- Charmian Carr, The Sound of Music, 1965. Her audition didn’t fly - except in the same Fox studios’ Hollywood Screen Tests: Take 1, 1999.
- Jacqueline Bisset, The Detective, 1968.
"I don't think a man and his wife should act together," said the titular Frank Sinatra. "Least that goesfor us."So why was he so furious when Mia was delayed by director Roman Polanski's lengthy perfectionism on Rosemary's Baby.Following dinner with the couple, production designer Richard Sylbert felt Frank's view was: If she didn’t make the film with him, the marriage was over. And that’s what happened. Old Livid Eyes sent his lawyer to the Polanski set to deliver divorce papers to Mia! And he told Fox to replace his wife... Bisset was leaving for a Paris test after a miserableHollywood debut in The Sweet Ride when told to stick around."I knew vaguely what it was for. They were seeing every girl in Hollywood. We had lunch in the commissary with the director and producer and they said: We’ve decided. I said: Well, that’s a bit quick! They said: Go to wardrobe! I suppose Sinatra had OK’d me privately.,. seen some Wild Ridefootage. If he had disliked me, I certainly wouldn’t have been in the picture." Which explains why no Suzy Parker or Suzanne Pleshette.
- Michèle Breton, Performance, 1968. Both desired leading ladies were injured. Tuesday Weld had a busted shoulder and Mia Farrow a broken arm... and marriage. Breton played herself. Or ex-lover (and co-director)Donald Cammell’s version of herself.
- Kim Darby, True Grit, 1968. Producer Hal Wallis’ first choice agreed… kinda. When making Secret Ceremony in London, she told Robert Mitchum her next gig would be for director Henry Hathaway. “Forget it!” said Mitchum. Hathaway was a somafabitch and she’d hate him. (Stuntman Dean Smith said “Old Henry would eat anybody’s ass out!’). Mia asked Wallis to replace Hathaway with her Rosemary’s Baby director, Roman Polanski. Wallis refused and replaced her with Darby - discovered on TV a month before shooting started in Colorado. Also in the Mattie mix: Duke’s teenage daughter Aissa, Geneviève Bujold, singer Karen Carpenter (a Duke idea), Sally Field, Sondra Locke, one of Charlie’s Angels, Jaclyn Smith, Tuesday Weld. Plus past and future Duke co-stars Michele El Dorado Carey and Jennifer Rio Lobo O’Neill.
- Marianne Faithful, Hamlet, 1969. Succeeding Faye Dunaway in a RichardHarris plan beaten to the soliloquy by Nicol Williamson's great Dane for Tony Richardson.
- Candice Bergen,The Adventurers, 1969. As a Harold Robbins heroine?! And one based on the poor little rich girl, Woolworths heiress Barbara Hutton!!!Andone of her seven husbands, Porfirio Rubirosa. the Dominican diplomat-playboy with a famously massive penis.
- Elizabeth Taylor, The Only Game In Town, 1970. "I’ve had a new experience in my life," yells Liz Taylor as she thumps onveteran director George Stevens’door at the Paris George V hotel at 1.55am. "Thanks to you, I've been fired from a picture." Stevens tries to explain, Sinatra-Taylor fine, Beatty-Taylor no good, for such a fragile little piece - which is exactly what Farrow is. "But what the hell...let's see what happens."Not much.
- Vanessa Redgrave, Mary, Queen of Scots, 1971. Following, Mick Jagger's Performance, producer Sandy Lieberson's second UK film should have been Alexander Mackendrick directing Queen Mia and King Oliver Reed. Universal's musical excecutive chairs cancelled all that. Genevieve Bujold was not keen on another executed 16th Century royal, having already been beheaded as Henry VIII’s second wife, Ann Boleyn, in A Thousand Days for the same Hollywood producer, Hal Wallis. He next looked over Farrow, Jane Fonda, Sophia Loren(!) Maggie Smith. Redgrave (first booked for Elizabeth I) was sixth choice.
- Diane Keaton, The Godfather, 1971.
- Goldie Hawn, Butterflies Are Free, 1972. Original notion: Mia and the play's Broadway star, Keir Dullea.
