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Mandy Patinkin


  1. Louis Gosset Jr, An Officer And A Gentleman, 1982.    Now here’s an odd tale…  After every A-lister contacted (Nicholson, included) refused to be the hardass Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley, Mandy Patinkin made a dynamite auditon. “Best reading I’ve ever heard,” said producer Marty Elfand,  Director Taylor Hackford, however, said: “Too ethnic.”  And gave the role (and the support Oscar) to Junior Louis. An African-American. But not, apparently,  ethnic!
  2. Ken Marshall, Marco Polo,TV, 1982.Peter Firth, and Michael Ontkean also pased on the mini-series.Mandy went on into successive hit series Chicago Hope, 1994-200, Dead Like Me, 2003-2004, Criminal Minds, 2005-2007, and Homeland in  2012.
  3. Peter Coyote, Heartbreakers, 1984. Micheal Ontkean had the lead role. And then, he didn’t
  4. Brian Cox, Manhunter, 1985.In Mlchael Mann’s mix for the first Hannibal Lecter… Gene Hackman was almost the second- in Silence of the Lambs in 1990.

  5. Jack Nicholson, Heartburn, 1986. 
    "Entirely my fault," declared stage-screen director Mike Nichols. “Mandy’s an excellent actor but I had the impression that we were not making  the same film.”They weren’t!   Patinkin was a friend of his real character (Watergate journo Carl Bernstein) and was making him more likeable than in the script.  Nichols fired him (with  $500,000) after the first two weeks and called up Nicholson.   “Nick, I need you. What for, Nick?  If you could be in Central Park at 8am tomorrow morning, you’ll save my ass.” And he was. I don’t think he even knew what the movie was,” said production designer Tony Walton (who overheard the call). “Jack’s loyalty is frightening,” said Nichols.“Then comes the bill. And it’s very high. And that's fair.” Patinkin did not have enough humour, said scenarist Nora Ephron (the film was about her marriage to Bernstein), “and he proved unbelievably difficult.” With reason, he says. “From the very first day, Mike was saying: 'Do it like... oh, you know, how Jack Nicholson does that stuff.’ So, he fired me and hired Nicholson. Jack wasn’t very good. To see one of my favourite actors struggling was a great lesson. Wasn’t his fault. It was the fault of the material. But he made his $5m."  (Or more) And so a it was finally: Nicholson and Streep. “It was like meeting Mick Jagger or Bob Dylan,” said Meryl about Jack turning up at her trailer... to use her loo! I started to get wind of how much Mike ahd a crush on Meryl.,” noted producer Robert Greenhut. “ She was married but that didn’t prevent Mike from, at least, trying to hit on  her a bit…[They looked alike;same nose].   As it turns out, Jack sort  of had a crush on Meryl, too.  I think that was magnetic for him.“ (There was a rumoured affair  during  Ironweed in 1987). Meryl reported that Mike asked Nora to write more scenes for Jack, and she told him straight. “This is about the person that got hit by a bus. It’s not about the bus.”  (Nora directed eight of her next  dozen scenarios before her death in 2012).

  6. Robby Benson, Beauty and the Beast, 1990.      Patinkin, Tim Curry, Laurence Fishburne and Val Kilmer made sense as potential voice of The Beast - but Regis Philbin, c’mon! US audiences would have guffawed on recognising the voice of the nation’s most famous breakfast TV show host. Benson won and continued voicing the rôle for the next 23 years in various TV sequels and video-games.
  7. Tom Hulce, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1995.      Hulce (ex-Amadeus) and Patinkin were short-listed for Quasimodo. Two years later, Patinkin played the rôle in the tele-film, The Hunchback - in person, not just a voice.
  8. Antonio Banderas, Evita, 1996.     Director Oliver Stone wanted Broadway's Che Guevara opposite Meryl Streep as Evita - until she quit over money hassles in October1989.







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