Michelle Pfeiffer


  1. Jodie Foster, Taxi Driver, 1975.    
  2. Brooke Shields, Pretty Baby, 1977.    The plot sickens… A prostitute allows 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 29 hopefuls and/or instant (parental) refusals for pretty little 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 Pfeiffer, Melissa Sue Anderson, Rosanna Arquette, Linda Blair, Jamie Lee Curtis, 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), Ally Sheedy, Meg Tilly, Charlene Tilton  (pre-Dallas)…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.
  3. Shelley Hack, Charlie’s Angels, TV, 1979-1980.    No, really…!When Kate Jackson quit after four seasons of jigglevision, Pfeiffer and Kathy Lee Gifford were suggested replacements. The series was structured around Kateand utilised many of her ideas, title included- better, she insisted, than… Alley Cats! Hack was succeeded in turn by Tanya Roberts, finally helping toachieve producer Aron Spelling’s first plan of a blonde, a brunette and a readhead as Charlie’s (originally, Harry’s) private eyefuls.
  4. Brooke Shields, The Blue Lagoon, 1979.      Auditioned for Emmeline – despiteGrease director Randal Kleiser wanting his shipwrecked couple to be naked throughout the re-make. (They were not). Shields had her long hair glued to her front – and a nude body double.
  5. Debra Winger, Urban Cowboy, 1980.     “At the   time,” said producer Bob Evans about Travolta, “anything John wanted, John got.” Hundred of new faces were tested for the tough-cookie lead – a star-making part.   It came down to Winger v Pfeiffer. “Winger won out,” said producer Evans. “Why? Because I wanted Pfeiffer”!  
  6. Brooke Shields, Endless Love, 1980.   Now this doesn’t happen very often… Shirley Knight was displeased with Brooke Shields as her teenage daughter and set about re-casting Jade. She gave a list of better prospects to her director Franco Zeffirelli. Including Pfeiffer, Rosanna Arquette, Linda Blair, Bo Derek, Carrie Fisher, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kristy McNichol. Knight wuz right. They were all better, with the possible exception of beauteous Bo. Zeffirelli, however, was a very macho Italian maestro. He was the boss. OK, ready Brooke – and… action! And just do your best…
  7. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, 1981.       The US high school movie..! Researched and written by Cameron Crowe, directed by Amy Heckerling. The rôle: Brad’s foxy sister, Stacy. The choices: Pfeiffer, Ellen Barkin, Geena Davis, Jodie Foster (studying at Yale), Diane Lane, Lori Loughlin, Kelly Preston, Brooke Shields, Elizabeth Shue. Few were keen on joining Richard Romanus in full-frontalism. (The scene was cut to avoid an X-rating!).
  8. Elizabeth McGovern, Once Upon a Time in America, 1982.   Italian maestro Sergio Leoneclaimed he interviewed “over 3,000 actors,” taping 500 auditions for the 110 speaking roles in his New York gangster epic.  He certainly saw 33 girls for nymphet Deborah Gelly: Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Jennifer Beals, Linda Blair, Glenn Close, Jamie Lee Curtis, Geena Davis, Farrah Fawcett, Carrie Fisher, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Linda Hamilton, Daryl Hannah, Goldie Hawn, Mariel Hemingway, Diane Lane, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Heather Locklear, Kristy McNIchol, Liza Minnelli, Tatum O’Neal, Michelle Pfeiffer, Meg Ryan, Susan Sarandon, Cybill Shepherd, Sissy Spacek, Meryl Streep, Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver, Debra Winger. Plus Brooke Shields as the younger version. Deborah was 15 in the first script; McGovern was 20.
  9. Jennifer Beals, Flashdance, 1982.    The “nation-wide search“ (of LA…!!) came down to  20 possibilities for flashprancer for flashprancer Alex Owens.  La Pfeiffer, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bo Derek, Janice Dickinson, Bridget Fonda, Jennifer Grey (yet she won Dirty Dancing), Melanie Griffith, Daryl Hannah, Mariel Hemingway, Helen Hunt (hated the script), Jennifer Jason Leigh, Heather Locklear, Andie MacDowell, Kathy Najimy, Tatum O’Neal, Kyra Sedgwick, Sharon Stone  and Debra Winger. Pix of the final three – Beals, Demi Moore and Leslie Wing – were shown to the studio’s  construction guys by Paramount suits asking: “Which of these women do you most wanna fuck?”   Dissolve.
  10. Deborah Foreman, Valley Girl, 1982.   First in the loop for  Julie Richman. Forman’s eventual screen mom, Colleen Camp,  was a mere nine years older!  
  11. Wendy Schaal, Where the Boys Are, 1983.  OK, so he turned Grease  into a 1978 global smash. But Allan Carr also made too many Ann-Margret “specials,”  Grease 2, Can’t Stop the Music and this waste of space – neither  re-make or sequel to the 1968 title. Just ‘80s college girls following the Spring Break path of  their 60’s forebears  to Fort Lauderdale. Never had  sun, sea and sex been so boring!  
  12. Rachel Ward, The Thorn Birds, TV, 1983.  Michelle, Kim Basinger, Lynne Frederick, Audrey Hepburn, Olivia Newton-John and Jane Seymour were all the mix for Meggie Cleary, heroine of Colleen McCullough novel set in the 1920s’ Australian Outback. Bryan Brown was the only Aussie star in the down-under Gone with the Wind – made in LA. He married leading lady Rachel Ward. On and off-screen!  Amanda Donohoe was Meggie in the 1996 “midquel,” The Thorn Birds: The Missing Years.

