Grace Jones


  1. Tamara Dobson, Cleopatra Jones, 1972.  Hot off being the pimp Goldie in The Mack earlier that year, Max Julien created a kind of Black female James Bond in the titular – and very tall – Federal agent.  She was like a sister or cousin to Pamela Grier’s Coffy – also dreamt up by Julien. He wrote Cleo for his then lover, Vonetta McGee (Blacula, Hammer).  She still had to audition among ten other wannabe Blaxploiteers chosen from 2,500 contenders: Anazette Chase (The Mack), model and singer Grace Jones (she joined the real Bond in A View to a Kill), Kitty Jones (Shaft’s Big Score), Vikki Mclaughlin (Super Fly). Plus five unknowns:  Michele Pettis, Judy Ross, Naomi Simms, Duchelle Smit and Julie Woodson, a future Playboy Playmate although she had fled Super Fly over nudity.  Various producers said Tamara ruined her career by refusing nude scenes in her two Cleo thrillers while Coffy’s Grier often stripped… politically.  “We were told our brown nipples weren’t attractive. I was trying to break that line of what was acceptable in society.”   

  2. Sean Young, Blade Runner, 1982.   For the author, Philip K Dick, the perfect Rachael was the Dallas TV star Victoria Principal. UK wiz Ridley Scott didn’t agree. He saw Jones, Nina Axelrod, Barbara Hershey, Victoria Principal and Jefferson Airplane singer Grace Slick before settling upon Young. “I don’t think one should take film too seriously,” said Grace. “The music, I take a bit more serious.”  Even so, she later regretted her decision.

  3. Cathy Tyson, Mona Lisa, 1985.    Usually a producer is influenced by a performance, a disc, maybe a Vogue cover.George Harrison’s right-hand man at HandMade Films, Denis O’Brien, was impressed by Grace in…her 007 poster for A View To A Kill.He was eventually persuaded that Simone was a less surreal being. Far better suited to the gifted actress from The Barbican.
  4. Halle Berry, The Last Boy Scout, 1991. UK director Tony Scott wantedJones  “badly,” she reported in  her memoirs.  The producers did not.  Enter:  Halle.  Poor Scott lost control when the chief producer, Joel Silver, and his star, Bruce Willis, made so many changes they created a miserable shoot and an  instant  flop! “The only consistent theme of the film,” said Chicago critic Roger Ebert, “is its hatred of women.” 
  5. Halston Sage,  X-Men: Dark Phoenix, 2017.    It took 40 years for Marvel’s Alison Blaire, aka Dazzler, to be in a Marvel film.  And then, blink and  you miss her – certainly never hear her speak a line of dialogue.  In the 70s, she was black and a disco queen (Disco Dazzler, in fact),  based upon and aimed at Grace Jones.  Next, the Dereks – Bo and director husband John  – took over and Dazzler’ss co-creator  John Romita, Jr was furious. “They’ve sold out for some whitebread blonde chick. She was very hot at the time, but I thought she wasn’t as realistic a choice as Grace Jones was.”   Producer-director Bryan Singer suggested Lady Gaga in 2013, but always saw Sigourney Weaver in the part. Halston Sage (among Variety’s Top 10 Stars to Watch), finally Dazzled  in the last X-Men production by Fox, by which time Singer was missing from the credits following allegations of sexual  abuse.

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Usual occupation: SingerCasting Calls:  5