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Cameron Diaz (1972-?)

  1. Sandra Bullock, Speed, 1993.        Although sharing the heroics and the driving of the bus-bomb with Keanu Reeves, most girls saw it as The Guy’s film. An amazing 36 refused to be Annie: Diaz, Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Halle Berry, Glenn Close (!), Geena Davis, Carrie Fisher, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Daryl Hannah, Mariska Hargitay, Barbara Hershey, Anjelica Huston, Diane Lane, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kay Lenz, Alyssa Milano, Demi Moore, Tatum O’Neal, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Winona Ryder, Jane Seymour, Ally Sheedy, Brooke Shields, Meryl Streep (!), Emma Thompson (!), Meg Tilly, Marisa Tomei, Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver and  Debra Winger.
  2. Bridgette Wilson, Mortal Kombat, 1994.       A broken wrist ruled Diaz  out  of the  heavy action in the $20m debut of the franchise based on the video game. For doing all her own stunts, director Paul W.S Ancdrfson called  Wilson:  RoboBabe.   However,   the 1990 Miss Teen USA and future wife of tennis ace Pete Sampras  was too young to be convincing was not hired for the next films and TV series.
  3. Mira Sorvino, Mighty Aphrodite, 1994.       “You didn’t want a blow job so the least I get you was a tie…” Woody Allen’s first choice for Linda Ash was busy. Woody hated the high-pitched tones Sorvino used in her test. He went to London to promote Bullets Over Broadway and see UK actresses. Sorvino went, too, calling on him at the Dorchester Hotel - dressed as the hooker character. “She was dressed so tarty,” said Woody, “I’m surprised they let her up.”
  4. Sofia Shinas, The Crow, 1994.          The model globetrotter lost The Crow - but won The Mask in the same year. And that debut (more much more screentime) was the end of modeling.
  5. Julia Ormond, Sabrina, 1995.       Even before the bad casting, director Sydney Pollack's totally unnecessary re-make was already a gross error of judgement. He tested Juliette Binoche and dancer Darcy Bissell and considered Delpy, Sandra Bullock, Julie Delpy, Cameron Diaz, Demi Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robin Wright, Catherine Zeta-Jones. All better suited than Ormond. So it blows.   
  6. Sharon Stone, Casino,1994. The role? Robert De Niro’s ex-show-cum-call-girl wife in Martin Scorsese takedown of the Mafia running the biz called Las Vegas.  Michelle Pfeiffer felt it was too close to her 1982 Scarface. (It was also close to Goodfellasbut that didn’t hinder the De Niro-Joe Pesci-Scorsese trinity). Ex-porn queen Traci Lords nearly won after an impressive test.  Likewise, Madonna. Amber Smith also tested and De Niro got her into  Faithfuland  Abel Ferrar’s The Funeral. Also seen: Cameron Diaz, Melanie Griffith, Nicole Kidman, Rene Russo and Uma Thurman.  "I want to be good enough to work with Robert De Niro,” Sharon Stone had told her drama coach. This time she was. Never again.
  7. Bridgette Wilson, Mortal Kombat, 1995.      For director Paul WS Anderson’s movie of the video-game, Diaz, Dina Meyer (Starship Troopers) and Sharon Stone were beaten to hardboiled cop Sonya Blade by… well, she was still plain Wilson at the time, five years before marrying a certain US tennis champ and becoming Bridgette Wilson-Sampras.
  8. Renée  Zellweger, Jerry Maguire, 1996.     “You had me at Hello…” Once Tom Hanks passed and Tom Cruise breathed a sigh of relief, auteur Cameron Crowe started searching for The Girl: Dorothy Boyd.   Diaz, Patricia Arquette, Bridget Fonda, Janeane Garofalo, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lopez, Courtney Love, Parker Posey, Molly Ringwald, Winona Ryder, Mira Sorvino, Marisa Tomei, Uma Thurman, even Zellweger, came and went. Recommended by Edward Burns (one of the Jerry possibles), Connie Britton made a good test with Cruise and she was Dorothy - depending on Zellweger’s call back meeting with him. “We have video of that because I was filming,” Crowe told Mike Fleming Jr for Deadline Hollywood’s 20-years-later feature in 2017, “and you just see something happen when Tom sees her. He lights up… As Jerry discovers Dorothy, we discover Renée. That was a very personal thing for me and the way I feel about movies.”
  9. Courtney Love, The People vs Larry Flynt, 1996.        “I got to meet [Czech director] Milos Forman and Courtney was the first person I thought about.  I was a big fan of her music.”
  10. Jennifer Lopez, Money Train, 1996.        Imagine it - the three unknowns auditioning to be Wesley Snipes’ co-star were: Diaz,  Lopez and the Latino (from Wales), Catherine Zeta-Jones.