  13. Linda Hamilton, The Terminator, 1983.  
    In all, 55 actresses were considered, seen or tested for Sarah Connor (aged 18; Linda was 27) opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger.   James Cameron auteured Sarah for Bridget Fonda. She passed; so did Tatum O’Neal. He decided to go older…  and Glenn Close won – her schedule didn’t agree. OK, Kate Capshaw! No, she was tied to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – and Kathleen Turner was Romancing The Stone. Debra Winger won her audition, said yes… then no.   The other 48 ladies were The ’80s Group: Pfeiffer, Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Christy Brinkley, Colleen Camp, Jamie Lee Curtis, Geena Davis, Judy Davis, Mia Farrow, Carrie Fisher, Jodie Foster, Teri Garr, Jennifer Grey, Melanie Griffith, Darryl Hannah, Barbara Hershey, Anjelica Huston, Amy Irving, Diane Keaton, Margot Kidder, Diane Lane, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kay Lenz, Heather Locklear, Lori Loughlin, Kelly McGillis, Kristy McNichol, Deborah Raffin, Meg Ryan, Susan Sarandon, Ally Sheedy, Cybill Shepherd, Brooke Shields, Sissy Spacek, Sharon Stone, Lea Thompson, Sigourney Weaver… one aerobics queen, Bess Motta (she became Sarah’s room-mate, Ginger Ventura), two singers (Madonna, Liza Minnelli), two Brits (Miranda Richardson, Jane Seymour), five essentially funny girls, Goldie Hawn, Rhea Perlman (Mrs Danny De Vito), Gilda Radner, Mary Tyler Moore… plus the new MTM, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, from Saturday Night Live. 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.

