Meg Ryan


  1. Brooke Shields Endless Love, 1981.  Her first audition.  Seen, but not hired.
  2. Elizabeth McGovern, Once Upon a Time in America, 1982.   Italian maestro Sergio Leoneclaimed he interviewed “over 3,000 actors,” taping 500 auditions for the 110 speaking roles in his New York gangster epic.  He certainly saw 33 girls for nymphet Deborah Gelly: Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Jennifer Beals, Linda Blair, Glenn Close, Jamie Lee Curtis, Geena Davis, Farrah Fawcett, Carrie Fisher, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Linda Hamilton, Daryl Hannah, Goldie Hawn, Mariel Hemingway, Diane Lane, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Heather Locklear, Kristy McNIchol, Liza Minnelli, Tatum O’Neal, Michelle Pfeiffer, Meg Ryan, Susan Sarandon, Cybill Shepherd, Sissy Spacek, Meryl Streep, Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver, Debra Winger. Plus Brooke Shields as the younger version. Deborah was 15 in the first script; McGovern was 20.
  3. Debra Winger, An Officer and a Gentleman, 1981.  “You ain’t nothing special. You got no manners, you treat woman like whores and…you got no chance of being no officer.” There was a lot of choppping and changing about the officer and gent’s lady, Paula Pokrifki. Geena Dabvis, Rebecca De Mornay and Meg Ryan auditioned. Then, Paula  became Kim Basinger, then Anjelica Huston, then Jennifer Jason Leigh… JLT departing for Fast Times At Ridgemont Highwas Winger’s lucky day. Although she never got on with Gere (“a brick wall”) and hated the film, despite her Oscar nomination.
  4. Linda Hamilton, The Terminator, 1983.     In all, 55 actresses were considered, seen or tested for Sarah Connor (aged 18; Linda was 27) opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger. Auteur James 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: Ryan, 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, 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.
  5. Ally Sheedy, 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 s after an obscure  meteorological phenomenon! Co-scenarist Carl Kurlunder  told all to Deadline Hollywood for  the 35th anniversary in July 2020 – ten days after the death of his co-writer and director Joel Shumacher. They saw hundreds (“if not thousands”) of actors –  including Meg,  Jamie Lee Curtis, Bridget Fonda, Melanie Griffith, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brooke Shields, Elisabeth Shue  and Lea Thompson for the young architect Leslie Hunter.  Among the rejectees were  singer Laura Brannigan, Jonathan Cryer, Anthony Edwards, Linda Hamilton, Crispin Glover and Joel felt Madonna would not be keen on an ensemble.  After all, the cast was soon called The Brat Pack.  
  6. Daphne Zuniga, The Sure Thing, 1985.      Not so sure after testing for director Rob Reiner as the prim ’n’ proper co-ed.
  7. Robin Wright, The Princess Bride, 1986.   Tested again for Rob Reiner. (So did all of Hollywood’s new  young hotties). “Terrific auditions but not quite right for those parts.” It was third time lucky for Reiner’s best work, When Harry Met Sally…,1989; her “instant chemistry” audition with Billy Crystal won her the famous fake orgasm scene – “maybe the year’s single most uproarious  scene,” said critic Gene Shalit.   
  8. Glenn Close, Fatal Attraction, 1986.

  9. Jodie Foster, The Accused, 1988.   
    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:  Ryan, 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, Jane Seymour, Sharon Stone, Meryl Streep, Debra Winger.   And moving on to the younger 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!

