Fred Ward

  1. Kurt Russell, The Thing, 1981.    “The ultimate in alien terror.” Bah! Not even close. Which explains why Jeff Bridges, Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Nick Nolte passed on John Carpenter’s unwanted re-hash of the (so-so) 1950 original produced (some say, directed) by Howard Hawks. Ward, fairly unknown at the time,  fought for the lead.  Russell won it –  third of his five Carpenter movies.  
  2. Alec Baldwin, Mjami Blues, 1988.  Fred Ward optioned Charles Willeford’s novel. Gene Hackman was keen on the central character, Miami PD sergeant Hoke Moseley – a regular in Willeford books. That was fine by Ward who was aiming to play the wild sociopath Frederick J Frenger Jr.  Or he was until Orion Pictures wanted a younger  lead.  Ward then passed Junior to Baldwin, and took over Moseley Hoke for himself. He was after all one of  the seven producers of what the Washington Post’ critic Desson Howe called “funny, stirring and full of great moments done in the pop-arty, lightly macabre spirit.
  3. Dennis Hopper, Witch Hunt, TV, 1994.   Part Two of an HBO duo…  Ward had been private eye Harry Philip Lovecraft (!) in the 40s’s style  Cast a Deadly Spell, directed by Martyin Campbell. But Hopper took over the shamus for the red scared 50s,  with Paul Schrader helming the heavy-handed satire fighting “the pernicious influence of magic in the motion picture business” !  A case of: Are you now or have  you ever been… a witch?  Hopper was sporting the same jacket hew wore in another movie, just can’t remember which one! Answers on a postcard, please
  4. John Turturro, Box of Moon Light, 1996.   Writer-director Tom DiCillo’s first thought for Al Fountain, searching for his (Fountain of) youth during a mid-life crisis. 



 Birth year: 1942Death year: 2022Other name: Casting Calls:  4