  14. Daryl Hannah. Splash, 1983.    A mermaid?  Moi? That’s what they  all said, more or less.  Except Debra Winger who longed to be  Madison. (Director Ron Howard did not agree). The full 19 options were… Hannah,  Rosanna Arquette, Jodie Foster (she was booked into The Hotel New Hampshire), General  Hospital  soap queen Genie Francis, Melanie Griffith, Diane Lane, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tatum O’Neal, Michelle Pfeiffer, Molly Ringwald, Tanya Roberts (booked for Sheena: Queen of the Jungle), Ally Sheedy, Brooke Shields (studying French Literature at Princeton), Sharon Stone, Kathleen Turner, Lisa Whelchel (from The Facts of Life, 1979-1988), Debra Winger.  Plus two Brits, Lynne Frederick and Fiona Fullerton – impressive as the daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra, 1970.  Oh and PJ Soles, who was originally chosen to co-star with… Bill Murray – as Disney’s new (“adult”) Touchstone unit rushed Splash into production to beat Warren Beatty’s similar “half-human-half-kipper” tail. Mermaid.
  15. Anjelica Huston, Prizzi’s Honor, 1984.   “So let’s do it. Right here. On the Oriental. With all the lights on.” Maerose Prizzi knew what she wanted, where and when from her Family’s hit man, Jack Nicholson – the unlikeliest Mafioso since the Corleones’ James Caan. Before realising his daughter was Oscar-winning perfection, director John Huston looked at some 19 potential Maeroses. From the sublime Pfeiffer (been there, done that and got the Married To The Mob and Scarface t-shirs),Rosanna Arquette, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Liza Minnelli, Demi Moore, Debra Winger… to the ridiculous: Geena Davis, Melanie Griffith, Daryl Hannah, Emma Thompson, Sela Ward, Debra Winger… and the damn stupid: Linda Blair, Carrie Fisher, Kelly Lebrock, Heather Locklear, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ally Sheedy.
  16. Kim Greist, Brazil, 1985.    Women are Terry Gilliam’s weakest casting points…Ellen Barkin was his favourite for Jill, yet hefell for an unknown riddled with so many problems. “Kim just wasn’t getting it.”She gave him so much trouble, during one love-scene with Jonathan Pryce that Gilliam strode off the set.  “Kim, do the scene yourself and let me  know when you’ve  got it done. I’m off.”He kept having to shorten her role and even resorted to her wearing a bandage for “more personality.” Not necessary if he’d chosen from his eight other interviewees:Pfeiffer, Rosanna Arquette, Rae Dawn Chong, Jamie Lee Curtis, Rebecca De Mornay, Kelly McGillis, Madonna, Kathleen Turner.
  17. Elisabeth Shue, Adventures in Babysitting, 1986.         Back in the 60s, teenage babysitter Chris Parker was set for Jane Fonda. By the 80s, her logical heir, her niece Bridget, was dismissive. Julia Louis-Dreyfus was signed, followed by Jodie Foster, then it became a battle between Kathleen Turner (the fourth #1 choice), Pfeiffer (preferring The Witches of Eastwick… until she made it!), Justine Bateman, Valerie Bertinelli, Judy Davis, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Andie MacDowell, Kelly McGillis (spurned by director Christopher Columbus), Tatum O’Neal (who simply fled), Brooke Shields and Sharon Stone.
  18. Meg Ryan, Innerspace,  1986.   The very title comes from dialogue in the film that inspired this spoof: Fantastic Voyage, 1965. Hero Dennis Quaid  is miniaturised into a capsule  and injected into Martin Short’s butt. (Never that funny). For the secondary rôle of Quaid‘s girl, 22 actresses were seen, auditioned and/or tested: Karen Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Beverly d’Angelo, Jodie Foster, Linda Hamilton, Anjelica Huston, Amy Irving (being wed to exec producer Steven Spielberg didn’t help!), Amy Madigan, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Demi Moore, Michelle Pfeiffer, Molly Ringwald Julia Roberts, Rene Russo, Ally Sheedy, Elisabeth Shue, Madeleine Stowe, Sigourney Weaver, Claudia Wells, Sean Young. And, of course, Meg – and Quaid married her during 1991-2001.
  19. Sean Young, No Way Out, 1986.   Pfeiffer said no and Aussie director Roger Donaldson said no to Priscilla Presley’s pleas. And so it was Sean Young indulging in  some erotic hanky-panky  with Kevin Costner in the back of a Washington limo during the excellent thriller. Labyrinthine and ingenious, said Roger Ebert.
  20. Glenn Close, Fatal Atraction, 1987.

  21. Susan Sarandon, Bull Durham, 1987.   Ron Shelton had one helluva job trying to win backing for his directing debut. “Baseball movies don’t sell.”  His producer Thom Mount was part-owner of the real Durham Bulls squad. He recognised what Roger Ebert would call a treasure because it knows so much about baseball and so little about love.” Kim Basinger was Shelton’s first choice for Annie (an Annie is s baseball groupie).“There’s never been a ballplayer slept with me who didn’t have the best year of his career.”  He tested Carrie Fisher, Mary Steenburgen, Pamela Stephenson, Debra Winger… considered Kate Capshaw, Geena Davis (who made the female ball movie, A League of Their Own), Michelle Pfeiffer (too young) and Isabella Rossellini…  felt  Kay Lenz and Michelle Pfeiffer were too young… while Glenn Close was having Dangerous Liaisons in France, Melanie Griffith was a busy Working Girl and Kelly McGillis preferred The Accused. He also thought of Cybil Shepherd and Bruce Willis as The Couple but Moonlighting got in the way.   And that’s how the splendid Susan Sarandon met Tim Robbins and  lived together for 21 years.
  22. 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 Pfeiffer to Debra Winger, by way of Diane Keaton and, naturally, Meryl Streep). Plus Blythe Danner, Sally Field, Terri Garrt, Mary Gross, Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver, Dianne Wiest. A 1982 rape victim herself, McGillis obviously refused the main role. She agreed to play the victim’s lawyer – as long as Foster was her client.
  23. Kim Basinger,  Batman, 1988.

