Holly Hunter


  1. Frances McDormand, Blood Simple, 1984.    The Coen brothers begin… They saw Holly in the  New York play, Crimes of the Heart – “a serendipitous thing.” She could not accept their film, being committed to Beth Hanley’s nextplay. “They ended up meeting my roommate, and cast her instead.Franand Joel married – and in 1985, we were all living together in Silver Lake, just outside of LA, with Sam Raimi and they said that they’d written this part for me –Raising Arizona! The beginning of my feature film career.”
  2. Glenn Close, Fatal Attraction, 1987.
  3. Catherine O’Hara, Home Alone, 1990.    For the zero roles of Macauley Culkin’s forgetful parents (in a film written for and duly stolen by him), an astonishing 66 stars were considered – including 32 later seen for the hot lovers in Basic Instinct:Kim Basinger, Stockard Channing, Glenn Close, Kevin Costner, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Douglas, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Linda Hamilton, Daryl Hannah, Marilu Henner, Anjelica Huston, Helen Hunt, Holly Hunter, Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, Christopher Lloyd, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Annie Potts, Kelly Preston, Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan, Martin Sheen, Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, John Travolta.   Other near Moms were Kirstie Alley, Lynda Carter, Kim Cattrall, Geena Davis, Laura Dern, Jennifer Grey, Gates McFadden, Kelly McGillis, Bette Midler, Ally Sheedy, Mary Steenburgen, Debra Winger… and the inevitable unknown: Maureen McCormick, part of The Brady Bunch for seven 1981 chapters.
  4. Susan Sarandon, Thelma & Louise, 1990.
  5. Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct, 1991.
  6. Christine Lahti, Leaving Normal, 1992.    A flock of women chased after Edward Zwick for some more of hisGlory. “ I remember that when I was in my 30s,” she told The Guardian’s Benjamin Lee in 2017, “ a hot age for an actress, lots of offers were coming in but nothing was great and I didn’t work for 18 months. It was at a really fruitful age and I wanted to work. There was nothing coming down the pipeline that I thought was good and then I got The Piano.”
  7. Julianne Moore, Short Cuts, 1992.    Still talking with The Guardian… “I have never been an easy fit. I’m a leading lady character actor, I don’t fit in one slot simply. I’ve always been used to a certain amount of struggle and that prepared me wonderfully for a mature.
  8. Uma Thurman, Pulp Fiction, 1994. 
  9. Amanda Plummer, Pulp Fiction, 1993.

  10. Nicole Kidman, To Die For, 1994.   
    You aren’t anybody in America if you’re not on TV…”   Most bright young things agreed this was a role    
    to die for…    the girl who would do anything (murder included) to get on TV, and stay there. They included Hunter, Patricia Arquette, Jennifer Connelly, Joan Cusack, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Darryl Hannah, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tatum O’Neal, Mary-Louise Parker, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, 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.

  11. Helen Hunt, As Good As It Gets, 1997.      British director Mike Newell chose Holly plus Kevin Kline and Ralph Fiennes as feuding Old Friends/  Yet no one would finance two Oscar winners and a nominee!   The new team (Hunt and Jack Nicholson) won two more nominations – and won ’em!
  12. Annette Bening, American  Beauty, 1998.     Often  confused, Holly Hunter  and Helen Hunter were both seen about being Kevin Spacey’s loving wife. “Don’t you mess with me, mister, or I’ll divorce you so fast it’ll make your head spin!”
  13. Alanis Morissette, Dogma, 1999.       New Jersey’s (over) writer and director Kevin Smith wrote his view askew of God for Holly. (Oh, that explains the line about The Piano). He’d also contacted Emma Thompson but she was pregnant. Morissette, one of his Bethany choices, opened a window in her world tour. Said Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers: Thou shalt not stop laughing…
  14. Zach Braff, Chicken Little, 2004.      On the initial list to voice the hero of  Disney’s paltry poultry pic.   As a heroine. “Sometimes I take a movie that I know is not great, it’s not great on the page but I need to work,” she sais in The Guardian. . “Sometimes I need to make the money, I need dough. I want to work and so I’ll take something that is compromised in some arena. But it’s like, actors gotta act. It’s the same way in any profession. Everything is not going to be the nectar of the gods.”
  15. Joan Cusack, Chicken Little, 2004.    And she was  also on  the voice-choice list for Abby Mallard.  So were  Jamie Lee Curtis, Geena Davis, Laura Dern, Jamie Donnelly, Jodie Foster, Helen Hunt, Madonna, Sarah Jessica Parker and, of course, Sigourney Weaver. (By now many Alien fans were working at every studio). 
  16. Nicole Kidman, Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus, 2006.       Interest was so scant after Holly played Arbus in an LA reading of Mark Romanek’s script in 1999 that he quit and “by extension,” said Arbus biographer-cum-producer Patricia Bosworth, “I was responsible for my own firing.”
  17. Lesley Manville, Romeo and Juliet , 2013. Forty-six years after the Franco Zeffirelli version another Italian’s take – from TV  director Carlo Carlei.  “So what fresh meat does this 2013 rehash bring to the table?” asked Austin Chronicle critic Kimberley Jones “Startlingly little, unless you favour the flavour of staggering insipidness,” was her reply. Subbing for Hunter as Juliet’s Nurse, Manville (and Damian Lewis as Juliet’s dad) stole the entire adaptation by Julian  Fellowes – far better off with the  Downton Abbey Crawleys.









 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  17