Sarah Polley


  1. Chloë Sevigny, Boys Don’t Cry, 1998.    Auteur  Kimberly Pierce’s Plan A  refused to be Lana, girlfriend   of the transgender man Brandon Teena  murdered in 1993. Likewise, her Plan B, Reese Witherspoon.  Next? Plan C fot Chloe, first seen for Brandon.  “At the end of the audition, Kimberly was like: Have you ever wanted to be a boy?’I said no. That’s when she said: Why don’t you come back and read for Lana. So I did.”

  2. Elaine Cassidy, Felicia’s Journey, 1999.     Eager to make a third film with her, Canada’s Armenian director Atom Egoyan was thwarted when realising Sarah’s intelligence and awareness were antithetical to the character. Motherless since eleven, Sarah thinks of Julie Christie as a surrogate mother – and chose her for directing debut, Away FromHer, 2006,.

  3. Brittany Murphy, Girl, Interrupted, 1999. 
    One Flew into the Cuckoo’s nest… stems from Susanna Kaysen’s memoir. She committed herself to a psychiatric institution and was kept there for two years, although she was quite sane. Chicago critic Roger Ebert said Winona Ryder) (also exec producer) and  the support Oscar-winning Angelina Jolie – as Susanna and the sociopath Lisa – were the reasons to see the film, although “their work here deserves a movie with more reason for existing.” Most other patients were teenage girls, played by rising young Hollywood actresses in their 20s – Angela Bettie and Jillian Armenante even played 22 atage 31. Why? Because, said Rose McGowan, “It’s the only decent thing out there that doesn’t involve taking your clothes off.”

  4. Franka Potente, The Bourne Identity, 2000.   Director Doug Lima offered the female lead to his 1999 Go star but she passed. Liman than booked the German star Potente – a simplw choice as he maintained much of the thriller (that really all shook up the 007 franchise) was inspired by her 1997 German triumph, Tom Twyker’s Lola rennt/, Run Lola Run.  This time her hair wasn’t pink.
  5. Kate Hudson, Almost Famous, 2000.  Looking for his Penny Lane groupie in his semi-autobiographical look back to his Rolling Stone reporter daze, auteur Cameron Crowe saw 48 of LA’s bright young things… Christina Applegate, Selma Blair, Lara Flynn Boyle, Neve Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Claire Danes, Cameron Diaz, Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Jenna Elfman, Jennie Garth, Maggie Gyllenhal, Alyson Hannigan, Angie Harmon, Anne Heche, Katherine Heigl, Jordan Ladd, Kimberly McCullough (busier as a TV director these days, High School Musical: The Musical – The Series, etc), Rose McGowan, Bridget Moynahan, Brittany Murphy, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laura Prepon, Lindsay Price, Christina Ricci, Rebecca Romijn, Winona Ryder, Chloë Sevigny, Marley Shelton,  Tori Spelling, Mena Suvari, Uma Thurman, Liv Tyler, Lark Voorhies.  Plus the English Saffron Burrows, Anna Friel, Thandiwe Newton and Rachel Weisz, Madrid’s Penélope Cruz, the French Charlotte Gainsbourg, Canada’s Natasha Henstridge, Ukrainian Milla Jovovich, Scottish Kelly Macdonald, Israeli Natalie Portman, German Franka Potente, Australian Peta Wilson and Welsh Catherine Zeta-Jones.  And the winner, Canada’s Sarah Polley, simply split. (Silly girl).  Crowe then chose Kate  (previously booked  for Anita) because “she seemed more like a free spirit.”  But, but, but… Chloë  was the freest spirit in all Hollywood. As she proved two years later in The Brown Bunny… in a way the others would never have dared.
  6. Katharine Isabelle, Ginger Snaps, 2000.    Passed on Ginger who, Carrie-like, is much troubled by her first menstruation.Little wonder as the script equated puberty with… werewolfism. Variety called it “a quietly subversive my-sister-is-turning-into-a-werewolf movie.”
  7. Cameron Diaz, Gangs of New York, 2000.    For Martin Scorsese, casting was easy. In 1978, Dan Aykroyd-John Belushi were Amsterdam and The Butcher. {WTF?)  Or, Mel Gibson-Willem Dafoe. By 1984, Malcolm McDowell-Robert De Niro. Finally, Leonardo DiCaprio-Daniel Day Lewis. Much harder to locate the real prim pickpocket Jenny Everdeane. For the brothers blue, she would have been Jane Fonda. When Buffy The Vampire Slayer got into Sarah MIchelle Gellar’s way, Marty checked Christina Applegate (from his 1990 Cape Fear auditions), Kate Beckinsale, Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Heather Graham, Bryce Dallas Howard, Alyssa Milano, Natalie Portman, Christina
  8. Franka Potente, The Bourne Identity, 2001.  In 1997,      New York director Doug Liman worked with the Canadian Polley in  Go. This time, she went… She could see it was all Jason Bourne’s film.  Besides,  as she once said:  “It’s important to me to stay in Canada. I used to think it was because I thought it was important to build up an indigenous film industry but now I realise I’m incapable of living anywhere else.” 
  9. Kerry Washington,  Mr & Mrs Smith, 2004.  When Brad Met Angelina! Three potential Misters, seven Mrs, but just two names in the frame for the beauteous Jasmine in the thriller with a colander of a script… probably inspired by True Lies, James Cameron’s 1993 take on the 1991 French hit, La totale!
  10. Carly Pope, Young People Fucking, Canada,2007.    Or YPF. There’s always a great, new Canadian actress…  Sarah quit when she finally got the go-head for her writer-directing debut, Away From Her, 2006.

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  9