- Frédéric Andréi, Diva, France, 1980. For his first feature’s hero, Jean-Jacques Beineix wanted an unknown. (That way the director garners all the praise). Dominique Besnehard, soon to be Europe’s #1 casting director, suggested Christophe(r) Lambert (a friend for life), Anconina (not so much: “too insistent, too much pressure”). Lambert was too old (but fine for Luc Besson’s Subway). And Besnehard gave him good advice. “Stop hiding behind your glasses Show yourself. Don’t be afraid of showing your face.” The also-rans were: Richard Berry, Jean-Paul Comart (ex-Connart), Tchéky Karyo, Christophe Malavoy (“couldn’t take my eyes off him,” when studying together at La Rue Blanche drama school),” cartoonist Sempé’s son, Nicolas, and future singing star Florent Pagny.
- Jean-Paul Comart, La Balance, France, 1982. When Christopher was still Christophe. Le role? Le Belge.
- François Cluzet, 'Round Midnight, France, 1986. "Warners suggested Christophe," admits Bertrand Tavernier."But I wanted somebody more fragile... If you saw Christophe listening to the jazz under the rain in an alley, you'd know that intwo or three scenes he'll get out of that situation. François, being so short, had great difficulty bringing Dexter Gordon home!" Tavernier found Cluzet in the TV series, Julien Fontanes, by one ofhis usual scenarists, Jean Cosmos.
- Serge Gainsbourg, Charlotte For Ever, France, 1986. A French music legend, Gainsbourg (composer, provocateur, singer, actor), was directing his third and penultimate flop. He asked Lambert to playh father of his daughter, Charlotte Gainsbourg - before deciding he was better suited to the real-life rôle. Lambert was too young, almost too handsome, for Stan. Gainsbourg was better. He could, after all, only play himself. This second Serge-Charlotte screen-meeting followed their 1985 scandalous video-clip for their his-for-her-song, Lemon Incest - and interested 30,000 people at most
- Burt Reynolds, Malone, 1987. "Too tired" after Highlander for the French script - rejected by everyone from Gérard Depardieu to Alain Delon and translated into another flop for good ole Burt.
- Timothy Dalton, The Living Daylights, 1987.
- Jean-Marc Barr, Le grand bleu, France, 1988. Luc Besson's logical first choice: the star of his first hit, Subway. They liked each other and Besson felt Lambert had a wordly side that suited the deep-sea diving champ. Lambert felt he'd played the role, "man torn between nature and civilisation," in Greystoke. "He was," said Besson, "more lucid than I and refused. The whole thing frightened him somewhat. And he was, for that reason, right to say no."
- Richard Gere, Pretty Woman, 1989.
- Craig Sheffer, Nightbreed, 1990. Lambert and Rutger Hauer were considered for the role of in the film of the Cabal book by Clive Barker - who also writer-directed
- Jean-Marc Barr, Le brasier, France, 1991. Still more lucid than the (debuting) director, Lambert probably saw the obvious flop of Eric Barbier's use of style over content. It was nine years before Barbier made a second film.
- Val Kilmer, The Doors, 1991. Unbelievable but there he was, among the many suggestions to play Jim Morrison - until writer-director Olvier Stone made (some) sense of the biopic.
- Eric Stoltz, Money, France-Canada, 1991. Steven H Stern announced him as the hero of Paul-Loup Suiltzer's best-seller due for shooting in January 1986. Took a smidgen longer.
Vincent Perez, Cyrano de Bergerac, France, 1990. Realisateur Jean-Paul Rappenau talked with him. For Roxanne's fancyman, Christian de Neuvillette.
- Adrian Paul, Highlander, TV, 1992-1998. Yes, there should be a series, said Lambert, but not with me in it, merci – find another MacLeod! And they did. Checvking thropugh Gary Daniels, Geraint Wyn Davies, Anthony De Longis, Alexis Denisof, Alistair Duncan, James Horan, Marc Singer - before Lambert’s Connor MacLeod (just for the pilot, is that understood?) passed the torch to the Conneryesque igPaul as Duncan MacLeod…
- Patrick Catalifo, Dien Bien Phu, France, 1992. Realisateur Pierre Schoendoerffer's documentaryish view of how the Vietminh beat the French over 57 days in the battle of Dien Bien Phu that America refused to learn from...
- Keanu Reeves, Johnny Mnemonic, 1994. First film of William Gibson's cyberpunk novel.
- Alain Chabat, Gazon maudit (US: French Twist), France, 1994. Exactly what his fast fading schmaction career required - a quirky comedy. When he pulled out of being Victoria Abril’s womanising husband (cause of her lesbian affair with a butch Josiane Balasko auteur of the piece). his timing could not have been worse. His good friend, casting icon Dominique Besnehard, had just seen how good TV comic Chabat was in A la folie and recommended him to Balasko Parfait! (Title? Slang for female pubic hair). Balasko and Lambert linked up the following year in Arlette.
- Tom Hulce, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, 1994. The Frenchman was in actor-director Kenneth Branagh’s titular take as Henry Clerval. Not. For. Long.
- Lothaire Bluteau, Nostromo, TV, 1997. In talks with UK director David Lean before the legend died. And. Lean's legacy became a 309 minute tele-mini
- James Remar, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, 1997. The only name in the $20m debut of the franchise based on the video game, Lambert was keen to reprise Lord Rayden but dates clashed with his Beowulf film. He was then due to return in the next chapter, when Mortal Kombat: Devastation was killed by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
- Jean Reno, Ronin, 1998. Difficultr to find a French actor able to hold his own against the Robert De Niro in the Paris thriller. Just why director John Frankenheimer felt Lambert was right has never been explained. Anyway, the Frenchman was not seduced by the script. De Niro suggested Reno, who was more impressed by De Niro than the tale of a Dirty Dozen-cum-Mission: Impossible bunch of ex-secret agents working as ronin – independent samurai, without a master.
- Tony Goldwyn,Joshua, 2002. "Sometimes you have to tear something down in order to build it back up." The Second Coming has come to Smalltown USA.Or not.
- Georges Corraface, La Bicyclette bleue, TV, France, 2000. The Régine Deforgesnovel was snapped up for a late 80s’ film - with Isabelle Adjani and Lambert as (well) Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler, as the book was much, er, influenced by GWTW.An ensuing rights battle was solved in time for the mini-series.
- Richard Berry, Corto Maltese, France 2002. Hugo Pratt, creator of the comicbook hero, insisted Lambert play the sailor-adventurer. However, directorXavier Durring’s adaptation dissipated into a tame and torpidanimation number by Pascal Morelli, with Corto voiced by Berry.
- James Purefoy, Solomon Kane, 2008. “It’s a very compelling part… ” Seven years earlier, it was M’sieur Highlander being offered another of Conan-creator Robert E Howard’s heroes - a ruthless mercenary turning Puritan adventurer wandering around Europe and Asia in Tudor times.