Robert Sean Leonard

  1. Ethan Hawke,  Dad, 1989.  Whiile shooting Dead Poets Society,five of Robin Williams’ students (Hawke, RSL, Josh Charles, Gale Hansen, James Waterston) seized the day and auditoned for Billy – third generation the Tremont clan, after grandad Jack Lemmon and father Ted Danson.

  2. Doug Savant, Melrose Place, TV, 1992-1997. The series was a new branch of Beverly Hills 90210 but Leonard was not one of the saplings.  He lost out to Savant as social worker Matt Fielding – a gay character stupidly censored by Fox, such as cutting his kiss with Ty Miller.  No wonder Savant quit after five seasons. Fox hen had Fielding killed off in a car smash.

  3. John Leguizamo, To Wong Fu, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar,  1995.     Douglas Carter Beane wrote it, sold it to a producer named  Steven Spielberg and watched, smiling broadly,  as a surprising number of straight men  trying to win the movie… in drag! 

  4. Vince Vaughn, Psycho, 1997.    
    By 1990, Anthony Perkins had played Norman Bates four times.  So why should anyone else play him?  It’s been (over)done. It’s a classic. And by The Master. Why re-make Hitchcock?  Ah, beg pardon, Gus Van Sant called it a reproduction. A bizarre (lazy!) notion of copying  –  the Psycho  script, word for word, action for action, move for move, shock for shock (except the shocks were too famous to  shock anymore). “Just shoot it in color and have, for instance, Jack Nicholson play the detective and Timothy Hutton play Norman Bates,” he suggested. “Universal wanted to rope me in, and I said:“Here’s the idea: don’t change anything! It’s never been done before. Isn’t that a great reason to try it? Not really! What had he said about re-makes? The essence is missing. You might as well make an original movie. Right!  One guy in particular has an extreme Tony Perkins qualityRobert Sean Leonard,” Van Sant told Movieline’s Stephen Rebello. “ So doHenry Thomas and  Jeremy Davies.  [Indeed, Thomas was the teenage Bates  in Psycho IV: The  Beginning, 1989].  I think of MattDamon for everything I do… But he’s one of those under-30 guys who just didn’t get it. Leonardo would have been fantastic. I knew he knew that he could step into it. But I also knew he didn’t really want to do it. I seriously considered Joaquin Phoenix. He was interested but busy. So, it was either wait or forge ahead and we forged ahead. Vince was not even in my imagination But he had a really interesting quality I wasn’t expecting.”The UK’s  fast-rising Christian Bale  and DiCaprio pal, Tobey Maguire, were also short-listed.

  5. Christian Bale, American Psycho, 1999.     Loooong story! The Lions Gate producers wanted Edward Norton as the titular Patrick Bateman. Instead, director Mary Harron ran through a bunch of fresher faces: RSL, Ben Chaplin, Billy Crudup, Jared Leto, Jonny Lee Miller, Jonathon Schaech. She was allowed Bale, if she backed him up with some  bigger names (ente : Willem Dafoe, Reese Witherspoon). Harron then quit when  the  suits reneged and signed Leonardo Di Caprio for Bateman! Oliver Stone moved in. Then, Leo (getting bad Press for pushing Bale out) quit for The Beach (pushing Ewan McGregor out!).  Stone followed him. Ultimately, Harron and Bale were welcomed back, keeping Stone’s choice of Chloë Sevigny as Jean.


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  4