"Harry Potter" is probably more true-to-life than some of the riddikulus movies that are supposedly "based on a true story." And we solemnly swear that anyone who says different is up to no good.
But every once in a while, even Hollywood exaggeration doesn't live up to what really happened. In honor of the 88th Academy Awards, here are eight true stories that were more intense than the Oscar-nominated films they inspired.
1. After getting attacked by the bear, the real Hugh Glass had maggots eat his dead, rotting flesh.
Leonardo DiCaprio had a tough time filming "The Revenant." (We get it, bro. It was cold.) No offense to Leo, but the real Hugh Glass had it a little tougher.
In addition to getting mauled by a real bear, making a 200-mile journey after being left for dead and setting his own broken leg, Glass reportedly used maggots to eat his dead flesh to prevent gangrene from spreading.
2. The "Lone Survivor" goat herders were probably sent on purpose.
In the movie and the real-life story of "Lone Survivor," the Navy SEALs let a group of goat herders go after the herders stumble across their position. It's believed the herders then alerted the Taliban to the special forces, leading to the deaths of everyone but the "lone survivor," Marcus Luttrell. So was letting the goat herders go the right decision?
It turns out the SEALs were probably in trouble either way.
They were most likely being tracked right after landing. The Taliban then probably sent the goat herders to pinpoint their location. "Lone Survivor" director Peter Berg learned this was a tactic used by Taliban forces, he told Jeff Goldsmith on the "Q&A" podcast. This explains how the attackers were able to mobilize so quickly after the SEALs' goat herder encounter.
3. In addition to "dancing moods," plantation owner Edwin Epps also had "whipping moods."
Incredibly, the heart-wrenching movie "12 Years A Slave" could have been even harder to watch. In addition to his "dancing moods," in which plantation owner Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender) made exhausted slaves dance, the real Epps also had "whipping moods."
In the book, Twelve Years a Slave, Solomon Northup describes how a drunk Epps would often go around the yard looking for unsuspecting slaves to whip. "Sometimes for hours he would keep them running in all directions," writes Northup.
4. "A Beautiful Mind" left out John Nash's homosexual experiences.
Director Ron Howard apparently brought to life a simplified version of John Nash in "A Beautiful Mind," notably excluding Nash's reported homosexual experiences. In Nash's biography,A Beautiful Mind, author Sylvia Nasar recalls many instances of the mathematician's curiosity about the same sex, saying Nash had "special friendships" with two other men.
One was Nash's "first experience of mutual attraction" and another supposedly involved a friend who became "more than friends."
5. Dr. Dre's violence toward women "forever impacted" his life, but it somehow wasn't important enough to make it into "Straight Outta Compton."
Journalist Dee Barnes reflected on "Straight Outta Compton" for Gawker, writing about a 1991 incident where Dre "straddled" her and beat her "mercilessly" on the floor of the women’s restroom at the Po Na Na Souk nightclub. (Dre, who later told Rolling Stone "I just threw her through a door," eventually pleaded no contest to the attack.)
Dre's former girlfriend Michel'le has also gone on record saying she was just "a quiet girlfriend who got beat up and told to sit down and shut up."
While Dre has not addressed individual allegations, he publicly apologized for his actions last year in a statement to The New York Times, saying, "I apologize to the women I’ve hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives.”
6. Howard Hughes was more of a drugged-out womanizer than you thought.
At least, that's according to Hughes biographer Michael Drosnin. He adds, "Leonardo simply doesn't begin to suggest the power that Howard Hughes radiated."
Among the movie's omissions, Hughes' womanizing is hugely downplayed, the website Crosswalk notes. The real Hughes had possibly hundreds of romantic liaisons with women, including Jean Harlow, Gloria Vanderbilt, Linda Darnell, Billie Dove, Ginger Rogers, Lana Turner, Jane Russell and underage girls. It's rumored that he also became heavily addicted to prescription drugs, though his doctor has disputed this.
7. William Wallace's execution was more brutal and included castration.
Wallace's real-life execution was actually more brutal than what Mel Gibson had to go through in "Braveheart." In addition to being hanged until he was semiconscious, stretched and disemboweled, Wallace was supposedly stripped and dragged naked by horses for miles, according to Documents Illustrative of Sir William Wallace.
The execution is said to have included castration; his bowels were removed and burned, his head was cut off and placed on a spike and he was also cut into pieces. Uh ... ouch, man.
8. The real Wolf of Wall Street was "even worse" than the film.
Belfort told THR that the drug use and scenes with hookers were "really accurate," but he added, "In some respects, my life was even worse than that. Though I'd say I did more quaaludes than cocaine."