Karen Allen

  1. Teri Garr, Mr Mom, 1983.    In his first starring role, Michael Keaton was the sudden house husband. His working wife – Mrs Dad? – was selected from Allen, Garr, Valerie Curtin, Farrah Fawcett and Sally Field.
  2. Rebecca DeMornay, The Runaway Train, 1984.    Due in 1970 as Akira Kurosawa’s first film  in America, the project was cancelled due to heavy snowstorms (and budget hassles) in the upstate New York. Cannon’s much ridiculed Go-Go Boys, Israeli cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, wisely invited Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky aboard – and really shaking  up the 1986 Cannes festival. Kurosawa had wanted Henry Fonda as the railwayman aboard a fast moving train without a driver – just Peter Falk as an escaped convict.  In  the other AK’s version, the railwayman was a woman – an unrecognisable De Mornay substituting Allen. 
  3. Isabella Rossellini, Blue Velvet,1985.  The legends vary…  1.  Auteur David Lynch’s first choice for Dorothy Valens was the German star Hanna Schyguylla.  2. Lynch wrote Dorothy for Harry but she‘d had enough of weirdoes. 3. He moved on to Karen Allen, Rebecca De Mornay, Jodie Foster, Debbie Harry, Helen Hunt, Angelica Huston, Diane Keaton, Helen Mirren, Cybill Shepherd, Sissy Spacek, Sigourney Weaver, Debra Winger – most found Dorothy’s script way too erotic. 4.Lynch then met Isa in a NYC restaurant and fell head over clapperboard in love. Literally.
  4. Roxanne Hart, HIghlander, 1985.   Some 16 guys were up for Christophe(r) Lambert’s immortal clansman, Connor McLeod.  But as many as 2r women for  Brenda Wyatt, the modern-day forensics cop bedded by him. Brooke Adams… who must have felt  she had as great chance, having already successfully partnered Connery in The Great Train Robbery, 1978,  and Cuba, 1979. Her rivals  were  Karen Allen, Rosanna Arquette, Jennifer Beals, Lorraine Bracco, Elisabeth Brooks, Kate Capshaw, Glenn Close, Lisa Eilbacher, Linda Fiorentino, Kim Greist (Terry Gilliam’s huge Brazil error), Linda Hamilton, Diane Lane, Carolyn McCormick, Demi Moore, Annette O’Toole, Elizabeth Perkins, Tanya Roberts (booked for  007’s View to a Kill),  Annabella Sciorra,  Diane Venora, Sela Ward, Sigourney Weaver and (phew!) Sean Young.    Broadway’s  rank outsider won!
  5. Meg Ryan, Innerspace,  1986.   The very title comes from dialogue in the film that inspired this spoof: Fantastic Voyage, 1965. Hero Dennis Quaid  is miniaturised into a capsule  and injected into Martin Short’s butt. (Never that funny). For the secondary rôle of Quaid‘s girl, 22 actresses were seen, auditioned and/or tested: Karen Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Beverly d’Angelo, Jodie Foster, Linda Hamilton, Anjelica Huston, Amy Irving (being wed to exec producer Steven Spielberg didn’t help!), Amy Madigan, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Demi Moore, Michelle Pfeiffer, Molly Ringwald Julia Roberts, Rene Russo, Ally Sheedy, Elisabeth Shue, Madeleine Stowe, Sigourney Weaver, Claudia Wells, Sean Young. And, of course, Meg – and Quaid married her during 1991-2001.

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  5