  24. Melanie Griffith, Working Girl, 1988.  
    “If you ever want to make money, do Cinderella,” said Mike Nichols. Even better if he’s directing – despite a coke-head  star. (He made Her Highness Melanie Griffith pay $80,000 from her salary for having to close down shooting one night due to her wasted condition). Fox never wanted her, anyway, but Njchols was Nichols; he ruled. “She incarnated Tess and there was no great version of the movie without her,” declared producer Douglas Wick.   The earliest notion was Madonna. Mike rang producer Douglas Wick: ”Turn on your TV. Madonna’s on The Tonight  Show.  See what you think of her…” They also saw Lorraine Bracco (devastated after, she thought nailing her test), Goldie Hawn (bit old at 43), Diane Lane, Shelley Long, Demi Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker.  Plus Michelle Pfeiffer and Meryl Streep for Tess or her wicked witch boss, Katharine; won by Sigourney Weaver. (Some 26 years later, Griffith’s daughter, Dakota Johnson, headed the darker and, supposedly, more erotic version of the office power-play tale in Fifty Shades of Grey).

  25. Sigourney Weaver, Working Girl, 1988.   Pfeiffer – and Meryl Streep –  were seen for the titular Tess (an office, not street worker) or her wicked witch boss, Katharine; won by Weaver. From… Anne Archer, Cher, Geena Davis, Shelley Long, Natasha Richardson, Kathleen Turner and Debra Winger.

  26. Jodie Foster, The Silence of the Lambs, 1989.

  27. Annette Bening, Valmont, 1989.  As true Brit director Stephen Frears was trying to get Michelle for the virtuous Tourvel in Dangerous Liaisons, Czech film-maker Milos Forman was chasing her for the wicked Merteuil in his version also shot in various French chateaux  in that summer of  ’88.  8 Michelle chose wisely,   narrowly lost an Oscar and later took over the pregnant Bening’s  Catwoman in Batman Returns, 1991.. after… 

  28. Annette Bening, The Grifters, 1989.  Pfeiffer v Bening II.  For Myra Langtry in another Stephen Frears marvel. (Produced by Martin Sclosese).  Then, Michelle took over the pregnant Annette’s Catwoman in Batman Returns, 1991.  Melanie Grtiffith had also been in the Myra mix.
  29. Nicole Kidman, Days of Thunder, 1989.   Dr Claire Lewicki was aimed at all the usual misses. Pfeiffer, Kim Basinger, Sandra Bullock, Jodie Foster, Heather Locklear, Madonna, Sarah Jessica Parker, Molly Ringwald, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Ally Sheedy, Brooke Shields, Sharon Stone, Robin Wright. And a newcomer to such rosters: the Irish Alison Doody. They all passed what was a formulaic Tom Cruise movie – ie, all about Cruise as a cocky young talent, with an older mentor, older (even taller) woman, and surpassing his enemies… literally, in this chapter, as a Daytona NASCAR driver. He chose Kidman, after seeing Dead Calm, and promptly married her: 1990-2001.  And she learned about superstar formulas. When she begged time to study neurosurgery for her surgeon’s role, she was told, basically, not to be so silly.
  30. Melanie Griffith, Bonfire of the Vanities, 1989.        “I knew De Palma  wanted  someone else,” said Melanie, “and I knew she’d turned it  down.  I went in and said:  I really think I can do this –  please let me.  Same thing  I did with  Body Double.” 

