Diane Lane

  1. 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 Lane, 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), Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kristy McNichol, Tatum O’Neal (Dad said no), Dana Plato (Mom said no), Michelle Pfeiffer, 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.

  2. Cherie Currie, Foxes, 1979.   Sex and the underage American teenage girl… Two films had the same subject that year. Lane, Rosanna Arquette, Jennifer Jason Lewis and Kristy McNichol (who won the other one, Little Darlings) were seen before runaway Annie went to Currie of… wait for it… The Runaways band. She only made six other movies; Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft in 2012 was her first for 22 years!

  3. Lynn-Holly Johnson, The Watcher in the Woods, 1979.  Diane Lane was in – opposite Bette Davis in another  of her horrors – and then, just as suddenly out. And Lynn-Holly, the skating find for Ice Castles won her second  movie. And as it was made in  the UK,  it led  to her third  being  For Your Eyes Only with Roger Moore trying to be be James Bond.
  4. 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: Lane, Ellen Barkin, Geena Davis, Jodie Foster (studying at Yale), Lori Loughlin, Michelle Pfeiffer, 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!).
  5. Rebecca De Mornay, Risky Business, 1982.   They were making Francis Coppola’s The Outsiders earlier  that year when Tom Cruise told  Diane about a great script he had – with a great role for her as Lana. “Oh no,” she said, “my father would never let me play a prostitute!”
  6. 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.
  7. Amy Irving, Yentl, 1983. Oh, it’s good to be the King’s wife….  Amy was the first wife of Steven  Spielberg,  who was close with La Streisand. Barbra was the first woman in Hollywood history  to write, produce, direct, star and sing a feature film.
  8. Rebecca De Mornay, Risky Business, 1983Nothing was gelling for Tom Cruise during intensive ensemble casting sessions  for The Outsiders – he even stopped in mid-scene and told the mighty Francis Coppola: “This isn’t working for me.” While playing a lesser role, Tom received this star-making script – and immediately  asked Coppola’s leading lady to be Lana.    “No way in hell is my daughter going to  be a hooker!” said her father.  She went into Coppola’s second consecutive film of an SE Hinton novel, Rumble Fish.
  9. 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), the  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.
  10. 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: Lane, 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, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kay Lenz, Heather Locklear, Lori Loughlin, Kelly McGillis, Kristy McNichol, Michelle Pfeiffer, 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, then 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.

  11. Jennifer Connelly, Seven Minutes in Heaven, 1984. When Francis Coppola’s casting director Fred Roos asked docu-maker Linda Feferman to wrier-direct “a youth-oriented feature,” the leading lady –  er, girl –-was to be Diane, then  aged 14.   The project took seven years to get rolling, which meant Natalie had to be Jennifer, the latest  14-year-old wunderkind .
  12. Demi Moore, St. Elmo’s Fire. 1985. Producer Lauren Shuler Donner and directorJoel Schumacher wanted Diane. She did not wantthem. “We met with Demi,” said Lauren, “and knew that she was the right person for it. One of my best experiences was making that movie – nobody was a prima donna, it was a pleasurable experience.”
  13. Molly Ringwald, Pretty In Pink, 1985.     Although it was obvious that Molly would star – following her two previous John Hughes outings – he kept her in line by seeing Lane, Justine Bateman, Jennifer Beals, Jodie Foster, Lori Loughlin, Tatum O’Neal, Saraha Jessica Paker and Brooke Shields. Hughes hated his ending (as much as Molly loathed the dress) and rewrote it for another teen triangle, Some Kind of Wonderful, 1986. Ringwald refused to play it again. “I can’t be 16 forever!” Hughes was furious and never worked with her again.
  14. Kelly McGillis, Top Gun, 1985.   In the script, instructor Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood at the elite USNavy flying school was a bimbob called Kirsten Lindstrom. No, no and no, aid Paramount boss Dawn Steel. “Make her a real woman – and intelligent – or no movie.”  The writers didn’t have to look far for inspiration. They based Charlie on a civvy flying  instructor, Christine Fox, they met during reseach at San Diego’s Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. Fiirst in the frame were: Lane, Carrie Fisher, Jodie Foster, Linda Hamilton, Darryl Hannah, Tatum O’Neal, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brooke Shields. And, of course, Debra Winger, from the movie’s obvious inspiration – Officer and Gentleman!  Linda Fiorentino refused the film which she saw as a glorification of war. Anyway, the suits preferred an unknown and were bowled over by McGillis in Witness.  (She’d got on better with Harrtson Ford in that film than Cruise in this). Fox did better than any of them, retiring  in 2014 when Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense, the highest post achieved  by  woman  at the US Defense Department. When is her film being made?
  15. Roxanne Hart, HIghlander, 1985.   Some 16 guys were up for Christophe(r) Lambert’s immortal clansman, Connor McLeod.  But as many as 24 women for  Brenda Wyatt, the modern-day forensics cop bedded by him. Brooke Adams… who must have felt  she had as great chance, having already successfully partnered Connery in The Great Train Robbery, 1978,  and Cuba, 1979. Her rivals  were  Karen Allen, Rosanna Arquette, Jennifer Beals, Lorraine Bracco, Elisabeth Brooks, Kate Capshaw, Glenn Close, Lisa Eilbacher, Linda Fiorentino, Kim Greist (Terry Gilliam’s huge Brazil error), Linda Hamilton, Diane Lane, Carolyn McCormick, Demi Moore, Annette O’Toole, Elizabeth Perkins, Tanya Roberts (booked for   007’s View to a Kill),  Annabella Sciorra, Diane Venora, Sela Ward, Sigourney Weaver and (phew!) Sean Young.    Broadway’s rank outsider won!
  16. Kelly McGillis, The Accused, 1987.    Paramount suits saw 40 young actresses for the (real life) gang rape victim (or their own rape bait fantasies)- and a further 28 for her defence attorney. Including Glenn Close, Jamie Lee Curtis, Geena Davis, Mia Farrow, Carrie Fisher, Goldie Hawn, Barbara Hershey, Amy Irving, Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, Madonna, Liza Minnelli, Michelle Pfeiffer, Susan Sarandon,Mary Steenburgen, Meryl Streep, Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver, Dianne Wiest, Debra Winger. McGillis, a 1982 rape victim herself, refused Jodie Foster’sOscar-winning role, andasked to be her lawyer.
  17. Winona Ryder, Beetlejuice, 1987.     Finding Betelgeuse was easier for director Tim Burton than unearthing Lydia.   He saw Lane,  Justine Batman, Jennifer Connelly, Juliette Lewis,  Lori Loughlin, Sarah Jessica Parker, Molly Ringwald, Brooke Shields. And fell for Winona. Didn’t we all. She was sweet 17 at the time. 
  18. Melanie Griffith, Working Girl, 1988. Wizard director Mike Nichols’ potential Tess McGills for what could be termed his female-Graduate included Diane Lane, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Brooke Shields and Meryl Streep…. Bracco thought she delivered a first-rate audition. She was devastated, she wrote in her memoir, not to have been given the role.
  19. Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman, 1989.
  20. Jennifer Connelly, The Rocketeer, 1990.  A lucky escape from the… Disney-we-have-a-problem… movie.  Lane, Elizabeth McGovern, Penelope Ann Miller, Kelly Preston were also in the frame for the hero’s gal, Jenny Blake, projecting, said Chicago critic Roger Ebert, “the same innocent sensuality of the classic B-movie sexpots – an ability to seem totally unaware, for example, that she is wearing a low-cut dress.”

