- Jodie Foster, Bugsy Malone, 1976. Even at a mere 13, Tatum was too expensive. After becoming (andremaining)the youngest Oscar-winner- at 10 for Paper Moon
- Brooke Shields,Pretty Baby, 1977. “My dad turned it down in 1976. It wasn’t right for me. Brooke has always had the face of a beautiful woman.” The subject was horrendous - a prostitute allowing her 12-year-old daughter’s virginity to be auctioned off in a brothel in the red-light Storyville district of New Orleans, circa 1917. Elegant French director Louis Malle saw 28 hopefuls and/or instant (parental) refusals for Violet. From Laura Dern aged 10 and future Sex And The City co-stars Cynthia Nixon, at 11, Sarah Jessica Parker, 12 (like Shields) and (the often too buxom) teenagers O’Neal, Melissa Sue Anderson, Rosanna Arquette, Linda Blair, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Mariel Hemingway, Helen Hunt, Anissa Jones (who tragically ODed at 18 before her audition), Diane Lane, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kristy McNichol, Dana Plato (Mom said no), Michelle Pfeiffer, Ally Sheedy, Meg Tilly, Charlene Tilton… to seven twentysomethings. However, no make-up and soft lenses could make 12-year-olds out of Isabelle Adjani, Bo Derek, Carrie Fisher, Melanie Griffith, Amy Irving, Mary Steenburgen or Debra Winger.
- Brooke Shields, The Blue Lagoon, 1979. Auditioned for Emmeline - despite Grease director Randal Kleiser wanting his shipwrecked couple to be naked throughoutthe re-make. (They were not). Shields had her long hair glued to her front - and a nude body double.
- Phoebe Cates, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, 1981. Discussed for Linda in the classic Cameron Crowe scenario. As were Rosanna Arquette, Justine Bateman, Carrie Fisher, Melanie Griffith, Ally Sheedy, Meg Tilly.
- Rosanna Arquette, The Executioner's Song, TV, 1982. Producer-director LawrenceSchiller saw more Nicole Bakers than Gary Gilmores for his film on the life and firing-squaddeath of Gilmore - first man to be executed since the US government reinstated capital punishment in 1976.
- Karen Allen, Split Image, 1983. Producers Jon Peters and Peter Gruberwanted Tatum - withDavid Carradine, Andrew Stevens. No, saiddirector Ted Kotcheff - Karen, Michael O’Keefe, James Woods.“That’s the way it’s gonna be. Take it or leave it.”
- Daryl Hannah, Splash, 1983. A mermaid? Moi?
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. 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: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, Brooke Shields, 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
- Demi Moore, St Elmo’s Fire, 1984.
“Everyone wanted that role,” recalled director Joel Schumacher. His office was opposite John Hughes’ where Demi got tired for waiting for him., “I happened to see her running down the hallway. I told my assistant: "Run after her and find out who she was" - ‘Demi Moore and she was on General Hospital.’ So I called her agent and she came in and did a reading. There was no one like Demi Moore at that age in the world. In the movie“she gets to be sexy, seductive, hilariously funny and dramatic. She becomes a coke head and she tries to kill herself by freezing to death by opening the windows in her apartment. She had to go through 35 different things in the movie. At that age? Pretty fucking amazing, right? There was no one like her.” Hughes and Schumacher were rather like Lucas and Spielberg in the 70s, dipping into the same talent pool. Those Brat Packers Hughes kept in high school, Schumacher made, as here, college kids. Or those whoagreed - Tatum did not.
- Kathleen Turner, Prizzi’s Honour, 1984. “Do I ice her? Do I marry her?” Conundrum for Charley Partanna, hit-man for the Prizzi Family, when he falls for a fellow contractor: Irene Walker. Given the perversity of Hollywood minds, it is, perhaps, no surprise, that O’Neal and daughter Tatum were in the charts for the gun-toting lovers. Huston (who gave his daughter Angelica the better role of Maerose Prizzi), had five more Irenes and ten other Charleys in mind, so whether he ever actually envisaged the O’Neals together as the deadly duo, or to be couple with womeone else, has never been explained and confirmed. nNor denied
- Molly Ringwald, Pretty In Pink, 1985. Although it was obvious that Molly would star - following her two previous John Hughes outings - he kept her in line by seeing O’Neal, Justine Bateman, Jennifer Beals, Jodie Foster, Diane Lane, Lori Loughlin, Saraha Jessica Paker and Brooke Shields. 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.
- Kim Basinger, Nine ½ Weeks, 1986. A far less obvious choice than the other early idea of Kathleen Turner. Both refused to be the erotic kind of Elizabeth that was played by Kim and assorted body doubles. 11 - Molly Ringwald, Pretty In Pink, 1985. Although it was obvious that Molly would star - following her two previous John Hughes outings - he kept her in line by seeing O’Neal, Justine Bateman, Jennifer Beals, Jodie Foster, Diane Lane, Lori Loughlin, Saraha Jessica Paker and Brooke Shields. 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.
- 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 hangingaround (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 toJodie Foster.. But she also passed - toMichelle Pfeiffer… and she quit for The Witches of Eastwick! More auditions were held for: O’Neal, Justine Bateman (her TV series, Family Ties, cancelled that idea!), Melanie Griffith, Andie MacDowell, Brooke Shields, Sharon Stone. Columbus refused Kelly McGillis and Valerie Bertinelli lost out to Shue on the final day.
- Kim Basinger, Nine ½ Weeks, 1986. A far less obvious choice than the other early idea of Kathleen Turner.Both refused to be the erotic kind of Elizabeth that played by Kim and assorted body doubles.
- 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 O'Neal, 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, Molly Ringwald, Mia Sara, Ally Sheedy, Brooke Shields, Uma Thurman. Oh, and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, said the suits, was “too nice.” Rape victims shouldn’t be nice? Oh, Hollywood!
- Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman, 1989.
- Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct, 1991.
- Geena Davis, Angie, 1993. The official reason was Madonna was already booked for Abel Ferrara’sDangerous Game, 1992.Then, one of heremails was leaked - furious with the head Fox, Joe Roth, for dumping her for a non-Italian inthe titular role.In truth, she fled after hearing Roth didn’t want her becauseshe couldn’t carry a movie. (Notthat this one did any better without her). Her director, Jonathan Kaplan, also quit and Martha Coolidge took over with her 1991 Rambling Rose star - after some thoughts about a dozen others, fromHalle Berryto Meryl Streep.Oh, very Italian!
- Nicole Kidman, To Die For, 1994. “You aren't anybody in America if you’re not on TV…” Most young sparks agreed this was a role to die for... the girl who would do anything (murder included) to get on TV, and stay there. They included O”Neal, 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, Meg Ryan (passing up $5m), Brooke Shields, Uma Thurman. However, Debra Winger simply refused… and Kidman persuaded director Gus Van Sant that she was his destiny.
- 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: Tatum, 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, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Winona Ryder, Jane Seymour, Ally Sheedy, Brooke Shields, Meryl Streep (!), Emma Thompson (!), Meg Tilly, Marisa Tomei, Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver and Debra Winger.
- Janet Gunn, The Quest, 1996. The idea of being Jean-Claude Van Damme’s leading lady fizzled around the same time as their affair.
- 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 (perfect!), Gwyneth Paltrow (not so much), Michelle Pfeiffer (ah!) , Julia Roberts (aha!), Meg Ryan, Alicia Silverstone, Hilary Swank, Naomi Watts. Among 35 possibles. Over the years.