- June Ritchie, A Kind of Loving, 1962. UK director John Schlesinger and producer Joseph Janni agreed: "She's not right for it - too exciting." Perfect, then, for their Billy Liar and Darling.
- Ursula Andress, Dr No, 1962.
- Daniela Bianchi, From Russia With Love, 1963.
- Kathleen Breck, West 11, 1963.
“The producer, Danny Angel, didn't even want to test her,” director Michael Winner related to me in London, “because she’d been tested and rejected for a great many films, including Billy Liar which she later made when the girl who was chosen became ill. We tested her and Iimmediately said: 'Marvellous,we've discovered a very,very big star.' The producer said: 'You're absolutely mad! Just a B-movie actress. She’ll never be anything! Who would want to fuck Julie Christie?' To which I said: 'I would.' To which the producer responded in front of a large number of people at the screening room in Associated British Studios, Elstree: 'Well you're a homosexual.' That's how it was in the early 60’s...!! That’s one of the reasons I soon became my own producer. Some months later, I rang Angel: Hollywood's made a huge mistake. They've given your B-actress an Oscar!" As for the Rhodesian girl who got the part, "I haven't been so excited about anyone since Audrey Hepburn," claimed casting director Robert Leonard. Unlike his other finds (Laurence Harvey, Sylvia Syms, Richard Todd), this one never made a second film.
- Julia Foster, The System (US: The Girl Getters), 1964. Michael Winner changed his producer from Danny Angel, who disliked Christie, to Kenneth Shipman who did. Except her dance card was full for what AIP sold to the US public as “an adult film for teenagers and a teenage film for adults.”
- Jennie Linden, Nightmare, 1964. A last minute substitution when Julie quit her one (and only) Hammer Films date... in order to make a little something called Darling. (Hello: Oscar).
- Susan Hampshire, Paris au mois d’aôut, France, 1965. I introduced Susan to her first husband. Sort of… In 1965, when working as the London correspondent for the French movie magazine, Cinémonde, I was asked to recommend some British blondes for Paris au mois d’aout - with Charles Aznavour falling for a lovely Brit visiting Paris in August, when the city is (almost) empty of French and packed with holiday-makers and tourists. I sent over some photos., adding one of Susan at the last second, although she was no favourite of mine. The rest is obvious. Naturally, she beat Julie, Veronica Carlson, Justine Lord, Edina Ronay and Carol White. Susan won the film! And the heart of realisateur Pierre Granier-Deferre. (Well, she had learned French - or enough of it - in one week to play Patricia Seagrave). They married in 1967, had two children and divorced in 1974.
- Rosemary Forsythe, The War Lord, 1965. Charlton Heston saw Julie in Billy Liar. "She has a natural quality, she's very striking and she can act… Since she shortly became an international star of considerable importance, this would've been a bargain"at $35,000. Excessive, said Universal - paying her considerably more within a twelvemonth for Fahrenheit 451.
- Kim Novak,The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders, 1965. First choice of director Terence Young once the Connerys proved unavailable. He next chased Julie Andrews!!!
- Samantha Eggar, The Collector, 1965. Veteran Hollywood director William Wyler came all the way to London - and chose the wrong girl!
Brigitte Bardot, Viva Maria, 1965. With both BB and Moreau and their agents being “very difficult,” auteur Louis Malle thought he would lose one or the other. "I got fed up and suggested we switch to English and do it with...
- Jeanner Moeau, Viva Maria, 1965. "...with Shirley MacLaine and Julie Christie [as Maria 2/Moreau]. Or Julie [as Maria 1/BB] and Sarah Mile as aria 2. . I think it would’ve worked better. UA didn't want to hear about it.
- Claudine Auger, Thunderball, 1965.
- Candice Bergen, The Group, 1966. And so, a US demi-Christie was born...
- Candice Bergen, The Sand Pebbles, 1966. Julie passed. It was a guy’s picture. And the guy was Steve McQueen.
- Barbara Parkins, The Valley of the Dolls, 1966.
- Sharon Tate, The Valley of the Dolls, 1966.
- Susannah York, Man Of All Seasons, 1966. Gentleman director Fred Zinnemann called - obviously. Julie was too busy - obviously.
