- Julia Ormond, Sabrina, 1995. Even before the bad casting, director Sydney Pollack's totally unnecessary re-make was already a gross error of judgement. He tested Juliette Binoche and dancer Darcy Bissell and considered Zeta-Jones, Sandra Bullock, Julie Delpy, Cameron Diaz, Demi Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robin Wright. All better suited than Ormond. So it blows.
- Jennifer Lopez, Money Train, 1996. With her long black hair, Hollywood only thought of Latino roles for the Welsh beauty, which is how Catherine found herself in the last three with Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez!
- Heather Graham, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, 1998. The Welsh beauty was on the short list - with Graham. And winning Felicity Shagwell, said Graham, saved her from a soft-porn career. Not having had a decent offer since Boogie Nights, 1997 (a film about porno), she was close to signing for a lesbian sex-film. She later bought a DVD of the movie; her comments were not recorded. This second Austin Powers title was difficult to translate (politely) abroad. Hence: The Spy Who Treated Me Nicely (Singapore), …Who Groped Me (Croatia), …Who Liked Me A Lot (China) and in Norwway it was The Spy Who Ejaculated On Me.
- Sophie Marceau, The World Is Not Enough,1999.
- Francesca Hunt, The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne, TV, 2000. Two Kates (Beckinsale and Catherine Zeta-Jones) were in the mix for Phileas Fogg’s butt-kicking cousin, Rebecca, in the 22-chapter series inspired by an alternate draft of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. Created by Gavin Scott as a second coming of his Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, the stories feature such figures as George Custer, D’Artagnan, Alexandre Dumas, Thomas Edison, Jesse James, Abraham Lincoln, George Quantrill and Queen Victoria.
- Nicole Kidman, Moulin Rouge, 2001. Australian directing wiz Baz Luhrmann tested Catherine, Nicole Kidman, Renée Zellweger for Satine. Catherine really wanted it, Nicole got it. “They didn't have to be big singers,” Baz explained, “but they had to be able to move you emotionally. Basically, Ewan [McGregor] and Nicole were the best for the job. That's the bottom line of it.” Catherine and Renée then got Chicago. A hot trio! Catherine and Nicole collected Oscars on the same night in 2003. One year later, Renée got hers for co-starring with Kidman in Cold Mountain, 2003.
- Renée Zellweger, Bridget Jones's Diary, 2001. Among the dozen nearly-Brendas- from outrageous ideas like Catherine and Nicole Kidman (far too beautiiful for a dumpy dowdy)to more sensible Rachel Griffiths and Emma Thompson.
- Renée Zellweger, Chicago, 2002.
- Halle Berry, Die Another Day, 2002.
- Angelina Jolie, Beyond Borders, 2002. Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan were seen for the London society woman in love with Clive Owen’s doctor in war-ravaged Ethiopia when CZJ was pregnant with daughter Carys Zeta Douglas. That ruled her out of tough locations in Africa, Thailand and Europe - but proved a plus for Traffic.
- Rachel Weisz, About A Boy, 2002.Preferred enjoyingbeing a real mum to her two-year-old Dylan Michael Douglas than playing a single mom seduced by Hugh Grant as perNick Hornby's novel.
- Emmy Rossum, The Phantom of the Opera, 2003. Divorce! Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1990 plan for Joel Schumacher directing the original West End stars blew up when the composer divorced Sarah Brightman and the returns for Evita were non-ecstatic. CZJ, Charlotte Church, Anne Hathaway, Katie Holmes, Keira Knightley and Kate Winslet were also short-listed listed for Christine Daaé.
- Angelina Jolie, Alexander, 2004. Playing Alexander’s mother, Angelina was less than a year older than Colin Farrell. Catherine was a mere seven years his senior.
- Diane Kruger, Troy, 2004. Kruger's rivals as the face that launched a thousand ships - Helen of Troy - were Halle Berry, Keira Knightley Kristin Kreuk, Jennifer Lopez, Sophie Marceau, Connie Nielsen.You gonna argue with The Times (of London)...?
- Kate Bosworth, Superman Returns, 2005.
- Angelina Jolie, Mr & Mrs Smith, 2004. A married couple of assassins (he’s Brad Pitt) are hired to kill each other! Pitt quit when Nicole Kidman had to leave and returned only when her final replacement was, well, When Brad Met Angelina! Also chased in the meantime were CZJ, Cate Blanchett, Eva Green, Gwen Stefani and the unlikeliest Mrs Smith of ’em all, Bollywood’s gorgeous Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The legend insists that Catherine spurned it because Nicole Kidman did!
- Tea Leoni, Fun with Dick and Jane, 2004. First named substitute for Cameron Diaz in there-makeof the Jane Fonda-George Segal comedy opposite Jim Carrey.
- Asia Argento, Marie Antoinette, 2006. Both Catherine and Angelina Jolie spurned Sofia Coppola’s Madame Du Barry. Italian horrorsmith Dario Argento’s daughter was the fourth such directorial kin in the the bubblegum version of of history. Francis Coppola’s Sofia also directed JohnBoorman’s Katrine andJohn Huston’s Danny.
- Nicole Kidman, Nine, 2009.
- Gerard Butler, Law Abiding Citizen, 2009. The anti-hero taking revenge on a DA for making a deal with one of his family’s killers was first due to be an anti-heroine.
- Matt Smith, Doctor Who, TV, 2010. Biggest surprise among the BBC’s ideas for the 11thDoctor was the Welsh diva - already committed to a Broadway revivalof A Little Night Music that year.
- Angelina Jolie, The Tourist, 2010. In 2004, auteur Jerome Salle made a neat little thriller called Anthony Zimmer - Hitchcockian ordinary man in extraordinary happenings. It took Hollywood five years to re-make it, aka ruin it... Catherine was the first keen on being The Mystery Woman (Sophie Marceau in the original). With Swedish Lasse Hallstrom keen on directing in 2007, she signed a contract... of 45 pages! Next possibility - Charlize Theron opposite Tom Cruise - didn’t gell, either. Indeed,nor did Angelina and Johnny Depp on-screen.
- Julia Ormond, My Week With Marilyn, 2010. Declined the movie about the making of The Prince and the Showgirl with Monroe and Laurence Olivier in London, 1956 - in order to tend her husband, Michael Douglas, during cancer treatment.
- Adrianne Palicki. Wonder Woman, TV, 2011. The DC comicbook heroine had not been seen on screens since Lynda Carter ended her four year reign on ABC in 1979.Timethen, said Warner, for a new movie. DC’s testosterone duo, Batman and Superman, had cleaned up,now it up to the beautiful superhuman Amazon warrior Princess Diana of Themysacira, her Lasso of Truth, her indestructible bracelets and (honest) her invisible plane. With who…? Across a decade of plans by producers as diverse as Joel Silver (so wrong) and Joss Whedon (so right), 24 beauties were in the frame: from Catherine (in 2005) to Whedon’s favourite, Cobie Smulders. Then, the film morphed into an updated TV series by David E Kelley - that, too, was dead after the rushed pilot. Palicki was the sole actress considered for TV - she was previously seen by George Miller for WW in his aborted Justice League, in 2008.
- Meryl Streep, Into The Woods, 2013.
- Frances de la Tour, Into The Woods, 2013.