Emily Browning

  1. Arielle Kebbel, The Uninvited, 2008.    For the re-spun South Korean horror hit, Janghwa, Hongryeon (Rose Flower, Red Lotus, but US released as A Tale of Two Sisters), Browning auditioned so well for Alex, she was given the lead: Anna. Kebbel became Alex in her second Asian horror remake after The Grudge 2, 2006.  The Aussie was 20, but looked 14. In short, said Chicago critic Roger Ebert, a “an ideal heroine for a horror movie: innocent, troubled, haunted by nightmares, persecuted by a wicked stepmother, convinced her real mother was deliberately burned to death. She makes you fear for her, and that’s half the battle.”
  2. Kristen Stewart, Twilight, 2008.    Two years before production., the hit novelist Stephenie Meyer chose Emily as Bella. But she passed. “I know that if I take this film on board, I will be making four films, and I don’t have the attention span for that right now.”  Next? Frances Bean Cobain, Lily Collins, Jennifer Lawrence, Sara Paxton, Michelle Trachtenberg… and Stewart, hiding her green eyes behind brown contacts. 
  3. Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, 2010.
  4. Emma Stone, The Amazing Spider-Man, 2010.
  5. Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games, 2011.
  6. Emma Roberts, Adult World, 2011.     A few years back, the Hawaii-born auteur Scott Coffey had Julia Roberts toying with one of his scripts. As for Emily: “I don’t have a game plan. If I love something, I want to be part of it.”
  7. Kristen Stewart, Snow White and the Huntsman, 2011.    For the first of two revisionist Ms Whites that year, Emily succumbed to Stewart’s Twilight glory (that might have been Emily’s). As did Dakota Fanning, Sarah Gadon, Selena Gomez, Bella Heathcote, Felicity Jones, Saoirse Ronan,Alicia Vikander… and Elvis Presley’s grand-daughter Riley Keough.
  8. Samantha Barks, Les Misérables, 2012.     Many were called – Lucy Hale, Scarlett Johansson, Lea Michele, Hayden Panettiere, Taylor Swift, Emma Watson, Evan Rachel Wood – before producer Cameron Mackintosh went on to the Manchester stage of her Oliver! gig to announce Samantha had won the role of Eponine. “Most incredible moment of my life!!!!”
  9. Chloe Grace Moretz, Carrie, 2012.    Passed, quite correctly, on the  second unnecessary re-hash in a decade. Author Stephen King voted for Lindsay Lohan “She .looks a lot like Sissy.” Maybe, but  she was 26 and director Kimberly Peirce wanted CGM – at 15, the first real  teenager to play Ms Telekinetic, winning over Hailee Steinfeld, 15, and Dakota Fanning, 19.  Therefore, no chance for Shailene Woodley, 20, Lily Collins, 22, Haley Bennett, 24, Bella Heathcote, 25;, and Megan Fox, 26.   In the 1976 original and 2002 follow-up, Sissy Spacek and Angela  Bettis  were 26 and 28.  The first Carrie in 1976,  marked Stephen  King’s first screen  credit – this was  the 168th  of his staggering 313 credits.
  10. Mia Wasikowska, Stoker, 2012.     For his first English-language film, South Korean director Chan-wook Park (Oldboy), was introduced to Hollywood casting. Browning, Bella Heathcote, Rooney Mara, Cary Mulligan and, of course for a vampire number, Twilighters Ashley Greenee and Kristen Stewart! What a choice for Nicole Kidman’s daughter, besotted with and fretting about the most mysterious Uncle Charlie since Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt some 60 years earlier.

  11. Dakota Johnson, Fifty Shades of Grey, 2013.  Aussie Emily Browning was wary of rubbishy sex films after her Sleeping Beauty, 2010…   Social networks were full of kinky ideas for the porn novel’s BDSM heroine, Anastasia Steele – from Jennifer Lawrence to Emma Watson. Few suggestions led to talks, auditions or tests. Lucy Hale, Felicity Jones, Elisabeth Olsen, Imogen Poots, Margot Robbie, Alicia Vikander, London model Suki Waterhouse, Shailene Woodley were also lucky to escape the turgid, totally un-erotic enterprise. Only 14 minutes and 17 seconds of sex, no orgasms – and pubes added digitally to actors’ genital patches.
  12. Chloe Grace Moretz, If I Stay, 2013.    Browning and Dakota Fanning were in talks to play a car crash  victim  who has to decide, in her coma, whether to wake up and live or not.   The first two directors, Catherinee Hardwick,and Brazilan Heitor Dhalia passed the drama to documentarian RJ Cutler. The luminous CHM made thje movie work. No one else
  13. Alicia Vikander, Tomb Raider, 2017.    Lara Croft is the girls’ James Bond.  Many tried to succeed Angelina Jolie  from her 2000 version – she won it from  20 candidates.  Two dozen lost to the Swedish Vikander, on a roll with her 2016 Danish Girl Oscar and Ex Machinarobot…The Franchise Brigade was represented by two from the Percy Jackson flicks (Alexandra Daddario, Rosario Dawson), two Terminators (Emilia Clarke, Summer Glau), two Underworlders (Kate Beckinsale, Rhona Mitra) and three Twilighters (Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed and Kristen Stewart who simply refused). Plus 007’s Gemma Arterton, Harry Potter’s Emma Watson, Marvel’s Wanda Maximioff (Elizabeth Olsen), Star Wars’Daisy Ridley, Transformers’ Megan Fox, TRON’s Olivia Wilde, X Men’s Jennifer Lawrence,  Other also-rans were: Jessica Biel (as perfect as Dawson), Emily Blunt, Emily Browning, Cara Delevingne (Vikander’s co-star in Tulip Fever,2017), Nina Dobrev, Anne Hathaway, Sienna Miller (too mild, surely), Saoirse Ronan and Moon’s Kaya Scodelari.

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  13