- Susannah York, Sebastian, 1967. Partnering UK director Michael Powell, American TV producer Herb Brodkin knew what he wanted: "Get O’Toole. Or that boy with the glasses [Michael Caine]. And get Julie Christie." Impossible. She was stuck, Far From the Madding Crowd.
- Candice Bergen, The Day The Fish Came Out, Greece-UK-US, 1967. Greek film-maker Michel Cacoyannis landed Bergen for $6,000 - her agent was unhappy with the casting of Tom Courtenay. Not to mention the, er, ’script’?
- Candice Bergen, Vivre pour vivre/Live For Life, France-Italy, 1967. Now it was Frenchman Claude Lelouch chasing her... But Christie's schedule interferred. Candice got $12,000 - and Yves Montand.
Jane Fonda, Barefoot in the Park, 1967. "It kinda turned me on when they mentioned Julie for my wife in the film, " said Robert Redford, a great fan of Darling . "I would have loved working with her. But I see the wisdom of her refusal. She just felt she couldn’t capture the right mood of a New York girl."
- Elaine May, Luv, 1967. Dropped for much the same reason as Barefoot. "I don’t think I should try and play such a girl - a real New Yorker - when I’ve never lived there. It’s a matter of the right attitude." Not to mention that the girl was third banana to Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk.
- Audrey Hepburn, Two For The Road, 1967. Asked to take over due to Audrey’s pregnancy. She then suffered a tragic miscarriage and returned to the set.
- Faye Dunaway, The Thomas Crown Affair, 1967. For the insurance agent investigating Tommy Crown, director Norman Jewison wanted Eva Marie Saint. Too old, screamed the suits. OK, the director drew up a dreamy wish list: Christier, Anouk Aimé, Brigitte Bardot, Candice Bergen, Leslie Caron, Vanessa Redgrave, Sharon Tate, Raquel Welch… and his star, Steve McQueen, suggested testing Camilla Sparv. “Yeah, well, I’ve just seen an early print of Bonnie and Clyde… and you’re gonna spend eight hours kissing her!”
- Candice Bergen, The Magus, 1968. Once again Candice took over a Euro-pudding declined (with reason) by Julie.
- Mia Farrow, Rosemary’s Baby, 1968. Sharon Tate’s director-husband. Roman Polanski wanted the woman who Al Pacino called "the most poetic of all actresses."
- Petula Clark, Goodbye Mr. Chips, 1969. Announced as Burton's co-star in 1966. "If ever a movie star existed for whom stardom meant nothing, it was Julie," commented Hollywood scenarist Robert Towne.
- Jane Fonda, They Shoot Horses Don’t They, 1968. A tough gig. All that dancing. Marathon, dance-until-you-drop dancing to earn some Depression era dollars. Even so, it was a helluva role and surprising that Christie - and Barbra Streisand - turned away from Gloria. In Julie’s case, Gloria’s surname explained all : Beatty. Julie was too busy with Warren Beatty. The film won an Oscar nod for Jane.
- Geneviève Bujold, Anne of a Thousand Days, 1968. But why would Lara want Anne Boleyn...? Idem for Bonnie, Juliet, Cleopatra...? Faye Dunaway, Olivia Hussey, were equally disinterested. Plus Geraldine Chaplin and Charlotte Rampling. And, frankly, my dear, Elizabeth Taylor was too old (even when Richard Burton became Henry VIII).. The BBC had offered the role to Jean Simmons in 1957 when trying to mount a TVersion in of Maxwell Anderson’s 1948 Broadway play.
- Judy Geeson, Three Into Two Won’t Go, 1969. Too old, really, for the hitch-hiking teen coming between Rod Steiger and his (real) wife, Claire Bloom.
- Laura Antonelli, Les Mariés de l’an II (UK: The Scoundrel), France-Italy-Roumania, 1970. By chance, realisateur Jean-Paul Rappeneau met Julie at a dinner. She was taken by the story, her French was “quasi impeccable,” they agreed to meet a fortnight later. She duly turned up -with her lover. “Excellent script,” said Warren Beatty. “Forget Gaumont and I’ll help you set it up in Hollywood.” The hidden message, said Rappeneau, was obvious:. If you want Julie Christie, you have to take me, as well.
