- Katie Holmes, Batman Begins, 2004.
- Isla Fisher, Wedding Daze, 2006. Amy and Isla are pals on(and off) the audition circuit. For example, Amy won Catch Me If You Can, 2002,but not this film with two other titles: The Pleasure of Your Company and The Next Girl I See.
- Zooey Deschanel, The Happening, 2007. What’s happening? Amy’s brain far more so than Mark Wahlberg’s who actually made the horror flop from the LA’s Indian director M Night Shyamalan. Once hot, (The Sixth Sense, 1998), M’s batteries were now dead.
- .Anne Griffin, The Tourists, 2009. ...and Amy and Zooey both lost the oddly titled tale of a just married couple locked in an elevator taking them to the bridal suite. “I’ve been on so many auditions, I started treating it as my acting class. I would just pretend I was shooting the scene because I figured I had to learn from it. But the problem was, then I thought I could experiment… I’d go in and wear costumes, take props. I think sometimes they just thought I was mad.”
- Greta Gerwig, Greenberg, 2009. Director Noel Baumbach first announced Amy and Mark Ruffalo as the New Yorker housesitters of his brother’s LA home. Somehow they churned into first, Maggie Gyllenhaal, then Gerwig and Ben Stiller. And so, Baumbach succeeded Joe Swanberg as Gerwig’s director and mentor - and we nevcr heard of Joe again in her interviews.
- Nicole Kidman, Nine, 2009.
- Scarlett Johansson, We Bought A Zoo, 2010. Rachel McAdams and Mary Elizabeth Winstead were also in the Cameron Crowe mix for the wife of Matt Damon... running a UK zoo. Then, Scarlett won a top role - finally! - after losing out in a hectic castingseason... The Great Gatsby, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Gravity,Pride, Prejudice and Zombies.
Naomi Watts, J Edgar, 2010. When Charlize Theron quit to go sorceress in Snow White and the Huntsman, Amy was considered for Helen Gandy - J Edgar Hoover’s secretary for 54 years, major influence on his FBI and keeper of his secrets. Then, the director, a certain Clint Eastwood, selected Watts. Clint called Amy back to be his daughter opposite his final acting role in Trouble with the Curve, 2013.
- Elizabeth Banks, Welcome to People, 2011. Old rtivals Adams and Banks were at a Hollywood Reporter roundtable when they realised they had both fought for the same role - and lost it. Hilary Swank was turned down by LA auteur Alex Kurtzman - but Amy turned him down. To stay home with her baby daughter.
- Malin Akerman, Rock of Ages, 2011. Amy got close to being the journalist er, dueting with Tom Cruise’s decadent rock star. So did Anne Hathaway.They were both too busy - Amy as Superman’s Lois Lane and Anne as Batman’s Catwoman.
- Elizabeth Banks, Man on a Ledge, 2011. Old Rivals - Part II.Amy was seen by director Asger Leth but Banks won the police psychologist dealing with the titular problem. Not, as things turned out, the only problem.
- Rachel Weisz, Oz: The Great and Powerful, 2011. Among the many hoping to be the witch Evanora in the Wizard of Oz prequel. Disney, however, had eyes for Rachel, only.
- Andrea Riseborough, WE, 2011. The role was Wallis Simpson, the divorcee who pulled King Edward VIII off the British throne. The director (and financier) was Madonna. The rest was as expected.
- Elizabeth Banks, People Like Us, 2011. Old Rivals - Part III. Amy was set for the sister that Chris Pine never knew he had - but then Amy decided to spend time with her family.
Jessica Chastain, Lawless, 2011. Amy and Scarlett Johansson were up for the all-purpose moll for one of the three moonshining Bondurant brothers in Franklin County, Virginia, during Prohibition - the ex-dancer (and probably much more) became Tom Hardy’s waitress, bookkeeper, business manager and lover. Amy went all political - wanting more time with her family.
- Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables, 2012. On the short-list for Fantine. So were Jessica Biel (also up for Eponine), Emily Blunt, the genuinely French Marion Cotillard, Rebecca Hall, Kate Winslet - until Hathaway’s audition had everyone in tears...
- Mireille Enos, The Gangster Squad,2012. Amy (and Kate Winslet) were high in the frame for Connie O’Mara - until Mireille hit TV with The Killing.the US version ofthe Danish tele-triumph, Forbrydelsen.
- Nicole Kidman, Grace of Monaco, 2012. Also in the mix to play Grace Kelly were: Elizabeth Banks, Emily Blunt, Jessica Chastain, Kate Hudson, January Jones, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rosamund Pike, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon. But not Christina Applegate, the young Grace on TV in 1983; when Cheryl Ladd was the older. None of them resembled Her Serene Highness but then nor did Tim Roth look like Prince Rainier.
- Rachel Weisz, Oz the Great and Powerful, 2012. Disneyland is no Oz. Yet having lost a bundle on the depressing Return To Oz, 1984, the Mouse House primed the pump anew for this dangerously titled flop. Also up for Evanora: Kate Beckinsale, Rebecca Hall, Keira Knightley, Kristen Stewart. Director Sam Raimi’s favourites became Hilary Swank and Michelle Williams. Then, Weisz arrived out of the blue… and blew everyone away. And Williams became an excellent Annie/Glinda.
- Eva Green, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, 2013. Ava Lord in Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez’ Sin City sequel was written for Angelina Jolie with 14 back-ups: Green, Adams, Elizabeth Banks, Kate Beckinsale, Helena Bonham Carter Anne Hathaway, Salma Hayek, Elizabeth Hurley, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Lawrence, Rose McGowan, Sofia Vergara, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams.
- Rachel McAdams, A Most Wanted Man, 2013. Jessica Chastain and Carey Mulligan were also up for Annabel Richter in the film of the 2008 John le Carré novel - about a real Turkish Muslim in Hamburg was grabbed by US forces and imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay. Among the film’s seven producers were two of le Carré’s sons, Simon and Stephen Cornwell.
- Charlize Theron, Dark Places, 2013. Originally cast as Libby Day - the survivor of her family’s massacre - Amy was not free when the project finally won the git-go.
- Connie Britton, This Is Where I Leave You, 2013. Like directors, the actresses kept changing. Only Kathryn Hahn survived the shuffling… to discover if there’s anything worse than your father dying, it’s going home for the funeral - a whole week with an over-sharing mother, siblings, spouses, exes and wannabes.
- Katherine Waterston, Inherent Vice, 2014. In the mix with Charlie Theron A for Shasta Fay Hepworth before auteur Paul Thomas Anderson selected Sam Waterston’s delicious daughter for the first film of a Thomas Pynchon novel.
Rachel McAdams, A Most Wanted Man, 2014. Dutch director Anton Corbijn aimed high for his Annabel Richter from John le Carré’s 21st novel - Adams, Jessia Chastain, Carey Mulligan - and finished sadly, badly with a below par McAdams.