Bridget Fonda

  1. Brooke Shields, Pretty Baby, 1977.    The plot sickens… A prostitute allows her 12-year-old daughter’s virginity to be auctioned off in a brothel in the red-light Storyville district of New Orleans, circa 1917. Elegant French director Louis Malle saw 29 hopefuls and/or instant (parental) refusals for pretty little Violet. From Laura Dern aged 10 and future Sex And The City co-stars Cynthia Nixon, at 11, Sarah Jessica Parker, 12 (like Shields) and (the often too buxom) teenagers Fonda Melissa Sue Anderson, Rosanna Arquette, Linda Blair, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jodie Foster (with Jasne Fonda as Mom), Mariel Hemingway, Helen Hunt, Anissa Jones (who tragically ODed at 18 before her audition), Diane Lane, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kristy McNichol, Tatum O’Neal (Dad said no), Dana Plato (Mom said no), Michelle Pfeiffer, Ally Sheedy, Meg Tilly, Charlene Tilton (pre-Dallas)… to seven twentysomethings. However, no make-up and soft lenses could make 12-year-olds out of Isabelle Adjani, Bo Derek, Carrie Fisher, Melanie Griffith, Amy Irving, Mary Steenburgen or Debra Winger. (Bridget’s aunt had been Malle’s first choice for the mother… of Jodie Foster).
  2. Brooke Shields, The Blue Lagoon, 1979.   Auditioned for Emmeline – despite Grease director Randal Kleiser wanting his shipwrecked couple to be naked throughout  the re-make. (They were not). Shields  had her long hair glued to her front – and a nude body double.
  3. Jennifer Beals, Flashdance, 1982.  The “nation-wide search“ (of LA…!!) came down to  20 possibilities for flashprancerAlex Owens.  Fonda,  Jamie Lee Curtis, Bo Derek Janice Dickinson, Jennifer Grey (yet she won Dirty Dancing), Melanie Griffith, Daryl Hannah, Mariel Hemingway, Helen Hunt (hated the script), Jennifer Jason Leigh, Heather Locklear, Andie MacDowell, Kathy Najimy, Tatum O’Neal, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kyra Sedgwick, Sharon Stone  and Debra Winger, Pix of the final three – Beals, Demi Moore and Leslie Wing – were shown to the studio’s  construction guys by Paramount  suits asking: “Which do you most wanna fuck?”   Dissolve. 
  4. Elizabeth McGovern, Once Upon a Time in America, 1982.   Italian maestro Sergio Leoneclaimed he interviewed “over 3,000 actors,” taping 500 auditions for the 110 speaking roles in his New York gangster epic.  He certainly saw 33 girls for nymphet Deborah Gelly: Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Jennifer Beals, Linda Blair, Glenn Close, Jamie Lee Curtis, Geena Davis, Farrah Fawcett, Carrie Fisher, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Linda Hamilton, Daryl Hannah, Goldie Hawn, Mariel Hemingway, Diane Lane, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Heather Locklear, Kristy McNIchol, Liza Minnelli, Tatum O’Neal, Michelle Pfeiffer, Meg Ryan, Susan Sarandon, Cybill Shepherd, Sissy Spacek, Meryl Streep, Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver, Debra Winger. Plus Brooke Shields as the younger version. Deborah was 15 in the first script; McGovern was 20.

