Payday Loans
Joe Pesci


  1. Bruno Kirby, The Godfather: Part II, 1974.
  2. Keith Carradine, 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 district of New Orleans, circa 1917. French director Louis Malle saw 28 hopefuls and/or instant (parental) refusals for little Violet… 15 actresses for her mother… and 17 guys for for the real life , misshapen, hydrocephallic photographer Ernest J Bellocq, whose Storyville work of the epoch influenced the style of the surprisingly elegant film. Robert Redford was first choice, Jack Nicholson second. Before falling for Carradine, Malle saw Albert Brooks, James Caan, Robert De Niro, the new in town Mel Gibson Dustin Hoffman, Malcolm McDowell (the only Brit short-listed), Al Pacino, Christopher Reeve (planning to make us believe a man could fly), future director Rob Reiner, John Travolta (more into Grease)… plus such flat out surprises as Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone (prepping FIST). Even Pesci and Christopher Walken…. way too creepy.
  3. Michael Nouri, Flashdance, 1982.      Potential Nick Hurleys were: Pierce Brosnan, Kevin Costner (runner-up to Nouri), Live Aid creator Bob Geldof, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks, Burt Reynolds, rocker Gene Simmons, John Travolta… plus such surprises as Pesci, Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson and Al Pacino! At 36, Nouri was double the age of the flashdancing Jennifer Beals.
  4. James Woods, Once Upon A Time In America, US-France, 1982.      To keep his top star, Robert De Niro, happy (and in line), producer Arnon Milchan had promised the other Jewish hood to Pesci.  Maestro Sergio Leone was furious.“He was formidable in Raging Bull, but he’ not right for Max.” After musing on John Belushi, Richard Dreyfuss, Dustin Hoffman, William Hurt, Harvey Keitel, John Malkovich and Jon Voight, the maestro found Woods on-stage. “His test wasn’t convincing, but I was attracted bythe nervousness behind his strange face.” Leone then offered Pesci his pick of the other roles. He chose Frankie Minaldi.
  5. Leo Rossi, Hit List, 1988.   Martin Scorsese’s star was suggested for the role of Frank De Salvo in the ex-Hell to Pay. However, producer-director William Lustig “didn't want to spend too much money”!  The New York locations were so cold that Lustig often directed from  inside his own limo
  6. Harvey Keitel, The Two Jakes, 1990.
  7. Paul Sorvino, The Rocketeer, 1990.    In the mix - if he could tone down his fuggin’ language for fuggin’ Disney! Even if Eddie Valentine was an fuggin’ Mafia hood. 
  8. Al Pacino, Scent of a Woman, 1991. First Jack Nicholson, then Pacino, Harrison Ford, Dustin Hoffman, even Joe Pesci (during the suits’ sheer desperation time!) rejected  the blind Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade.  Pacino’s agent talked him back into it. Result:  his much delayed Oscar.
  9. Danny De Vito, Jack The Bear, 1991.    Joe had (amazingly) won his Oscar. De Vito had lost his Oscar but won this (real)   clown raising   two motherless sons.
  10. Anthony Quinn, Jungle Fever, 1991.      Writer-producer-director Spike Lee   first asked fellow New Yorker   Martin Scorsese to play John Turturro’s father.    Then, one of Marty’s Goodfellas, the ex-waiter at Amici’s in the Bronx, before settling on...    Zorba the Italian.