  11. Renée Zellweger, Jerry Maguire, 1996.        Diaz was saved for the next Cameron Crowe-Tom Cruise movie, Vanilla Sky, 2001.    And walked on, with Crowe, as train passengers, in  the next Cruise movie, Minority Report, 2002.
  12. Kate Winslet, Titanic, 1996.
  13. Reese Witherspoon, American Psycho, 1999.    There was one ignoble  moment in the tangled web of filming Bret Easton Ellis’ novel when Oliver Stone replaced Mary Harrron as director, before he quit and she  returned… using one only  of Stone’s line-up. And that was not Diaz as Evelyn.
  14. Jennifer Love Hewitt, Heartbreakers, 2000.     An early plan was  Diaz as Page aka Wendy aka Jane opposite  Cher as her mother Angela aka Max aka Ulga. Yes, they were a scam team, seducing and fleecing old men.  Like Gene Hackman.
  15. Angelina Jolie, Lara Croft, Tomb Raider, 2000.For the girls, Lara Croft is their James Bond.  Well, more of a sexy Indiana Jones.  And 21 hopefuls wanted to bringther sassy, video-game adventurer to life. Demi More was, perhaps, the most keen, but who was simply disregarded. Christina Applegate, Drew Barrymore, Sandra Bullock, Cameron Diaz, Nicole Eggert, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Kate Hudson, Elizabeth Hurley, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Lopez, Gwneth Paltrow, Anna Nicole Smith (a joke, surely), Catherine Zeta-Jones were considered. Fairuza Balk, Natalie Cassidy, Kirsten Dunst and Milla Jovovich auditioned while Denise Richards, Charlize Theron, Uma Thurman and Liv Tyler simply refused. And Lara’s guy (who fled the sequel) was Daniel Craig - complete with a Walther PPK pistol that he would use again as 007 in Casino Royale, 2005.
  16. Renée Zellweger, Bridget Jones’ Diary, 2001.    She lost but helped stave off the attack from true Brits Rachel Weisz and (the perfect Bridget) Kate Winslet .
  17. Anne Hathaway, The Princess Diaries, 2001.    Among 22 youngstars (Jessica Alba  to Reese Witherspoon) rejecting the awkward San Francisco teenager being groomed (by Julie Andrews!) to inherit the Genovia throne - after director Garry Marshall’s (rather surprising) first choice of Juliette Lewis quit.
  18. Kirsten Dunst, Spider-Man, 2001.
  19. Renée Zellweger, Chicago, 2002.
  20. Queen Latifah, Chicago, 2001.

  21. Tea Leoni, Fun with Dick and Jane, 2004.       Her hectic schedule stopped Charlize being Jane - opposite Jim Carrey’s  Dick.
  22. Eva Mendes, Hitch, 2004.   Er, this is the 21st Century… ? Will Smith said Sara was supposed to be white but the suits said an interacial couple was taboo. Same suits nixed a black actress - as two blacks didn’t make a white audience. Hispanic ? OK, no problem.  They already had the perfect  girl - the ravishing Mendes. So despite his box-office clout,  Smith had no power at all as star and producer -  not, even, apparently, to walk away in disgust.
  23. Nicole Kidman, Bewitched, 2005.       Kidman was (inexplicably) up for everything that year, so no chance for Cameron, Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth  Paltrow or Alicia Silverstone. 
  24. Laurie Holden, Silent Hill, 2005.      French realisateur Christophe Gans  first chased Diaz for the role of Cybil for the film of the video game. 
  25. Kate Bosworth, Superman Returns, 2006.
  26. Katherine Heigl, Knocked Up, 2007.
  27. Kate Hudson, Nine, 2009. 
  28. Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns, 2017.   When Walt Disney made the first Poppins, he mused over Bette Davis, Angela Lansbury or Mary Martin for Mary but by 1963, he had only one star in mind. Julie Andrews. For this reboot, Disney suits went through no less than 37 contenders... Two Desperate Housewives:Kristin Davis, Teri Hatcher. Two Friends:Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow. Two Brat Packers: Molly Ringwald, Winona Ryder.  Two of the three authors of The Penis Song: Christina Aplegate, Cameron Diaz. Three sirens: Kim Basinger, Heather Graham Uma Thurman. Four ex-child stars: Drew Barrymore, Alyssa Milano, Tatum O’Neal, Brooke Shields. Ten Oscar-winners: Sandra Bullock, Helen Hunt, Angelina Jolie, Julianne Moore, Tatum O‘Neal, Julia Roberts, Hilary Swank, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon, Renée Zellweger. Plus: Patricia Arquette, Melanie Griffith, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Peiffer, Meg Ryan, Alicia Silverstone, Naomi Watts. But just two Brits: Kate Beckinsale  - and the winning Emily.










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