Ohnotheydidn’t just posted a list of iconic roles turned down by famous actors, which I mindlessly clicked through to - but it turned out to be quite interesting and made me oddly nostalgic for what might have been. It also forced me to question my own tastes and rationality. For instance:
Sean Connery was almost Gandalf and Morpheus. I love Sir Sean, he’s my favourite Bond and I quote two of his other films on an almost daily basis (“What’s a haggis?" and "This is a raid!”) but I can’t see him improving on either of these iconic characters. I’m glad he didn’t. Sir Ian is perfect as Gandalf (I actually think he’s probably a better actor) and, I’ve never really considered this before but, Fishburne brings some ethnic diversity to the future of The Matrix that I now think made the initial film a lot stronger. Plus his performance was great and I’m not sure that Sir Sean would have enhanced the character. Sorry, Sean.
Paul Rudd was nearly Bradley Cooper’s character in The Hangover. On the other hand, here’s a movie that everyone likes, if everyone that I have blocked from my Facebook stream is anything to go by. I have tried - and failed - to get on board. I just don’t like the premise or the broad humour and all the ‘wackiness’ involved. However, I’ve been a big Rudd fan from day 1. Okay, maybe I wasn’t proclaiming my admiration circa Clueless - or even Titanic - yet, but as soon as he was funny, I was there. I think he’s good in the ‘straight guy’ role and I don’t know if he’d have turned The Hangover into a film I genuinely liked and would re-watch from time to time. But probably. I would at least have watched all three and probably gone to the cinema and everything.
Bill Murray was nearly Forrest Gump. I love Hanks in everything. I loved 80s Hanks and he is intertwined in my memories and childhood. I thought Tom Hanks was great in Gump and I have watched it several times. But this is Bill Murray we are talking about. What would this have been like? I honestly don’t know if Murray would have been energetic enough to pull it off and if he would bring a sardonic quality that would ruin the unwitting good-naturedness of the character, but boy would I love to see him try. We’ll always have Groundhog Day, Bill.