- Michelle Pfeiffer, Scarface, 1982. Seen for the glacial Elvira. As were Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Colleen Camp, Glenn Close, Geena Davis, Judy Davis Carrie Fisher, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kay Lenz, Kristy McNichol, Deborah Raffin, Brooke Shields, Sharon Stone,Kathleen Turner.
- 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 to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - just as Kathleen Turner was Romancing The Stone. Debra Winger won her audition, said yes… then no .The other ladies were: Kelly, Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Christy Brinkley, Colleen Camp, Jamie Lee Curtis, Geena Davis, Mia Farrow, 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, Kristy McNichol, Madonna, Liza Minnelli, Mary TylerMoore, 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.
- Tawny Kitaen, Bachelor Party, 1984. After shooting for one week on her second film, producers said she wasn't sexy. “That’s exactly how they put it! I got drunk and was depressed for about a year.” Her leading man, idolising loose women, especially those with good mammaries, was also dropped (Paul Reiser, future TV star of Mad About You). “A really trashy movie, not art in any form .In the long run it probably saved my career.” She would hardly have been considered for Witness if she had made this.
- Madonna, Desperately Seeking Susan, 1985. The Susan desperately seeking a leading lady was Susan Seidleman. She bypassed Kelly McGillis, et al, for the unknown singer with a “an incredible self-assuredness that said: Look at me.”
- Kim Greist, Brazil, 1985. Among the twentysomethings tested by director Terry Gilliam.All so much better than his choice. As he found out.
- Glenn Close, Fatal Attraction, 1986.
- 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, Justine Bateman, Valerie Bertinelli, Phoebe Cates, Jennifer Connelly, 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!
- Meg Tilly, The Two Jakes, 1989.
- Nicole Kidman, Days of Thunder, 1989. When Robin Wright proved unavailable for Dr Claire Lewicki,a dozen actresses were seen, from McGillisto Madonna. Having seen Dead Calm, Tom Cruise voted for Kidman - and then wed her: 1990-2001.
- Catherine O’Hara, Home Alone, 1990. An astonishing 37 stars (Harrison Ford,Jack Nicholson, Jessica Lange, Michelle Pfeiffer, etc) were considered for the forgetful parents - nothing roles in a film written for and duly stolen by the stranded kid, Macauley Culkin.
- Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman, 1989.
- Amanda Donohoe, The Rainbow, 1989. UK director Ken Russell's US backers wanted US names for the Women In Love prequel. He got same answers from them all. The role was too small. Or, like, anyway, too nude.
- Ellen Barkin, Switch, 1990. Tested by writer-director Blake Edwards for the gender-bending male chauvinist who goes to sleep and wakes up as a woman… She proved far too feminine. Pregnant.
- Susan Sarandon, Thelma & Louise, 1990.
- Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct, 1991.
- Laura Dern, Jurassic Park, 1992.