Payday Loans
Sir Robert Stephens (1931-95)

  1. Daniel Massey, Star!, 1967.   Stephens, Peter Cook and  Ian McKellen were in the frame to portray Noel Coward - finally taken by his Godson.  Indeed, Massey had made his screen debut as Coward’s son at age nine in the UK classic, In Which We Serve, 1941.
  2. Alan Bates, Three Sisters, 1974.   The   idea  was to keep   some National Theatre magic on record. "Something for the cinema," said Laurence Olivier, after the "filmed plays"  of his Othello and  The Dance of Death.   Hence Bates, stepping in     as Vershinin, the Russian Army Colonel in love   with Masha alias, Joan   Plowright,   Lady Olivier. 
  3. Len Cariou, A Little Night Music, 1977.     Dropped after an afternoon's   rehearsals. Elizabeth Taylor did not approve of their chemistry. "Chemistry?" said Stephens. "Chemistry! We're actors not bloody pharmacists." 
  4. Patrick Stewart, Lifeforce, 1984.      Or, lifeforces… considering director Tobe Hooper had an army of 44 UK actors for just one role!  Included on theDr Armstrong list were three Doctor Whos (Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Patrick Troughton) and (Dr) Graham Chapman of the Monty Python gang!   Stephens  was among 27 listed for two or more roles.  And all the time,  Hooper knew it didn’t matter a damn who played what guy as all eyes would be on Mathilda May - resplendently naked for almost the entire 116 minutes. (A rare accomplishment, swiftly copied the following year by another Parisienne,  Patricia Barzyk - Miss France 1980 - in Jean-Pierre Mocky’s La machine à découdre).
  5. Michael Gothard, Lifeforce, 1984.    Probably unknown to them, 34  Brits were suggested for Dr Bukovsky…  Stephens, John Abineri, Patrick Allen, Bernard Archard, Anthony Bate, Ralph Bates, Hywel Bennett, John Bennett, Brian Blessed, Michael Byrne, Anton Diffring, Denholm Elliott, Paul Freeman, Julian Glover,  Rutger Hauer, Bernard Hepton, Derek Jacobi, Martin Jarvis, Freddie Jones, Wolf Kahler, Jeremy Kemp, Michael Kitchen, James Laurenson, John McEnery, Lee Montague, George Sewell, Michael Sheard, Vladek Sheybal, Cifford Rose, Leonard Rossiter, Oliver  Tobias, David Warner, Simon Ward, Timothy West.
  6. Frank Finlay, Lifeforce, 1984.       The next  search was for German actors  (hello, Anton Diffring!) or those who could play German. Result: 22 possibilities…  Stephens, Bernard Archard, John Bennett, Dirk Bogarde, Nigel Davenport, Denholm Elliott,  Michael Gough, Bernard Hepton,  Trevor Howard, Freddie Jones, Klaus Kinski, Hardy Kruger, Herbert Lom, James Mason (ah, Rommel!),  Donald Pleasence, Cifford Rose, Leonard Rossitier, Maximilian Schell, Vladek Sheybal and even…  Max von Sydow (hey, an accent is an accent).  And so, probably without him knowing, Stephens was listed for Dr Hans Fallada, an expert of - get this! - life after death…
  7. Aubrey Morris, Lifeforce, 1984.      Also listed for Sir Percy Heseltine…   amonge 26 others.  John Abineri, Bernard Archard, George Baker, Anthony Bate, Allan Cuthbertson, Derek Fowlds, Denholm Elliott, Ronald Fraser, Michael Gough, Robert Hardy, Bernard Hepton, Trevor Howard, Harold Innocent, Peter Jeffrey, Freddie Jones, Ronald Lacey, TP McKenna, Clifford Rose, Leonard Rossiter, John Savident, Richard Todd, Patrick Troughton, Timothy West, Richard Wilson, Frank Windsor. And after all that… web critic Stephanie Scaife denounced it as “completely batshit insane.”


 





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