  10. Valeria Golina, Rain Man, 1988.      “There’s no school that teaches you how to read scripts.  You have to learn by making mistakes.”
  11. Julia Roberts, Steel Magnolias, 1989.     Meg “turned us down to do When Harry Met Sally…” revealed director Herbert Ross, who upset Julia during and after shooting by asking: “Are you going back to New York to study?” (She won an Oscar nod).
  12. Nicole Kidman, Days of Thunder, 1989.     Dr Claire Lewicki was aimed at all the usual misses.   Ryan, Kim Basinger, Sandra Bullock, Jodie Foster, Heather Locklear, Madonna, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Molly Ringwald, Julia Roberts, Ally Sheedy, Brooke Shields, Sharon Stone, Robin Wright. And a newcomer to such rosters: the Irish Alison Doody. They all passed what was a formulaic Tom Cruise movie – ie, all about Cruise as a cocky young talent, with an older mentor, older (even taller) woman, and surpassing his enemies… literally, in this chapter, as a Daytona NASCAR driver. He chose Kidman, after seeing Dead Calm, and promptly married her: 1990-2001.   And she learned about superstar formulas. When she begged time to study neurosurgery for her surgeon’s role, she was told, basically, not to be so silly.
  13. Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman, 1989.
  14. Jodie Foster, The Silence of the Lambs,  1989.
  15. Demi Moore, Ghost, 1990.      “I thought: What can an actor do with this? Not an awful lot.”   Meg has never regretted her choices.   “I’m pretty sure about my reasoning at the   time.   They probably wouldn’t   have been   big hits if I’d been in them.”
  16. Kim Basinger, The Marrying Man (UK/Australia: Too Hot To Handle), 1990.      Director Herbert Ross reported an exceptional script reading with Alec Baldwin and Ryan.   His producer reported   how Disney would not pay his   price.   Ross quit and writer Neil Simon reported the Baldwin-Basinger power game was his worst professional experience.
  17. Demi Moore, The Butcher’s Wife, 1990.      Throughout 18 months of script discussions, Meg’s “reams of notes” were continually met with Uh-huhs.   “And never would a single word be changed.   The people weren’t taking me seriously, so I bowed out.”   Husband Dennis Quaid and Bob Hoskins also ran.
  18. Catherine O’Hara, Home Alone, 1990.    For the zero roles of Macauley Culkin’s forgetful parents (in a film written for and duly stolen by him), an astonishing 66 stars were considered – including 32 later seen for the hot lovers in Basic Instinct:Kim Basinger, Stockard Channing, Glenn Close, Kevin Costner, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Douglas, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Linda Hamilton, Daryl Hannah, Marilu Henner, Anjelica Huston, Helen Hunt, Holly Hunter, Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, Christopher Lloyd, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Annie Potts, Kelly Preston, Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan, Martin Sheen, Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, John Travolta.   Other near Moms were Kirstie Alley, Lynda Carter, Kim Cattrall, Geena Davis, Laura Dern, Jennifer Grey, Gates McFadden, Kelly McGillis, Bette Midler, Ally Sheedy, Mary Steenburgen, Debra Winger… and the inevitable unknown: Maureen McCormick, part of The Brady Bunch  for seven 1981 chapters.
  19. Helen Slater, City Slickers, 1990.   Facing 40, three Manhattan dudes book into a dude ranch and join a cattle drive and… a perfect comedy!  Billy Crystal stars and helped write it – and invited Superwoman, herself, Bonnie Rayburn. Also on his dream wish list were: Mary Gross, Barbara Hershey, Kay Lenz, and Meg Ryan. Jack Palance stole the movie and won a support Oscar – 38 years after his only nomination (for the Shanegunman) and celebrated with one-arm push-ups on the Academy stage – and the 1993 sequel.
  20. Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct, 1991.

