I am not even sure this is the case, but it did happen to Lena Headey in 300 and in this interview (9:30) Ethan Hawke and Keira Knightley agree that it is something that happens all the time, namely that actors are required to play their last scene on a movie script on their first day of filming.

Leaving aside particular cases where this is justified for a more efficient filming schedule, is there a reason for this?

  • 1
    Not sure how common it is. But given the expense of setting up sets and shots, an efficient filming schedule likely drives most decisions.
    – dbugger
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 14:38
  • Plus you have the opportunity to do it then when everyone is set up with no rush...and if you need to re-shoot it, you can do that during the course of the production.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 14:44
  • 2
    Speculating: If the ultimate scenes are wrought with tension or emotion, it sure is a good way to check that the actors are up to it. It also helps ensure they are alive for it. Think Brandon Lee in The Crow. They got caught out with Heather O'Rourke in Poltergeist III. Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 14:44

1 Answer 1



  1. The actor will look the same in the last scene as he does in previous ones (Mark Hamill case for example).
  2. All the staff will know what they need to aim to (I'm thinking lenses, lights, props etc.)
  3. It helps actor to understand what will be the outcome of his character decisions so he can put more emphasis on the key things.
  4. The actors and staff are not tired and in their prime conditions for the role (the Avengers "shawarma" scene was problematic because everyone was waaaay out of their movie shape, Evans had a real beard for another movie so he just sat there with prosthetics on his face).
  • 2
    I've heard "C" before, but I gotta believe they already know because they've read the script. Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 16:09
  • The Avengers scene was not in the script. The last scene was the New York fighting. Which from filmmaking logic was better to film at the beginning as this was very physically demanding. But it's just an example. Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 16:23
  • That's because the Avengers scene was done way after principal photography was done. It was not planned. So it wouldn't be an issue if they had.
    – cde
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 19:18
  • Also Evens did not have a prosthetic. He hid his beard with his hand.
    – cde
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 19:22
  • Many movies also have alternate endings.
    – BillDOe
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 21:50

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