Eric Stoltz

1. –   Sean Penn, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, 1981.      The US high school movie…! Researched and written by Cameron Crowe, directed by Amy Heckerling. The rôle: stoned surfer Jeff Spicoli who orders a pizza delivered to his history classroom! In the mix: Penn (also seen for Brad), Stoltz, Dean Cameron, Christopher Reeve. Jeff’s credo: “All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine.”  

2. – Ralph Macchio, The Karate Kid, 1983.   The surprise hit had been  aimed at Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, Tom Cruise, Jon Cryer, Robert Downey Jr, Kyle Eastwood, Anthony Edwards, Crispin Glover, Sean Penn,  Eric Stoltz, brothers Emilio Esteves and Charlie Sheen and the Initialers  Michael J Fox, C Thomas Howell,  D B Sweeney. At 22, looking 16, Macchio made  Daniel LaRusso (ex-Weber) his own in four  films and two video-games… and named his son Daniel.  The Character is claimed by many but  was based on the early life of scenarist Robert Mark Kamen. It’s a great coming-of-age story,,” said Macchio.  And 40 years later, and people still stop him in the street  to quote  dialogue at him.

3. – Doug McKeon, MIschief, 1984.  The opening title read: “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… Ohio, 1956.” –Doug and Eric auditioned for it in the same week as testing for Mask.Mischief  was  the most fun I’ve had making a movie,” said McKeon. He joked later that if he hadn’t just turned 18, seeing Kelly Preston strip naked would have turned him into a man pretty fast. 

4. – Michael J Fox, Back To The Future, 1985. 

      Eric Stoltz with Chris Lloyd   
      © Universal Pictures-Amblin Entertainment, 1985.  

Stoltz a took Marty McFly so seriously he  insisted on being called Marty all day. Some crew members  from  his previous gig were still using his Mask name, Rocky…   “This horrific decision,” said director Zemeckis, “heartbreaking.”  Stoltz had not recovered enough from the rigors  of Mask to jump into comedy.  Zemeckis showed his producer Steven Spielberg five weeks of takes. They were not getting the laughs they had scripted! Spielberg agreed.  Universal chief  Sid Sheinberg agreed to fire Stoltz… but not immediately. So the poor guy was strung along for a month or more (and they called him a pain in the  butt).  For Spielberg, Fox had always been the ideal Marty but tele-producer Gary Ross could hardly be  expected to  free him from his hit Family Ties series.  Ross  finally told Fox  about the film and agreed to help make it work. “I had little doubt,” said the actor, “that this was the feature film project I’d been hoping for since Day One.”  For about four months, he worked on Family Ties from 9.30am-6pm.  Then,  from 6pm-sunrise on the movie. “During one audience taping of Family Ties, I panicked – searching the prop table frantically for Marty McFly’s camcorder.  I didn’t even know where the hell I was anymore!” Stoltz took two years off…  “I rarely look back, if at all, but in retrospect, I think just getting through that difficult period helped me realise how freeing it really was. I went back to acting school, moved to Europe, did some plays in New York and actually invested in [pause] myself in a way that was much healthier for me.”


5. –    Tom Cruise, Top Gun, 1985.   Among those passing on cocky USNavy jet pilot Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell were: Stoltz, Kevin Bacon, Scott Baio,  Jim Carrey, John Cusack, Robert Downey Jr, Michael J Fox, Rob Lowe, Matthew Modine (took exception to the script’s Cold War politics),  Patrick Swayze, John Travolta (too pricey) and brothers Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez.  Too young, at 20, Sheen sent the whole movie up in Hot Shots! 1990. Maverick became one of Cruise’s signature acts – still took 34 years for a sequel!

6. –    Matthew Broderick, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,  1986.     He tried but no day off for Eric.

7. –    Dermot Mulrooney, Where The Day Takes You, 1992.     Fox was announced but… minds were changed.

8. –     Tim Roth, Pulp Fiction, 1993.

9. –    Stephen Yardley, RPM, 1997.      Tarantino compadre Roger Avary wrote the script for Stoltz,  Daniel Auteuil, Yun-Fat Chow, Matt Dillon, Tcheky Karyo, Nastassja Kinski, Dolph Lundgren, Vanessa Paradis, Tom Savini, Terence Stamp – and Avary’s Killing Zoe stars: Jean-Hugues Anglade and  Eric Stoltz.  He  then decided against directing. The producer hired Ian Sharp “and the two guys who did Grumpier Old Men [!?!] to rewrite my script.”  Actually, Donald Cammell (using the pseudonym Franklin Brauner), helped out just before his death.  Avary removed his name from the ensuing mess.

10 –    Ted Levine, Joy Ride, 2000.     The Erics – Roberts and Stoltz – were listed for  “Rusty Nail,” the anonymous, implacable trucker (shades of Duel), who was never seen, just heard on his CB Radio.

11 –    David Warshofsky, The Best Thief in the World, 2003.     Mary-Louise Parker squealed when Stoltz was suggested for her husband. She inisted on an older man – and got her way about Warshofsky but not about any cinema release. The  film did not get one!



 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  11