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Alyssa Milano


  1. 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!

  2. Juliette Lewis, Cape Fear, 1991.    Tony Danza, her TV series co-star,  warned her off again... Alyssa was hardly youngest at 19 among the many - the very many. considered for the teen daughter of Nick Nolte and Jessica Lange: Christina Applegate, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Shannen Doherty, Nicole Eggeret, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Helen Hunt, Nicole Kidman, Diane Lane, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Demi Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker, Molly Ringwald, Meg Ryan, Winona Ryder, Brooke Shields, Tiffani Thiessen, Reese Witherspoon. Few could have equalled the on-heat musk of Juliette’s totally improvised - and one take - seduction scene with Robert De Niro.
  3. Lara Flynn Boyle, Where The Day Takes You, 1991.   The Who’s The Boss kid gave a lively audition but the producers were “reluctant” to hire an ex-child star. She was compensated with a smaller role of Kimmy.
  4. Kristy Swanson, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, 1992.    Television's  saccharine sweetest  daughter was scenarist Joss Whedon’s first idea for Buffy. Then, he was so miffed at what befell to his “vision,” that he walked out. And proved himself right five years later by writer-producing his hugely successful TV series version of Buffy (based on his unused script, not the film), which ran seven seasons.
  5. Sandra Bullock, Speed, 1993.    Although sharing the heroics and the driving of the bus-bomb with Keanu Reeves, most girls saw it as The Guy’s film. An amazing 36 refused to be Annie… Couldn’t have worked with Alyssa. Like what was the most famous New York adolescent of the hour (from TV’s Who’s The Boss? since 1984) doing on a bus on California's Interstate 105 and Interstate 110…?
  6. Shannen Doherty, Mallrats, 1995.    “Sharon was the best person who came in,” reported New Jersey auteur Kevin Smith, “and we saw a lot of people.” Including Alyssa, who later made the Charmed series with Doherty. By the time Smith made Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, 2001, he booked Doherty to play herself.
  7. Bonnie Hunt, Jerry Maguire, 1996.  Once Tom Hanks passed and Tom Cruise breathed a sigh of relief, auteurCameron Crowe started searching for the girls: Dorothy Boyd (“You had me at Hello…”) and her older sister. The Avery candidates included Milano,  Jennifer Connelly, Diane Lane,  Meg Ryan and - oh, no! - Tori Spelling!! Fortunately,  she was tied up with her  (well, her father Aaron Spelling’s) series, Beverly Hills 90210, 1990-2000. Hunt said the hardest part of the role was being someone who did not like Tom Cruise… even after he admitted he had no memory of her being in Rain Manwith him!
  8. Kirsten Dunst, The Virgin Suicides, 1998. For her first feature, Sofia Coppola considered Milano for Sara Lisbon. However, her Charmed TV schedule clashed.
  9. Lucy Liu, Charlie’s Angels, 2000.    She was in an early trio with Milla Jovovich and Julia Roberts.
  10. Anne Hathaway, The Princess Diaries, 2001.    Among 22 youngstars (Jessica Alba to Reese Witherspoon) rejecting the awkward San Francisco teenager being groomed (by Julie Andrews!) to inherit the Genovia throne.  By now, Milano had moved from #28 on VH1's list of The 100 Greatest Child Actors of All Time and #30 among The 100 Greatest Teen Stars to #4 in FHM magazine’s 100 Sexiest Women!
  11. Diane Lane, Unfaithful, 2001.   After Meg Ryan passed, Milano was chosen for the US take on Madame Bovary - but stuck in her Charmed series, 1998-2006, UK director Adrian Lyne, who saw six potential husbands and three lovers, went on to check out as many as 13 more cheating wives: Lane, Josie Davis, Kristin Davis, Portia de Rossi, Jodie Foster, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jennifer Lopez, Kyra Sedgwick, Brooke Shields, Tori Spelling, Hilary Swank, Kate Winslet.  
  12. Kirsten Dunst, Spider-Man, 2001.
  13. Nicole Kidman, Bewitched, 2004.   Who wants to play wriggly-nosed Samantha? Me, me, chorused... Jennifer Aniston, Kim Basinger, Cameron Diaz, Heather Graham (who would have been quirkily great), Angelina Jolie, Lisa Kudrow (perfect!), Tatum O'Neal (say what?), Gwyneth Paltrow, Michelle Pfeiffer, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Alicia Silverstone, Hilary Swank, Naomi Watts. Among 35 possibles. Over the years.









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