Ving Rhames

  1. Tony Todd, Night of the Living Dead,1990.    George A Romero scripted the re-make  of his 1968 horror classic and gave it to his trusty make-up effects man (and sometime actor) Tom Savini to direct – superbly. Tom ploughed through  the  inevitables for the heroic Ben: Laurence Fishburne, Ving Rhames and and  ER doc, Erique La Salle.Rhames had to do was wait 14 years  to win another George Romero re-tread, Dawn of the Dead, 2004.  But then  he was a star name by then, thanks to Marsellus Wallace in Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, Tom Cruise’s buddy, Luther, in Mission: Impossible And Walter Robbins in ER, 1994-1996
  2. Randy Brooks, Reservoir Dogs, 1991.
  3. Gregory Hines, Renaissance Man, 1993.    Director Penny Marshall asked Rhames to be Sergeant Cass. But one of his pals had written a role for him in something called… Pulp Fiction!  That was Tarantino,that was. Penny then selected Hines despite him being too nice. As she reported in her memoir, My Mother Was Nuts, even  when yelling at the troops, Hines  was nice.Having missed out on Reservoir Dogs, for Rhames Pulp Fictionbegat ER,Mission: Impossible, Striptease
  4. Michael Jai White, Spawn, 1996. All the obvious heavyweights – Cuba Gooding Jr, Will Smith, Wesley Snipes, Tony Todd (Candyman), Denzel Washington  and Tarantino favourites Samuel L Jackson, Ving Rhames – were seen for the movies’ first black superhero. (The later filmed Black Pantherwas born first, in a 1966 comic – 26 yearsbefore Spawn).  Plus the usual rappers LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur. And the inevitable unknown: Allen Payne, from New Jack City (with Snipes).  Not easy, said White, to win audience sympathy for “the most tragic character I’ve encountered,” a government assassin back from hell. Hence, Spawn 2and Spawn 3: The Ultimate Battlenever battled.
  5. LL Cool J, Any Given Sunday, 1999. Among various actors talking about this gridiron drama with director Oliver Stone .
  6. Ray Romano, Ice Age 1 & 2, 2002/6. Both Ving and James Earl Jones were first voices considered for Manny the mammoth.
  7. Charles S Dutton, Secret Window, 2003.   Auteur David Koepp offered him Ken Karsach, but Rhames was always off Luther Strickelling in the Mission: Impossible franchise.  Dutton took over, joining his Nick of Time partner, Johnny Depp, in the 81st of Stephen King’s staggering 313 screen credits. John Turturro was told by his Kingfan son to accept his role or else.
  8. Billy Zane, The Pleasure Drivers, 2005. The slim, stylish Zane was a surprise replacement for the mammoth Rhames.
  9. Michael Jai White, Undisputed II: Last Man Standing, 2005. The new Mike Tysonesque Chambers for the sequel was the star of the Tyson tele-film, 1995.
  10. Kurt Russell, Grindhouse (Death Proof segment), 2007. Before aiding Russell’s career, Quentin Tarantino also looked at his favourites – Rhames, Mickey Rourke, Sylvester Stallone – for Stuntman Mike. He drove a Chevy Nova with JJZ-109 plates – same as Steve McQueen’s Ford Mustang in Bullitt, 1968.



 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  10