  21. Julia Roberts, Hook, 1991.     One of  Steven Spielberg’s first reserves when Julia  loomed dangerously close to being dropped.
  22. Juliette Lewis, Cape Fear, 1991.    Among the many  –  the very many – Christina Applegate, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Shannen Doherty, Nicole Eggeret, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Helen Hunt, Nicole Kidman, Diane Lane, Jennifer Jason  Leigh, Alyssa Milano, Demi Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker,  Molly Ringwald, Winona Ryder, Brooke Shields, Tiffani Thiessen, Reese Witherspoon – considered  by Steven Spielberg and, later, Martin Scorsese for  the  teen daughter of Nick Nolte and Jessica Lange: Danielle Bowden.  (Nicole in the 1962 original). Some found it too sexy and, indeed, few could have equalled the on-heat musk of Juliette’s totally improvised – and one take – seduction scene with Robert De Niro.
  23. Goldie Hawn, Housesitter, 1992.   “A script is really just a blueprint,” said Meg.  “After reading it, and committing to it, you have to find out what kind of movie the director wants to make.  I didn’t agree with Frank Oz on the tone or the point of view.” Also, she  looked dangerously young opposite Steve Martin. (Who didn’t?)
  24. Sandra Bullock, Speed, 1993.    Although sharing the heroics and the driving of the bus-bomb with Keanu Reeves, most girls saw it as The Guy’s film. An amazing 36 refused to be Annie: Meg, Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Halle Berry, Glenn Close (!), Geena Davis, Cameron Diaz, Carrie Fisher, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Daryl Hannah, Mariska Hargitay, Barbara Hershey, Anjelica Huston, Diane Lane, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kay Lenz, Alyssa Milano, Demi Moore, Tatum O’Neal, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Julia Roberts, Winona Ryder, Jane Seymour, Ally Sheedy, Brooke Shields, Meryl Streep (!), Emma Thompson (!), Meg Tilly, Marisa Tomei, Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver and Debra Winger.
  25. Jodie Foster, Maverick, 1994.     She left the West to hubby Dennis Quaid in Wyatt Earp. After three successive films, since the birth of Jack Quaid, she was “just too tired, really.”
  26. Uma Thurman, Pulp Fiction, 1994.  
  27. Amanda Plummer, Pulp Fiction, 1993.  
  28. Nicole Kidman, To Die For, 1994.    “Nicole got my number somewhere,” recalled director Gus Van Sant, “right after Meg Ryan dropped out… which involved her knowing inside information.” Well, she was Mrs Tom Cruise at the time. Ryan had passed up $5m; Kidman got $2m. Most young sparks agreed this was a role to die for – the girl who would do anything (murder included) to get on TV, and stay there. “You aren’t anybody in America if you’re not on TV…” They included Patricia Arquette, Jennifer Connelly, Joan Cusack, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Darryl Hannah, Holly Hunter, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tatum O’Neal, Mary-Louise Parker, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Uma Thurman. Meg succeeded Kidman in her production of In The Cut, 2003. Final score: Nicole won, Meg lost
  29. Demi Moore, The Scarlet Letter, 1995.    She tried hard but was (fortunately) rejected for the Adulterous Hester Prynne in the Roland Joffé mess- among the Razzie Awards’ list of 100 Most Amusingly Bad Movies Ever Made. Like many a Demi number…
  30. Patricia Arquette, Beyond Rangoon, 1995.    Ironically, the boring director Gus Van Sant had wanted Arquette for To Die For  – this was her first $1m role. The British John Boorman helmed.

  31. Julia Ormond, Sabrina, 1995.     Director Sydney Pollack could not persuade her – or Julia Roberts – to re-tread Audrey Hepburn.
  32. Bonnie Hunt, Jerry Maguire, 1996.  Once Tom Hanks passed and Tom Cruise breathed a sigh of relief, auteurCameron Crowe started searching for the girls: Dorothy Boyd (“You had me at Hello…”)and her older sister. The Avery candidates includedRyan, Jennifer Connelly, Diane Lane, Alyssa Milano and – oh, no!- Tori Spelling!! Fortunately, she was tied up with her  (well, her father Aaron Spelling’s) series, Beverly Hills 90210, 1990-2000. Hunt said the hardest part of the role was being someone who did not like Tom Cruise… even after he admitted he had no memory of her being in Rain Manwith him!
  33. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Washington Square, 1997.     Very square…  JJL won Catherine Sloper  from Ryan and Anne Heche.  JJL and Ryan were both seen for ten films:  An Officer and a Gentleman, 1981; Once Upon a Time in America, 1982; The Terminator, 1983; The Accused,1988; Cape Fear, 1991; Speed, 1993; To Die For,1994; Unfaithful,2001. Ryan beat her to Sleepless in Seattle, 1992.
  34. Demi Moore, Passion in Mind, 1998.    Michelle Pfeiffer developed the project of a woman living parallel lives. Once she quit, the A Team, rushed in – and Moore won the Hollywood debut of French realisateur Alain Berliner.
  35. Gwyneth Paltrow, Shakespeare In Love, 1998.   Five  years before at the Deauville festival,  Meg had told me, without any hesitation, that the American actress  to watch for was… Paltrow!Angelina Jolie, Beyond Borders, 2000.  Kevin Costner kept losing his leading ladies. Catherine  Zeta-Jones and then Meg withdrew due to the advent of  new lovers – Michael Douglas and Russell Crowe, respectively.  Then  Costner left  and Jolie became the  London society woman in love with Clive Owen’s doctor in war-ravaged Ethiopia.
  36. Ashley Judd, Double Jeopardy, 1999.     Libby is framed for her husband’s murder (if he’s really dead) but Ryan, Jodie Foster, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Brooke Shields all passed. (What? He was Bruce Greenwood. And yes, of course, he wasn’t…).
  37. Meryl Streep, Music of the Heart, 1999.   “I wasn’t going to come all this way to make a non-genre film just to make somebody else’s movie !” Auteur Wes Craven (on a break from horror) dropped Madonna, who wanted to make the story more about the teacher’s sex-life rather than making violinists out of poor Harlem kids. He considered Ryan and Sandra Bullock before going for broke and contacting Streep. She then studied violin playing, six hours a day for eight weeks. “His words seduced me. I had to do the movie.”
  38. Angelina Jolie, Beyond Borders, 2000. Kevin Costner kept losing his leading ladies. Catherine Zeta-Jones and then Meg withdrew due to the advent of new lovers – Michael Douglas and Russell Crowe, respectively. Then Costner left and Jolie became the London society woman in love with Clive Owen’s doctor in war-ravaged Ethiopia.
  39. Carrie-Ann Moss, Red Planet, 2000.     You offer a role, like Kate Bowman, to an actress. She then reads the script. Then, she promptly disappears. And you wonder why. So you read the script. And start all over…
  40. Julianne Moore, The Shipping News, 2001. Meg considered joining Billy Bob Thornton in the film,  after the  Travoltas backed away.

