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Gabriel Byrne

  1. Charles Dance, Alien³, 1991.     UK stars Byrne and Richard E Grant were in the mix for Clemens, won by another local. What else when everything (like the second sequel) was shot at UK’s Pinewood Sudios.
  2. Gary Oldman, Bram Stoker's Dracula, 1992.    Byrne and Oldman were among the many auditioning at director Francis Coppola’s Napa Valley estate. He decided to make the old legend "younger, very erotic, very romantic and very horrific." Losing his favourites - Jeremy Irons, Daniel Day-Lewis - Francey looked at everyone else. Armand Assante, Antonio Banderas, Nick Cassavetes, Nicolas Cage, Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Andy Garcia, Hugh Grant, Ray Liotta, Kyle MacLachlan, Costas Mandylor, Viggo Mortensen, Dermot Mulroney, Michael Nouri (a long way from Flashdance), Adrian Pasdar, Jason Patric, Aiden Quinn, Keanu Reeves, Alan Rickman, Christian Slater and Sting.John Lynch, The Secret  Garden, 1992.    No luck with Coppola productions! When Agnieska Holland called, Byrne was delayed on Hollywood's Nikita re-hash.
  3. Liam Neeson, Ethan Frome, 1992.    Lost out to the new Irishman in town for the lead of the second Edith Wharton book filmed in a year.
  4. Georges Corraface, Christopher Columbus: The Discovery, 1992.    After Timothy Dalton sailed away, the Salkinds thought of Byrne, who had been  Diego de Geona Taino, aka Cristoforo Colombo,  in an Italian TV-mini, 1985. Then, they played safe, choosing Corraface, an actor with a following in  France, Greece and Spain.
  5. Daniel Day-Lewis, In The Name of the Father, 1993.   Byrne bought Gerry Conlon's book, Proved Innocent, to play Gerry. Finally, he passed it to 1989 Oscar-winning My Left Foot team and stayed on as exec producer.
  6. Gary Oldman, Immortal Beloved, 1995.    Anthony Hopkins said no to Mel Gibson's production. Byrne pulled out just before shooting - and Oldman fell for his leading lady, Isabelle Rossellini. Didn't they all.
  7. Matthew Modine, Cutthroat Island, 1995.   Joined all the heavyweights Tom Cruise, Kean Reeves, Liam Neeson in fleeing all entreaties from Geena Davis and helmer-hubby Renny Harlin.
  8. Chazz Palminteri, Diabolique, 1996.   Third choice after Jack Nicholson and  Jeremy Irons for the quite abysmal re-make of the 1955 Henri-Georges Clouzot classic, Les diaboliques.
  9. Matthew McConaughey, Amistad, 1997.    Falling for the McConaughey hype from A Time To Kill, Steven Spielberg made his worst casting error after considering the far better Byrne, John Cusack, Aidan Quinn. Mac was just too 20th Century for 1839.
  10. James Belushi, Separate Lives, 1995.  When Rick Rosenthal was due to helm the ex-cop studying for pychology degree.
  11. David Morrissey, Basic Instinct 2, 2005. The Irishman decided against playing Sharon Stone’s London shrink - as naked as she was. Three years later, he was HBO’s top shrink for In Treatment, the 2008-09 US version of an Israeli drama series, exec-produced by, of all people, Mark Wahlberg. “I let myself down,” said Morrissey. “When it came out… I didn’t want to leave the house. It was a very bruising experience.  

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