  31. Madonna, Dick Tracy, 1990.    High on the list of the titular star and director Warren Beatty for chanteuse Breathless Mahoney were Kim Basinger, Michelle Pfeiffer and Sharon Stone.  Except he knew Mic helle’s  prices would be too high. His timely affair with Madonna led to her agreement for scale – $1,440 a week. With her resulting album, she actually made… $20m.
  32. Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman, 1989.  
  33. Daryl Hannah, Crazy People, 1989.  The Mad Man goeth… His co-star and lover, Michelle Pfeiffer, followed when John Malkovich quit due to “personal problems.” Of all people, cuddly Dudley took over from the never cuddly Malkovich as the burnt out ad man now falling for Hannah. Roger Ebert said   there was “more really big laughs in it than any other unsuccessful comedy I’ve seen.”
  34. Lena Olin, Havana, 1990.      Robert Redford and director Sydney Pollack’s seventh (and worst) film came from a Judith Rascoe script shelved since the 70s. Now it was touted as a 90s’ Casablanca, teaming Redford with…. Well, he wanted Michelle Pfeiffer (he had to wait until 1995’s Up Close and Personal), or Sonia Braga from his second directing gig, The Milagro Beanfield War, 1987. Sharon Stone was also seen. Then, some suit said, “Hey, wasn’t the Casblanca broad Swedish?” Enter: Olin. And like Braga before her, Lena immediately had an affair with Redford.
  35. Catherine O’Hara, Home Alone, 1990.  For the zero roles of Macauley Culkin’s forgetful parents (in a film written for and duly stolen by him), an astonishing 66 stars were considered – including 32 later seen for the hot lovers in Basic Instinct:Kim Basinger, Stockard Channing, Glenn Close, Kevin Costner, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Douglas, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Linda Hamilton, Daryl Hannah, Marilu Henner, Anjelica Huston, Helen Hunt, Holly Hunter, Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, Christopher Lloyd, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Annie Potts, Kelly Preston, Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan, Martin Sheen, Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, John Travolta.   Other near Moms were Kirstie Alley, Lynda Carter, Kim Cattrall, Geena Davis, Laura Dern, Jennifer Grey, Gates McFadden, Kelly McGillis, Bette Midler, Ally Sheedy, Mary Steenburgen, Debra Winger… and the inevitable unknown: Maureen McCormick, part of The Brady Bunch  for seven 1981 chapters.
  36. Julia Roberts, Hook, 1990.       Michelle was in Tinkerbell wardrobe when Julia skipped off to Ireland with new lover Jason Patric in mid-shoot, causing delays in the over-stretched production.   Steven Spielberg said unless Julia reported back by a given date, she was out.  She camew back and proved so difficult the crew called her Tinkerhell.
  37. Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct, 1991
  38. Geena Davis, Thelma and Louise, 1991.
  39. Madonna, A League of Their Own, 1991.   “There’s no crying in baseball….”  Long-time ball fan, director Penny Marshall had never heard of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (1943-1954) until seeing a 1987 PBS documentary. She swiftly contacted the makers to join her Hollywood writers to use their title for a fictional comedy-drama version.  Penny staged baseball tests for about 2,000 actresses – if you can’t play ball, you can’t play the Rockford Peaches. (Geena Davis, Rosie O’Donnell, Lori Petty were best).  Also on the plate for ‘All the Way Mae’ Mordabito were Lindsay Frost, Barbara Hershey and  La Pfeiffer.  Madonna was not a happy camper.  As she wrote to photographer Steven Meisel: “I cannot suffer any more than I have in the past month, learning how to play baseball with a bunch of girls (yuk) in Chicago (double yuk). I have a tan, I’m dirty all day, and I hardly ever wear make up…  and when God decided where the beautiful men were going to live in the world, he did not choose Chicago.”
  40. Annette Bening, Bugsy, 1991.       Warren Beatty hired auteur pal James Toback to pen a script about the Las Vegas creator, gangster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel. The script arrived six years later! Now it was Beatty who wanted Pfieffer as his lover, Hollywood starlet Virginia Hill. Michelle passed, Stone was seen, Bening agreed – and against all the odds, after all the major conquests of his amazing sex life (Julie Christie, Joan Collins, Diane Keaton, Madonna, Barbra Streisand, Natalie Wood and an ridicoulusly guestimated 12,769 others), Beatty married her in 1992. Love at first sight. “He let out this growl,” Toback told Beatty biographer Peter Biskind. “A primordial yelp of love, lust, desire, enthusiasm…”
  41. Penelope Ann Miller, Other People’s Money, 1991.      By the time Canadian director Norman   Jewison had accrued enough of the title, Hoffman-Pfeiffer, had became Danny DeVito-Miller. Totally turn off.

