Heather Graham


  1. Lisanne Falk, Heathers, 1989.       But not Heather’s…  The script was too dark – with  too much bad language – said  her parents.  Well, she was 17.  And Dad was an FBI agent. Not long, before Heather wasn’t talking to either parent for two years when they were unhappy with her movie choices. Particularly her porno actresses in Boogie Nights 19965, and The Guru, 2001
  2. Gretchen Mol, Rounders, 1990.    She missed co-starring with Matt Damon and Edward Norton  due to her rapidly  crowded  schedule. 
  3. Emily Lloyd, Scorchers, 1990.       Fired!
  4. Laura Dern, Jurassic Park, 1992.
  5. Allison Folland, To Die For, 1994.      While all the other bright young things were trying to win Susanne, Graham was happy to test for Lydia… one of three fans persuaded by Nicole Kidman’s TV celeb to murder her husband. Because she thought Kidman’s Suzanne was like a goddess of some kind. “Like Lady Di before she dumped the prince and went nudist.”
  6. Shannen Doherty, Mallrats, 1995.       Doherty and Graham auditioned for Rene.  Reese Witherspoon did not.  Jay and Silent Bom, themselves  (Jason Mewes and auteur Kevin Smith) disliked their meeting with her  so much, they told their casting director, Don Phillips, to scrub  her from  the test list. Silly boys!  They also let escape their Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, 2001.
  7. Julianne Moore, Boogie Nights, 1996.     She auditioned for porno queen Amber Waves but was far better suited to the irrepressible Roller Girl in Paul Thomas Anderson’s excellent take on the US  porno industry. 
  8. Teri Polo, Meet The Parents, 1999.   Too close to home… As mentioned above, Heather’s father was an FBI agent.  Little wonder, therefore, that she would refuse the comedy about marrying into the familly of hardass, ex-Fibi Robert De Niro. She was in enough trouble with her folks! 
  9. Kim Dickens, Things Behind The Sun, 2000.        Alcoholic rock singer, unable  to  forget a brutal gang rape – all actresses were keen.  When Heather  quit, Winona Ryder moved in for  awhile…  Heather kept changing her mind about making the extremely personal and harsh story of the auteur Allison Anders – raped at 12,  then brutally treated by her stepfathder  until  fleeing home  at 17.  Taking things rather too far, Anders had the rape renacted at the actual scene of the crime.  
  10. Cameron Diaz, Gangs of New York, 2000.   For Martin Scorsese, casting was easy. In 1978, Dan Aykroyd-John Belushi were Amsterdam and The Butcher. (What>!!)  Or, Mel Gibson-Willem Dafoe. By 1984, Malcolm McDowell-Robert De Niro. Finally, Leonardo DiCaprio-Daniel Day Lewis. Much harder to locate the real prim pickpocket Jenny Everdeane. For the brothers blue, she would have been Jane Fonda. When Buffy The Vampire Slayer got into Sarah MIchelle Gellar’s way, Marty checked Christina Applegate (from his 1990 Cape Fear auditions), Kate Beckinsale, Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Heather Graham, Bryce Dallas Howard, Alyssa Milano, Natalie Portman, Christina Ricci, Winona Ryder, Mena Suvari… and chose Sarah Polley.   Except the suits insisted on a “bankable star.” Diaz’s six week contract lasted six months – and did her no good at all! 

  11. Shannon Elizabeth, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, 2001.     Heather could not see why she would fall for a Jay who says things  like: “She’s the first woman I ever loved enough not to stick my hand down her pants.” Shannon, up for a smaller role, could. And did.  While  filming American Pie 2 at the same time.
  12. Renée Zellweger, Chicago, 2001.
  13. Cameron Diaz, Gangs of New York,  2002.       Auditioned. But lost her biggest opportunity.

