Geneviève Bujold

  1. Catherine Deneuve, Benjamin ou Les mémoires d’un puceau (US: The Diary of an Innocent Boy), France, 1967.      Bujold was tied up on Le Roi de Coeur. OK, said realisateur Michel Devill, let’s get Deneuve!  Mais non, said her agent, her character doesn’t appear until after 30 minutes. Deville flew to South of France to talk her into it. “Let me read the scenario.” Three hours later: “I’ll do it!” Then, just before she started work,her sister, Françoise Dorleac was killed in a car smash. Devillefigured he’d lost Catherine. But no, she carried on. “Not to forget,” said Deville, “but to help face it.”
  2. Kim Darby, True Grit, 1968.      “If Mia turns it down,” said producer Hal B Wallis.  Mia did.  After being warned off  any Henry Hathaway film by Robert Mitchum.  Also in the Mattie mix: Bujold, singer Karen Carpenter (a Duke idea), Mia Farrow (who kicked herself for refusing), Sally Field, Sondra Locke, Jaclyn Smith, Tuesday Weld. Plus past and future Duke co-stars Michele El DoradoCarey and Jennifer Rio LoboO’Neill. And Duke’s teenage daughter Aissa! Poor Darby – found on TV a month before shooting started in Colorado – said she’d certainly never work with Hathaway again. Bujold was immediatedly switched by Wallis to Anne Boleyn in Anne of the Thousand Days.
  3. Vanessa Redgrave, Mary, Queen of Scots, 1971.       The Scottish queen was always  intended by producer Hal B Wallis for Bujold.  She was not keen on another executed 16th Century royal, after her  beheading as Henry VIII’s second wife, Ann Boleyn, in A Thousand Days.  Wallis next looked over  Mia Farrow, Jane Fonda, Sophia Loren(!), Maggie Smith.  Redgrave (first booked for Elizabeth I) was sixth choice..
  4. Diane Keaton, The Godfather, 1971.
  5. Mia Farrow, The Great Gatsby, 1973.  There were eight possible Daisy Buchanans – Candice Bergen, Genevieve Bujold, Lois Chiles, Faye Dunaway, Mia Farrow, Katharine Ross – after Paramount’s owner Charles Bludhorn ruled that Ali MacGraw, wed to the studio’s production chief, Robert Evans, “is not doing this picture. Is. That. Clear?”  Tuesday Weld and Natalie Wood were also in the loop but Bergen and Farrow went to the wire.  Producer David Merrick wanted “aristocratic looks, hard to find in an actress.”  Farrow won the tests – with the looks of a ‘flu victim with a 103 temperature. And Chiles became the “fast” Jordan Baker. Time magazine critic Jay Cocks decreed: “The film is faithful to the letter of F Scott Fitzgerald’s novel but entirely misses its point.” 
  6. Brooke Adams, Days of Heaven, 1978.       Director Terrence Malick altered his casting once Travolta backed out. He had a  cameo in Malick’s next film, The Thin Red Line – 30 years later!
  7. Lesley Ann Down, Hanover Street, 1979.       Once Kris Kristofferson split, so did Genevieve.   
  8. Anjelica Huston, The Witches, 1988.  Olivja Hussey topped  author Ronald Dahl’s wish list for Miss Ernst, aka The Grand High Witch. However, Anjelica was on Nic Roeg’s list. And he was the director!  He took his time combing through the 13 other candidates:  From Linda Blair (little Regan grew up to be a witch?), Genevieve Bujold, Cher, Frances Conroy, Faye Dunaway, Jodie Foster, Liza Minnelli, Susan Sarandpn, Sigourney Weaver to true Brits Fiona Fullerton, Helen Mirren, Vanessa Redgrave… and the sole Black star considered, Eartha Kitt.  Together with Bancroft, they all escaped  .eight  hours of make-up each  day!  Appalled by the vulgar bad taste and :actual terror” in the film, Dahl threatened to take his name off it.  Jim Henson talked him out  of it for the Muppeteer’s final production.

  9. Kate Mulgrew, Star Trek: Voyager, TV, 1995-2001.         
    After Catherine Schell passed, Bujold became Kathryn Janeway, the first female Starfleet skipper, circa 2371… but handed over to Mrs Columbo after two days on the bridge. She could not memorise seven pages of dialogue, insisted on using only her own hairdresser and was unwilling to work with directors she did not know. (Those she did know did not work in TV).  “This,” said writer-producer Rick Berman, “was a woman who, in no way, was going to be able to deal with the rigours of episodic television.”  On the second day, she rushed to her trailer in tears and Berman and director Winrich Kolbe simply sent her home. Having already worked through Karen Austin, Nicola Bryant, Lynda Carter, Joanna Cassidy,  Lindsay Crouse, Patty Duke., Chelsea Field,  Susan Gibney, Erin Gray, Linda Hamilton, Kate Jackson, Carolyn McCormack, Tracy Scoggins. Helen Shaver, Lindsay Wagner and Mary Woronov, Berman sent for Mulgrew… who “simply had an ineffable quality that put her ahead of the pack.” And Kate ran a tight ship for six seasons.

  10. Barbara Jefford, The Ninth Gate, 1999.       Ill-health forced her away from “what keeps me alive: the camera.”


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  10