- Linda Blair, The Exorcist, 1972.
- Jodie Foster, Taxi Driver, 1975.
- Susan Swift, Audrey Rose, 1977. The title role... well Marsha Mason’s daughter, Ivy, who journalist Anthony Hopkins believes is his daughter, Audrey Rose, reincarnated.
- Kristy McNichol, Little Darlings, 1979. Shields was first asked to join Tatum O’Neal as the underage darlings pushed into a summer camp bet about who will lose their cherry first. Despite the sensitivity given to the subject, the film was slashed for US TV to make it seem to be about just making a guy fall in love with them. She only made six other movies; Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft in 2012 was her first for 22 years!
- Jennifer Jason Leigh, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, 1981. Both Brooke and Ellen Barkin passed on all offers to become Stacy Hamilton. Also considered for Cameron Crowe’s classic scenario: Jodie Foster, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kelly Preston, Elizabeth Shue.
- Diane Lane, The Outsiders, 1982. Mal paso. Dumb move. Shieldsrejected an offer from Francis Coppola to play Cherry Valance- and, thereby, Patty in Rumble Fish, 1983, his second consecutivefilm of a novel by the 16-year-old SE Hinton. And for why? To make the appalling Sahara.Owch!
- Michelle Pfeiffer, Scarface, 1982. Succeeding Sidney Lumet as director, Brian De Palma offered Elivra Hancock to Brooke - and her mother said no.Loudly. Also considered: Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Colleen Camp, Glenn Close, Geena Davis, Judy Davis, Carrie Fisher, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kay Lenz, Kelly McGillis,Kristy McNichol, Deborah Raffin, Sharon Stone,Kathleen Turner.
- Daryl Hannah, Splash, 1983. A mermaid?Moi?Non, non, Brooke had a date at Princeton - to study French Literature.
- Linda Ronstadt, The Pirates of Penzance, 1983. Rock star Ronstadt had shaken up Broadway's Gilbert & Sullivan revival.Producer Ed Pressman looked for a similar filip for the film - before reverting to the New York cast.
- 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 toIndiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - just as Kathleen Turner was Romancing The Stone. Debra Winger won her audition, said yes… then no.The other46 ladies were: Brooke, 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, Kelly McGillis, 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, , Sissy Spacek, Sharon Stone, Sigourney Weaver. Most were incontention againa 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.
- Helen Slater, Supergirl, 1984. First choice for Kara aka Linda Lee aka...superflop!It made the least of all the Super-movies: $14m from a $35m budget.
- Ally Sheedy, The Breakfast Club, 1984. For his second film (written in two days!), teenage angst maestro John Hughes aimed high. Too high. He wanted Jodie Foster and Shields as Claire and Allison. At 22, Jodie was no high schooler. Nor Brooke at 19. Nor, one might add, Sheedy… at 23.
- Ally Sheedy, St Elmo’s Fire, 1984. Directors John Hughes and Joel Schumacher were rather like Lucas and Spielberg in the 70s:dipping into the same talent pool. Those Brat Packers Hughes kept in the high school Breakfast Club, Schumacher made, as here, college kids. When Hughes said “Why can’t I make movies like The Lost Boys, Joel?” Schumacher would reply:“Why can’t I make Pretty in Pink?”The answer was different school experiences. Joel’s was “risque and dangerous from a very early age. My father died when I was four, and my mother died at an early age as well. I started drinking at nine, smoking at 10, sexually active at 11....”
- Diane Lane, The Cotton Club, 1984. Francis Coppola was only making the (bad) film to pay off his One From The Heart debts. Shields wasn’t making it at all because of studying French Literature at Princeton U.
- Melanie Griffith, Body Double, 1984. Brian De Palma saw it as his Rear Window-cum-Vertigo (actually, claustrophobia). Variety called it a sexpenser. It started percolating when the director required a nude body double for Angie Dickinson during Dressed To Kill, 1979. His first choice for his main character, porno star Holly Body, was a porno star: Annette Haven. Well, De Palma wanted this to be the first studio movie with real sex. (The studio did not). This might have something to do with Holly being rejected by Jamie Lee Curtis and Linda Hamilton. And Shields preferred to study French Literature at Pinceton.
- Kathleen Turner, Prizzi’s Honour, 1984. “I've been doin' three to four hits a year for the past couple of years, most at full pay…” Director Johnm Huston looked over 11 Charley Partanna potentials, 19 Maerose Przzis, but just five Irene Walkers… and three of them (Shields, Kristy McNichol, Tatum O’Neal) were too young to be falling for Jack Nicholson, hit man for the Prizzi Family and the unlikeliest Mafioso since the Corleones’ James Caan.
- Molly Ringwald, Pretty In Pink, 1985. Although it was obvious that Molly would 17star - following her two previous John Hughes outings - he kept her in line by seeing Shields, Justine Bateman, Jennifer Beals, Jodie Foster, Diane Lane, Lori Loughlin, Tatum O’Neal and Sarah Jessica Parker. Hughes hated his ending (as much as Molly loathed the dress) and rewrote it for another teen triangle, Some Kind of Wonderful, 1986. Ringwald refused to play it again. “I can’t be 16 forever!” Hughes was furious and never worked with her again
- Carrie Fisher, House, 1985. Director Steve Miner asked her to play April in his (literal) horror about a man and his zombies. No way - far too busy studying at Princeton.