  5. Linda Hamilton, The Terminator, 1983.    
    In all, 55 actresses were considered, seen or tested for Sarah Connor (aged 18; Linda was 27) opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger. James Cameron auteured Sarah for Bridget Fonda. She passed; so did Tatum O’Neal.   He decided to go older… and Glenn Close won – her schedule didn’t agree. OK, Kate Capshaw! No, she was tied to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – and Kathleen Turner was Romancing The Stone. Debra Winger won her audition, said yes… then no. The other 48 ladies were The ’80s Group: Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Christy Brinkley, Colleen Camp, Jamie Lee Curtis, Geena Davis, Judy Davis, Mia Farrow, Carrie Fisher, Jodie Foster, Teri Garr, Jennifer Grey, Melanie Griffith, Darryl Hannah, Barbara Hershey, Anjelica Huston, Amy Irving, Diane Keaton, Margot Kidder, Diane Lane, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kay Lenz, Heather Locklear, Lori Loughlin, Kelly McGillis, Kristy McNichol, Michelle Pfeiffer, Deborah Raffin, ,Meg Ryan, Susan Sarandon, Ally Sheedy, Cybill Shepherd, Brooke Shields, Sissy Spacek, Sharon Stone,   Lea Thompson, Sigourney Weaver… one aerobics queen, Bess Motta (she became Sarah’s room-mate, Ginger Ventura),   two singers (Madonna, Liza Minnelli), two Brits (Miranda Richardson, Jane Seymour), five essentially funny girls, Goldie Hawn, Rhea Perlman (Mrs Danny De Vito), Gilda Radner, Mary Tyler Moore…plus the new MTM, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, then from Saturday Night Live. Most were in contention again a few years later for Fatal Attraction (won by Close) and The Accused (going to Foster and McGillis). Ten years later (after T2), Linda gave birth to Cameron’s daughter and Josephine’s parents wed in 1997… for two years.

  6. Ally Sheedy, St Elmo’s Fire, 1984.        Directors John Hughes and Joel Schumacher were rather like Lucas and Spielberg in the 70s: dipping into the same age talent pool. The Brat Packers Hughes kept in the high school Breakfast Club, Schumacher made, as here, college kids. When Hughes said “Why can’t I make movies like The Lost Boys, Joel?” Schumacher replied:  “Why can’t I make Pretty in Pink?”  Ther answer was different school experiences. Joel’s was “drinking at nine, smoking at 10, sexually active at 11.”
  7. Elisabeth Shue, Adventures in Babysitting, 1986.       Back in the 60s, teenage babysitter Chris Parker was set for Jane Fonda. By the 80s, her logical heir, her niece Bridget, was not interested. Julia Louis-Dreyfus was signed, followed by Jodie Foster, then it became a battle between Kathleen Turner (the fourth #1 choice), Justine Bateman, Valerie Bertinelli, Judy Davis, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Andie MacDowell, Kelly McGillis (spurned by director Christopher Columbus), Tatum O’Neal (who simply fled), Michelle Pfeiffer (idem but for The Witches of Eastwick), Brooke Shields and Sharon Stone.

  8. Jodie Foster, The Accused, 1988.   
    An awful thing to say. Except it is true. Jodie Foster would never have won her (first) Oscar for this trenchant drama – if actress Kelly McGillis had not been raped in 1982… At first, the role of the rape victim Sarah Tobias was written for Andie MacDowell. She passed. The Paramount suits then saw 34 other young actresses for the (real life) victim. Or, for their own rape bait fantasies – including 16-year-old Alyssa Milano! Foster was refused a test because she was “not sexy enough”! And, anyway, the studio had decided upon McGillis, a high flyer in  Paramount’s Witness and Top Gun. And, naturally, she refused point-blank! She knew what it was to be brutally raped and Kelly had no wish to revisit the horror and agony of her own assault six years earlier. The suits were annoyed. They needed her. She was hot at the box-office, their box-office. They had made her a star!! Eventually, McGillis agreed to play Sarah’s defence attorney – on condition that unsexy Jodie played Sarah! The suits caved, tested Foster and the rest is Oscar history… So is the huge list of talent also seen for Sarah.   Starting with the Fatal Attraction also-rans: Rosanna Arquette, Ellen Barkin, Kim Basinger, Jennifer Beals, Jennifer Grey, Melanie Griffith, Linda Hamilton, Darryl Hannah, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Diane Keaton, Demi Moore, Kelly Preston, Meg Ryan, Jane Seymour, Sharon Stone, Meryl Streep, Debra Winger.   And moving on to the younger Fonda, Melissa Sue Anderson (trying to break her Little House on the Prairie image), Justine Bateman, Valerie Bertinelli, Phoebe Cates, Jennifer Connelly, Joan Cusack, Judy Davis, Kristin Davis, Bridget Fonda, Annabeth Gish, Mariel Hemingway, Kelly LeBrock, Virginia Madsen, Brigitte Nielsen, Tatum O’Neal, Molly Ringwald, Mia Sara, Ally Sheedy, Brooke Shields, Uma Thurman.  Oh, and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, said the suits, was “too nice.” Rape victims shouldn’t be nice? Oh, Hollywood!

