career, the writers had their hands full trying to come up with a solution. Josh Meyers – brother to Seth Myers – was hired to replace Grace…as Eric Foreman! There was a plan to explain his absence, unlike when Laurie was recast. The writers decided that his change in appearance would be due to returning from Africa a grown man. It’s a good thing they went with plan B.
Instead, we got Randy Pearson, who was poorly developed, bland, and most fatally, unfunny.
9. Topher Grace spent very little time with the cast after leaving
Sure, not all cast members wind up best friends, but on a series where the young actors were regularly seen palling around together – except Grace – it seems a bit strange.
Although Kutcher and Grace both left after the 7th season, the former returned for a handful of episodes, while the latter only appeared briefly in the finale. Apparently, he left immediately after the episode wrapped.
Grace also didn’t attend the 2016 reunion or Kunis and Kutcher’s wedding.
He has had nothing to do with The Ranch and is the only major cast member who was never Punk’d. Still, Grace and Prepon were tight and he did show for the 2013 mini-reunion, so perhaps the actor was just too busy to attend the other events.
8. Tanya Roberts (Midge) left because her husband was terminally ill
Divorce rarely comes out of nowhere, especially in television. There is generally quite a bit of buildup for such a cataclysmic event. However, the Pinciottis’ split in season 6 appeared to come completely out of left field. There is a reason for that and it has absolutely nothing to do with an arc on That ‘70s Show.
The end of Bob and Midge’s marriage seemed so sudden because Tanya Roberts left the show in a hurry.
Her husband, screenwriter Barry Roberts, had become terminally ill. The former Bond girl left the series in 2004 in order to spend all of her time caring for him. Roberts did eventually return to the series for a handful of episodes in season 7. Sadly, her husband died the next year.
7. Mila Kunis’s first kiss was with Ashton Kutcher
You might think that sharing your first kiss with the man that you would later go on to marry would be a really sweet story. However, Kunis was only fourteen years old when she and Kutcher – nineteen at the time – had their first onscreen smooch. Anyone can tell you that first kisses are exciting, but they are also rather nerve-wracking.
Can you imagine if the first time you locked lips with another human being the two of you were in a room full of people, with someone telling you how to move? Not so romantic.
Kunis had other firsts with costars as well. She learned how to drive from Wilmer Valderrama. Danny Masterson not only took her to a club for the first time and bought her the first drink she ever had, but he was also her prom date.
6. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character was only in one episode because of his character’s orientation
Although Joseph Gordon-Levitt is now a bona fide star, when he appeared on That ’70s Show, he was best known for his time on 3rd Rock from the Sun.
Before he became the actor and auteur we all know and love, Gordon-Levitt was in a season 1 episode of That ‘70s Show as Eric’s friend, Buddy Morgan. The thing is, Buddy had a bit of a crush on Eric, who didn’t exactly return his feelings. Still, before Eric turned him down, the two shared a smooch – the first onscreen kiss between two men on North American prime time TV.
5. The British remake of the show was canceled after 10 episodes
It turned out that replicating the success of That ‘70s Show wasn’t actually that easy. First of all, the network’s attempt at following the series up with That ‘80s Show was a massive failure that lasted a single season – despite starring a pre-It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Glenn Howerton. Aside from that, there was also a British remake that flopped as well.
The show was called Days Like These.
It’s actually pretty crazy to watch because it is almost identical to the American version that inspired it. Seriously, the characters and even the scripts are pretty much the same. The only major difference is the use of British colloquialisms and pop culture references. Thirteen episodes were produced, but only ten of them saw the light of day.
4. Topher Grace was a bad kisser
Sorry Eric, it’s nothing personal. We all love Foreman, but more than one person has dished some dirt about the actor’s snogging skills.
Not one, but two different sources confirm that Topher Grace was not a good kisser.
According to Joseph Gordon-Levitt, that onscreen smooch with Grace was not a pleasant experience. Gordon-Levitt even went so far as to say that Grace was one of the worst kissers that the actor had ever kissed in his entire life!
However, that’s not nearly as much of a bummer as the other costar with something negative to say about Grace’s lip-locking abilities.
3. Alex Chilton only got $70 in royalties per airing despite writing the show’s theme song
Whenever musicians discuss impactful, but underrated bands, Big Star almost always enters the conversation. The group made it through three incredible, but little-known albums that only earned real acclaim long after Big Star had disbanded.
Similarly to the statement that has been credited to everyone from Brian Eno to Peter Buck about how “The Velvet Underground’s first album only sold a few thousand copies, but everyone who bought one formed a band,” Big Star was a little band that has had a huge influence.
Alex Chilton and Chris Bell – who died in a car accident at twenty-seven – wrote “In the Street” together. The song was covered by Todd Griffin and later Cheap Trick, and used as the theme for That ‘70s Show. Chilton received a mere $70 every time the show aired, an amount he found ironic. “To me it’s That $70 Show”, he told Rolling Stone.
2. The height disparity between Laura Prepon and Mila Kunis made framing shots difficult
Staging and framing a shot isn’t always as easy as you might think, especially when two of the actors that you are filming have a somewhat staggering difference in height. This was the case any time Donna and Jackie shared a scene together. Laura Prepon is 5’10”, while Mila Kunis only stands 5’4”, so shooting scenes with both actresses was rather trying. Keeping them framed within the same shot was near impossible.
Luckily the crew found a couple of solutions. For one thing, they could have Prepon sit down. Another plan of attack was to put the smaller actress in platform heels. Thankfully, we’re talking about That ‘70s Show. At least the series took place during a decade when platforms were super stylish.
1. Multiple accusations against Danny Masterson
In March of 2017, a few months prior to the inexorable tide of the #MeToo movement, the LAPD was investigating Danny Masterson regarding charges of assaulting four women back in the early 2000s. Three of the victims were fellow Scientologists, reportedly pressured by the church not to report Masterson at the time.
Although at least one law enforcement officer viewed the evidence against Masterson as “overwhelming,” the progression of the case remains painfully slow.
According to former Scientologist and current whistleblower, Leah Remini, there are rather close ties between the Church and the LAPD Hollywood Division. Their Celebrity Centre has been a fundraising partner for the Police Activities League since 1996. Of course, it is impossible to state with certainty that this is to blame for the seeming lack of movement on the case.
In the wake of these claims, Netflix has written Masterson out of its series, The Ranch, and he has been dropped by his talent agency as well.
Do you know of any other behind-the-scenes secrets from That ’70s Show? Let us know in the comments!
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