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12 Famous Actors Who Were Completely Cut From Movies

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Universal Studios

When the pressure’s on from the studio, movie directors are sometimes put in the unenviable position of having to edit out substantial moments from their works. Whether the running time is too long or a subplot dwindles to nowhere, the collateral damage of snipping away at the celluloid means many famous names have landed on the cutting room floor.

1. Chris Cooper - 'The Ring'

In the first cut of horror flick The Ring, Oscar-winner Chris Cooper appears in the opening scene as a child murderer being interviewed by Naomi Watts’ character. In the ending, he re-appears after Watts realizes the power of the cursed videotape and leaves him a copy. Following preview screenings, audiences found Cooper’s re-appearance at the end distracting—they wanted to see more of him—so his entire role was cut.

2. Ashley Judd - 'Natural Born Killers'

Many scenes from the trial portion of this Quentin Tarantino-written and Oliver Stone-directed film about a serial killer couple were shot but left out of the final cut. Judd’s role as young witness Grace Mulberry was one such moment. She testifies against the murderous duo after witnessing them butcher all of her friends at a sleepover. Conducting their defense, Woody Harrelson's Mickey wanders freely around the courtroom cross-examining her before he stabs her straight in the heart. Stone cut it for time restraints.

3. Harrison Ford - 'E.T.'

Steven Spielberg cast his Raiders of the Lost Ark star as the principal of Elliott’s school. Other than Elliott’s mother, another adult's face wasn't shown until the third act, so Ford was always filmed from behind. Ford reprimands the youngster after the scene where Elliott frees all of the frogs about to be dissected. His scenes were ultimately cut for time.

4. Paul Rudd - 'Bridesmaids'

When Annie (Kristen Wiig) tries to get back in the dating scene, she spends an evening with Dave, played by Paul Rudd. Their date at a skating rink goes awry when he falls on the ice and turns into a rude know-it-all.

Wiig revealed that test audiences did not take well to seeing Rudd play against type. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the actress said, "We had so much fun the days he was there and [cutting him] was so incredibly painful. Our first cut was so long. It’s the hardest thing to have to cut stuff.”

5. Uma Thurman - 'Savages'

In Oliver Stone’s drug-fueled drama Savages, Uma Thurman shot several scenes as the absent mother of hippie girl O, played by Blake Lively. Despite being pressed to submit a shorter cut to the studio, Stone was reluctant to remove her from the film. Her backstory, that of a multiple divorcee, would have gone some way toward explaining O’s unorthodox life choices. During press for the movie, Lively addressed the issue. “Her mom is off with her eight different husbands," she said. "It’s a shame that you will miss that, in the movie. It was really beautiful stuff with Uma Thurman, and I think it really told a lot more of how a girl could end up this way. She’s the modern girl. Divorces are so much more common now than they were.”

6 and 7. Harvey Keitel and Jennifer Jason Leigh - 'Eyes Wide Shut'

Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut holds the record for the longest ever continuous movie shoot—400 days according to the Guinness Book Of Records. The auteur’s infamous habit of reshooting scenes in aching detail was too much for his original two supporting actors. Keitel participated in a few scenes as Victor Ziegler but was unable to remain on set due to scheduling conflicts. Leigh fared better, having filmed her entire role as Marion Nathanson. When Kubrick wanted to reshoot all of her scenes, her commitment to eXistenZ interfered. Both were recast.

8. Tobey Maguire - 'Life Of Pi'

Too famous for a movie? That’s the reason Ang Lee gave to Tobey Maguire after the actor was informed his short role had been excised from Life of Pi. After filming his role as the interviewer in discussion with the lead character during the movie’s “wraparound” story, Lee opted to go with a less-known actor.

9. Andy Garcia - 'Dangerous Minds'

Michelle Pfeiffer’s teacher in Dangerous Minds originally had a husband, but he was cut from the film. Interestingly enough, the role of her spouse wasn’t even in the initial script. The producers contacted Garcia to see if he was interested in the part—he said the film didn’t need it, but he’d do it. He shot his scenes, got paid, and ended up being deleted anyway.

10. Mickey Rourke - 'The Thin Red Line'

Terrence Malick has a reputation for offering actors the experience of a lifetime: the chance to work with a legendary filmmaker. Of course, he never guarantees that they’ll actually end up seeing their performance on the big screen. Mickey Rourke’s involvement in this sprawling World War II epic was nixed due to Malick’s method of discovering the "true film" during the editing process. Needless to say, Rourke was devastated when what he considered his best work to date never made it to the big screen. Instead, it popped up on the DVD extras.

11. Rachel Weisz - 'To The Wonder'

Another of Malick’s deletions, Weisz’s part in To The Wonder was sliced out of the final print. The actress worked on the shoot for three months as Dinah, a close friend of Ben Affleck’s character. Weisz knew of Malick’s tendency to remove entire performances, and she told interviewers that she was well aware her part might never see the light of day. "It seems that my part has been cut," she said, "So I had the experience of working with him but I will not have the pleasure of seeing my work.”