Jennie Linden, A Severed Head, 1970. Not even the Burtons could swing Christie and Marlon Brando to join their version in 1966. And she was still due for it when director John Schlesinger almost made it with his star as almost everyone's mistress
- Janet Suzman, Nicholas and Alexandria, 1971. Ditto. Audrey Hepburn also refused. Janet won an Oscar nod.
- Liza Minnelli, Cabaret, 1972. With Warren Beatty as her (gay) friend.
- Susannah York, Images, 1972. Over a decade, director Robert Altman attempted to set up his own Persona with Sandy Dennis in Vancouver, Julie in London or Sophia in Milan. He wound up with a pregnant Susannah in Dublin. Julie made two other films for Altman who called her ”my incandescent, melancholy, strong, gold-hearted, sphinx-like, stainless steel little soldier."
- Susan Anspach, Blume In Love, 1973. When Warren Beatty was to be Blume. Opposite Julie.
- Mia Farrow, The Great Gatsby, 1973. Once he lost Ali MacGraw (to Steve McQueen), producer Robert Evans didn’t care who took over her Daisy Buchanan. Among the possibilities:Julie, Liza Minnelli, Cybill Shepherd, Tuesday Weld, Natalie Wood. And The Final Five: Candice Bergen, Lois Chiles, Faye Dunaway, Katharine Ross and, of course, Farrow. (Lois, at least, won the other girl… Jordan Baker)..
- Faye Dunaway, Chinatown, 1974. The self-styled "fluke of our times" never did work for director Roman Polanski. She was never happy about playing Americans.
- Raquel Welch, The Three/Four Musketeers, 1974/1975. Raquel's name pre-sold the film. When she pulled out, the Salkinds scurried around for a name replacement, a ruse that often brings the original star back. Not this time. Pity, the idea of Juliie wed to Spike Milligan deserved to have been witnessed.
- Candice Bergen, The Wind and The Lion, 1975. For the second time only, Candice got a a good movie out of a Julie pass.
- Helen Morse, Caddie, 1975. After open casting calls in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, six actresses were tested and Helen won her breakthrough. Even though one distributor had made it clear: no deal unless the famous Sydney barmaid, Catherine Beatrice “Caddie” Edmonds was portrayed by Christie... or Faye Dunaway.
- Susannah York, The Rollicking Adventures of Eliza Fraser, Australia, 1976. And another Aussie offer… Just not rollicking enough - neither one! Two version were planned and Julie (or Vanessa Redgrave) was to be the lead in Czech director Jiri Weiss’ take on the aftermath of the sinking of the Stirling Castle off Queensland on May 22, 1836. Aussie helmer Tim Burtsall rushed his version before the cameras… Too rushed, perhaps. One critic,Stephen Groenewegen called it Carry On Convicts.
- Marthe Keller, Marathon Man, 1976. Her Darling director John Scheslinger wanted a fourth movie together. Opposite a big fan called... Pacino. She wanted to escape the public eye. "I'm beginning to feel like Lassie the wonder dog!"
Isabelle Adjani, The Driver, 1978. She took lover Warren Beatty's advice about what Adjani called "a sexy soldier." His counsel is not absolute. He persuaded Adjani to make made Ishar with him, 1987. But then love is blind.
- Jacqueline Bisset, The Greek Tycoon, 1978. Spurned a huge cheque to be “Jackie Kennedy” in a bad-egg-rotten idea about “Aristotle Onassis.”
- Helen Morse, Agatha, 1979. Broken wrist. Rollerskating. Tres LA!
- Thérèse Liotard, La mort en direct (UK/US: Death Watch), France-West Germany-UK, 1979. For his first English language film (as sottish as his French output), realisateur Bertrand Tavernier wanted Julie to play Harvey Keitel’s ex-wife. She refused, yet still played the role - by agreeing to dub Liotard’s poor English.
- Lauren Hutton, American Gigolo, 1980. "She seemed the perfect one," said the then-star, Travolta. But not him for her. She was more keen on working with Richard Gere. But when he was back in the picture, she was not. They did get together for Power, 1986. (One 70s rumour had Julie and Lauren as lovers).