  9. Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman, 1989.
  10. Sean Young, A Kiss Before Dying, 1990.       Brit James Dearden’s re-make casting sounds like Klute, The Next Generation. Fonda  and Sutherland – ie Bridget and Kiefer.  Ended as Young and Matt Dillon.

  11. Patricia Wettig, City Slickers, 1990.   Facing 40, three Manhattan dudes book into a dude ranch and join a cattle drive and… a perfect comedy!  Billy Crystal stars and helped write it – and invited Wetting, the thirtysomething TV star, to be Mrs Billy. Also on his dream wife list were: Bonnie Bedelia, Sally Field, Kate Capshaw, Bridget Fonda, Anjelica Huston.
  12. Geena Davis, Thelma & Louise, 1990. 
  13. Sofia Coppola, The Godfather: Part III, 1991.
  14. Juliette Lewis, Cape Fear, 1991.      Among the many  – the very many – Christina Applegate, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Shannen Doherty, Nicole Eggeret, Jodie Foster, Helen Hunt, Nicole Kidman, Diane Lane, Jennifer Jason  Leigh, Alyssa Milano, Demi Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker,  Molly Ringwald, Meg Ryan, Winona Ryder, Brooke Shields, Tiffani Thiessen, Reese Witherspoon – considered  by Steven Spielberg and, later, Martin Scorsese for the teen daughter of Nick Nolte and Jessica Lange: Danielle Bowden.  (Nancy in the 1962 original). Some found it too sexy and, indeed, few could have equalled the on-heat musk of Juliette’s totally improvised – and one take – seduction scene with Robert De Niro.
  15. Sharon Stone, Basic  Instinct, 1991.
  16. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Single White Female, 1992.     Director Barbet Schroeder wanted Bridget for either role.  He said: “You choose.” She picked  Allie as being harder to play than Hedy. 
  17. Patricia Arquette, True Romance, 1992. “I’m not a whore. I’m a call-girl. There’s a difference, you know!” Quentin Tarantino created Alabama for Joan Cusack. UK director Tony Scott preferred Barrymore, fully booked at the time. So Fonda, Diane Lane, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Juliette Lewis Julia Roberts, Kyra Sedgwick, Brooke Shields and (inevitably) Uma Thurman were tipped for the girl… with the name sounding like a Pam Grier role, said QT. Except she was called Jackie Brown when he directed her in 1997. In Tarantino’s first ending, Clarence was killed and Alabama would turn to crime with Mr. White – he’s asked about her during Reservoir Dogs, 1991. Fonda was in QT’s 1997 Jackie Brown team.
  18. Laura Dern, Jurassic Park, 1992.  

  19. Uma Thurman, Pulp Fiction, 1993.
  20. Amanda Plummer, Pulp Fiction, 1993.    
  21. Rosanna Arquette, Pulp Fiction, 1993.

