One of the stars of The Blues Brothers has opened up about the movie’s infamous 'cocaine budget', saying it was commonplace in Hollywood.
One of the stars of The Blues Brothers has opened up about the movie’s infamous 'cocaine budget', saying it was commonplace in Hollywood.

Sordid secrets of classic film revealed

Dan Aykroyd has opened up about The Blues Brothers' famed cocaine budget.

In a new interview withThe Daily Beast in honour of the comedy's 40th anniversary, Aykroyd explained that cocaine was used as "a little motivation" for the cast and crew during late nights on set, of which there were many.

"It was used for rewards and for night stimulation," said the Saturday Night Live alum. "I would say that every other crew in the city did something similar."

The cast of 1980 classic The Blues Brothers, which is available to stream on Binge, have previously been open about the film's close relationship with drugs - director John Landis has said that he found a mountain of cocaine in John Belushi's trailer.

But Aykroyd went into even greater detail in his latest chat.

Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi in a scene from 1980 film The Blues Brothers.
Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi in a scene from 1980 film The Blues Brothers.

When asked about the film's cocaine budget, a fact that came to light in a 2012Vanity Fair feature on the movie, the comedian explained that drugs were just one of the "miscellaneous purses" in the budget.

"That was a time when cocaine was a currency in America," he said. "It still is. It was commonplace."

Aykroyd explained that during night-time shoots, cocaine was used as "a reward" to keep the cast and crew alert and motivated.

"At that time, people were using it," he said. "So, there was money set aside to get through the nights and a little reward at the end of the nights for our hardworking crew."

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The Blues Brothers' cocaine budget may have made headlines in the past decade, but Aykroyd insisted that his film was not alone in its late-night drug use.

"Steve McQueen was shooting another film there, (The) Hunter," he said. "I bet they were buying from the same dealer."

Now, 40 years later, Aykroyd promised "coke had nothing to do with" his co-stars' exceptional performances.

"I was not a user, but unfortunately, John succumbed to a cousin of it," he said of Belushi, who died of a drug overdose in 1982.

"(But) it didn't impact the performances in the movie. John's performance in Blues Brothers is flawless. I saw it a little while back.

"He is so great in the picture. His gestures, everything, a hundred per cent."

This story originally appeared on Decider and has been reproduced here with permission

Originally published as Sordid secrets of classic film revealed


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