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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 6:40PM

Nice that all those hollywood type's were so concerned about John's drug use to get the movie finished. Too bad they couldn't be bothered with him after the movie was done to help the man.


Someone else posted here that he was "magic"...that is/was so true.

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 6:12PM
jim was a great actor, loved that guy in "1941". hollywood has a history of drug use. he paid the price of using drugs.
Dec 27, 2012 6:10PM
Keep reminding people how it ruined his life.  Mabye it will prevent someone else from getting started.  He could actually save lives at this point.
Dec 27, 2012 6:06PM
John was the best.  He along with Sam Kinison were untouchable !
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