In addition to being one of the most remembered “non-romance” romantic comedies, My best friend’s Wedding marked several milestones: an evil that was impossible to hate, an atypical ending and the consecration of Cameron Diaz as one of the most charismatic actresses of her generation. But in addition to those parchments, the film boasts another: that of continue to arouse controversy 25 years after its premiere.
In February of this year the book was published in the United States From Hollywood with Love, an essay on the history of romantic comedies. In one of her chapters dedicated to the iconic film in which Julia Roberts proved that she could be acid and speculative, it is revealed that Russell Crowe was one step away from becoming the male figure. The one who tells the reasons why the actor was finally left out of the project is none other than PJ Hogan, the director of that filmand his sayings do not leave the protagonist of Gladiator.
“Crowe was the first choice,” confessed the filmmaker. And he added: “Russell was probably the most amazing actor he had ever seen. I sensed that he was on his way to becoming a big star.” However, Roberts, the queen of comedy, had the power to ingest in the choice of the cast that would accompany her. For this reason, an audition was held in which they both read an excerpt from the script. And if Hogan was confident that everything was going to go perfectly, in his own words, the result was “a real failure”.
“I do not know what happened. It was one of the worst script readings I’ve ever witnessed. Russell was sitting across from Julia. He grabbed the script from her and started to stare at it, but without looking at her even once. He read all his lines in a completely monotonous way. There was a point where Julia literally stretched across the table to within inches of Russell’s face, trying to at least make eye contact. But he didn’t even look at her. And at the end of that casting, Russell came up to me and said, ‘I think it went pretty well.’ At that moment, I just knew: Russell was not going to be a part of it. My best friend’s Wedding”, the director recalled.
Hogan’s authorized voice made all the media take the version for granted. However, this Friday, Crowe decided to tell his own truth on the matter. A truth very different from that of the director.
On his Twitter account, the actor shared a note that took Hogan’s statements for granted and next to the capture, he wrote: “Pure imagination on the part of this director.” And he clarified: “I never auditioned for My best friend’s Wedding. I have never participated in a script reading table with the aforementioned actress. And he finished: “It would be funny if it didn’t make absolutely no sense”.
In this way, a new question arises: did the event occur or not? Apparently, the only one who can shed a little light on the matter is Roberts herself. The truth is that beyond what happened (or not) with Crowe in the pre-production stage of the film, it is an open secret that the choice of the cast of the film was quite complex.
While Hogan was betting -according to what he says- on the protagonist of A brilliant mindthree other candidates were also going strong: Edward Burns Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Perry, who in addition to having risen to fame as a great comedian in friendswas living at that time a commented romance with Roberts.
“I was afraid that they would separate in the middle of filming,” explained the director, about the reason why the actor who played Chandler in the mythical series of the six New York friends was also left out of the project. Hogan himself revealed, in turn, who was the great candidate for the protagonist: “If my memory serves me correctly, I think Julia loved Benicio del Toro. A brilliant actor, but not well known for doing comedy.”
In addition to defining who would play Michael, the best friend referred to in the title of the film, there was another issue to resolve: who would play Kimmy, the woman engaged to Michael and the recipient of all of Julianne’s evil ( Roberts). The director was convinced that “whoever played Kimmy had to be a great star”, and that he mainly had to make the public believe that he could match the charisma of the protagonist. In this case, several names were also handled: Drew Barrymore, Calista Flockhart and Reese Witherspoon were some of the shortlisted actresses.
The chosen one, finally, was Cameron Diaz. Hogan revealed that the protagonist was not very convinced of that option, and that she ended up giving in after an “intense negotiation”. As a condition of accepting such incorporation, Roberts made it a condition of giving the role of Michael to his friend, Dermot Mulroney.
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Did it happen or did it not happen?: Russell Crowe exploded before an old rumor involving Julia Roberts and does not leave it very well