James Fox

  1. Sean Connery, Thunderball, 1965.
  2. Terence Stamp, Histoires extraordinaires, (UK: Tales of Mystery and Imagination; US: Spirits of the Dead), France-Italy, 1967.  Losing Marlon Brando, Richard Burtpn and Peter O’Toole from his Toby Dammit sketch, Italian maestro  Federico Fellini called a London casting agent, asking to see the most decadent actors available. Fox and Stamp went to Rome. Stamp stayed.
  3. Daniel Massey, Star! 1968.        “Jimmy is a fine, lovely talent,” agreed director Robert Wise,  “but not right as Noel Coward.  Dan, on the other  hand, was a good match.”   (And, in fact, Coward’s Godson). He was sure better than Julie Andrews in the title role of Gertrude Lawrence. The film failed –  twice – being re-hyped as Those Were The Happy Times.  They were decidedly not!
  4. John Hurt, Sinful Davey, 1969.     Performance, his father’s death and smoking the DMT hallucinogenic with Mick Jagger, created  nervous breakdown and Fox quit cinema for God. “People think Performance blew my mind – my mind was blown long before that… I was going through some kind of crisis. I didn’t take that much acid.”
  5. Simon Ward, Young Winston, 1972.      He was still in The Navigators – not  a rock band but the Leeds branch of the Colorado-based evangelical movement,. And stayed withb them for a decade,  meeting his wife, Mary, having five children, rediscovering his values while wortking as “a telephone-sterilising service salesman… and encouraging people to have a personal relationship with God.”
  6. Jeremy Irons, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, 1981.     And, at age 40, he returned to acting in 1979… finding it difficult  to reconcile the wotkm with his new beliefs.  He refused the first comeback job – the blasphemy, sex and brothel scenes bothered his religious conscience.  “Probably,  they thought I was a bit of a weirdo anyway. They were wary of me.”
  7. Patrick Stewart, Lifeforce, 1984.
  8. Sean Connery, The Name Of The Rose, 1986.     The Navigator had no wish to play a monk, thank you. “I came back as a different man and obviously as a worse actor. I hadn’t been practising it for nine or 10 years. And I probably lost touch with who I was in terms of my craft, my identity – and other people’s perception of me.”
  9. Neil Dickson, Biggles, 1986.      Perfect suggestion for the schoolboys’ flying hero of some 96 books by Captain  WE Johns –  none as puerile as this time-travel mess.
  10. Timothy Hutton, The Torrents of Spring, 1988.     The Turgenev tale was one of 65 films exiled US director Joseph Losey could never get off the ground. Polish film-maker Jerzy Skolimowski managed it – with the aid of  the BBC.
  11. Edward Fox, Return From The River Kwaihers, 1989.     That’s what brothers are for…    Anthony  Andrews had also been suggested for the limp  Bridge on the River Kwai sequel.
  12. John Alderton, Clockwork Mice, 1994.    Change of Swaney in director Vadim Jean’s drama. 

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  12