What Might Have Been: Meg Ryan
Actors careers are shaped by choices. Their performances are made up of small choices; how a character should move, what they should sound like, how they should react. Then there are the big choices like what roles to take and who to work with. When an actor commits to a movie, they are dedicating a chunk of their lives to preparing for the role, filming the movie and then doing the promotion circuit. For a lead actor, each movie can be a year-long commitment. For an actor who is in demand, this can lead to some tough choices which will ultimately shape the course of their career.
As the old saying goes, “hindsight is 20/20.” Sometimes, an actor’s choices look foolish in retrospect. Other times, it seems like they dodged a bullet. Either way, movie fans love looking back and wondering what might have been.
In the late 80’s and early 90’s, Meg Ryan was America’s Sweetheart and the reigning queen of the romantic comedy. For a time, Ryan had her pick of projects which means she had the opportunity to pass on a lot of movies that went on to become hits. The means lots of opportunities to wonder about what might have been.
Endless Love (1981)
Ryan’s first audition was for the lead role in Franco Zeffirelli’s romantic melodrama, Endless Love.
Fall Out: The film’s tagline was “She’s 15, he’s 17. The love every parent fears.” Are you sure this wasn’t a horror movie? Endless Love was an adaptation of Scott Spencer’s best-selling novel of the same name. The movie was trashed by critics. Leonard Maltin called it “a textbook example of how to do everything wrong in a literary adaptation … Scott Spencer’s deservedly-praised novel is thoroughly trashed.” But the movie became a moderate hit at the box office based on the fact that Brooke Shields was a rising star at the time and Zeffirelli knew how to shoot her.
Also, there was this hit song from the soundtrack:
Yeah, that’s going to be stuck in your head all day now. You’re welcome.
Actor who got the part: Brooke Shields
Verdict: Missed Opportunity
Posted on February 19, 2014, in Movies, What Might Have Been and tagged An Officer and a Gentleman, basic instinct, double jeopardy, endless love, meg ryan, Pretty Woman, pulp fiction, Risky Business, rob reiner, steel magnolias, the accused, The Princess Bride, the silence of the lambs, The Sure Thing, thelma and louise, to die for. Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.