Matthias Schoenaerts

  1. Geert Hunaerts, Alias, Belgium, 2001.    Most unusual, indeed unique in these casting tales…   Schoenaerts  had to pass on director Jan Verheyen’s thriller… because his drama school would not allow him time out to make a movie!  By 2010, he was the #1 star in Belgium.
  2. Michael Fassbender,  A Dangerous Method, Canada, 2010.    The role was Carl Jung.  The director was David Cronenberg.  The co-stars were Viggo Mortensen (as Freud) and Keira Knightley. But…  Schoenaerts had agreed to Rudskop/Bullhead, which became his breakthrough at home, just as  Jacques Audiard’s De rouille et d’os/Rust and Bone would open all international portals in 2011, 
  3. Joel Kinnaman, RoboCop, 2013.       He won the human android and then backed off, feeling he was not yet ready for such a full blown  A-movie  action franchise undertaking.  With all its contractual knobs on.
  4. Jérémie Renier, Waste Land, Belgium, 2013.       Too busy to be the much troubled Brussels homicide  cop, Leo Woest.
  5. Romain Duris, Une nouvelle amie,  France, 2013.   Due to Far From the Madding Crowd, the Belgian passed the transvestite  role in auteur  Francois Ozon’s film to the extraordinary Duris.   And then promptly joined the transgender drama, The Danish Girl!

  6. Jamie Dornan, Fifty Shades of Grey, 2013.  
    Mark Wahlberg tried to buy the porno novel.  Social networks were full of weird suggestions for the porn novel’s BDSM lover, Christian Grey. From Robert Pattinson, Matt Smith to Henry Cavill (well, S/M also stands for Superman) and Captain America Chris Evans (as if Marvel would allow that). None led to talks, auditions or tests.  Because the suits had eyes only for Ryan Gosling.  No way, said he. Most wise. Next target was Charlie Hunnam. He agreed and then suddenly quit because of his Sons of Anarchy, series (among other issues), and a second batch of front-runners were seen: Luke Bracey (the inevitable Aussie), Canadians Patrick J Adams and François Arnaud (well versed in jiggery-pokery as Cesare in The Borgias series), plus Scott Eastwood, Theo James, Billy Magnussen – and Alexander Skarsgård, playing Tarzan by then with an Anastasia Steele hopeful, Margot Robbie.   (Hunnam had also been in the ape-man mix). The first group had been  Amell (he preferred Oliver Queen, aka DC’s Arrow, TV 2012-2016), ex-UK model David Gandy (who simply refused) while two other Brits, Christian Cooke (from Love, Rosie with London model Suki Waterhouse up for Anastasia) and Dominic Cooper (perfect, surely!), Aussie Daniel McPherson – and Santa Monica’s Ryan Paevey actually auditioned.  As for the Belgian hunk – Schoenaerts  fell asleep reading the scenario.    Oh, and author EL James vetoed any idea of of Dornan’s pal, Eddie Redmayne! They were all lucky to escape the turgid, totally un-erotic enterprise. Only 14 minutes and 17 seconds of sex, no orgasms – and pubes added digitally to actors’ genital patches!! And poor Dornan was a zero without his beard.

  7. Dane DeHaan, Tulip Fever, 2014.  The 17th Century romance of an artist and a married lady had to be shuttered in 2004, when the UK government cancelled tax breaks and the  $45m budget shot up to $62m. It took a decade to revamp everything from leading man to a new $25m budget. The lovers became Keira Knightley and Jude Law and, finally, DeHaan and Alicia Vikander. Schoenaerts and Vikander co-starred in The Danish Girl, in 2015. Tulip was not released until 2017, by which time, DeHaan (and Cara Delevingne, also in Tulip), had made Valerian, another mighty stink-bomb.
  8. Stef Aerts, Belgica,  Belgium, 2014.       His international diary kept dragging away from home  movies…   in Flemish. 
  9. Ben Affleck, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, 2015.  
  10. Riz Ahmed, Venom, 2017.  Schoernaerts, Pedro Pascal and Matt Smith were in the frame for Carlton Drake. But Ahmed was selected by director Ruben Fleischer for the billionaire scientist mad enough  to believe he could control sentient alien symbiotes. Like the titular Tom Hardy.
  11. Pilou Asbæk, Ghost In The Shell, 2016.      Denmark beat Belgium to Batou – opposite Scarlett Johansson – in the rotten (and whitewashed) live-action substituie for the (marvellous) 1995 UK-Japanese aime from director Mamoru Oshii. 









 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  10