- Diane Keaton, Reds, 1981. Warren Beatty had penned the role for her. She’d accompanied him on a Moscow research mission and he dedicated his dream ambition: “For Jools.” She maintained an American should play Jack Reed's lover, Louise Bryant. And it just so happened Beatty had a new lover... American, too. Quelle coincidence!
- Susannah York, Loophole, 1981. Working with Albert Finney - yes. In a bank caper - no! She preferred the smaller, $1.9m anti-nuclear Memoriesof a Survivor - for Finney's company. Plus working for scale in Gold Diggers, by an all woman team.
- Blair Brown, Continental Divide, 1981. Prospective co-star Elliott Gould did not like it. "Wonderful for her, cliché for us."
- Charlotte Rampling, The Verdict, 1982. Rejected the near zero role opposite Paul Newman. Of course, she did!
- Patricia Hodge, Betrayal, 1982. When Meryl Streep left for Sophie’s Choice and director Mike Nichols for his own sanity, Christie was suggested with the playwright Harold Pinter directing and Nichols staying aboard as associate producer. But she wasn’t sure… “This can be as important as Brief Encounter, ” said producer Sam Spiegel, perhaps forgetting that had been a David Lean film and as proved by all his films since The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia, Spiegel was lost without Lean.
- Joanna Cassidy, Under Fire, l983. "A mistake! I felt it didn't do justice to female war correspondents, it seemed more about a woman in love. On the other hand, it made valuable points about Nicaragua. In retrospect, I realise you have to compromise endlessly."
Greta Sacchi, Camille, TV, 1984. Greta first exploded the previous year as Julie’s great aunt in Merchant-Ivory’s Heat and Dust,.
- Meryl Streep, Out of Africa, 1985.
“There were a whole mob of us in Hollywood that had thought about making this film for years,” recalled director Sydney Pollack. “Originally, it was going to be Orson Welles a hundred years ago, then David Lean worked on it, then, Nicolas Roeg almost did it with Julie and Ryan O’Neal. I couldn't figure out how to get a screenplay out of it... It was the woman that attracted me. I was drawn to her whole African experience and how she’d been able to take all the tragedy in her life and digest it and use it in her writing. It transformed her into a real artist, and there was something very moving about that.”
- Glenda Jackson, The Rainbow, 1989. A stage contract almost made Glenda unavailable to play the mother of her Women In Love character in the DH Lawrence prequel. Julie said the part was too small. "A part's as big as you make it, lady," snapped director Ken Russell.
- Willeke Van Amelrooy, Antonia's Line, Holland-Belgium-UK, 1995. Dutch auteur Marleen Gorris first planned to film her script twice - in Dutch and English. The Dutch (only) version won the Best Foreign Film Oscar.
- Diane Keaton, Town and Country, 1998. Back in demand due to her Afterglow Oscar nomination, Julie spurned Warren Beatty. And so another of his exes joined another (Goldie Hawn) in what his pals called: Shampoo II. So bad, he hasn’t made another film since.
- Nicole Kidman, Eyes Wide Shut, 1999. First choice for Alice when Stanley Kubrick first envisioned the Arthur Schnitzler novella to follow 2001 in 1968. Instead, it became his 13th and last feature: way out of touch with the time it was made in. (Exactly like The Shining). And it killed him on March 7, 1999.
- Anne Reid, The Mother, 2002. A granny falling for her daughter’s builder boyfriend! The Money Men said Julie (or Charlotte Rampling) or no money. Director Roger Michell, fuelled by the success of Notting Hill, said: No. “The ‘fairy story’ of the film is of someone who is almost dead being brought back to life... She had to be a woman who not only didn't have a sexual present but, for all intents and purposes, didn't have a sexual past, either. If she was played by someone with the delicious baggage of Julie Christie, you'd think: ‘Well, I’d fuck her. She's 60-something but so what? She’s Julie Christie!’ Whereas this is about someone who is almost invisible and she turns into a kind of 22-year-old. We saw a few actresses but there was never any competition once we met Anne. Some part of her experience chimed particularly with this role and made her understand great chunks of it in a very intuitive and instinctive way.”