  14. Nicole Kidman, Bewitched, 2004.
    For inexplicable reasons, Hollywood kept trying to make a movie out of the  1968-1972 ABC sitcom about a good-looking witch and a Dagwood husband.  In 1993, Penny Marshall was going to direct Meryl Streep as Samantha, then passed the reins to Ted Bissell and he died in 1996 when his Richard Curtis script was planned as Melanie Griffths’ comeback.  Nora Ephron co-wrote and directed this lumbering version about an ego-driven actor trying to save his career with a Bewitched re-hash, but with the emphasis on him (of course) as Darrin, rather than the unknown he chose for Samatha because she can wriggle her nose…  (You didn’t need a nose to know it stank).  Over the years, 37 other ladies were on the Samantha wish-list. Take a deep breath… Kate Beckinsale, Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Connelly, Cameron Diaz, Heather Graham, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd, Julianne Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Michelle Pfeiffer, Molly Ringwald, Meg Ryan, Winona Ryder, Brooke Shields, Charlize Theron, Naomi Watts, Renee Zellweger.  Plus seven Oscar-winners:  Kim Basinger, Tatum O’Neal, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Hilary Swank, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon… two Friends: Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow…eleven other TV stars: Christina Applegate, Patricia Arquette, Kristin Davis, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Helen Hunt, Jenny McCarthy, Alyssa Milano, Brittany Murphy, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alicia Silverstone… even  Drew Barrymore and Uma Thurman, who had already re-kindled Charlie’s Angels and The Avengers.

  15. Charisma Carpenter, Veronica Mars, TV, 2004-2007.   Kendal Casablancas was up for grabs for  all of eleven episodes. Carpenter won because she was a fan of the show and Graham was tied to a bad Ally McBeal copy called Emily’s Reasons Why Not… axed so fast after the pilot that one showbiz magazine’s cover story introducing the series came out  after  the death!  

  16. Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada, 2005.   Sixteen other women  were up for Vogue editor Anna Wintour (er, Miranda Priestley!) in the delightful look at the real fashion world, based on the  tell-all  by Lauren Weisberger,  who used to work for Wintour (but claimed it wasn’t  about her!  Seven only had the wherewithall to match Meryl Streep:  Jennifer Aniston, Glenn Close (fed up of villains), Angelina Jolie, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helen Mirren, Julia Roberts and Hilary Swank. “Sinfully funny, deliciously glossy,” said Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers. “Streep knocks every laugh out of the park More remarkably, she humanises a character who was little more than a bitch… on the page.” The  remaining what-were-they-thinking candidates had been Kim Basinger, Cameron  Diaz, Heather Graham, Lisa Kudrow, Tatum O’Neal, Gwyneth Paltrow, Meg Ryan, Alicia Silverstone and  Naomi Watts.
  17. Milla Jovovich, .45, 2006.      Abuse, addiction, obsession…  and  selling handguns on New York streets.  Heather as in the mix for the much abused heroine of Gary Lennon’s auteur debut, best described by web critic Christopher Armstead as a “fascinating, if somewhat repulsive revenge film.”

  18. Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns,2017.   When Walt Disney made the first Poppins, he mused over Bette Davis, Angela Lansbury or Mary Martin for Mary but by 1963, he had only one star in mind. Julie Andrews. For this reboot, Disney suits went through no less than 37 contenders… Two Desperate Housewives:Kristin Davis, Teri Hatcher. Two Friends:Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow. Two Brat Packers: Molly Ringwald, Winona Ryder.  Two of the three authors of The Penis Song: Christina Aplegate, Cameron Diaz. Three sirens: Kim Basinger, Heather Graham Uma Thurman. Four ex-child stars: Drew Barrymore, Alyssa Milano, Tatum O’Neal, Brooke Shields. Ten Oscar-winners: Sandra Bullock, Helen Hunt, Angelina Jolie, Julianne Moore, Tatum O‘Neal, Julia Roberts, Hilary Swank, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon, Renée Zellweger. Plus: Patricia Arquette, Melanie Griffith, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Peiffer, Meg Ryan, Alicia Silverstone, Naomi Watts. But just two Brits: Kate Beckinsale  – and the winning Emily.

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  18