  42. Susan Sarandon, Lorzeno’s Oil, 1992
    “It’s this terrible inferiority complex she’s got about not being educated,” explained Australian director George Miller when, ever-honest, Michelle felt “she wasn’t up to the role.”  She wasn’t a mother and felt inferior to the  IQ of Lorenzo’s real mother, Micheala Odones. Susan refused to read the script until she knew that Pfeiffer was no longer part of the film. “Absolutely the right  people ended up in  the film,” said Doctor George , “more by luck than design.”

  43. Meg Ryan, Sleepless in Seattle, 1992.   Or… When Harry Met Sally Meets When Sam Met Suzy. Same writer, Nora Ephron. Same Sally – Meg Ryan in the second of three ephemeral movies with Tom Hanks. Also forgetting that romcoms are rarely plausible: Jodie Foster, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Nicole Kidman, Demi Moore, Julia Roberts. And a surprise Brit. Natasha Richardson.
  44. Julie   Kavner, This Is   My   Life, 1992.      Scenarist Nora Ephron’s directing debut was a go at Fox   if she got Cher, Bette Midler or Pfeiffer – as a Jewish housewife-cum-comic from Queens! More suitable for Julie, aka the voice of Marge Simpsons  in the  toon series.
  45. Demi Moore, A Few Good Men, 1992.    Beauty can be a beast… Director Rob Reiner considered   her opposite Tom Cruise. Until casting director Jane Jenkins said: “If you put two of the most beautiful people in the world together,   the  audience   would be   disappointed   if there wasn’t a love story.”
  46. Laura Dern, Jurassic Park, 1992.
  47.  Uma Thurman, Pulp Fiction, 1993.
  48. Sharon Stone, Sliver, 1993.        “Sharon Stone was one, two and three on my dance card,” said producer Bob Evans. Yet she had to be persuaded by him talking to other top ladies.
  49. Lena Olin, Mr Jones, 1993.     Quit as Richard Gere’s shrink when beating the Swedish Olin to Catwoman in Batman Returns.
  50. Meryl Streep, The House of the Spirits, 1993.    Only Glenn Close remained from the Bening-Close-Pffeifer trio set for the film five years earlier…  Danish director Bille August was turned  down by Pfeiffer and  Annette Bening.  He then gave Clara to Streep. Her daughter, Grace Gummer, made her screen debut, as the younger Clara…  among his ridiculous choice of Anglos (Glenn Close, Jeremy Irons, Vanessa Redgrave, etc) for Isabel Allende’s passionate Chileans. Which made our favourite  critic Roger Ebert make use of  Mark Twain on women, swearing. “They know the words, but not the music.”

  51. 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: Michelle, Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Halle Berry, Glenn Close (!), Geena Davis, Cameron Diaz, 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, 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.
  52. Jodie Foster, Maverick, 1993.  Pfeiffer and Julia Roberts were first reserves in case Foster proved unavailable (like Meg Ryan) to join Richard Donner’s Western. Hearing that news probably pushed Foster into tackling the new Bret Maverick (she always called him Bert): Mel  Gibson. Plus a load of old tele-cowpoke heroes: Henry Darrow, James Drury, Robert Fuller, Doug McClure, Denver Pyle, William Smith…and the original Bert, er Bret: James Garner.

  53. Nicole Kidman, To Die For, 1994.  
    You aren’t anybody in America if you’re not on TV…”   Most bright young things agreed this was a role to die for…  the girl who would do anything (murder included) to get on TV, and stay there. They included Pfeiffer, Patricia Arquette, Jennifer Connelly, Joan Cusack, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Darryl Hannah, Holly Hunter, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tatum O’Neal, Mary-Louise Parker, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Meg Ryan (passing up $5m), Brooke Shields, Uma Thurman. However, Debra Winger simply refused… and Kidman persuaded director Gus Van Sant that she was his destiny.

