Jacqueline Bisset


  1. Francoise Dorléac, Cul-de-sac, 1966.         Director Roman  Polanski wanted a newcomer  for his second  UK film.  None had the necessary ability,  although  Jackie’s  “outstanding  beauty made me think twice.”
  2. Diana Rigg, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 1968.

  3. Susan George, Straw Dogs, 1971.      
    Sweet Sue was too strong –  heroic enough to save the day for Dustin Hoffman . as her milque-toast husband… but wary, like others, of  how far director Sam Peckinpah wanted to push the rape scene. Hoffman confessed to making it just for the money but still objected to his Mr Milque-toast having such a nymphettish wife. Sweet little Sue, however, was made of sterner stuff. She fought Hollywood heavyweight Peckinpah and bravely said she’d quit rather than agree to his overly explicit portrayal of her rape.  Peckinpah gave in and kept his camera on her face, not her body.  Cuts by the UK censor then made the (three minute) sequence worse by actually implying sodomy.  (Irish censors cut the entire scene and a global video release was banned until… 2002). Jacqueline Bisset, Judy Geeson Linda Hayden, Judy Huxtable, Jennie Linden, Hayley Mills, Helen Mirren, Charlotte Rampling and Carol White were, inevitably,  also in the mix for Amy – the name of Sue’s future production  company

  4. Ann Turkel, 99and44/100%Dead,1974.      Jackie (and a big pay-cheque) attracted Richard Harris to the lame thriller. He kept the cheque and married her New York model substitute. And started selecting more (equally lame) movies to “help” Turkel’s  career.
  5. Valerie Perrine, Can’t Stop The Music, 1979. Aftr the high of Grease, producer Allan Carr hit rock bottom with this nutty biopic of The Village People- minus the group’s Jagger/Lennon, Victor Willis! Still, Samanatha was fun – channeling Jane Russell in The French Line. Perfect for Perinne. Not for Bisset, Cher, Olivia Newton-John or Raquel Welch.
  6. Audrey Hepburn, Bloodline, 1979.       Despite a $1m offer, she backed away from the Terence Young thriller. Likewise Candice Bergen and Diane Keaton.
  7. Lesley-Anne Down, Rough Cut, 1980.      When due from director Blake Edwards. But there’s always a new British girl in town…
  8. Lauren Hutton, Tout feu, tout flamme (All Fired Up), France, 1981. Helen Mirren and Francine Racette were also in casting director  Dominque Besnehard’s sights. Hutton, the gap-toothed US model gave him one of James Dean’s shirts.  (Or, so she said it was).  She  stayed on in France when he won her  Hécate, maîtresse de la nuit. 
  9. Bess Armstrong, High Road To China, 1982.   First set for Roger Moore and Bisset, the couple became Moore and Bo Derek – at which point John Huston left the enterprise and immediately hired Bisset for Under the Volcano 1983.  Moore became Tom Selleck with the fairly unknown Armstrong – directed by Brian G Hutton, his ninth and last gig before returning to acting. 
  10. Kim Basinger, 9 1/2 Weeks, 1986.  Good choice – if you remember her little known 1971 UK movie, Secrets? Fifteen years on, the nudity put her off. For Mickey Rourkew’s partrner, Teri Garr, Demi Moore, Tatum O’Neal, Isabella Rossellini, Dominique Sanda, Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver came (and went). Pl;s Andie MacDowell who thought the script was borderline sleaze.  Oh, it was way over the border!   Bisset later appeared  – keeping her clothes on – in Rourke’s similar erotica, Wild Orchid (co-)written and  directed  by  Zalman King.  
  11. Meryl Streep, The Bridges of Madison County, 1994.      Also short-listed for author Robert Waller’s Italian war bride Francesca were:Claudia Cardinale, Catherine Deneuve, Jessica Lange, Sophia Loren, Isabella Rossellini, Susan Sarandon. After tentative efforts by directors Bruce Beresford, Mike Newell, Sydney Pollack and the mighty Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood took over the helm. And casting. In a trice.
  12. Charlotte Rampling, I’ll Sleep When l’m Dead, 2002.  Although you could be forgiven for thinking it was the 60s when  you learn that Jacqueline  Bisset, Julie Christie and Vanessa Redgrave were up for what became Charlotte Rampling’s role of ex-gangster  Clive Owen’s main squeeze from back in the day. 
  13. Angela Bassett, Mr & Mrs Smith, 2005.     Jackie and Terence Stamp were signedas the big villainsfor the climax, then dropped – and replaced in a second finale by Bassett and Keith David. That was also cut -as wellas other scenes of Angelabeing Mr Smith’sboss… 





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