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Linda Hamilton

 

  1. Elizabeth McGovern, Once Upon a Time in America, 1982.   Italian maestro Sergio Leoneclaimed he interviewed “over 3,000 actors,” taping 500 auditions for the 110 speaking roles in his New York gangster epic.  He certainly saw 33 girls for Deborah Gelly Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Jennifer Beals, Linda Blair, Glenn Close, Jamie Lee Curtis, Geena Davis, Farrah Fawcett, Carrie Fisher, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Linda Hamilton, Daryl Hannah, Goldie Hawn, Mariel Hemingway, Diane Lane, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Heather Locklear, Kristy McNIchol, Liza Minnelli, Tatum O’Neal, Michelle Pfeiffewr, Meg Ryan, Susan Sarandon, Cybill Shepherd, Sissy Spacek, Meryl Streep, Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver, Debra Winger. Plus Brooke Shields as the younger version. Deborah was 15 in the first script; McGovern was 20.
  2. Melanie Griffith, Body Double, 1984.   Brian De Palma saw it as his Rear Window-cum-Vertigo (actually, claustrophobia). Variety called it a sexpenser. It started percolating when the director required a nude body double for Angie Dickinson during Dressed To Kill, 1979. His first choice for his main character, porno star Holly Body, was a porno star: Annette Haven. Well, De Palma wanted this to be the first studio movie with real sex. (The studio did not). This might have had something to do with Holly being rejected by Jamie Lee Curtis, Brooke Shields. And Hamilton had just won The Terminator… where Arnold Schwarzenegger was naked, not her!
  3. Geena Davis, The Fly, 1986.   “Be afraid, be very afraid!”   First choice of Canadian director David Cronenberg’s for Victoria Quaife was Hamilton because of her performance in The Terminator, 1983. But she was disturbed by the script, particularly where Veropnica gives birth to a maggot baby. The producers (Mel Brooks included) preferred an unknown. “I think I can help you there,” said their star, Jeff Goldblum, introducing them to his then lover. And, said Cronenberg: “Nobody else even came close.”
  4. Glenn Close, Fatal Attraction, 1986.

  5. Jodie Foster, The Accused, 1988.     
    Awful thing to say. Except it is true. Jodie Foster would never have won her (first) Oscar for this trenchant drama - if actress Kelly McGillis had not been raped in 1982… At first, the role of the rape victim Sarah Tobias was written for Andie MacDowell. She passed. The Paramount suits then saw 34 other young actresses for the (real life) victim. Or, for their own rape bait fantasies - including 16-year-old Alyssa Milano! Foster was refused a test because she was “not sexy enough”! And, anyway, the studio had decided upon McGillis, a high flyer in  Paramount’s Witness and Top Gun. And, naturally, she refused point-blank! She knew what it was to be brutally raped and Kelly had no wish to revisit the horror and agony of her own assault six years earlier. The suits were annoyed. They needed her. She was hot at the box-office, their box-office. They had made her a star!! Eventually, McGillis agreed to play Sarah’s defence attorney - on condition that unsexy Jodie played Sarah! The suits caved, tested Foster and the rest is Oscar history… So is the huge list of talent also seen for Sarah.   Starting with the Fatal Attraction also-rans: Hamilton, Rosanna Arquette, Ellen Barkin, Kim Basinger, Jennifer Beals, Jennifer Grey, Melanie Griffith, Darryl Hannah, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Diane Keaton, Demi Moore, Kelly Preston, Meg Ryan, Jane Seymour, Sharon Stone, Meryl Streep, Debra Winger.   And moving on to the younger Melissa Sue Anderson (trying to break her Little House on the Prairie image), Justine Bateman, Valerie Bertinelli, Phoebe Cates, Jennifer Connelly, Joan Cusack, Judy Davis, Kristin Davis, Bridget Fonda, Annabeth Gish, Mariel Hemingway, Kelly LeBrock, Virginia Madsen, Brigitte Nielsen, Tatum O’Neal, Molly Ringwald, Mia Sara, Ally Sheedy, Brooke Shields, Uma Thurman.  Oh, and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, said the suits, was “too nice.” Rape victims shouldn’t be nice? Oh, Hollywood!

  6. 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 Bunchfor seven 1981 chapters.
  7. Kelly Lynch, Curly Sue, 1990.    Kirstie Alley, Geena Davis, Laura Dern, Linda Hamilton (off shooting Terminator 2) , Goldie Hawn, Sigourney Weaver also suggested for  the cynical Chicago lawyer missed up with a Paper Moon IIact: James Belushi and  young Alisan Porter.   Critic Roger Ebert fell for John Hughes’ final film  - “could have been written by Damon Runyon, illustrated by Norman Rockwell and filmed by Frank Capra.”
  8. Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct, 1991.
  9. Demi Moore, A Few Good Men, 1991.     Tough enough for The Terminator - too tough for little Tom Cruise. Among the contenders seen by Rob Reiner. Hamilton was in  the frame with Moore, Helen Hunt and  Elizabeth Perkins.
  10. Laura Dern, Jurassic Park, 1992.    

  11. Kate Mulgrew, Star Trek: Voyager, TV, 1995-2001.    
  12. Gabrielle Anwar, Sub Down, 1996.      Linda quit the submarine thriller with Billy Baldwin to mount Dante's Peak with Pierce Brosnan.
  13. Kathy Bates, Titanic, 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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