- Tuesday Knight, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, 1988. Pulled out of reprising Elm Street 3’s Kristen Parker on becoming pregnant. Director Renny Harlin didn’t believe a word of it. He maintained it was all about money. Her first son was born in January 1989. Elm Street started shooting early in ’88. If pregnant at all, it was a matter of weeks... and she managed to make Far North without any trouble.
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Last Exit To Brooklyn, 1988.
Arquette won the lead role of Tralala (opposite her brother - later, sister – Alexis) in Uli Edel’s flm of the controversial Hubert J Selby Jr novel. Until she proved pregnant… On the Fresh Air with Terry Gross TV show in 2015, she explained all. “I thought: I don’t want to emotionally go through this woman’s journey that’s very violent at certain points with a baby inside me.” The producers thought she could hack it. “Well, let me just walk around the block. And I came back and I said: I can’t do this movie ’cos I don’t know how that will be for my baby.” She quit without knowing if she’d be judged difficult and never get another movie. Indeed, she didn’t after Enzo arrived. She even applied for a waitress job on Sunset Boulevard. “Look, I'm smart. I don't have a lot of experience. I’m nice to people, I learn fast and I have a baby to feed.” She got the job, starting Wednesday. “That Monday, I got my first movie after my son.” JJL once got a boyfriend to get Hubert Selby Jr. to sign her copy of his novel. She rushed to New York to tell Edel she was prepared to dye her hair, bare her breasts more times than he could count and endure the gang-bang scene. And she did.
- Lisa Zane, Bad Influence, 1990. Although broke with an infant son to raise, she bowed out when director Curtis Hanson would not detail what he meant by nudity. “I don't think women should be punished for their sexuality.”
- Meg Ryan, The Doors, 1991. The auditions of about 60 actresses are a legend. “Pure porno,” said the rumours, “with Oliver Stone asking girls to give him blowjobs.” Totally untrue, insisted casting director Risa Bramon Garcia. She was always in the room. “All that happened was the girl had to say, 'My cunt is yours' and kinda bend over. Big deal!”She felt that Stone should have used Arquette. “She was amazing. She rolled around on the floor.”
- Uma Thurman, Pulp Fiction, 1993.
- Amanda Plummer, Pulp Fiction, 1993.
- Rosanna Arquette, Pulp Fiction, 1993.
- Nicole Kidman, To Die For, 1994. “You aren't anybody in America if you’re not on TV.” Director Gus Van Sant wanted her in his first studio movie - as the girl who would do anything to get on TV, and stay there. She found it too close to True Romance - and went Beyond Rangoon, replacing Meg Ryan who, momentarily, interested Van Sant. (She said No to $5m). Other candidates had been Jennifer Connelly, Joan Cusack, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Darryl Hannah, Holly Hunter, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tatum O’Neal, Mary-Louise Parker, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Brooke Shields, Uma Thurman – and Debra Winger simply refused. Finally, Kidman persuaded director Gus Van Sant that she was his destiny.
- Courtney Love, The People vs Larry Flynt, 1996. Milos Forman considered them all - Georgina Cates, Rachel Griffiths, Mira Sorvino (too busy playing Marilyn) before choosing the Hole singer and Kurt Cobain’s widow as Mrs Flynt.
- Melora Walters, Boogie Nights, 1997. As far as auteur Paul Thomas Anderson was concerned, Walters and no one else would play his porn star Jessie St Vincent. The suits disagreed. And pleaded for A Star. PTA immediately offered the role to Arquette - knowing full well she would refuse.
- Renée Zellweger, Bridget Jones's Diary, 2000. Both Arquette sisters - Patricia and Rosanna - were among some 21 considerations for the lumpy, dumpy London office worker and diarist.
- Nicole Kidman, Bewitched, 2004. Who wants to play wriggly-nosed Samantha? Me, me, chorused... Jennifer Aniston, Kim Basinger, Cameron Diaz, Heather Graham (who would have been quirkily great), Angelina Jolie, Lisa Kudrow (perfect!), Tatum O'Neal, Gwyneth Paltrow, Michelle Pfeiffer, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Alicia Silverstone, Hilary Swank, Naomi Watts. Among 35 possibles. Over the years.
- Vera Famiga, The Departed, 2006. Also considered for the role of Madolyn: Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kyra Sedgwick.