- Charlotte Rampling, Il portiere di notte/The Night Porter, Italy, 1974. Italian director Liliana Cavani's first thought for the former concentration camp victim who suddenly meets again - and loves - her old SS captor.Dirk Bogarde and Mia would have looked like her Sinatra marriage. Paedophiliac.
- Mireille Darc Les seins de glac (UK: Someone Is Bleeding), France-Italy, 1974. Paris réalisateur Jean-Pierre Mocky always aimed high... He wanted Alain Delon and Farrow. When, Mia proved unavailable, Delon and Jane Birkin. No way, said Delon, it must be with his lover of the hour, Darc. Never, yelled Mocky, he’d play the role opposite Birkin! Ah, but Delon circumvented Mocky, got the rights somehow and produced the Richard Matheson thriller himself. And yes, Delon’s co-star was Darc, bien sur!
- Cybill Shepherd, Taxi Driver, 1975.
- Jenny Agutter, The Eagle Has Landed, 1976. A nothing role - the English country girl besotted with creepy Irtsh spy Richard Harris - slowing up an otherwise decent war thriller.
- Susan Sarandon, Pretty Baby, 1977. The rôle was horrendous - a prostitute allowing her 12-year-old daughter’s virginity to be auctioned off in a brothel in the red-light Storyville district of New Orleans, circa 1917. Elegant French director Louis Malle saw 28 possible little Violets - and another 15 actresses for her mother: Farrow, Candice Bergen, Cher, Glenn Close (passed), Farrah Fawcett (passed), Jane Fonda (with Jodie Foster as her daughter), Goldie Hawn (prefered Foul Play), Anjelica Huston, Diane Keaton, Liza Minnelli, Cybil Shepherd, Sissy Spacek, Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver. Malle and Sarandon became lovers and also made Atlantic City together in 1980… the year he married Bergen until his 1995 death.
- Kathleen Quinlan, I Never Promised You A Rose Garden, 1977. At one time in it’s chequered history,French realisateur Claude Chabrolwas due to make the film with Farrow.She had made his Docteur Popaul in 1972.
- Karl Johnson, The Tempest, 1979. For his 1975 plan about the exiled Milanese Duke Prospero, UK director Michael Powell obtained Mia as Ariel, a mischievous spirit (usually male) and reluctant slave of Prospero - due to be James Mason. Farrow’s then husband, Andre Previn, was due to supply the score. None of it happened! And that was the end of Powell’s 25 years trying to film the Shakespeare play. According to Dominic Nolan in The Greatest Movies You’ll Never See book, Derek Jarman felt he’d inherited Powell’s obsession. Hah! He made it a (typically) homoerotic job of it in 1979. With Arial (obviously) as a man again. But “in a white jump suit and white makeup,” scorned New York Times critic Vincent Canby, “as if he were on his way to a mime performance.”
- Liza Minnelli, Arthur, 1980. Arthur went from John Belushi and Bud Cort to Michael Palin and John Travolta as thoughts for his ideal woman Linda Marolla includedMia, Goldie Hawn, Barbara Hershey, Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, Susan Sarandon, Cybill Shepherd, Meryl Streep and Tuesday Weld - in the throes of divorcing the titularDudley Moore.
- Linda Hamilton, The Terminator, 1983. In all, 52 actresses were considered, seen, or tested for Sarah Connor.James Cameron created her for Bridget Fonda. She passed; so did Tatum O’Neal. Hedecided to go older…Glenn Close won - her schedule didn’t agree. OK, Kate Capshaw! No,she was tied toIndiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - just as Kathleen Turner was Romancing The Stone. Debra Winger won her audition, said yes… then no. The other46 ladies were: Momma Mia, Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Christy Brinkley, Colleen Camp, Jamie Lee Curtis, Geena Davis, Carrie Fisher, Jodie Foster, Teri Garr, Jennifer Grey, Melanie Griffith, Darryl Hannah, Goldie Hawn, Barbara Hershey, Angelica Huston, Amy Irving, Diane Keaton,Margot Kidder, Diane Lane, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kay Lenz, Heather Locklear, Lori Loughlin, Kelly McGillis, Kristy McNichol, Madonna, Liza Minnelli, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhea Perlman(!), Michelle Pfeiffer, Gilda Radner(!), Deborah Raffin, Miranda Richardson, Meg Ryan, Susan Sarandon, Jane Seymour, Ally Sheedy, Cybill Shepherd, Brooke Shields, Sissy Spacek, Sharon Stone, Sigourney Weaver. Most were in contention again a few years later for Fatal Attraction (won by Close) and The Accused (going to Foster and McGillis). Ten years later (after T2), Linda gave birth to Cameron’s daughter and Josephine’s parents wed in 1997… for two years.
