Actors are accustomed to encountering rejection and, on rare occasions, even humiliation during Hollywood auditions. Even famous actors have encountered disappointment in the casting process. The late Christopher Reeve, who is best known for playing the title role in the 1978 film and its three sequels, was involved in one such incident.
Reeve once attended an audition for a film, whose original working title was Yes, we are referring to the late director Garry Marshall’s starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts.
Did you know that there were several actors who auditioned for the role of Edward Lewis in before Gere? Sylvester Stallone, Al Pacino, and Burt Reynolds were given the opportunity to play Edward, but they declined. Additionally, Christopher Reeve, Denzel Washington, Kevin Kline, and Daniel Day-Lewis were taken into account by Marshall.
There is no denying that Edward Lewis, the businessman in suited ‘s charm and good looks perfectly. When he was being considered for the role, other well-known actors were also floated as potential candidates. As aforementioned, actors like Denzel Washington, , and Al Pacino, among others, were considered, but the makers ultimately decided that Gere was the best fit, and his on-screen chemistry with Julia Roberts was proof of their decision.
Roberts allegedly was not available to do the read with Christopher Reeve when the late actor, who died on October 10, 2004, appeared for the audition. As a result, a casting director read her part in her place.
Reeve got angry, tore up his script, and stormed out after the director reportedly performed so poorly. In his autobiographystar stated (per ):
“I had to play the scenes with the casting director, who kept her nose buried in the pages and read about as well as a reject from some community theater. Halfway through the second scene, anger, frustration, and humiliation got the better of me.”
However, his audition for the movie turned out to be a “” one, and he claimed in his autobiography that the filmmakers had no right to treat any actor in this manner (via ):
“I ripped the pages in half, dropped them on the floor, told Garry Marshall and the producers that they had no right to treat any actor this way, and stalked out of the room.”
Meanwhile, Pacino stated that he declined the role of the lead in in a 2007 interview with because
“Sometimes it’s just not the right role” and he did not feel at home there.
Although other actors were vying to play Vivian Ward and Edward Lewis, gave rise to the romantic partnership of and Richard Gere.
Months were spent looking for the ideal actress to play Vivian. Prior to Roberts, a number of actresses were considered for the position. For instance, Garry Marshall had originally wanted Karen Allen to play the role, but she turned down. After that, a ton of well-known actresses, including Drew Barrymore, Brooke Shields, Uma Thurman, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Winona Ryder, were called in for auditions for the part.
Julia Roberts, then 21 years old, was given the opportunity to audition for the part after several actresses declined it. However, the makers were not initially interested in casting her in the lead role, and the director hesitated to do so because of her inexperience.
In the end, the actress’ outstanding performance in the initial screen test caused them to change their minds. Speaking to in 2009, Marshall said:
“She [Julia Roberts] popped off the screen. Not so much in person. She seemed like a nice, smart, pretty girl. Once she got a camera on her, boy did she pop off.”
Let us just say that everything turned out for the best.
Despite all the difficulties faced, Roberts and Gere were always destined to play Vivian and Edward, respectively. In fact, they worked together again to create the beloved rom-com Runaway Bride, proving how strong their bond was.
Julia Roberts’ next film will be the upcoming psychological thriller also starring Mahershala Ali, Myha’la Herrold, Kevin Bacon, and Ethan Hawke.
You can watch on DIRECTV.