- Winona Ryder, Beetlejuice, 1987. Finding Betelgeuse was easier for director Tim Burton than unearthing Lydia. He saw Shields, Justine Batman, Jennifer Connelly, Diane Lane, Juliette Lewis, Lori Loughlin, Sarah Jessica Parker, Molly Ringwald. And fell for Winona. Didn’t we all. She was sweet 17 at the time.
- 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 hang in garound (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 to Jodie Foster . But she also passed - to Michelle Pfeiffer… and she quit for The Witches of Eastwick! More auditions were held for: Brooke, Justine Bateman (her TV series, Family Ties, cancelled that idea!), Melanie Griffith, Andie MacDowell, Tatum O’Neal, Sharon Stone. Columbus refused Kelly McGillis and Valerie Bertinelli lost out to Shue on the final day.
- Jodie Foster, The Accused, 1988.
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 Shields, 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, Kelly LeBrock, Virginia Madsen, Brigitte Nielsen, Tatum O’Neal, Molly Ringwald, Mia Sara, Ally Sheedy, Uma Thurman. Oh, and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, said the suits, was “too nice.” Rape victims shouldn’t be nice? Oh, Hollywood!
Carré Otis, Wild Orchid, 1989. “My only regret." And why? " The script was very nude and I won't be naked in films. So, I refused.” Zalman King had great difficulty finding actresses for his approach to erotica. “I’d never cajole or manipulate anyone into doing something they’re uncomfortable with.” Mickey Rourke and Carré were a couple at the time, fuelling rumours that their sex scenes - “certainly the last one!” - were real. Carré denied all. Well, she would, wouldn't she!
Nicole Kidman, Days of Thunder, 1989. When Robin Wright proved unavailable for Dr Claire Lewicki,a dozen actresses were seen, from Shields to Madonna. Having seen Dead Calm, Tom Cruise voted for Kidman - and then wed her: 1990-2001.
- Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman, 1989.
- Judith Hoag, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 1989. For the first live- action Turtle trot, the innovative director of music videos Steve Barron saw many a potential April O’Neill: Shields, Jennifer Beals, Lorraine Bracco, Sandra Bullock, Melanie Griffith, Anna Kendrick, Nicole Kidman, Marisa Tomei, Sean Young. TMNT legend states the winning Hoag lost the sequels because she had complained so much the violence - and the six-day shooting schedule.
- Juliette Lewis, Cape Fear, 1991. Too old at 26 but mong the many- the very many - Christina Applegate, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Shannen Doherty, Nicole Eggeret, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Helen Hunt, Nicole Kidman, Diane Lane, Jennifer JasonLeigh, Alyssa Milano, Demi Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker,Molly Ringwald, Meg Ryan, Winona Ryder, Tiffani Thiessen, Reese Witherspoon - consideredby Steven Spielberg and, later, Martin Scorsese fortheteen daughter of Nick Nolte and Jessica Lange: Danielle Bowden. (Nicole in the 1962 original). Some found it too sexy and, indeed, Brookecould never have equalled the on-heat musk of Juliette’s totally improvised - and one take - seduction scene with Robert De Niro.
- Jeanne Tripplehorn, Basic Instinct, 1992. The producers couln’t assure her that her part (or Dutch director Paul Verhoeven) would not require nudity. D’oh!
- 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: Brooke, Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Halle Berry, Glenn Close (!), Geena Davis, Cameron Diaz, Carrie Fisher, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Daryl Hannah, Mariska Hargitay, Barbara Hershey, Anjelica Huston, Diane Lane, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kay Lenz, Alyssa Milano, Demi Moore, Tatum O’Neal, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Winona Ryder, Jane Seymour, Ally Sheedy, Meryl Streep (!), Emma Thompson (!), Meg Tilly, Marisa Tomei, Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver and Debra Winger.
- Andie MacDowell, Four Weddings And A Funeral, 1994. Previously known as: True Love and Near Misses, Loitering in Sacred Places, Rolling in the Aisles and Skulking Around. Obviously, Shields (Phoebe Cates, Melanie Griffith, Sarah Jessica Parker, Marisa Tomei, Jeanne Tripplehorn) had no sense of humour. Or not when learning that Andie’s cut of the action came to $2m.
- Nicole Kidman, To Die For, 1994. Most bright sparks agreed this was a role to die for... Including Shields, Patricia Arquette, Jennifer Connelly, Joan Cusack, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Darryl Hannah, Holly Hunter, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tatum O’Neal, Mary-Louise Parker, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Uma Thurman. However, Meg Ryan (passing up $5m) and Debra Winger simply refused… and Kidman persuaded director Gus Van Sant that she was his destiny.
- Ashley Judd, Double Jeopardy, 1999. Libby is framed for her husband’s murder (if he’s really dead) but Shields, Jodie Foster, Michelle Pfeiffer and Meg Ryan all passed. (What? He was Bruce Greenwood. And yes, of course, he wasn’t…).
- Kirsten Dunst , Spider-Man, 2001.
- 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 (perect!), Tatum O'Neal (not so much), Gwyneth Paltropw, Michelle Pfeiffer, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Alicia Silverstone, Hilary Swank, Naomi Watts. Among 35 possibles. Over the years.
- Sarah Jessica Parker, Failure To Launch, 2005. Like Tori Spelling (!) and Reese Witherspoon, Brooke refused to be Paula, the interventionist in Matthew McConnaughey’s life in are-mould(y) of the 2001 French hit, Tanguy... about getting 30-something sons to move outof their parents’ home.
- Katherine Heigl, Knocked Up, , 2007.