Movie lovers will remember passionate Shakespearean (Shakespeare in love). AND Gwyneth Paltrow won the Academy Award for Best Actress thanks to his Viola de Lesseps. What few people know is that this main role it was originally intended for Julia Roberts. Producer Edward Zwick has just revealed it, through a recently published essay.
The director behind glory AND Legends of the fall he championed the film from the start, coordinating with Marc Norman on the original script and bringing in renowned playwright Tom Stoppard for a rewrite. Zwick also witnessed Julia Roberts get involved in the project… until she dumped her.
According to Zwick, Universal Pictures only agreed to put money aside for the film when Julia Roberts expressed interest in starring in the title role. As Zwick wrote, “The mere ability to have the Pretty Woman wearing a corset dress got the studio excited enough to spill the pasta (twinkle, money).
“Ten weeks later I was back in London where a photocopied copy of the first draft of stoppard He was waiting for me in my elegant hotel room.
Next, Zwick traveled to London with Roberts, aiming for the actress to read through the script alongside several actors, looking for none other than William Shakespeare.
A wish: Daniel Day-Lewis
Zwick said Roberts became obsessed with casting Daniel Day-Lewis in the role, even though Day-Lewis has already told Zwick he was busy filming. In the name of the father with its director of My left footJim Sheridan.
“It’s brilliant, it’s beautiful and it’s intense. And so funny!” Zwick recalled that Roberts had told him. “You’ve seen him perform in A room with a view? He also did Shakespeare. Don’t you think that would be perfect?… I can get him to do it.
Zwick said it almost immediately Roberts asked his assistant “to send two dozen roses to Daniel Day-Lewisalong with a card that read: ‘Be my Romeo'”.
Later, at a dinner with Roberts and Stoppard the night before the reading, Zwick said Roberts “got a text and jumped up, grabbed her purse, apologized quickly and fuzzily for forgetting plans for see an old friend, and he’s gone.”
Roberts did not show up for the readings the next morning. Zwick said he met the actor in his hotel room, where he “kept telling me that Daniel was going to do the film and that I would have to cancel today’s casting.”
Enter Joseph Fiennes
Later, Zwick met Day-Lewis in person, who again told him he was busy In the name of the father. Zwick had an assistant break the news to the actress’ team. Roberts showed up for readings the next day to see what chemistry there was with Joseph Fiennes.
“Even when Ralph did his best to elicit the famous smile, Julia barely recognized him,” Zwick said.
“I’m not suggesting he was deliberately sabotaging, but it was a disaster nonetheless. I tried to get Ralph’s attention to apologize when he left, but he couldn’t get away fast enough. After he left, I turned to Julia, waiting for her reaction. ‘It’s not funny’ is all she said.”
The failed attempt ended up costing the studio $6 million, according to the producer.
Charles Hurd is an entertainment journalist for News Rebeat. He brings a fresh and engaging voice to the world of pop culture, covering the latest developments in film, television, music, and more.