12. Kevin Costner - 'The Big Chill'

Years before he became a household name, Kevin Costner had a substantial role in Lawrence Kasdan’s '80s classic The Big Chill. His character, Alex, commits suicide before the movie begins and his friends unite at his funeral. After a month of rehearsals with the rest of the ensemble cast, several flashbacks were filmed with Costner. Only a shred of his performance still remains in the finished film: a quick shot of his wrists at the funeral home.

BONUS: Nearly the Entire Cast Of Cursed

Cursed, the werewolf horror movie by Scream director Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson, suffered a plague of problems from the start. Shooting commenced and, with the majority of the film in the can, production came to a halt. Script issues were cited as the cause of the delay, which led to many actors unable to return a year later for the re-shoots. Following a huge overhaul and complete rewrite, Skeet Ulrich, James Brolin, Illeana Douglas, Robert Forster, Omar Epps, Heather Langenkamp, Scott Foley, Mandy Moore, and Corey Feldman were all excised.

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7 Things You Might Not Know About Audrey Hepburn
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Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Though she’ll always be known as the little-black-dress-wearing big-screen incarnation of Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, there’s probably a lot you don’t know about Audrey Hepburn, who passed away in Switzerland on January 20, 1993.

1. HER FIRST ROLE WAS IN AN EDUCATIONAL FILM.

Though 1948’s Dutch in Seven Lessons is classified as a “documentary” on IMDb, it’s really more of an educational travel film, in which Hepburn appears as an airline attendant. If you don’t speak Dutch, it might not make a whole lot of sense to you, but you can watch it above anyway.

2. GREGORY PECK WAS AFRAID SHE’D MAKE HIM LOOK LIKE A JERK.

Hepburn was an unknown actress when she was handed the starring role of Princess Ann opposite Gregory Peck in 1953’s Roman Holiday. As such, Peck was going to be the only star listed, with Hepburn relegated to a smaller font and an “introducing” credit. But Peck insisted, “You've got to change that because she'll be a big star and I'll look like a big jerk.” Hepburn ended up winning her first and only Oscar for the role (Peck wasn’t even nominated).

3. SHE’S AN EGOT.

In 1954, the same year she won the Oscar for Roman Holiday, Hepburn accepted a Tony Award for her title role in Ondine on Broadway. Hepburn is one of only 12 EGOTs, meaning that she has won all of the four major creative awards: an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. Unfortunately, the honor came to Hepburn posthumously; her 1994 Grammy for the children’s album Audrey Hepburn’s Enchanted Tales and her 1993 Emmy for Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn were both awarded following her passing in early 1993.

4. TRUMAN CAPOTE HATED HER AS HOLLY GOLIGHTLY.

Blake Edwards’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s may be one of the most iconic films in Hollywood history, but it’s a miracle that the film ever got made at all. Particularly if you listened to Truman Capote, who wrote the novella upon which it was based, and saw only one actress in the lead: Marilyn Monroe. When asked what he thought was wrong with the film, which downplayed the more tawdry aspects of the fact that Ms. Golightly makes her living as a call girl (Hepburn had told the producers, “I can’t play a hooker”), Capote replied, “Oh, God, just everything. It was the most miscast film I’ve ever seen. It made me want to throw up.”

5. HOLLY GOLIGHTLY’S LITTLE BLACK DRESS SOLD FOR NEARLY $1 MILLION.

Audrey Hepburn in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'
Keystone Features, Getty Images

In 2006, Christie’s auctioned off the iconic Givenchy-designed little black dress that Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s for a whopping $923,187 (pre-auction numbers estimated that it would go for between $98,800 and $138,320). It was a record-setting amount at the time, until Marilyn Monroe’s white “subway dress” from The Seven Year Itch sold for $5.6 million in 2006.

6. SHE SANG “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” TO JFK IN 1963.

One year after Marilyn Monroe’s sultry birthday serenade to John F. Kennedy in 1962, Hepburn paid a musical tribute to the President at a private party in 1963, on what would be his final birthday.

7. THERE’S A RARE TULIP NAMED AFTER HER.

Photo of Audrey Hepburn
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In 1990, a rare white tulip hybrid was named after the actress and humanitarian, and dedicated to her at her family’s former estate in Holland.

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11 Things You Didn't Know About Dolly Parton
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Brendon Thorne, Getty Images

Over the past 50-some years, Dolly Parton has gone from a chipper country starlet to a worldwide icon of music and movies whose fans consistently pack a theme park designed (and named) in her honor. Dolly Parton is loved, lauded, and larger than life. But even her most devoted admirers might not know all there is to this Backwoods Barbie.

1. YOU WON'T FIND HER ON A DOLLYWOOD ROLLER COASTER.

Her theme park Dollywood offers a wide variety of attractions for all ages. Though she's owned it for more than 30 years, Parton has declined to partake in any of its rides. "My daddy used to say, 'I could never be a sailor. I could never be a miner. I could never be a pilot,' I am the same way," she once explained. "I have motion sickness. I could never ride some of these rides. I used to get sick on the school bus."

