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Patsy Kensit

 

  1. Sarah Patterson, The Company of Wolves, 1983.     Tested and lost. Never mind she won the Bardotesque Crepe Suzette in the film of the Colin MacInnes novel, Absolute Beginners, for the same UK producer, Stephen Woolley. The film became so associated with her that she called her 2013 auto-bio, Absolute Beginner.  The quite gorgeous Patterson made just one other movie, Snow White, before disappearing from  the screen until films until two roles for  UK director  Lisa Gornick in 2001 and 2006. 
  2. Robin Wright (Penn), The Princess Bride, 1986.     Director Rob Reiner thumbed through a veritable little black book of Hollywood’s new  young hotties! Kensit, Suzy Amis, Valerie Bertinelli, Yasmine Bleeth, Phoebe Cates, Courteney Cox, Kim Delaney, Rebecca de Mornay, Cathryn de Prume, Sherilyn Fenn, Jennifer Grey, Anne Heche, Marg Helgenberger, Lauren Holly, Juliette Lewis, Carey Lowell, Kelly Lynch, Virginia Madsen, Mary Stuart Masterson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alexandra Paul, Amanda Pays, Mia Sara, Greta Scacchi, Annabella Sciorra, Kyra Sedgwick, Tori Spelling, Catherine Mary Stewart, Brenda Strong, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Uma Thurman, Meg Tilly, Charlene Tilton, Nancy Travis, Amy Yasbeck, Sean Young.
  3.  Mary Stuart Masterson, Some Kind of Wonderful,  1986.      Absolute Beginners led to  a new series of LA meets  - John Hughes, Rob Reiner, etc. Hughes wanted her as the tomboy Watts. It was all champers in the flight but when  they landed at JFK, her agent – Steve Dagger, manager of Spandau Ballet and her group, Eighth Wonder - got a call.  The deal was already off! “The studio just didn’t want to risk the incredibly successful Hughes franchise by chucking an English person into the mix.  Hughes wanted to rewrite the script to make me an exchange student, but the studio wouldn’t buy it.”
  4. Jerry Hall, Batman, 1988.

  5. Kate Hardie, The Krays, 1989.
    London’s notorious gangster twins were being played by her manager’s more successful clients, Martin and Gary Kemp of the Spandau Ballet band.  To her surprise, Reg Kray, himself, wanted her to play his wife. He knew better than anyone who should play her, he told her from jail, and he’d do  all he could to arrange it“It was like getting a letter from   Al Capone.”  (Except the Krays knew her since her father, James Henry Kensit, had been  associated with them in the East End). She was offered the role “but felt too close to home for me at that point.  My mum was still alive and she struggled with the idea of people finding out what my dad did…  We couldn’t keep a lid on it for much longer and stories started to appear in the tabloids about my dad and his associationn with the Krays.”

  6. Meg Tilly, The Two Jakes, 1989.     Another LA trip  and more meetings.  Such as going to Jack Nicholson’s Mulholland Drive house - “real Picassos on the wall” -  for a good hour. But no role.   “It was an incredible experience and he was a really interesting guy.” Then, casting director Marion Dougherty called about…   Lethal Weapon 2 with Mel Gibson.
  7. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, 1990.    Kensit, Elizabeth Hurley, Nicole Kidman, Amanda Pays, Joely Richardson, Ally Sheedy were in the Sherwood mix for Maid Marian  - won by an an Italo-American! Well, two French stars, Sophie Marceau and Mathilda May, had also been seen.
  8. Gabrielle Anwar, The Concierge, 1992.     Columbia asked her to be Michael J Fox’s leading lady. “They thought we’d make a really cute couple, and at 5ft 2 ins there was no danger of me towering over him!” Fine, except she was four months pregnant, with her first child with Jim Kerr of Simple Minds. “My bump wasn’t showing at all but I didn’t feel comfortable about lying. In the end, the studio couldn’t get me insured, so they withdrew their offer.” She still managed to make Henry James’ Turn of the Screw before James was born..
  9. Demi Moore, Indecent Proposal,  1992.     Back in LA and reading for the wife being propositioned - $1m for for just one night with zillionaire Robert Redford.  “The casting process went on for ages!” At the time she had just joined the Gersh after quitting William Morris, where her ex-agent rasped: “I know everyone in Hollywood and as hard as I’ve worked for you, I’m going to work just as hard to ruin it for you.”  An idle threat, she thought… Except when arriving for her test, she was told: “Your agent canceled… saying you were sick.”  She was mortified - “such an underhand thing to do!” The UK director Adrian Lyne knew her as a tot in a Bird’s Eye commercial in London and slipped her into his schedule.  She found the test was easy - mainly about weeping!  Lyne gave her a compliment: “You’ve turned into a good little actress.”   Just not for this part.   
  10. Lysette Anthony, Husbands and Wives, 1992.    Woody Allen’s biggest ever  opener - due to la scandale.  Patsy played that  in Love and Betrayal: The Mia Farrow Story, TV, 1995.  . At five, she had been Mia’s daughter in The Great Gatsby, 1974.

  11. Moira Kelly, Chaplin, 1992.     As Oona O’Neill, Charlie’s fourth and last wife (1943-1977).
  12. Uma Thurman, Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, 1992.       Well out of the mess made by Drugstore Cowboy maker Gus Van Sant.
  13. Cameron Diaz, The Mask, 1993.     Among a batch of LA offers… “Nothing came of any of them and work-wise, 1993 was an incredibly frustrating year. As if the William Morris agency made good on his threat. (He  did later apologise to her).
  14. Catherine Russell, Clockwork Mice, 1994.     Last minute change of Polly in  director Vadim Jean’s drama.
  15. Kate Mulgrew, Star Trek: Voyager, TV, 1995-2001.   

  16. Helen Baxendale, Friends,  TV, 1998-1999.
    She went through the motions during  her next LA trip.  Even when asked to marry Ross Eustace Geller in London in a 14 episode skein on “the Holy  Grail in the TV world at the time.”  The producders  were fans of Absolute Beginners and Lethal  Weapon.  “Everyone on the show was absolutely lovely and the actors were so good - so polished and sleek.” However, her heart, her mind were elsewhere: back in London with her two lads. (Lennon had now arrived, following her  (third) marriage to  Liam Gallagher of Oasis). She pulled out, feeling too fragile and afraid.     “No one forced me..  I was madly in love with Liam and I chose my marriage over the job.”  Her agents were not happy. Even  less so when, on returning home, she did two  and a half years as  the award-winning  bitchy blonde man-eater Sadie King on Emmerdale… followed by the BBC’s Holby City for four years! The role of Emily Waltham opposite David Schwimmer helped Baxendale into headlining PD James’ Unsuitable Job For A Woman series, 1997-2001, and the comedy series, Cold Feet,  1997-2003.

  17. Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth, 1998.   A surprise idea. But then  again,  so was French soccer icon Eric Cantona making his English-language acting debut.
  18. Kate Beckinsale, Pearl Harbor, 2001.   Charlize Theron also refused.
  19. Renée  Zellweger, Chicago, 2002.
  20. Tracy-Ann Oberman, EastEnders, TV, 2004-2005.     Seen (with Cheryl Baker and Joanna Lumley) for Chrissie Watts, the manipulative wife of the Vic’s pub landlord, Dirty Den. She killed him in the he killed her husband in the  20th anniversary episode of the iconic BBC soap -  seen by 14.34m viewers.  Kensit went into two other UK soaps, Emmerdale Farm, 2004-06, and Holby City, 2007-2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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