- Michael York, Cabaret, 1971. To accommodate Liza Minnelli, Sally Bowles was changed from Brit to Yank in the Bob Fosse musical - and so vice-versa for her pal, Brian Roberts (aka the author Christopher Isherwood, called Clifford Bradshaw on stage). About 20 Brits were seen for Brian including Leonard Romeo Whiting and a future James Bond. Timothy Dalton. Plus Curry (Dr Frank-N-Furter, from The Rocky Horror Picture Show), David Hemmings, Jeremy Irons, Malcolm McDowell, John McEnery, Paul Nicholas, future auteur Bruce Robinson. John Rubinstein was the sole American, when it looked as if York could not get free in time and Brian would be American after all.
- Malcolm McDowell, A Clockwork Orange, 1971. “If Malcolm McDowell hadn't been available,” said Stanley Kubrick, “I probably wouldn't have made the film.” There had been other Alexes… Mick Jagger was first, after paying a mere $500 to needy author Anthony Burgess for the rights. The other Rolling Stones were to be Alex’s droogs - directed by John Schlesinger (With music by The Beatles?!) After censor hassles, Jagger sold the rights for a big profit. Ken Russell loomed large with, of course, his main man, Oliver Reed, as Alex. Curry and Jeremy Irons simply fled. Next director choiuce? The Venetian Tinto Brass - who, of course, later chose McDowell for his infamous Caligua, 1979.
- Tom Hulce, Amadeus, 1984. During his UK casting period, Czech director Milos Forman saw Curry who played the role on-stage. At 38, he was too old on-screen for Johann Chryostom Wolfgang Theophilius Mozart.
- Christopher Gable, Doctor Who #135: The Caves of Androzani, TV, 1984. John Nathan-Turner aimed (too) high for the final (and favourite) adventure of Doc5 Peter Davison. For the disfigured hero, Sharaz Jek, the producer wooed Curry,David Bowie, Mick Jagger or Oliver Tobias. Rather than be in it,they all preferred to stay home and imply watrch the regeneration into Doc6 Colin Baker - the least popular of all the Time Lords. Gable, the ballet-dancer made a movie star by director Ken Russell, had previously been chosen for Major Salateen.
- Jack Nicholson, Batman, 1988.
- Christopher Lloyd, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, 1988. Producer Steven Spielberg (and the Disney suits) found Curry’s test as Judge Doom quite terrifying. As if Lloyd was not - he never even blinked! They’d even considered Christopher Lee - and Jon Pertwee, surely too sweet. Also seen: John Cusack, Roddy McDowall, Sting.
- Tony Randall, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, 1989. Curry was director Joe Dante’sfirst choice for the voice of Brain Gremlin in the sequel that Dante didn’t want to direct.
- Harvey Keitel,Thelma & Louise, 1990.
- Robby Benson, Beauty and the Beast, 1990. Laurence Fishburne, Val Kilmer and Mandy Patinkin also made sense as potential voice of The Beast - but Regis Philbin, c’mon! US audiences would have guffawed on recognising the voice of the nation’s most famous morning TV host.
- Jonathan Freeman, Aladdin, 1991. Disney’s voice choices for Jafar, our hero’s foe, the Sultan’s evil vizier, were Curry, Kesley Grammer, John Hurt, Christopher Lloyd. Plus the future X-Men co-stars Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart. Merging Boris Karloff with Vincent Price, Freeman remained in Jafar mode (for sequels and video games) for the next 20 years.
- Mark Hamill, Batman, TV, 1992-1995. Luke Skywalker took over voicing The Joker when it was deemed that Curry’s version was surely what it was supposed to be -“too scary.”
- Roberto Benigni, Son of the Pink Panther, 1992. Oh, what a woeful mess as director Blake Edwards tried yet again to keep his Panther annuity alive when his star, Peter Sellers, was dead. Given the choice of Curry (more suitable as Dreyfus), Rowan Atkinson, Gérard Depardieu and Kevin Kline, Edwards chose the Italian Benigni - far less subtle than Peter Sellers - but a good excuse to resurrect Claudia Cardinale from the first film, The Pink Panther, 1962, as his mother, Maria Grambelli, following her affair with Clouseau. Except, of course, CC was an Indian princess in the first film and Maria was Elke Sommer in the second, A Shot in the Dark, 1963. So much funnier than this… shot in the the head.
- Jeremy Irons, The Lion King, 1993. In the frame to voice the villainous Scar in the 32nd Disney toon - Bambi meets Hamlet in Africa! - were either top Brits, Curry, Irons, Malcolm McDowell - or assorted Hollywood-mafiosi James Caan, Robert Duvall, Ray Liotta.
- Hugo Weaving, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Australia,1994. Been there, donethat, didn’t bother with a postcard because if you don’t know that... you shouldn’t be making cross-dressing movies...
- Paul McGann, Doctor Who (The Movie), TV, 1996.
- Roberts, Doctor Who (The Movie), TV, 1996. Hollywood goes Who. Why? For the pilot of a USeries to exhume the BBC science-fiction cult, buried since it ran out of puff after 26 seasons in 1989. As if to prove this was big deal LA in action (!), some 63 actors were listed for Doc8 and a further 71(well, some were on both lists) for his foe, The Master. Such as James Bond, Caligula, Dracula, Gandhi, Han Solo, Freddy Krueger, Magnum, Jean-Luc Picard, Han Solo, Spock, and - hey, they’re doctors! - Emmett Brown and Frank-N-Furter. Aka… Timothy Dalton, Malcolm McDowell, Christopher Lee, Ben Kingsley, Robert Englund, Tom Selleck, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, Christopher Lloyd… and Curry!
- Christopher Lloyd, Anastasia, 1997. Curry and two other Brits - Jonathan Pryce and Patrick Stewart- were also up forvoicing the mad Russian monk,Rasputin. But Back To The Future’s Doc Brown beat Dr Frank-N-Furter (of The Rocky Horror Picture Show), Brazil’s Sam Lowry andStar Trek’sJean-Luc Picard.
- Kevin Kline, Wild Wild West, 1999. Warners encouraged director Barry Sonenfeld to chase after Will Smith for West, James West ('nuff said?). But not, alas, after his first choice for Artemus Gordon.
- Leonard Nimoy, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, 2001. Disney science fiction has never gelled until this animated feature from the Lion King/Hunchback of Notre Dame/Beauty and the Beast trio: producer Dan Hahn, directors Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise. They jumped at the chance of Spock voicing the Atlantean king - after (literally) penciling in Curry.
- Rowan Atkinson, Scooby-Doo, 2001. Who should be the villain Mondavarious? Mr Bean or Dr Frank-N-Furter? And the winner is Atkinson. Playing it, said critic Roger Ebert, as a private joke.
- Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, 2006. Only Brit considered when, during 25 year, the titular casting also included Russell Crowe, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Richard Dreyfuss, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Steve Martin, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino. Curry was the sole Brit considered and the most lunatic notions were... Warren Beatty, Harrison Ford and… Robert Redford!