  41. Jennifer Connelly, A Brilliant Mind, 2001.   If the choice of the right actor to  portray the schizophrenic Noble Prize-winning mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr was vital,  selecting his screen wife was even more so   – hence an Oscar for Connelly and not for Russell Crowe.  The other candidates included Julie Bowen, Toni Collette, Claire Danes, Geena Davis, Kirsten Dunst, Portia De Rossi, Claire Forlani, Rachel Griffiths, Teri Hatcher, Famke Janssen, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Catherine McCormack, Mary McCormick, Mia Maestro, Rhona Mitra, Julia Ormond, Amanda Peet, Christina Ricci, Meg Ryan, Chloe Sevigny, Alicia Silverstone, Mira Sorvino, Hilary Swank, Charlize Theron, Uma Thurman, Rachel Weisz.  PS Emily Watson was rejected as “too British” – while Salma Hayek was seen because  Alicia Nash came from El; Salvador… which must have meant the others were too American, Australian,  South African, etc.   Director Ron Howard seemed to forget they were all actresses. Odd that, as he used to be one.

  42. Diane Lane, Unfaithful, 2001.   For his passionate US update of Madame Bovary, UK director Adrian Lyne saw six potential husbands, three lovers… And as many as 15 cheating wives: Lane, Josie Davis, Kristin Davis, Portia de Rossi, Jodie Foster, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jennifer Lopez, Alyssa Milano, Kyra Sedgwick, Brooke Shields, Tori Spelling, Hilary Swank, Kate Winslet.   Meg passed. Of course, she did, being America’s biggest Sweetheart since Mary Pickford and Doris Day… and then Ryan proved unfaithful for real. And her affair with Russell Crowe (while making, ironically,  Proof of Love, 2000) ruined both her image and career.  Not his, of course. 

  43. Jessica Alba, Fantastic Four, 2004.   After being stymied by Roger Corman’s  cheap quickie designed to retain  the rights, Chris Columbus (not that one!) planned to film the Marvel comic.  With the then-wed Ryan and Dennis Quaid, for Sue Storm and Reed Richards. 

  44. Nicole Kidman, Bewitched, 2004.    
    For inexplicable reasons, Hollywood kept trying to make a movie out of the  1968-1972 ABC sitcom about a good-looking witch and a Dagwood husband.  In 1993, Penny Marshall was going to direct Meryl Streep as Samantha, then passed the reins to Ted Bissell and he died in 1996 when his Richard Curtis script was planned as Melanie Griffths’ comeback.  Nora Ephron co-wrote and directed this lumbering version about an ego-driven actor trying to save his career with a Bewitched re-hash, but with the emphasis on him (of course) as Darrin, rather than the unknown he chose for Samatha because she can wiggle her nose…  (You didn’t need a nose to know it stank).  Over the years, 37 other ladies were on the Samantha wish-list. Take a deep breath… Kate Beckinsale, Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Connelly, Cameron Diaz, Heather Graham, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd, Julianne Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Michelle Pfeiffer, Molly Ringwald, Meg Ryan, Winona Ryder,Brooke Shields, Charlize Theron, Naomi Watts, Renee Zellweger.  Plus seven Oscar-winners:  Kim Basinger, Tatum O’Neal, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Hilary Swank, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon… two Friends: Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow…eleven other TV stars: Christina Applegate, Patricia Arquette, Kristin Davis, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Helen Hunt, Jenny McCarthy, Alyssa Milano, Brittany Murphy, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alicia Silverstone… even  Drew Barrymore and Uma Thurman, who had already re-kindled Charlie’s Angels and The Avengers.

