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The Part Of Breakfast At Tiffany's That Audrey Hepburn Couldn't Do

In the early 1960s, director Blake Edwards took on the task of adapting Truman Capote's 1958 novella "Breakfast at Tiffany's" for the cinema. The final product was a far cry from the source material, smoothing over the elements of the book that, while rooted in reality, Paramount must've felt wouldn't click with mainstream audiences (via BBC). However, that didn't stop it from becoming a big-screen classic all the same that lives on in pop culture decades after its premiere. Although, more accurately, the image of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly does.

When it comes to influential film castings, few are more recognizable than Hepburn's take on Holly. Her all-black, pearl-accented attire has become the stuff of Hollywood legend, but there's more to the story than her now-iconic appearance alone. Hepburn turned out an excellent performance in "Breakfast at Tiffany's," striking a fine balance between the bubbly, witty socialite Holly presents herself as and the sad, lonely person she tries to hide underneath it all. Thus, it's plain to see she's the crown jewel of the movie, though the portrayal didn't entirely go off without a hitch.

Despite nailing virtually everything else about this adaptation of Holly Golightly, a particular moment from "Breakfast at Tiffany's" gave Audrey Hepburn some unexpected trouble.

Hepburn struggled to whistle for the taxi

In one of the most recognizable moments from "Breakfast at Tiffany's," Holly Golightly and her new flame, Paul Varjak (George Peppard), head out for the day. To do so, they'll need a cab, but Paul has trouble catching the attention of one. Luckily, Holly knows how to whistle. Loud. Loud enough to call a taxi over with ease so they can get a move on. She tells Paul that whistling like that is easy, but it certainly wasn't for Audrey Hepburn. "I tried so hard. I did get something, it was more like a squeak, but the real thing was dubbed in," the actress revealed with a laugh in a 1988 interview.

Even though she couldn't get out a whistle that could break through the hustle and bustle of early afternoon traffic, there's no denying how well Hepburn embodied the cinema version of Holly. Be that as it may, one might be surprised to learn that she was far from the first choice to play the character. Truman Capote himself wanted to see Marilyn Monroe take the gig, but she ultimately turned it down (via Vogue) — a move she'd come to regret down the line. Kim Novak of "Vertigo" fame also passed on the part, as did "The Trouble with Harry" star Shirley MacLaine, so Paramount went with Hepburn, and the rest is history.

Audrey Hepburn couldn't quite pin down Holly Golightly's whistle no matter how hard she tried. Clearly, this hiccup did little to harm public perception of her "Breakfast at Tiffany's" performance.