Sam Neill

  1. Harrison Ford, Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1981.
  2. Timothy Dalton, The Living Daylights, 1986.
  3. Alan Rickman, Die Hard,  1987.       After the Kiwi passed on  the villain Hans Gruber  (well, he thought he was the new 007), director John McTiernan and his producer, Joel Silver, took in a (rare?) slice of culture:  the stage version of Dangerous Liaisons. That’s how Alan Rickman won his movie debut.  In Hollywood!   Neill waited until 2015 to turn in a real nasty bastard in BBC’s Peaky Blinders series. 
  4. Richard Gere, Pretty Woman, 1989. 
  5. Alan Rickman, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, 1990.    As Rickman kept passing, the Sheriff of Nottingham was offered to Neill, Jon Finch, Michael  Gambon, Richard E Grant, Ian McKellen, Oliver Reed, Patrick Stewart – even John Cleese! Then, Rickman won the right to play him his way, stealing much more than Robin, which had Kevin Costner allegedly, ordering  the curtailing of the Sheriff’s scenes.
  6. Ben Kingsley, Death and the Maiden, 1994.    The first trio of Judy Davis, Stephen Rea and Neill became Sigourney Weaver, Stuart Wilson and Kingsley.
  7. Pierce Brosnan, GoldenEye, 1995.
  8. Paul McGann, Doctor Who (The Movie), TV, 1996.
  9. Tony Goldwyn, The 6th Day, 2000.         Too expensive for the villain, considering that Schwarzenegger was the hero.
  10. Ian McKellen, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, 2001-03.

  11. Alfred Molina, Spider-Man 2, 2004.
  12. Stephen Rea, River Queen, 2005.      Vincent Ward wanted (the far too busy) Neill for a less than imposing role in his drama of New Zealand in its turbulent mid-1850s…  when the British were at war with Maori tribes.   
  13. James Fox, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, 2004.     Tim Burton felt he had enough pepper to be Mr. Salt. However, Neil was not as keen as mustard. Owch!
  14. Albert Finney, Corpse Bride, 2005.    Tim Burton called again, about voicing Finis Everglot. Then, Tim phoned Albie; they had worked together on Big Fish, 2002, and nearly on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005. The Sunday Times TV critic, AA Gill, once said that Neil “has really only one expression, a look of worried  incomprehension, as if his face were trying to fathom how on earth it managed to end up in front of a camera yet again.
  15. Pierce Brosnan, The Son, TV, 2017.    Busy enough with Peaky Blinders, a nearly-Bond fell out of the Western series allowing an ex-Bond  to shine impressively (great accent) as a wealthy, grizzled landowner, as old as Texas itself, and far from the nicest guy in the state. Brosnan, said Deadline Hollywood critic Dominic Patten, “is comfortable in his skin as someone who isn’t.”


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  15