  45. Emily Watson, Wah-Wah, 2004.   Actor Richard E Grant turned writer-director to relate his Swaziland childhood with dysfunctional, not to say wildly inappropriate parents.  He kept a diary about the shoot, freely admitting that Ryan, Emmanuelle Beart, Toni Collette, Rachel Weisz all turned him down… for roles as varied as his mother and his American airline stewardess step-mom.
  46. Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada, 2005.   Sixteen other women were up for Vogue editor Anna Wintour (er, Miranda Priestley!) in the delightful look at the real fashion world, based on the tell-all  by Lauren Weisberger,  who used to work for Wintour (but claimed it wasn’t  about her!  Seven only had the wherewithall to match Meryl Streep:  Jennifer Aniston, Glenn Close (fed up of villains), Angelina Jolie, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helen Mirren, Julia Roberts and Hilary Swank. “Sinfully funny, deliciously glossy,” said Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers. “Streep knocks every laugh out of the park More remarkably, she humanises a character who was little more than a bitch… on the page.” The remaining what-were-they-thinking candidates had been Kim Basinger, Cameron  Diaz, Heather Graham, Lisa Kudrow, Tatum O’Neal, Gwyneth Paltrow, Meg Ryan, Alicia Silverstone and  Naomi Watts.
  47. Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct 2, 2005.      Refused the sequel, too, when Stone threatened to quit over money issues. Meg was in good company… Kim Basinger, Michelle Pfeiffer, Greta Scacchi, Julia Roberts, Emma Thompson.
  48. Holly Hunter, The Big White, 2005.       The money men yelled:  Meg! She replied; Give me some time.  After about ten months, she spoke again:  No thank you!
  49. Kate Bosworth, Superman Returns, 2005.
  50. Nicole Kidman, Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus, 2006.      After dining with biographer Patricia Bosworth, Meg said she rather play Sylvia Plath. By now Luc Besson,  Jonathan Demme,  Ang Lee, Adrian Lyne, Mike Nichols, Martin Scorsese, Barbra Streisand  had all  refused to direct.

  51. Annette Bening, The Women, 2007.     After  15 years trying to writer-direct her version of MGM’s  magic,  the bubbles  had left the bubbly for the TV Murphy Brown creator Diane English. Egos hit the  fan during the  1996 read-through as Ryan was not keen in the Rosalind Russell 1938 comedy turn  and fought Julia Roberts for the old Norma Shearer role. Reminiscent of the billing battles between Shearer and Rosalind Russell in 1938. 
  52. Linda Gray, Dallas, TV, 2011.      Efforts were made since 2002 to reboot the iconic series (and tele-films) for the cinema.  Result? This pilot for a 2012 series…. about JR and Bobby’s rival sons. Directors, stars, genres changed:  Robert Luketic, Gurinder Chadha quit, Betty Thomas was to shoot a Southfork comedy; Drew Barrymore, Minka Kelly, Catherine Zeta-Jones were named for Pam, James Brolin as Jock and Jane Fonda, Diane Ladd or Shirley MacLaine as Miss Ellie. The movie idea collapsed when Lopez quit the idea of being JR’s alcoholic wife, Sue Ellen, opposite John Travolta as JR Ewing.  Finally,  the original Sue-Ellen joined the old-timers returning to their 1978-1992 roles.
  53. Emily Blunt, Into The Woods, 2013.
  54. Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns,2017.   When Walt Disney made the first Poppins, he mused over Bette Davis, Angela Lansbury or Mary Martin for Mary but by 1963, he had only one star in mind. Julie Andrews.  For this reboot, Disney suits went through no less than 37 contenders… Two Desperate Housewives:Kristin Davis, Teri Hatcher. Two Friends:Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow. Two Brat Packers: Molly Ringwald, Winona Ryder.  Two of the three authors of The Penis Song: Christina Aplegate, Cameron Diaz. Three sirens: Kim Basinger, Heather Graham Uma Thurman. Four ex-child stars: Drew Barrymore, Alyssa Milano, Tatum O’Neal, Brooke Shields. Ten Oscar-winners: Sandra Bullock, Helen Hunt, Angelina Jolie, Julianne Moore, Tatum O‘Neal, Julia Roberts, Hilary Swank, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon, RenéeZellweger. Plus: Patricia Arquette, Melanie Griffith, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Peiffer, Meg Ryan, Alicia Silverstone, Naomi Watts. But just two Brits: Kate Beckinsale  – and the winning Emily.















 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  54