Judy Davis


  1. Rachel Ward, The Thorn Birds, TV, 1983.      Wise gal.  Rachel Who…??!
  2. Michelle Pfeiffer, Scarface, 1982.    She passed on  being Al Pacino’s main squeeze: Elvira Hancock. As did Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Melanie Griffith, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Brooke Shields, Kathleen Turner,

  3. Linda Hamilton, The Terminator, 1983.   
    Not the kind of part poor Judy was expecting from Hollywod… In all, 55 actresses were considered, seen or tested for Sarah Connor (aged 18; Linda was 27) opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger. James Cameron auteured Sarah for Bridget Fonda. She passed; so did Tatum O’Neal. He decided to go older… and Glenn Close won – her schedule didn’t agree. OK, Kate Capshaw! No, she was tied to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – and Kathleen Turner was Romancing The Stone. Debra Winger won her audition, said yes… then no. The other 48 ladies were The ’80s Group: Davis, Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Christy Brinkley, Colleen Camp, Jamie Lee Curtis, Geena Davis, Mia Farrow, Carrie Fisher, Jodie Foster, Teri Garr, Jennifer Grey, Melanie Griffith, Darryl Hannah, Barbara Hershey, Anjelica Huston, Amy Irving, Diane Keaton, Margot Kidder, Diane Lane, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kay Lenz, Heather Locklear, Lori Loughlin, Kelly McGillis, Kristy McNichol, Michelle Pfeiffer, Deborah Raffin, Meg Ryan, Susan Sarandon, Ally Sheedy, Cybill Shepherd, Brooke Shields, Sissy Spacek, Sharon Stone, Lea Thompson, Sigourney Weaver… one aerobics queen, Bess Motta (she became Sarah’s room-mate, Ginger Ventura), two singers (Madonna, Liza Minnelli), two Brits (Miranda Richardson, Jane Seymour), five essentially funny girls, Goldie Hawn, Rhea Perlman (Mrs Danny De Vito), Gilda Radner, Mary Tyler Moore… plus the new MTM, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, from Saturday Night Live. Most were in contention again a few years later for Fatal Attraction (won by Close) and The Accused (going to Foster and McGillis). Ten years later (after T2), Linda gave birth to Cameron’s daughter and Josephine’s parents wed in 1997… for two years.

  4. Meryl Streep, Out of Africa, 1984.     Between Audrey Hepburn and Meryl (or if you go back far enough, between Greta Garbo and Meryl – oh yes! – the role of (the author) Karen Blixen was offered to Judy.
  5. Kelly McGillis, Top Gun, 1985.   Take my breath away…
  6. Glenn Close, Fatal Attraction, 1986.
  7. Elisabeth Shue, Adventures in Babysitting, 1986.    Not quite the kind of Hollywood movie that  Davis was seeking. For his directing debut, Gremlins writer Chris Columbus saw just about every gal in town for the explosive night of babysitter Chris Parker: a project hanging  around (with Jane Fonda) since the 60s.  Twenty years on, Jane’s niece Bridget Fonda was booked. Next, Justine Bateman, Valerie Bertinelli, Jodie Foster,  Melanie Griffith, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Tatum O’Neal, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sharon Stone auditioned  and Columbus refused Kelly McGillis.  

  8. Jodie Foster, The Accused, 1988. 
    An awful thing to say. Except it is true. Jodie Foster would never have won her (first) Oscar for this trenchant drama – if actress Kelly McGillis had not been raped in 1982… At first, the role of the rape victim Sarah Tobias was written for Andie MacDowell. She passed. The Paramount suits then saw 34 other young actresses for the (real life) victim. Or, for their own rape bait fantasies – including 16-year-old Alyssa Milano! Foster was refused a test because she was “not sexy enough”! And, anyway, the studio had decided upon McGillis, a high flyer in  Paramount’s Witness and Top Gun. And, naturally, she refused point-blank! She knew what it was to be brutally raped and Kelly had no wish to revisit the horror and agony of her own assault six years earlier.  The suits were annoyed. They needed her. She was hot at the box-office, their box-office. They had made her a star!! Eventually, McGillis agreed to play Sarah’s defence attorney – on condition that unsexy Jodie played Sarah! The suits caved, tested Foster and the rest is Oscar history… So is the huge list of talent also seen for Sarah.   Starting with the Fatal Attraction also-rans: Rosanna Arquette, Ellen Barkin, Kim Basinger, Jennifer Beals, Jennifer Grey, Melanie Griffith, Linda Hamilton, Darryl Hannah, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Diane Keaton, Demi Moore, Kelly Preston, Meg Ryan, Jane Seymour, Sharon Stone, Meryl Streep, Debra Winger.   And moving on to the younger Davis, Melissa Sue Anderson (trying to break her Little House on the Prairie image), Justine Bateman, Valerie Bertinelli, Phoebe Cates, Jennifer Connelly, Joan Cusack, Judy Davis, Kristin Davis, Bridget Fonda, Annabeth Gish, Mariel Hemingway, Kelly LeBrock, Virginia Madsen, Brigitte Nielsen, Tatum O’Neal, Molly Ringwald, Mia Sara, Ally Sheedy, Brooke Shields, Uma Thurman.  Oh, and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, said the suits, was “too nice.” Rape victims shouldn’t be nice? Oh, Hollywood!

  9. Holly Hunter, Broadcast News,  1987.    Auteur  James Brooks was impressed, of course he was. As future co-star Peter Weller declared: “She’s really sexy, a fabulous kisser. She’s like a cushion of clouds.  Judy’s  like a Ferrari,  man. You just crank it up, sit in and  it just goes.”
  10. Debra Winger, The Sheltering Sky, 1990.     Losing Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci’s version of Paul Bowles hurt. 
  11. Sigourney Weaver, Death And The Maiden, 1995.    Landing Roman Polanski to direct,  producer Thom Mount suggested Davis, Stephen Rea, Sam Neill. Warners preferred Weaver, Ben Kingsley, Stuart Wilson.
  12. Goldie Hawn, Everyone Says I Love You, 1996,    “She plays comedy, she plays drama, she projects intelligence, she’s sexy,” says Woody Allen about Judy.  “There’s nothing you could want that isn’t there.” 
  13. Marianne Faithfull, Marie Antoinette, 2005. An Aussie at the court of King Louis XVI… in a bubblegum version of history. Yes, but as the Comtesse de Noailles and not as auteur Sofia Coppola first planned, as the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa, part of the Habsburg Dynasty. So was Faithfull’s mother, Eva von Sacher-Masoch – the Baroness Erisso.
  14. Michelle Fairley, 24: Live Another Day, 2014.    Quit as Margo “for personal reasons” in Kiefer Sutherland’s 24 series special…  which stated shooting in London some  eight  years after it was first announced.














 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  14