  54. 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.
  55. Demi Moore, Disclosure, 1994.   Pfeiffer, Annette Bening and Geena Davis and Michelle Pfeiffer were  lucky  to  miss the  big cleavage shot in  in what was trumpeted as  the  first film  dealing with the male sexual harassment  of women in the workplace! . It was quickly shot down by  our favourite critic, the late Roger Ebert, as  “an exercise in pure cynicism, with little respect for its subject.”
  56. Patricia Arquette, Beyond Rangoon, 1995.      Veteran UK director John Boorman craved her. She didn’t wish to subject her newly adopted daughter to Malaysia  locations.
  57. Sigourney Weaver, Death And The Maiden, 1995.      Paris director Roman Polanski’s leading lady in mid-1994 – after his idea about re-uniting the long separated Jack Nicholson-Anjelica Huston did not pan out. (Sean Penn   pulled that off that coup   for The Crossing Guard, 1995).
  58. Annette Bening, The American President, 1995,     Three years before it had   almost been President Robert Redford eloping with Michelle. They still managed to set   Up Close and Persona in1996.
  59. Sharon Stone, Casino, 1995.      Always planned   for Michelle, until becoming a golden opportunity for Sharon to remind Hollywood that she was, first and foremost, an actresss.   She   soon forgot that when she didn’t win her possible last shot at   an Oscar…. before playing Afghanistani   grannies with terminal cancer.

  60. Madonna, Evita, 1996.
    “I wish I’d done it – a dream role!   But not doing it was the right choice at the time. I was seven months pregnant when I started doing demos for [director] Oliver Stone singing ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.’ Then I had my son    and the timing was so wrong.” Brit director Alan Parker was also keen but the overtures made to Michelle “outraged” producer Robert Stigwood and the musical’s creators, Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Tim Rice.  The fools!

  61. Rene Russo, Tin Cup, 1996.     Writer-director Ron Shelton saw “scads more girls” after Pfeiffer passed on playing golf with Kevin Costner.
  62. Milla Jovovich, The Fifth Element, France, 1996.    That was the 1993 plan – still opposite Bruce Willis.   Until realisateur Luc Besson (literally) fell in love with Milla.
  63. Ashley Judd, Double Jeopardy, 1999.     Rejected  Bruce Beresford’s offer   – twice.   Jodie Foster also passed. “I still think people will find out that I’m really not very talented,” Michelle said. “That I’m really not very good. That it’s all just been a big sham.”
  64. Demi Moore, Passion in Mind, 1998.      Originally developed for Pfeiffer during   a decade ‘s on-off history,   the project of a woman living parallel lives in France and America – was soon chased by Nicole Kidman, Meg Ryan, among others, until Demi snagged it.
  65. Angelina Jolie, Original Sin, 2000.    Michelle bought the rights to Cornell Woolrich’s pulp fiction. Waltz Into Darkness, and always intended to star in this re-make of Francois Truffaut’s 1968 version, La sirène du Mississippi. (His second film from Woolrich, whose It Had to Be Murder was the basis for Hitchcock’s Rear Window). Finally, she simply produced, choosing Antonio Banderas and Jolie for the old Jean-Paul Belmondo/Catherine Denuve roles of coffee planter and his mail-order bride. 
  66. Halle Berry, Catwoman, 2004.      If they could only have come   up with a more comfortable suit… Her  Batman Returns  outfit in 1991 put her off the role for life.