  22. Geena Davis, Angie, 1993.       The official reason was Madonna was booked for Abel Ferrara’s  Dangerous Game, 1992.  Then, one of her  emails was leaked – furious with the head Fox, Joe Roth, for dumping her for a non-Italian in  the Italian titular role.  In truth, she fled after hearing Roth didn’t want her because  she couldn’t carry a movie. (Not that this one did any better without her). Her director, Jonathan Kaplan, also quit and Martha Coolidge took over with her 1991 Rambling Rose star – after some thoughts about a dozen others, from  Helen Hunt  to Meryl Streep.  Oh, very Italian!
  23. Kelly Lynch, Three of Hearts, 1993.      Bridget was talked of after Elizabeth Perkins quit  director Yurek Bogayevicz.
  24. Jeanne Tripplehorn, The Firm, 1993.        Not enough women in it moaned the studio. Even so, more than  enough  women  were seen for  the nothing role of Tom Cruise’s wife: Julia Roberts, Robin Wright, etc.
  25. Laura Johnson, Trauma, Italy, 1993.       A great fan of genre movies, Bridget leapt at Italian horror director Dario Argento’s offer to be TV newshen Grace Harrington… until she won the Nikita re-make, Point Of No Return.
  26. Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hudsucker Proxy, 1993.      Made in ‘93 and set in ‘58, the Coen Brothers’ capitalism satire is rooted in 40s cinema – where surely JJL’s tabloid reporter was born. Fonda, Ellen Barkin, Nicole Kidman and Winona Ryder were also seen by the Coens… who simply proved what we already knew. There was only ever one Frank Capra.  (Bridget went Italian when director Bernardo Bertolucci asked her to be Little Buddha’s mother). 
  27. Sandra Bullock, Speed, 1993.     Although sharing the heroics and the driving of the bus-bomb with Keanu Reeves,, most girls saw it as The Guy’s film. An amazing 36 refused to be Annie: Bridget, Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Halle Berry, Glenn Close (!), Geena Davis, Cameron Diaz, Carrie Fisher, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Daryl Hannah, Mariska Hargitay, Barbara Hershey, Anjelica Huston, Diane Lane, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kay Lenz, Alyssa Milano, Demi Moore, Tatum O’Neal, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Winona Ryder, Jane Seymour, Ally Sheedy, Brooke Shields, Meryl Streep (!), Emma Thompson (!), Meg Tilly, Marisa Tomei, Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver and  Debra Winger.
  28. Marisa Tomei, Only You, 1994.     Canadian film-maker Norman Jewison’s first idea for  the believer in  soul mates.

  29. Nicole Kidman, To Die For, 1994.
    “You aren’t anybody in America if you’re not on TV…” Most young sparks agreed this was a role to die for… the girl who would do anything (murder included) to get on TV, and stay there. Including Fonda, Patricia Arquette, Jennifer Connelly, Joan Cusack, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Darryl Hannah, Holly Hunter, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tatum O’Neal, Mary-Louise Parker, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Meg Ryan, Meg Ryan (passing up $5m),Brooke Shields, Uma Thurman. However, Debra Winger simply refused… and Kidman persuaded director Gus Van Sant that she was his destiny.

  30. Renée Zellweger, Jerry Maguire, 1996.    “You had me at Hello…” Once Tom Hanks passed and Tom Cruise breathed a sigh of relief, auteur Cameron Crowe started searching for The Girl: Dorothy Boyd.   Fonda, Patricia Arquette, Cameron Diaz, Janeane Garofalo, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lopez, Courtney Love, Parker Posey, Molly Ringwald, Winona Ryder, Mira Sorvino, Marisa Tomei, Uma Thurman, even Zellweger, came and went. Recommended by Edward Burns (one of the Jerry possibles), Connie Britton made a good test with Cruise and she was Dorothy – depending on Zellweger’s call back meeting with him. “We have video of that because I was filming,” Crowe told Mike Fleming Jr for Deadline Hollywood’s 20-years-later feature in 2017, “and you just see something happen when Tom sees her. He lights up … As Jerry discovers Dorothy, we discover Renée. That was a very personal thing for me and the way I feel about movies.”
  31. Asia Argento, La sindrome de Stendahl/The Stendahl Syndrome, Italy, 1996.      Dario Argento called again.  Her  agent refused to lower her $1.5m fee – dumb move when the director has an actress daughter.
  32. Sean Penn, The Game, 1996.  Jodie Foster caused director David Fincher and his star, Michael  Douglas, when wanting to play Michael’s daughter rather than his sister….which js why she became a brother (offered to Jeff Bridges and Sean Penn). But it had been all so peaceful three years earlier  when Jonathan Mostow was  due to helm Fonda and Kyle MacLachan. 
  33. Calista Flockhart, Ally McBeal, TV, 1997-2002.     Creator David E Kelley   originally envisioned a Bridget McBeal. Ally made Calista a TV superstar.  Ally was part of the same Kelleyverse as his legal eagle series, The Practice, 1997-2004.
  34. Kirsten Dunst, Spider-Man, 2001.
  35. Melissa Leo, Veronika Decides To Die, 2008.     Change of  Mari  in  UK director Emily Young’s version of Paulo Coelho’s novel.





 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  35