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John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd of "The Blues Brothers"
© AP / "The Blues Brothers"
Exposé details John Belushi's drug problems on 'The Blues Brothers' set


According to a new exposé by Vanity Fair, producers of the cult film "The Blues Brothers" considered hiring a body double to shoot some of John Belushi's scenes because he was often too stoned to show up for work.

Belushi and his best pal Dan Aykroyd began filming the now-classic musical comedy in July 1979, but as Vanity Fair writer Ned Zeman reveals, the tragic star was so hooked on cocaine that the project almost never got made.

Bing: Aykroyd on new 'Blues Brothers'

The writer says, "Production is falling behind, and fast, and the trend is largely attributable to Belushi, who stays out until all hours. Usually he can be found at his speakeasy. Sometimes he can't be found at all. Except by cocaine, which finds him everywhere. Friends, fans, and hangers-on literally throw it at him. They slip vials into his bands and pockets. Weeks went by, but things only got worse, prompting studio boss Ned Tanen to nearly pull the plug on the movie due to the high cost of production delays caused by Belushi's benders."

The piece continues, "He (Belushi) has become a blessed wreck, thanks mostly to his spiraling (and ultimately lethal) addiction to cocaine. On days when coke gets the best of Belushi, production stalls. And when production stalls, money burns. ... Tanen's options are none. They can't use a double. ... Nobody can double Belushi. They can't shut down production and wait for Belushi to go through rehab. Belushi won't go. Even if he does go, the ensuing costs and media madness (would be catastrophic)."

And director John Landis recalls it was a miracle the actor, who died of an accidental drug overdose only two years after "The Blues Brothers" was released, lived long enough to see the film through: "John was f---ed up. ... It became a battle to keep him alive and keep him working on the movie."

Dec 27, 2012 4:55PM
This is not news to anyone who even casually followed Belushi's career.  Leave the guy alone.  He's been dead for 30 years.  Coke or no coke, he was still one of the funniest guys ever.  From his time on Saturday Night Live through the rest of his career, he was a riot.  Let's try to remember that and let go of the rest.
Dec 27, 2012 5:15PM
Yeah and coke was everywhere... So what?  The whole SNL crew was coked up as well according to other reports. 
This is only the third comment, but I almost didn't want to step into territory already nicely covered by the other two comments.  Belushi was magic, and he was genius  If coke did that to him, the fans were the ones who benefitted.  If John did coke to himself, that was his choice to live that way, and be funny that way.  We have all heard more than we need to know in the 30 years since he's been gone, and don't need the referrals to coke to remind us of this oh so funny man.  Let our memories of him be the way we want them to me, that of an exceptionally funny human being who had the balls to live the way he wanted, and still managed to leave his fans with a body of work that no one has been able to duplicate.  I'll end with then studio boss Ned Tanen's own words..."They can't use a double. ... Nobody can double Belushi."  Enough said brother!
Dec 27, 2012 6:24PM
He might have been coked up and hard to work with, but I bet there wasn't anything to complain about when the money started rolling in hand over fist.
Dec 27, 2012 5:15PM
Thank you.  I'm 43 but I've heard these stories for years and I've read this articles like weeks ago when I got the Vanity Fair.  Thank you stupid msn for the "update.". 
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