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What are they smokin'?


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#1 Dan Goulder

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 09:40 PM

This may appear to be a naive question, but I'm curious as to what actors are actually smoking in movies when the part calls for them to smoke pot. (I'm watching "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" as I write this.) In a lot of movies, the camera cuts away, so the actor's probably not really smoking anything. However, there are also plenty of movies, especially in the last decade or so, where the actors are definitely inhaling, holding, and exhaling a hit of something. Is it some sort of pot substitute, or the real thing? Which movies show the real thing, and which ones show a simulation? Please share your tales from the set, or things you've heard. (I'd ask my crew, but they're out getting high right now.)
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 09:59 PM

Well, Depp's a chain smoker, so at least for the exteriors I'm sure there was probably tobacco in there.

Otherwise, they're usually clove cigarettes. Which I believe just means there's LESS tobacco in them with a hint of clove.
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#3 Dan Goulder

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 10:15 PM

Well, Depp's a chain smoker, so at least for the exteriors I'm sure there was probably tobacco in there.

Otherwise, they're usually clove cigarettes. Which I believe just means there's LESS tobacco in them with a hint of clove.

So, that would be clove tobacco that's used in pipes and bongs, as well?
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#4 Paul Bruening

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 10:24 PM

I shot a DV short where they used herbal cigarettes. Sorry, I don't recall any name. They smelled like burning lawn grass.
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#5 David Venhaus

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 12:16 AM

I remember from the DVD extras on the "Dazed and Confused" disc, that they said that they had used one of those "legal" alternative herbal smoking blends. It is rumored that in "Easy Rider", that they are using the real thing.
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#6 Rod Otaviano

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 01:13 AM

I shot a DV short where they used herbal cigarettes. Sorry, I don't recall any name. They smelled like burning lawn grass.

Just out of curiosity, the actor William B. Davis (Cigarette Smoking Man) also used these herbal cigarettes (Honey Rose) on the "X-Files".
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#7 Jesse Cairnie

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 05:27 AM

I worked on a project where they used chamomile tea.. there was alot of pot smoking in that movie.. the sets always smelled so wonderful and the crew was always calm and happy.. wait.. maybe it wasnt chamomile at all... :blink: hahaa j/k

Edited by Jesse Cairnie, 25 April 2008 - 05:28 AM.

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#8 Valerio Sacchetto

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 06:27 AM

I wouldn't be so surprised that someone smoked a joint for real, after all it's not so strange or scandalous (anymore). However on bigger productions there would be problems with insurance so it would be more difficult. Not impossible tho. As of today i've always seen prop joints and weed made for the shoot.

I have a question vaguely related. When the script asks for the actor to snort cocaine and you clearly see the white thing going up (so no blowing) how's that achieved? Are there substances that are safe to inhale that have the same appearance as cocaine? Can we talk about that here, publicly? :P
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#9 K Borowski

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 09:35 AM

I forget if it was Clint Eastwood or someone else on the film, but they definitely did say that they bought a kilo of Mary-J for the movie.

They laughed at the notion that all of the drugs were real. They said all the other stuff in the movie would have used up the whole budget if it were real.

On "Mad Men", they only let the cast smoke herbal or flavored cigarettes because all of the characters in the series smoke like chimneys.
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#10 Edward Roberts

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 01:03 PM

For the non smoking actor there is quest cigarettes
http://www.questcigs.com/
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#11 Edward Roberts

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 01:12 PM

http://www.legalbuds...l_smokeout.html
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#12 Scott Bryant

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 03:08 PM

On The Evil Dead commentary, campbell talks about them having a pot smoking scene which they actually did smoke pot. But since none of them had ever done it before, they couldn't act and the footage was useless.
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#13 Rich Hibner

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 08:12 PM

I wouldn't be so surprised that someone smoked a joint for real, after all it's not so strange or scandalous (anymore). However on bigger productions there would be problems with insurance so it would be more difficult. Not impossible tho. As of today i've always seen prop joints and weed made for the shoot.

I have a question vaguely related. When the script asks for the actor to snort cocaine and you clearly see the white thing going up (so no blowing) how's that achieved? Are there substances that are safe to inhale that have the same appearance as cocaine? Can we talk about that here, publicly? :P


I seen an interview with Jason Schwartzman in the movie "Spun" they snorted powder baby milk.

Edited by Rich Hibner, 25 April 2008 - 08:12 PM.

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#14 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 11:05 PM

I wouldn't be so surprised that someone smoked a joint for real, after all it's not so strange or scandalous (anymore). However on bigger productions there would be problems with insurance so it would be more difficult. Not impossible tho. As of today i've always seen prop joints and weed made for the shoot.

I have a question vaguely related. When the script asks for the actor to snort cocaine and you clearly see the white thing going up (so no blowing) how's that achieved? Are there substances that are safe to inhale that have the same appearance as cocaine? Can we talk about that here, publicly? :P


In all of the movies that I have worked on, no one ever smokes real weed for the camera: it is herbal or clove weed. Behind the scenes in the grip, electric and the rest of the trucks, I couldn't be so certain . . . Long hours, long days, long weeks, long months working your ass off. Some union locals have struggled with drug use among their members, no names please. It is a crazy business.

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 25 April 2008 - 11:08 PM.

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#15 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 01:21 PM

I seen an interview with Jason Schwartzman in the movie "Spun" they snorted powder baby milk.


Commentary on 'Boogie Nights' mentions using a mixture of fructose and lactose.

I was wondering what was used for buds. As in the extended scene on the 'Harold and Kumar...'
disc where the cop eats the confiscated buds. I guess E.Roberts answered that.

& I've heard grips say they considered cocaine a business expense on long night shoots.
But they didn't explain how they took that as a deduction on their taxes.
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#16 Valerio Sacchetto

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 09:31 PM

Thank you guys for the answers. Sometimes being an actor is not such a cool thing then :rolleyes:
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