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Julia Louis-Dreyfus

  1. Daryl Hannah, Splash, 1983.    A mermaid? Moi?
  2. Tawny Kitaen, Bachelor Party, 1984.      Back then, Julia was only known, and barely, from a few Saturday Night Live shots - and Fridays, with Larry David and Michael Richards...   six years away from the start of their abiding glory:  Seinfeld, TV, 1990-1998.
  3. Elisabeth Shue, Adventures in Babysitting, 1986.     For his directing debut, Gremlins writer Chris Columbus saw just about every gal in town for the explosive night of babysitter Chris Parker: a project hangingaround (with Jane Fonda) since the 60s. Twenty years on, Jane’s niece, Bridget Fonda, was booked. Kathleen Turner was the next “first choice.” Louis-Dreyfuss auditioned - and passed toJodie Foster.. But she also passed - toMichelle Pfeiffer… and she quit for The Witches of Eastwick! More auditions were held for: Justine Bateman (her TV series, Family Ties, cancelled that idea!), Melanie Griffith, Andie MacDowell, Tatum O’Neal, Brooke Shields, Sharon Stone. Columbus refused Kelly McGillis and Valerie Bertinelli lost out to Shue on the final day.
  4. Glenn Close, Fatal Attraction, 1986.

  5. Jodie Foster, The Accused, 1988.     
    An 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: Rosanna Arquette, Ellen Barkin, Kim Basinger, Jennifer Beals, Jennifer Grey, Melanie Griffith, Linda Hamilton, 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, 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. Crystal Bernard, Wings, TV, 1990-1997.   Marcia Cross, Lisa Darr, Gina Gershon, Peri Gilpin, Marcia Gay Harden, Megan Mullally, Julianne Moore, Rita Wilson also auditioned for Helen… who finally wed  Tim Daly’s Joe  at the end of the sixth season.
  7. Sharon Stone, Basic  Instinct, 1991. 
  8. Uma Thurman, Pulp Fiction, 1993.
  9. Lolita Davidovich, Stranger Things, 1995.    The director obviously asked for her - he was her Seinfeld co-star Jason Alexander. However, with a young son to look after, “Little Yum-Yum” had no time during her month's hiatus for this or for...
  10. Glenne Headley, Mr Holland's Opus, 1995. Would have been Dreyfus and Dreyfuss (Richard)
  11. Mary McCormack, Private Parts, 1997.     Asked to be shock-jock Howard's wife, she said she craved more time with her, now, two sons.  Hah!  More like she'd read the script.
  12. Teri Hatcher, Desperate Housewives, TV, 2004-2008.    Creator Marc Cherry insisted on auditions for every role. But his A List choices for Susan Mayer - Julia, Calista Flockhart, Mary-Louise Parkert - refused such readings. (Felicity Huffman also refused until her agents persuaded her - and then Cherry made her Lynette).  In 2006, Julia started winning Emmy awards galore for her own hit series. Two of them: The New Adventures of Old Christine, 2006-2010, and The Veep, 2012-2016.








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