Andy Garcia

  1. Billy Drago, The Untouchables, 1987.    Selected as Sean Connery’s Mafia killer, Frank Nitti, Garcia asked director Brian De Palma to be the only Italian allowed into one of Elliott Ness’ team – to avoid gangster typecasting after his breakthrough 8 Million Ways To Die, 1986.
  2. Rowan Atkinson, The Witches, 1988.   All the Americans in director Nic Roeg’s  mix for  the mice-hunting hotel manager Mr Stringer – William  Devane, Andy Garcia, Edward James Olmos, even  director Robert Rodriguez – had to bow to, Rowan Atkinson. A double-whammy year for him as it also marked the birth of his accident-prone  Mr Bean.
  3. Gabriel Byrne, Miller’s Crossing, 1990.  The Coen brothers tackle  30s/40s, gangster noir… Their 1988 draft put Garcia, Willem Dafoe, Elias Koteas, Dylan McDermott and Tom Sizemore in  the Tom Reagan frame. 
  4. Campbell Scott, Dying Young, 1991.     Nobody wanted to keep beating up Julia Roberts.
  5. James Belushi, Taking Care of Business, 1991.     One of the first Disney flops via its new Hollywood Pictures wing.
  6. Wesley Snipes, Boiling Point, France-US, 1992.   Dennis Hoppper was the film noir’s star  – his best work, he felty. . But Wesley’s Passenger 57was such a hit that this one was re-cut  as another ho-hum actioner, pushing Wes upfront and letting Dennis wallow where he may.  Director James B Harris (a Hopper  and Kubrick pal) was powerless. “I didn’t have final cut.” He did next time!
  7. Nick Nolte, Lorenzo’s Oil, 1992.   Garcia and Michelle Pfeiffer were set as parents of an incurably ill child until Paramount dropped it. Universal re-cast it.
  8. Dustin Hoffman, Hero, 1992.    UK director Stephen Frears saw him for the title role and Andy thought he had lost all to Hoffman – until chosen as Bubber, the media version of the air-cash rescue hero.
  9. Gary Oldman, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, 1992.    Approached by his Godfather III director, Francis Coppola, but Garcia was wary about the sex scenes. Francey decided to make the old legend “younger, very erotic, very romantic and very horrific.” So he looked at everybody, mainly during auditions at his Napa Valley estate… Armand Assante, Antonio Banderas, Nick Cassavetes, Nicolas Cage Daniel Day-Lewis, Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Jeremy Irons, Ray Liotta, Kyle MacLachlan, Costas Mandylor, Viggo Mortensen, Dermot Mulroney, Michael Nouri (a long way from Flashdance), Adrian Pasdar, Jason Patric, Aiden Quinn, Keanu Reeves, Alan Rickman, Christian Slater and Sting.
  10. Harrison Ford, The Fugitive, 1993.  Paging Dr Kimble…  There was a queue answering the call for the film of David Janssen’s 1963-1967 series. Alec Baldwin, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Costner (directing as well), Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia,  Richard Gere, Mel Gibson (also up for the relentless cop, Gerard), Michael Keaton, Nick Nolte (director Walter Hill’s choice, but Andrew Davis made the movie – the fourth in his home town, Chicago), Al Pacino, Christopher Reeve,Arnold Schwarzengger. “The minute Harrison Ford shows up, they drop everything and sign up Harrison Ford,” Baldwiin complained. (It’s called being a star, Alec). Mel Gibson was up for either Kimble or his Javert-like hunter, Lieutenant Gerard – an Oscared gig for Tommy Lee Jones.

  11. Tom Hanks, Philadelphia, 1993.   
    Jonathan Demme’s  brave film was about a lawyer suing for loss of job because he had AIDS.  When Daniel Day-Lewis skipped to make The Name of the Father and Michael Keaton preferred dying (of cancer) in My Life, Demme called on William Baldwin, Andy Garcia, Tim Robbins – even gay porn star Jerry Kelly – before Hanks lost 26lbs to be the dying Andrew Beckett… and win the first of his consecutive Best Actor Oscars.  “People are saying I was bold to do this, that it was a courageous choice,” Hanks  told Newsweek. “I don’t see how there’s anything bold about playing as great a guy as Andy Beckett. It’s bold for me to… what? To play a man who goes to sleep in Antonio Banderas’ arms every night? Who has sexual intercourse him somehow? Is that what’s bold.  As a society, we should d be beyond this.”