  11. Cheech Marin, The Lion King, 1993.    Pesci was invited to voice Banzai the hyena in the 32nd Disney toon - Bambi meets Hamlet in Africa! Marin had made his Disney-voice debut as Tito, a snappy Chihuahua in the Disneyfied Dickens, Oliver & Company, 1987.
  12. Nathan Lane, The Lion King, 1993.   Joe was also offered Timon. His diary ruined both plans. Lane and Matthew Broderick shared scenes but were recorded separately. They later linked up for the live action re-make, The Producers, 2005.
  13. Gary Sinise, Forrest Gump, 1993.    Pesci  was a somewhat staggering  idea from  director Robert Zemeckis for the role of  legless ‘Nam war hero, Lieutenant Dan opposite Tom Hanks’ second consecutive Oscar win.
  14. Rob Schneider, Judge Dredd, 1994.    Judge Sly Stallone phoned Rob when Joe, a very wise guy, bailed out.
  15. Bob Hoskins, Nixon, 1994.       Mr Quirky  passed on head FBI honcho  J Edgar Hoover…   like what  would his pals say.    Top US critic Roger Ebert praised Hoskins’ feral, poisonous Hoover, “eating melon from the mouth of a handsome pool boy and ogling the Marine guards.” There was a second Hoover in the cast: Kevin Dunn, playing Charles Colson, was  J Edgar v Chaplin in 1991.
  16. John Goodman, The Borrowers, 1996.   
    The delicious villain, Ocious P Potter,  was not in the 1952 Mary Norton  book that Peter Sellers tried to film in 1964.  So he would have been Pod, the four-inch-high patriarch of the tiny Clock family living  beneath the floorboards of a house owned by ”human beans”.  Three versions had already been hits when this Anglo--American version was launched. The battle for Ocious was, therefore, UK v US…   Martin Clunes, Bob Hoskins, Griff Rhys Jones, Alan Rickman v Tim Allen, Chevy Chase, Danny DeVito, Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Lloyd, Steve Martin, Bill Murray,  Ed O’Neill, Robin Williams.  The fact that Pesci was also suggested signaled a ton of Home Alone physical attacks on poor Goodman, which out off both Steven Spielberg and his apprentice, Robert Zemeckis, from directing.  They weren’t required!  Nor were Rowan Atkinson and comic-turned-director Mel Smith - off busily making their own Bean movie for the same UK/US companies.

  17. Bruno Kirby, Donnie Brasco, 1997.     Dumb move... London helmer Mike Newell’s first Nicky was stupidly dropped   by the studio - after Goodfellas opened but   before Joe won   his Oscar for it.
  18. Vin Diesel, Find Me Gulty, 2006.     A rare bad casting idea from Sidney Lumet. for Giacomo “Jackie Dee” DiNorscio, a Mafia soldier defending himself in America’s longest court trial. With Pesci aboard, this would have become My Cousin Joey.
  19. Ernest Dancy, Zombieland, 2009.    As the businessman zombie, when the idea was to have several celebrity zombs - Mark Hamill, Matthew McConaughey, Patrick Swayze, Jean-Claude Van Damme, etc.
  20. James Cromwell, Big Hero 6, 2014.    Six super heroes. So they naturally require one super-nemesis. Who better than (the masked) Robert Callaghan, head of a robotics at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology. The voicing gig for Disney’s first Marvel subject -  after The Big Buy-Out but before Kevin Feige created the  Marvelverse, and  winning the best animation Oscar - was aimed at Jason Alexander, Alec Baldwin, Jeff Bridges, Jim Carrey, Danny De Vito, John Goodman, Dustin Hoffman, Bob Hoskins, Michael Keaton, John Malkovich, Eddie Murphy, Jack  Nicholson, Gary Oldman, Joe Pesci, JK Simmons, Jeffrey Tambor….plus  Gilbert Gottfried, putting the rest tloshame by scoring 179 screen roles in 41 years!   They all made way for Cromwell. Ten years earlier, he had created the I, Robot called Sonny, played by Alan Tudyk… here playing Cromwell’s arch rival, Alistair Krei. 
  21. Pruitt Taylor Vince, The Life and Death of John Gotti, 2016.      Pesci filed a $3m suit against the producers claiming breach of contract. He said he’d gained 30 lbs to play Gotti’s right-hand man, the overweight Angelo (Quack Quack) Ruggiero. Fiore Films made full use of Pesci’s name in promoting the movie – and then offered him $1m for a lesser role. The suit claimed the Fiore concocted “some pretext for terminating the contract…to avoid paying plaintiff anything for the substantial publicity and buzz that was generated.”  No horse’s head, though.





Copyright © 2022 Crawley's Casting Calls. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.