- Gena Rowlands, Another Woman, 1987. Being pregnant with Woody Allen’s only biological child meant Mia had to swop roles with Gena for his best slice of Bergmania - achieving his dream of working with his idol Ingmar Bergman’s brilliant cinematographer Sven Nykvist.
- Glenn Close, Fatal Attraction, 1987.
- Kelly McGillis, The Accused, 1988. Paramount suits saw 40 young actresses for the (real life) gang rape victim.Or,their own rape bait fantasies… such as 16-year-old Alyssa Milano! And a further 28 for her defence attorney. Including the Fatal Attraction also-rans (from Farrow to Debra Winger, by way of Diane Keaton and, naturally, Meryl Streep) plus Blythe Danner, Sally Field, Terri Garr, Mary Gross, Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver, Dianne Wiest. A 1982 rape victim herself, McGillis refused Jodie Foster’s Oscar-winning role - but asked to play her lawyer.
- Geena Davis, Thelma & Louise, 1990.
- Diane Keaton,Manhattan Murder Mystery, 1993.
“I’m sorry not to be in your next film.” Of course she was. Reportedly, she still turned up for work on the first day. Of course, she did! Woody Allen had single-handedly rescued Farrow’s career. No other US actress had such an important auteur in her thrall, resulting in 13 successive movies during their 1980-1992 romance. However, now she uncovered naked polaroids of her adopted daughter at Woody’s place… "It's War!" screamed New York tabloids as the affair of Mia and Woody exploded in mud-slinging following her woman-scorned discovery that he was having an affair with her daughter, Soon-Yi Previn. Or as Republican senator Newt Gingrich put it: "Woody Allen is not having incest with his non-daughter for whom he has been a non-father because they have a non-family." As if his affair was not bad enough, Mia started making outlandish spurned-woman suggestions, losing all credibility with the public, media and Diane Keaton rushed to the film's rescue - in a praiseworthy solidarity. And only correct in that the film is based onis the hour murder mystery section cut from their greatest partnership, Annie Hall, 1977. “It was crazy,” said Keaton. “Outside, the Press circled Woody’s trailer. A day didn’t go by without microphones in his face. Inside it felt like Annie Hall days, only looser, if that was possible. Entire scenes were completed in one take. We were in make-up at 7am and wrapped at 2.30pm,I couldn’t believe how easy it was. As for Woody, he never brought up his personal problems while working.”
- Kate Nelligan, Wolf, 1994. Just not the right time to book Mia - as she began to trash Woody Allen; even accusing him of sexually molesting their youngest infant. She quit as she didn't want to be any problem for director Mike Nichols, who had fought the studio for her.
- Natasha Richardson, Widows’ Peak, 1994. She took over the role penned by Hugh Leonard for her mother, Maureen O'Sullivan, and Natasha took the role created for Mia.
- Helena Bonham Carter, Mighty Aphropdite, 1994. A 14th film together? Even after the angst o fLa Scandale, Woody Allen could think of no one better than Mia to play his wife, Amanda, who wanted to do what Mia did: adopt lots of babies. Woody’s incredulous casting director Juliet Taylor shouted: “What are you - nuts?”
- Isabella Rossellini, Heights, 2004. Fortunately, stage work cancelled Farrow’s availability to play… a Vanity Fair editor!!
- Diane Wiest, Dedication, 2007. A late change of parents for children’s book illustrator Mandy Moore as Mia and Bob Balaban churned into Dianne and Tom Wilkinson.