Alfred Molina


  1. Craig Charles, Red Dwarf, TV, 1988-99. An early consideration for Dave Lister – just as Alan Rickman was in the frame for the hologramatic Arnold Judas Rimmer. Until the BBC realised they would never be available if the series took off. Indeed, Molina soon quit the UK for Broadway and Hollywood. “I met with a casting agent once and he said: You English actors, you got a problem. You come over here and you think showbusiness is one word. It’s not. It’s two words. Show and business. And not necessarily in that order. The other thing he said was: Alfred, you gotta face. It ain’t no 10-by-8 glossy but it’s a face!” (Charles was a Liverpool punk poet).
  2. Diego Wallraff, The Perez Family, 1995. Producer Sam Goldwyn Jr knew the name from Prick Up Your Ears. “Good actor but isn’t he that old, bald gay guy?” Molina was first approached by Indian director Mira Nair for Angel, the brother-in-law. She called him back two months later for Juan, the husband, after Andy Garcia, Raul Julia and Al Pacino all passed. “I was flattered to be on the same list as them… and I’d like to earn Pacino’s tax bill!”
  3. Paul McGann, Doctor Who (The Movie), TV, 1996.
  4. Anthony LaPaglia, Road To Perdition, 2002. In the final three (with Tom Sizemore) to play Al Capone, a role finally left off-screen by Sam Mendes. Hence, the “special thanks” to LaPaglia in the end credits.
  5. Liam Neeson, After.Life, 2009. The dead and alive Molina and Kate Bosworth were switched to Neeson and Christina Ricci. The roles? Neeson is a funeral director (as Molina was in Plots With A View, 2002). Ricci is a corpse. “And she opens her eyes,” said Neeson. “I tell her: You’re dead. She says: I’m not dead. I say: You are dead! That’s it in a nutshell.”
  6. Ian McShane, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, 2010. The fourth one… Two great British character kings were on director Rob Marshall’s list for Blackbeard.  And one won
  7. Anthony Hopkins, Hitchcock, 2012.    Hitchcock’s back in business!   With two films headlined by UK actors (Anthony Hopkins, Toby Jones) in bad impressions and fat suits. This is the second one: Hopkins directing Psycho. And telling Janet Leigh: “You can call me Hitch. Hold the cock.”   Hitch didn’t look (or sound) like Hitch and  idem for those playing Janet Leigh and Vera Miles, however young James D’Arcy was an uncanny Anthony Perkins.  Apart from Johnny Depp, the casting only seemed interested in avoirdupois over plausibility… Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Murray, Oliver Platt – and, stupidly, only two other Brits, Richard Griffiths and Alfred Molina…  but not the perfect Timothy Spall – already up for Hitch in TV’s terrible The Girl, about making Tippi Hedren, The Birds and Marnie



 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  7