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CHAMPIONS' LEAGUE

Just Jack Nicholson

There are more than 8,000 actors detailed on this site. Some have passed on a single movie. Others, many more. Then, there are the champs… Since launching CCC in 2008, Marlon Brando always topped this list. And year by year, discovery by discovery, Jack Nicholson, has been catching up. Well, he’s done it…!
He was always second to Brando’s total of 164 bypassed films. Until I unearthed five new passes for Jack - but only four for Marlon. But as I devour more books, columns and mails (thank you, fans!) etc, the count goes on.

1. Nicholson by-passed 169 films
2. Brando - 168
3. Cary Grant -147
3. Paul Newman - 147
5. Tom Cruise - 110

Highest Brit Sir Sean at 114.
Highest lady is Bette Davis, 90 items; Jodie Foster, 80;  Michelle Pfeiffer, 72; Meryl Streep, 70; Nicole Kidman, 69; Julie Christie and Liz Taylor are level at 67; Katharine Hepburn, 66; Debra Winger, 65.
Newer Brigade: Brad, 107; Johnny, 99; Julia, 64; Leo, 64; Jim Carrey, 62; Madonna, 61; Jennifer Aniston, 27; Jennifer Lawrence, 23.

(You'll find the full list at Champions in the Main Menu)

 

He said title

“I don’t direct. I correct.” - Woody Allen, making his 50th film (this one in French, which he doesn’t speak) in Paris, known for now as WASP:  Woody Allen Secret Project. Obvious favourite to open the Cannes festival in May.

“I am traditionally besieged by self-doubt. I don’t know if it’s different from anybody else because I’ve never been anybody else.” - Bill Nighy

" I can't sing a note, and as for that monster, the dance, suffice it to say that I have no flexibility below the ass at all - I even have difficulty proving the paternity of my six children." - Paul Newman when asked to be Barbra Streisand’s 1976 co-star in Funny Girl.

“Criticism only hurts if you agree with it, and I didn’t really agree with any of it.’ -  director Andrew Dominik on Blonde reviews.

“They started on me with Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, calling it a homophobic movie. Then, Deer Hunter…   and I was Fascist.  Heaven’s Gate…  Marxist. Year of the Dragon… racist. It was never criticism about the film, but about me.” - director Michael Cimino on critics.

“Sissy is a hymn to powerful, sensitive, selfless acting.” - director Mark Rydell on Sissy Spacek. (Remember Carrie?).

“We needed somebody who was the sun in the centre of the solar system, and there are not many of those people, and they’re all busy. It’s kind of like the housing market in LA, trying to cast movie stars these days. There’s a lot of work and not a lot of houses.” - Rian Johnson on why Daniel Craig is Benoit Blanc.

“A good story is a good story. I just go with what project I can’t stop thinking about… Look, I’ve got no idea what I’m doing.  - Christian Bale.

“I’ve always wanted to play a gangster. But I wanted to play a unique gangster who is not like a gangster - at least, not when you meet him. He’s actually a guy who likes to co-operate. But if he has to get heavy, it’s gonna get real heavy. So I said: I’m gonna play him as close to myself as I’ve ever done in my life.”  - Sylvester Stallone on Tulsa King.

“He was the most unique person I ever met.:” – director Ryan Coogler on Black Panther Chadwick Boseman.

“I have worked for several months on things that got rejected…(like) a musical version of the slasher movie, House of Wax.  with Michael Jackson. They said ‘No’. Can you believe that?” – Tim Burton.  

Dakota is instinctively flirtatious, and she seduced all of us. If there’s a telegraph pole, she’d charm that into doing her bidding.” - Richard E Grant on his Persuasion co-star Dakota Johnson. 

“Being taken to a Jim Brown movie at an all-Black theatre, that was the most masculine experience I have ever had. Either as a movie consumer or when creating movies for an audience – that goal of a Jim Brown movie on a Saturday night in 1972 is what I’m trying to recreate.” - Quentin Tarantino.

“Will someone tell me what the hell is going on here?” - Doctor Who #14 Ncuti Gatwa in his trailer.

CCC CLIPS

>> Sam Worthington  leaves  Pandora for Horizon - Kevin Costner’s latest long haul  – a  quartet of movies covering a Western township  before, during,  after the Civil War.  Costner’s first directing gig for 20 years.  Also saddled up: Sienna Miller and Abbey Lee

>> Vin Diesel’s Fast X, tenth in the Furious franchise, cost $340m … more much than Avatar 2’s $250m.  So it’s true…  petrol is more expensive than water,

>> Sam Jackson has finally managed to make his dream film, The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey. Only took him a dozen years.  Sam is the 91-year-old Grey in the Apple series. And not any 90 minute or two-hour movie. “You cannot tell the story in that time.”