  67. Nicole Kidman, Bewitched, 2004.    
    For inexplicable reasons, Hollywood kept trying to make a movie out of the  1968-1972 ABC sitcom about a good-looking witch and a Dagwood husband.  In 1993, Penny Marshall was going to direct Meryl Streep as Samantha, then passed the reins to Ted Bissell and he died in 1996 when his Richard Curtis script was planned as Melanie Griffths’ comeback.  Nora Ephron co-wrote and directed this lumbering version about an ego-driven actor trying to save his career with a Bewitched re-hash, but with the emphasis on him (of course) as Darrin, rather than the unknown he chose for Samatha because she can wiggle her nose…  (You didn’t need a nose to know it stank).  Over the years, 37 other ladies were on the Samantha wish-list. Take a deep breath… Kate Beckinsale, Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Connelly, Cameron Diaz, Heather Graham, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd, Julianne Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Michelle Pfeiffer, Molly Ringwald, Meg Ryan, Winona Ryder, Brooke Shields, Charlize Theron, Naomi Watts, Renee Zellweger.  Plus seven Oscar-winners:  Kim Basinger, Tatum O’Neal, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Hilary Swank, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon… twoFriends: Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow…eleven other TV stars: Christina Applegate, Patricia Arquette, Kristin Davis, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Helen Hunt, Jenny McCarthy, Alyssa Milano, Brittany Murphy, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alicia Silverstone… even  Drew Barrymore and Uma Thurman, who had already re-kindled Charlie’s Angels and The Avengers.

  68. Tilda Swinton, The Chronicles ogf Narnia:  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, 2005. Passed on The White With h.  She had not made a mov ie since 2002. And her kids were asking: When ya going back to work, Mom? 2005.  “I wasn’t reading anything that I wanted to commit to. But it’s hard to know if I was being dismissive because maybe, subconsciously, I was ready to take a break.”  (Also in the cauldron:  Nicole Kidman and Kate Winslet).
  69. Eva Green, Casino Royale, 2005.

  70. Hope Davis, Infamous, 2006.      A second Truman   Capote   biopic in twelve months – but   Slim Keith was a tiny role. Or, it was after Michelle rejected it. “I’m always inclined to talk myself out of work, though, It’s a strange thing that I do. I get cold feet. I overthink.”

  71. Virgina Madsen, A Prairie Home Companion, 2006.      Due as the Dangerous Woman in   what, alas, proved to be veteran US director Bob Altman’s last hurrah. Michelle finally came back in three films in 2007 in I Could Never Be Your Woman, Stardust and the Hairspray musical.

  72. Sienna Miller, Factory Girl, 2006.      Back in the 80s, Linda Fiorentino was set for… well, not exactly this script, but the same tragic life of Andy Warhol “superstar” Edie Sedgwick. Also in the 80s, Warren tried to persuade director Bob Fosse to make the bio-pic with Michelle Pfeiffer (or Molly Ringwald) and Al Pacino as Warhol. Bio-wise, Fosse was satisfied with just one, his own, All That Jazz, 1979 – refused by both Beatty and Pacino. Mike Nichols and Natalie Portman also discussed a film about the poor little rich girl, then collaborated on Closer, instead. Vogue’s “youthquake” was dead at 28.
  73. Katherine Heigl, Knocked Up, 2006.
  74. Meryl Streep, Mama Mia, 2007.   Peiffer , Nicole Kidman and OIlivia Newton-John were in  the Abba musical mix  for Donna. Or they were until Streep proved available.   Abba-ite Benny Andersen called her a miracle when she  recorded her  Winner Takes It All song iin one take. She was also the reason for Gina Lollobrigida in Buona Sera Mrs Campbellin 1967.Pierce Brosnan accepted his role – or any riole! The plot of a mother not knowing which of three lovers fathered her daughter had already been spun  for Gina Lollobrigida in Buona Sera Mrs Campbellin 1967.
  75. Kim Basinger, The Informers, 2007.    Lucikly for Michelle, the suits preferred a 9 1/2 Weeks reunion of Kim and Mickey Rourke. Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers vas hardly alone in condemning it. “One of the worst movies of this or any year… a complete misreading of the collection of linked short stories by Bret Easton Ellis, which is odd since Ellis [co-] wrote the script ” And according to one witness, stalked out of a public screening.
  76. Juliana Marguiles, City Island, 2008.    First Michelle, then Marcia Gay Harden were impressed by  New York auteur Raymond De Felitta’s scenario but still passed on being Andy Garcia’s wife, Joyce,  in  one of those families never  sharing habits, aspirations, and careers with one another. 
  77. Meryl Streep, Into The Woods, 2013.
  78. 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: Pfeiffer, Patricia Arquette, Melanie Griffith, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, Meg Ryan, Alicia Silverstone, Naomi Watts. But just two Brits: Kate Beckinsale  – and the winning Emily.















 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  78