- Lorenzo Lamas, Grease, 1977. He read for Tom Chisum and lost it. But director Randal Kleiser and producer Allan Carr felt sorry for him. “So they threw me a bone, which was a day’s work. I’m in two scenes.” Including when John Travolta is trying to impress Olivia Newton-John by playing basketball “and he punches a kid in the stomach… that’s me! It was basically extra work, but I got paid as an actor.”
- Arnold Schwarzennegger, The Terminator, 1984. Money Men objected to the future James Cameron regular. Biehn became future warrior Kyle Reese - after nearly losing it due to a Southern accent he used earlier in a Cat on A Hot Tin Roof audition.
- Robert Patrick, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, 1990. James Cameron dropped his pal to avoid muddling his audience as both Bieh’s and Arnold Schwarzengger were reversing their previous hero/villain roles. The director then considered rockers Billy Idol and Blackie Lawless for the T-1000… before falling for Patrtck’s work in Die Hard 2. The best of the franchise, this is where the series should have terminated. But Hollywood is so greedy.
- Stephen Baldwin, The Usual Suspects, 1994. Biehn had to pass on director Bryan Singer’s invite to be McManus due to the shooting of Jade - with another of Singer’s line-up, Chazz Palminteri.
- Billy Zane, Titanic, 1997.
- Tobey Maguire, Spider-Man, 2001.
- Mark Wahlberg, Wonderland, 2002. When due before cameras in 1998, Biehn was actor-director Nick Vallelonga’s choice to play porno icon John Holmes, when he was involved in the Wonderland Murder Case in LA, July, 1981.
- Darnell Williams, Shadowboxer, 2005. Biehn had to pass on the invitation to join the directing debut of actor-writer Lee Daniels.
- Stephen Lang, Avatar, 2008. After developing the alien-killing Colonel Miles Quaritch with his pal, director James Cameron, Biehn disovered he’d lost the role….from his son. “He goes to school with (producer) Jon Landau’s son and his son told my son he didn’t think I was gonna get it because once Jim cast Sigourney Weaver he kinda felt that by casting me it would remind people too much of Aliens... I have no bad feelings towards Jim. He gave me the script. I gave him my ideas.. I think that he was impressed. I like Stephen a lot. He’s been around for a long time and I was really happy that he got he role if I didn’t get it. Obviously,Jim made the right choice because he always makes the right choice.”
- Anton Yelchin, Terminator Salvation, 2008. Yelchin took over from Biehn as Kyle Reese (the first character to say the signature line: “Come with me if you want to live”) in the first film where Reese and his son, John Connor, appear together.
- Barry Pepper, True Grit, 2010. Lost ‘Lucky’ Ned Pepper to... an even luckier Pepper.
- Dermot Mulroney, The Grey, 2011. How to survive an air crash in the Alaskan wastes... with the help of Liam Neeson.
- Karl Urban, Dredd, 2011. So keen on succeeding Sylvester Stallone in the comicbook reboot, it is said that Biehn even agreed to audition... and lost out to Urban - using an Clint Eastwoodian voice. Well, Judge Dredd was somewhat based on Dirty Harry and lives (in the comics) in Rowdy Yates Block - named after after Clint s 1959-1965 Rawhide cowpuncher.
- Owain Yeoman, ChromeSkull: Laid To Rest 2, 2011. Biehn, one of director James Cameron’s favourite actors, had to pass Detective King to the newest Welshman in LA... already doing yeoman work as another ’tec in The Mentalist series.
- Kevin Costner, Man of Steel, 2011.
- Tom Hardy, Mad Max: Fury Road, 20112. Every tough guy from Mel Gibson himself in 2003 (before discovering The Passion of Christ, anti-Semitism and LA ostracism) to the James Cameron regular Michael Biehn, actor-producer Liam Fountain (aka Mad Max Renegade in his 2011 short), Heath Ledger, Jeremy Renner and Channing Tatum were up and down many a flagpole before creator George Miller won his budget, Hardy wore Mel’s old jacket and Charlize Theron stole the wheelie Western as a Mad Maxine. No way to treat Max Rockatansky (or his fans) after a 30-year hiatus, George!