- Kate Winslet, Titanic, 1996.
- Dominque Swain, Lolita, 1997. Also trying to be Dolores Haze, aka Lo-lee-tah: Melissa Joan Hart, Christiana Ricci.
- Angelina Jolie, Girl Interrupted, 1998. Another so-called life… Rose McGowan was also Seen for Lisa - cool, confident and sociopathic - among the patients in the Claymore mental hospital. Jolie won the supporting actress Oscar.
- Tara Reid, Dr T and the Women, 1999. Danes passed on Robert Altman’s invitation be Connie Travis, one of the titular Richard Gere’s two daughters - a guide at the Dallas Conspiracy Museum, displaying where JFK was shot.
- Monica Potter, Head Over Heels, 2000. The later much wasted Monica was promoted from a small role when Danes quit so late in the day it was night.
- Kate Hudson, Almost Famous, 2000. Looking for his Penny Lane groupie (based on Pennie Trumble, aka Pennie Lane), in his semi- autobiographical look back to his Rolling Stone reporter “daze,” Cameron Crowe saw all of LA’s bright young things… Danes, Neve Campbell, Kirsten Dunst, Jenna Elfman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Anne Heche, Rose McGowan, Bridget Moynahan, Brittany Murphy, Christina Ricci, Rebecca Romijn, Chloe Sevigny, Mena Suvari. Next? Uma Thurman passed. And the winner, Sarah Polley, split. (Silly girl). Crowe then chose Kate because “she seemed more like a free spirit.” But, but, but… Sevigny was the freest spirt in all Hollywood!
- Anne Hathaway, The Princess Diaries, 2001. Among 22 youngstars (Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Reese Witherspoon, etc) rejecting the awkward San Francisco teenager being groomed (by Julie Andrews!) to inherit the Genovia throne - after director Garry Marshall’s first (shock!) choice of Juliette Lewis quit.
- Anne Hathaway, The Devil Wears Prada, 2005. Claire and Juliette Lewis were seen for fashion icon Meryl Streep’s assistant, Andrea “Andy” Sachs.
- Rachel McAdams, Red Eye, 2004. Horrorsmith Wes Craven also saw Neve Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Amanda Peet, Rachel Weisz, Robin Wright - and made the right choice. Chicago critic Roger Ebert praised McAdams. Highly. “When she’s stalking a terrorist with a hockey stick, she seems like a real woman stalking a real terrorist with a real hockey stick. It’s not as easy as it sounds.”
- Kate Bosworth, Superman Returns, 2006.
- Keri Russell, August Rush, 2007. Liv Tyler was also seen for the cellist mother of the titular Freddie Highmore. Saw this on planes to and from LA for my 70th birthday trip in 2008.
- Katherine Heigl, Knocked Up, 2007.
- Bryce Dallas Howard, Terminator Salvation, 2008. One T was enough (two as she also refused Dr T), so Claire pulled out from reprising John Connors’ wife from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, 2002. French star Charlotte Gainsbourg was (suprisingly) offered the gig... which clashed with her schedule. BDH, The eternal First Reserve, took over. Ron Howard’s daughter made a whole career of replacing others... Claire here; Kirsten Dunst, The Village, 2004; Nicole Kidman, Manderlay, 2005; Lindsay Lohan, The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, 2008; Rachelle Lefevre in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, 2009.
- Diane Kruger, The Host, 2012. Change of The Seeker in Andrew Niccol’s film of Twilight author Stephenie Meyer’s sf book. Hayley Atwell and Eva Green were also listed.
- Naomi Watts, The Glass Castle, 2015. Danes had been first choice for the bizarre mother of the highly dysfunctional, nomadic family Walls.