2. SHE ENTERED A DOLLY PARTON LOOK-ALIKE CONTEST—AND LOST.


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Apparently Parton doesn't do drag well. “At a Halloween contest years ago on Santa Monica Boulevard, where all the guys were dressed up like me, I just over-exaggerated my look and went in and just walked up on stage," she told ABC. "I didn’t win. I didn’t even come in close, I don’t think.”

3. SHE SPENT A FORTUNE TO RECREATE HER CHILDHOOD HOME.

Parton and her 11 siblings were raised in a small house in the mountains of Tennessee that lacked electricity and indoor plumbing. When Parton bought the place, she hired her brother Bobby to restore it to the way it looked when they were kids. "But we wanted it to be functional," she recounted on The Nate Berkus Show, "So I spent a couple million dollars making it look like I spent $50 on it! Even like in the bathroom, I made the bathroom so it looked like an outdoor toilet.” You do you, Dolly.

4. SHE WON'T APOLOGIZE FOR RHINESTONE.


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Parton is well-known for her hit movies Steel Magnolias and 9 to 5, less so for the 1984 flop Rhinestone. The comedy musical about a country singer and a New York cabbie was critically reviled and fled from theaters in just four weeks. But while her co-star Sylvester Stallone has publicly regretted the vehicle, Parton declared in her autobiography My Life and Other Unfinished Business that she counts Rhinestone's soundtrack as some of her best work, especially "What a Heartache."

5. SHE IS MILEY CYRUS'S GODMOTHER, SORT OF.

"I'm her honorary godmother. I've known her since she was a baby," Parton told ABC of her close relationship with Miley Cyrus. "Her father (Billy Ray Cyrus) is a friend of mine. And when she was born, he said, 'You just have to be her godmother,' and I said, 'I accept.' We never did do a big ceremony, but I'm so proud of her, love her, and she's just like one of my own." Parton also played Aunt Dolly on Cyrus's series Hannah Montana.

6. SHE RECEIVED DEATH THREATS FROM THE KU KLUX KLAN.

A photo of Dolly Parton on stage
Getty Images

In the mid-2000s, Dollywood joined the ranks of family amusement parks participating in "Gay Days," a time when families with LGBT members are encouraged to celebrate together in a welcoming community environment. This riled the KKK, but their threats didn't scare Dolly. "I still get threats," she has admitted, "But like I said, I'm in business. I just don't feel like I have to explain myself. I love everybody."

7. TO PROMOTE LITERACY, SHE STARTED HER OWN "LIBRARY."

In 1995, the pop culture icon founded Dolly Parton's Imagination Library with the goal of encouraging literacy in her home state of Tennessee. Over the years, the program—built to mail children age-appropriate books—spread nationwide, as well as to Canada, the UK, and Australia. When word of the Imagination Library hit Reddit, the swarms of parents eager to sign their kids up crashed the Imagination Library site. It is now back on track, accepting new registrations and donations.

8. PARTON'S HOMETOWN HAS A STATUE IN HER HONOR.

A stone's throw from Dollywood, Sevierville, Tennessee is where Parton grew up. Between stimulating tourism and her philanthropy, this proud native has given a lot back to her hometown. And Sevierville residents returned that appreciation with a life-sized bronze Dolly that sits barefoot, beaming, and cradling a guitar, just outside the county courthouse. The sculpture, made by local artist Jim Gray, was dedicated on May 3, 1987. Today it is the most popular stop on Sevierville's walking tour.

9. THE CLONED SHEEP DOLLY WAS NAMED AFTER PARTON.

In 1995 scientists successfully created a clone from an adult mammal's somatic cell. This game-changing breakthrough in biology was named Dolly. But what about Parton inspired this honor? Her own groundbreaking career? Some signature witticism or beloved lyric? Nope. It was her legendary bustline. English embryologist Ian Wilmut revealed, "Dolly is derived from a mammary gland cell and we couldn't think of a more impressive pair of glands than Dolly Parton's."

10. SHE TURNED DOWN ELVIS.

After Parton made her own hit out of "I Will Always Love You," Elvis Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, reached out in hopes of having Presley cover it. But part of the deal demanded Parton surrender half of the publishing rights to the song. "Other people were saying, 'You're nuts. It's Elvis Presley. I'd give him all of it!'" Parton admitted, "But I said, 'I can't do that. Something in my heart says don't do that.' And I didn't do it and they didn't do it." It may have been for the best. Whitney Houston's cover for The Bodyguard soundtrack in 1992 was a massive hit that has paid off again and again for Parton.

11. SHE JUST EARNED TWO GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS.

Parton is no stranger to breaking records. And on January 17, 2018 it was announced that she holds not one but two spot in the Guinness World Records 2018 edition: One for Most Decades With a Top 20 Hit on the US Hot Country Songs Chart (she beat out George Jones, Reba McEntire, and Elvis Presley for the honor) and the other for Most Hits on US Hot Country Songs Chart By a Female Artist (with a total of 107). Parton said she was "humbled and blessed."

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