  12. John Travolta, Pulp Fiction, 1993.
  13. Gary Busey, Drop Zone, 1994.      Corrupt, skydiving DEAgent is hunted by Federal Marshal Wesley Snipes.
  14. Robert De Niro, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, 1994.   Producer Francis Coppola fancied Depardieu (Garcia or John Malkovich), director and co-star Kenneth Branagh went for a real monster. Don Corleone.
  15. Alfred Molina, The Perez Family, 1995.    As the Cuban star explained to Indian   director Mira Nair, he was saving himself for his own Cuban film, The Lost   City, 2005, with his Hero co-star Dustin   Hoffman.
  16. Denzel Washington, Crimson Tide, 1995.   The submarine power struggle was nearly between Warren Beatty (or Tommy Lee Jones)   and Andy.
  17. Ralph Fiennes, Strange Days, 1995.     He did well to ditch Kathryn Bigelow’s dark over-view of a murky future.
  18. Johnny Depp,   Donnie Brasco, 1996.    One of the many names floated during the protracted labour pains of the autobiographical book by FBI man Joe Pistone – infiltrating The Mob as Brasco.
  19. Antoino Banderas, The Mask of Zorro, 1997.    Directors changed – Steven Spielberg (who produced), Robert Rodriguez and eventually, Bondsmith Martin Campbell gave up Tomorrow Never Dies – as often as Alejandro Murrieta, aka Zorro… Garcia, Marc Anthony (future third husband of Jennifer Lopez), Puerto Rican pop icon Elmer Figueroa Arce, Tom Cruise, Joaquim de Almeida, Benicio Del Toro.
  20. Aidan Quinn, The Assignment, 1997.     When he first read   the script, the Irishman   thought, “Why don’t they offer this to Andy Garcia.. ? ‘ And it turned out they did. Next: ‘How the hell am I gonna be believable? ‘   We went with the brown contacts for Carlos and darkened my skin, worked with a good dialogue coach. When I heard Andy was playing an Irish cop in Sidney Lumet’s Night Falls on Manhattan, I stopped worrying. That’s one of the great things about being an actor. We get to play dress up. Wigs, beards, moustaches. Fun work for me.”
  21. Gary Sinise, CSI: NY, 2004-2008.     Declined top cop, Detective Rick Calucci. (Or  Mac Taylor, when played by Sinise).  Ray Liotta followed suit.

  22. Denzel Washington, Man on Fire, 2004.   
    Tony Scott backed out of directing the first version in 1986, but helped  Denzel Washington retrieve his lost taste for acting in this re-make.  Sergio Leone chose  Robert De Niro  and Marlon Brando nearly played A J Quinnell’s ex-CIA hero turned mercenary (certainly helped re-write  him) but Scott Glenn won the  role. Tony Scott  had wanted Robert Duvall. The new scriptwriter, Brian Helgeland,  recalled going  into the LA Video Archives store  in the 80s and asking the clerk: “What’s good?” The clerk said:  Man on Fire. The clerk was Quentin Tarantino.  In both films Creasy  is trying to rescue a kidnapped girl, almost a daughter to him, that  he’s bodyguarding.  Yeah, rather like a matrix for Liam Neeson’s Takens. So no surprise to find Liam among some 25 actors up for Creasy. Alec Baldwin, Sean Bean (a nearly 007),  Kevin Costner, Russell Crowe, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Andy Garcia, Mel Gibson, Ed Harris, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, Viggo Mortensen,  Gary Oldman, Dennis Quaid, Keanu Reeves, Alan Rickman, Kurt Russell,  Arnold Schwarzenegger, Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis… even our dear old  Bob Hoskins.  Creasy was later  Bollywooded by the inimitable  Amitabh Bachchan (at age  63!). There were  songs, of course.  Three!


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  22