  21. Sean Young, A Kiss Before Dying,1991.     Diane refused to read, uninterested in any third film with Matt Dillon.
  22. Juliette Lewis, Cape Fear, 1991.     Among the many- the very many! – Christina Applegate, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Shannen Doherty, Nicole Eggeret, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Helen Hunt, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer JasonLeigh, Alyssa Milano, Demi Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker,Molly Ringwald, Meg Ryan, Winona Ryder, Brooke Shields, Tiffani Thiessen, Reese Witherspoon – consideredby Steven Spielberg and, later, Martin Scorsese fortheteen daughter of Nick Nolte and Jessica Lange: Danielle Bowden.(Nancy in the 1962 original). Some found it too sexy and, indeed, few could have equalled the on-heat musk of Juliette’s totally improvised – and one take – seduction scene with Robert De Niro.
  23. Bridget Fonda, The Godfather: Part III, 1991.
  24. Patricia Arquette, True Romance,1992.  “I’m not a whore. I’m a call-girl. There’s a difference, you know!” Quentin Tarantino created Alabama for Joan Cusack. UK director Tony Scott preferred Drew Bartrymore, fully booked at the time.  So Lane, Bridget Fonda, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Juliette Lewis Julia Roberts, Kyra Sedgwick, Brooke Shields and (inevitably) Uma Thurman were tipped for the girl… with the name, said QT, sounding like a Pam Grier role! Except she was named Jackie Brownwhen he directed her in 1997.In Tarantino’s first ending, Clarence was killed and Alabama would turn to crime with Mr. White – he’s asked about her during Reservoir Dogs, 1991. 
  25. Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct, 1991.
  26. 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:Lane, 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, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kay Lenz, Alyssa Milano, Demi Moore, Tatum O’Neal, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, 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.
  27. Gwyneth Paltrow, Emma, 1995.    Jenni Garth, Nicole Kidman, Diane Lane and Joely Richardson – “we had many actresses, big and small, who wanted this part,” said US  autuer Douglas McGrath. He chose Gwyneth for his ultra British (Jane Austen) heroine. Because, ironically, of her brilliant Texan accent in Flesh and Bone.  “I grew up in Texas, and I’ve never heard an actor not from Texas sound remotely like a real Texan. I knew she had theatre training… The minute she started the read-through,  the very first line, I thought: She’s going to be brilliant.”
  28. Bonnie Hunt, Jerry Maguire, 1996.   Once Tom Hanks passed and Tom Cruise breathed a sigh of relief, auteur Cameron Crowe started searching for the girls: Dorothy Boyd (“You had me at Hello…”) and her older sister. The Avery candidates included Lane, Jennifer Connelly, Alyssa Milano, Meg Ryan  and – oh, no!– Tori Spelling!!  Fortunately,  she was tied up with her  (well, her father Aaron Spelling’s) series, Beverly Hills 90210, 1990-2000. Hunt said the hardest part of the role was being someone who did not like Tom Cruise… even after he admitted he had no memory of her being in Rain Man with him!
  29. Kirsten Dunst, Spider-Man, 2001.
  30. Sarah Polley, Dawn of the Dead, 2004.     The producers first dreamt of Diane as Ana in Zack Synder’s remake of George Romero’s 1978 cult classic. Renée Zellweger, Appaloolsa, 2008. Diane was cast first as widow woman Allison French but quit the shooting of the kinda son-of- Lonesome Dove by Robert Parker, creator of Spenser,  Jesse Stone – written, produced, directed by and starring Ed Harris.
  31. Renée Zellweger, Appaloolsa, 2008.     Lane  upped and quit before shooting actually began. Like they said about the role: “There may be more to Allie than meets the eye.”













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