Lea Thompson

  1. Linda Hamilton, The Terminator, 1983.    In all, 55 actresseswere considered, seen or tested for Sarah Connor (aged 18; Linda was 27) opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger.  AuteurJames Cameron created 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: Thomson, Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Christy Brinkley, Colleen Camp, Jamie Lee Curtis, Geena Davis, Judy 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.

  2. Demi Moore, St Elmo’s Fire, 1984.  
    One studio chief called the life-after-college pals “the most loathsome humans” he’d ever read. Nobody liked the script, the song, most casting ideas and the title – one Columbia suit spent 35 memo pages on why it should be Sparks or The Real World and not after an obscure  meteorological phenomenon! “Everyone wanted that role,” recalled director Joel Schumacher  about Julianna Van Patten, aka Jules – Joan Cusack, Jodie Foster, Tatum O’Neal, Lea Thompson. (He felt Madonna would not be keen on an ensemble.  After all, the cast was soon called The Brat Pack). For a film called Demi got tired for waiting to see auteur  John Hughes about Weird Science  in his office opposite Joel’s. “I happened to see her running down the hallway. ‘That’s Jules!’ I had [Carl]  run after her and find out who she was – Demi Moore and she was on General Hospital. So I called her agent, she came in and did a reading. There was no one  in the world like Demi Moore at that age. In the movie she gets to be sexy, seductive, hilariously funny and dramatic. She becomes a coke head and tries to kill herself by freezing to death…” Demi knew the territory. So did Joel. He’d  “almost self-destructed in his 20s,” said Kurlander. “I recall him vowing that Demi could go kill herself on someone else’s movie.  He gave her an ultimatum: go to rehab and get clean before the movie started, or they would recast her part… [with Madonna or Jenny Wright, who played Rob Lowe’s long-suffering wife]. To Demi’s great credit, she rose to the occasion and got sober.”  Joel loved her. “She had to go through 35 different things in the movie. At that age? Pretty fucking amazing, right?”  

  3. Ally Sheedy, St Elmo’s Fire,1984.    Lea was also seen for Leslie Hunter.  So were  Jamie Lee Curtis, Bridget Fonda, Melanie Griffith, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Sarah Jessica Parker, Meg Ryan, Brooke Shields and Elisabeth Shue.  Among other rejectees were singer Laura Brannigan, Jonathan Cryer, Anthony Edwards, Linda Hamilton, Crispin Glover and Joel felt Madonna would not be keen on an ensemble. And not oner which became known as The Brat Pack!  
  4. Nicole Fosse, A Chorus Line, 1985.       Having been told by Mikhail Baryshnikov, no less, that she was “a beautiful dancer… but too stocky,” Thompson was not for any film about… dancers! And became – “How lucky am I?” – Lorraine Baines McFly, Marty’s mom, in Back To The Future. Not because she was thinking trilogy (no one was) but to work again with her 1984 Wild Life co-star Eric Stoltz – as her original son before being replaced by Michael J Fox. “That part was such a gift, you know? I just really got her. I got the depressed, beaten-down, drunken Lorraine, and I got the young, silly, over-sexed, repressed Lorraine from 1955. The audition or screen test, whatever it was, at Amblin, where [exec producer] Steven Spielberg was working the camera was just so much fun… and then the idea that they let me play four or five more aspects of the same person in Back to the Future II and III… I feel really, really lucky to be mostly known for that movie and that part. It was a great part.”
  5. Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct1991.

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