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Julia Roberts Was Originally Cast as the Star of ‘Shakespeare in Love’ and It Was a ‘Disaster,’ Producer Says

Julia Roberts attends the 28th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards on January 15 in Los Angeles. (Photo: Excel/Bauer-Griffin/Filmmagic)

In the lead-up to Sunday’s Oscars, producer Edward Zwick looked back at one of the many films he worked on that took home an impressive seven trophies in 1999: Shakespeare in Love,

Zwick wrote in a new excerpt from his memoir, described as “recently completed”, which was published on the subscription site air mailAbout the challenges of making it, from a missing leading lady in Julia Roberts to a threatening studio executive in the form of Harvey Weinstein.

Here’s a breakdown:

What Is Zwick Really Saying About Julia Roberts?

Very. He writes about casting the role of Viola de Lesseps before Gwyneth Paltrow, who eventually took it — to great acclaim — and then dropped out. It was years before the film was actually finished, but after her performance in the hit beautiful woman in the 1990s. (He described her as 24 at least twice, so she must have been in late 1991 or most of 1992. Roberts’ birthday is October 28.)

In fact, he said that it was his involvement that “got the studio excited enough to dish out the dough” needed to make it.

But he noted that his leading lady was having problems in her personal life at the time. She was wary of the paparazzi, breaking up just days before her June 1991 wedding to Kiefer Sutherland, as she paired up with Jason Patrick. (If you weren’t around then, imagine the pandemonium surrounding Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s breakup.)

Jason Patric and Julia Roberts attend the premiere

Jason Patric and Julia Roberts attend the premiere rush December 18, 1991 in Hollywood, California. (Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd. / The Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

As Zwick tells it, Roberts In fact Daniel wanted Day-Lewis to be his leading man, even going so far as to send him two dozen roses along with a card that read, “Be my Romeo.” When Lewis Couldn’t Do It Because He Had Committed To Starring in the name of the Father, Roberts was seriously unhappy. Although Zwick stated that he took great pains to find quality actors to play the reading he chose someone for the role, including Colin Firth and Hugh Grant – Roberts’ future co-stars. Notting Hill A decade later – he didn’t have chemistry with any of them.

“To be sure, none of them, no matter how talented, funny or beautiful, were as ‘right’ as Daniel – which stands to reason, because they were not Daniel,” Zwick said. wrote. “To this day, whenever I meet Russell Crowe, he scolds me for not casting him. We must have auditioned every actor in England.”

How is he saying that he left the film?

“After two weeks of casting, there was only one actor Julia was willing to test with. His name was Paul McGann. We arranged a full screen test at Pinewood,” Zwick said. “The morning of the exam, Julia emerged from makeup, looking radiant in full period costume. But once she started saying the words, something was wrong. There was no magic. The problem wasn’t the script. Or Paul McGann. It was Julia. From the moment she started speaking, it was clear that she hadn’t been working on pronunciation.”

The production arranged for the Georgia-born actress to work with a dialect coach.

“Sensing Julia’s unease, I tried to be encouraging, but she must have sensed mine, and I made the tragic mistake of underestimating her insecurity,” Zwick continued. “Having recently ascended the dizzying heights of Hollywood’s food chain, she must have been terrified of failing. But I never got around to talking to her. When I called her room the next morning, I was told that her Had to check out.”

The studio had reportedly already spent $6 million on the project.

So is Zwick upset with Roberts?

Edward Zwick has produced and directed films including

Edward Zwick has produced and directed films including blood Diamond And Legends of the Fall, (Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

According to his own words, Zwick was upset when Roberts unceremoniously left his film, but noted that she was young, and he was not much older. He has “no malice,” though he hasn’t spoken to her.

A rep for Roberts did not respond to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for comment.

What does Weinstein have to do with this?

Zwick wrote that his film was in turnaround for a while, until the now-discredited producer and his former company Miramax broke it off.

“When my agent, Jeff Berg, called Harvey and asked what my role would be in a film that I had developed and nurtured for seven years, Harvey said I was being taken out of the process,” Zwick said. he said. “that I had been paid during the term of my deal with Universal, and that they were under no obligation to include me. My next call was to Burt Fields, a Hollywood lawyer. Respected and feared in equal measure throughout the city , Burt sent Miramax a legal letter. And that’s when the threats started.”

It got ugly. But Zwick ended up with a producer credit on the film, even though he was out of microphone at a crucial moment. (Zwick is the person who is clearly frustrated when Weinstein takes the mic at about 2:47.)

Why is it appearing again now?

Shakespeare in Love came out in theaters on December 11, 1998, so its 25th anniversary is still about nine months away. But, as we mentioned, it really cleaned up at the Academy Awards, winning the coveted title for Music, Costume Design and Art Direction as well as Writing, Supporting Actress (Judi Dench), Actress (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Best Picture.

10 movies this year- All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, Banshee of Inishrin, Elvis, everything together everywhere, the fabelmans, Tar , Top Gun: Maverick, triangle of sadness, And woman talking – will vie for the same prize.



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