 

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WELCOME to a unique directory of what you never saw on-screen. The films the stars did not make. The movies that never were. The most definitive collation of casting stories ... Check up on all the films - of yesterday, today and tomorrow - that your favourite stars never made... A cast of thousands - 8,063 actors - to click on... More than 40 years in the making!! And 2,749,022 words of spirited text. The ultimate in movie trivia ... Better! Exactly the kind of history that Hollywood deserves. Back to front. Upside-down. Inside out. Full of flashbacks, close-ups, tracking shots (and, alas some badly edited sequences - sorry about that!) forming a fascinating, new and often bizarre flip-side perspective on your treasured movies and stars.

This is the film that bred this site ... after Robert Redford told me he'd planned a little black-white version - with Robert De Niro, and Michael Moriarty as Woodstein.

BOND LADY

Gloria Paul - not quite a Bond girl

Gloria Paul, the British gift to Italian movies, was among the final few testing as Thunderball’s Domino in 1964. She previously auditioned for Tatiana in From Russia With Love - won in 1963 by a genuine Italian, Daniela Bianchi. Gloria retired in 1996 after a freak accident left her semi-paralysed.

BOND MAN

Aaron Taylor Johnson - not quite a Bond boy

As for Jimbo himself, looks like  Bullet Train’s Aaron Taylor-Johnson is a strong favourite. Naturally, the ‘tash wil have to go. Plus the triple name? 

She said title

Director Jonathan Nossiter asked Charlotte Rampling, if she ever found being beautiful a burden. "Are you kidding? When you're beautiful you can get away with anything."

“We need them. We love them. There’s a way to do them. When you go back, and you watch Sleepless in Seattle - it’s the best. These movies are well shot. The stories are so good. The performances are amazing.” -  Kate Hudson wanting a rom-com.

“She is a bold and unselfconscious actress - someone whose gift is alive on her skin and in her being. She spins it out of the air in the room.” - Jennifer Lawrence by Meryl Streep.

“I got this phone call from him [creator Mike White] … “I just want to let you know something about Season Two. We found these great locations in Sicily, You’re going to lose your mind, Jennifer. It’s so beautiful here. Oh yeah, one other thing -  you’re gonna die!'” -  Jennifer Coolidge on White Lotus 2.

Jennifer Coolidge - sex goddess

“I got a lot of sexual action from American Pie…  so many benefits to doing that movie. [As Stifler’s Mom]. I mean, there would be like 200 people that I would never have slept with.” - Jennifer Coolidge on life before Tanya McQuoid.

”Film-making is not a male skill… We can all be storytellers.“ - Polly Morgan, London cinematographer of Lucy in the Sky and The Woman King.

“I got Stuart Little and then Stuart Little 2.  Other than that the work just dried up. Incredibly painful. I said my agent: Can we find out what Liam Neeson is turning down and go for those parts?” - Geena Davis, awaiting a Geenaissance.

“I feel that for the last ten years of my life, I’ve been just stuck…  doing these franchises  I’m very grateful for. But I felt artistically stuck in my craft of not being able to expand or grow or challenge myself by playing different sorts of genres and different roles.” - Zoe Saldaña, Avatar’s Neytri

Do you stay in character between takes? “No way. Are you kidding? It is top much. You have to put the bag down.” - Julia Roberts.

“It’s the phase of my career where I’m really trying to just impress my kids. My five and ten-year-olds were so enthralled by…  getting to visit the set and see me dressed up in a cape. It made it really cool. You know, it’s very rare that my kids are like, ‘Please go to work!’ Usually, it’s quite the opposite.” - Natalie Portman

 

FATHERS AND SONS

Michael Douglas, once a nepo-baby himself, is making Blood Knot with his son Cameron. As a father and son mending their fences. They look like Kirk and Michael back in the 90s.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon director Ang Lee is directing his son Mason, 33,  as Bruce Lee.  (Not the Tarantino version, I’m sure!) Mason has been training for the role over three years.  Producers include Bruce’s daughter, Sharon. She was in the last version, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, in 1992.

 

COMPANY REPORTS

Dakota Johnson calls her company TeaTime Pictures… Barack and Michelle Obama’s is Higher Ground Productions… Brad Pitt’s is Plan B… Leonardo DiCaprio runs Appian Way Productions … Will Ferrell runs Gary Sanchez Productions (named after a fictional Paraguyan entrepreneur) And there’s a Paris outfit called (in French) Jack Only Has One Eye. Like the camera.


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