Jamie Lee Curtis
- Linda Blair, The Exorcist, 1972.
- Brooke Shields, Pretty Baby, 1977. .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 JLC, little Melissa Sue Anderson on the prairie, Rosanna Arquette, Linda Blair, 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, Tatum O’Neal (Dad said no), 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.
- 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 O’Neal. He decided to go older… Glenn Close won - her schedule didn’t agree. OK, Kate Capshaw! No, she was tied to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - just as Kathleen Turner was Romancing The Stone. Debra Winger won her audition, said yes… then no. The other 46 ladies were: JLC, Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Christy Brinkley, Colleen Camp, 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 in contention again a 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.
- Ally Sheedy, St Elmo’s Fire, 1984. Directors John Hughes and Joel Schumacher were rather like Lucas and Spielberg in the 70s:dipping into the same age talent pool. The Brat Packers Hughes kept in the high school Breakfast Club, were college kids for Schumacher. When Hughes said “Why can’t I make movies like The Lost Boys, Joel?” Schumacher would reply: “Why can’t I make Pretty in Pink?” The answer was different school experiences. Joel’s was “drinking at nine, smoking at 10, sexually active at 11.”
- Melanie Griffith, Body Double, 1984.
INT. BRIAN De PALMA’S HOME, November 1983. The director is playing Trivial Pursuit (would I lie?) with guests Curtis, Melanie Griffith and her husband Seven Bauer (a De Palma regular since Scarface). They play on until the wee small hours aided not by booze or drugs, as you would presume just coffee and water. With a John Travolta project falling apart at the financial seams, De Palma talks up another idea, his Rear Window-cum-Vertigo (actually, claustrophobia) - Variety will call it a sexpenser - percolating since he required a nude body double for Angie Dickinson during Dressed To Kill, 1979. He offers Curtis the lead - a porno star called Holly Body. Enough with hookers, awready, says she. What about me, cries Griffith. You wanna try, asks De Palma, causing Bauer to spill his coffee… De Palma then shows them a porno starring his first Holly choice: Annette Haven. She eventually teaches Griffith all the right moves. Melanie said that Holly greatly led to her winning Something Wild, 1986, and Working Girl, 1988. Footnote: De Palma wanted real sex in the film, the studio did not. He would have been wiser dumping his leading man. Craig Wasson was a disaster.
- Kim Greist, Brazil,1985. Hollywood journalist Jack Mathews said if director Terry Gilliam had been more political he could have avoided the Universal release hassles by using Curtis, who happened to be… the god-daughter of Universal chief Lew Wasserman. Far better than Greist, as another Python, John Cleese, proved by co-starring Jamie in his A Fish Called Wanda, 1988.
- Rosanna Arquette,8 Million Ways To Die, 1986. Announced before Perfect wasn't!
- Michelle Pfeiffer, The Witches of Eastwick, 1987. One of the many mentioned as studio tried to convince Bill Murray to be Darryl Van Horne.
- Glenn Close, Fatal Attraction, 1987.
- Kelly McGillis, The Accused, 1988. Paramount suits saw 40 young actresses for the (real life) gang rape victim. Or, their own rape bait fantasies… such as 16-year-old Alyssa Milano! And a further 28 for her defence attorney. Including the Fatal Attraction also-rans (from Beverly to Debra Winger, by way of Diane Keaton and, naturally, Meryl Streep) plus Blythe Danner, Sally Field, Teri Garr, Mary Gross, Dianne Wiest. A 1982 rape victim herself, McGillis refused Jodie Foster’s Oscar-winning role, but asked to play her lawyer.
- Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, The Abyss, 1989. "I almost cast her,"admits director James Cameron, "but Kathrynstopped me." Kathryn Bigelow was about to be his new wife- andwanted Jamie for Blue Steel, 1990.
- Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman, 1989.
- Catherine O’Hara, Home Alone, 1990. An astonishing 37 stars (Harrison Ford,Jack Nicholson, Jessica Lange, Michelle Pfeiffer, etc) were considered for the forgetful parents - nothing roles in a film written for and duly stolen by the stranded kid, Macauley Culkin.
- Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct, 1991.
- Laura Dern, Jurassic Park, 1992.
- Ally Walker, Brittle Glory, 1996. Part of Stewart Schill's hype in Cannes 1995 said she would play her Dad, Tony Curtis’ daughter in a film few expected on Cannes screens in ’96 - and shot as The Continued Adventures of Reptile Man and his Faithful Sidekick, Tadpole.
- Joan Cusack, Chicken Little, 2004. To find the right voice for Abby Mallard in Disney’s paltry poultry pic, Disney went through JLC, Geena Davis, Laura Dern, Jamie Donnelly, Jodie Foster, Helen Hunt, Holly Hunter, Madonna and, of course, Sigourney Weaver. (By now many Alien fans were working at every studio). Plus Sarah Jessica Parker, when her husband, Matthew Broderick, was in the frame for the titular hero.
- Sigourney Weaver, Avatar, 2008. JLC and Jodie Foster were in the frame for biologist Dr Grace Augustine. But then this was a James Cameron movie, In fact, his biggest space fantasy! So, Grace had to be Ripley! Naturally, she then channeled him for the rôle… “A brilliant, approach-driven, idealistic perfectionist. ” With, she added, “a great heart underneath.”
- Carlo Gugino, Watchmen, 2008. Not so much “Who watches the watchmen?” as Aristotle asked, but who them playeth? As Alan Moore’s forcibly retired superheroes were called back to duty in an alternate 1985 America, JLC, Jessica Biel and Sigourney Weaver was considered for Sally Jupiter aka Silk Spectre (the mother of Laurie, Silk Spectre II, doncha know). Warners then took over the rights. And went cheaper.