Monday 19 March 2018

Battle of the breakfast roles

In the usual Hollywood way, other people than those who ended up in Breakfast at Tiffany's had originally been considered for the movie.

Marilyn Monroe had been Truman Capote's choice to play Holly Golightly, and producer Marty Jurow also favoured casting her, though this prospect was terminated by the actress's adviser, Paula Strasberg, who phoned Jurow to say that "Marilyn Monroe will not play a lady of the evening".

Others considered for the role included Shirley MacLaine, Rosemary Clooney and Jane Fonda.

For her part, Audrey Hepburn had just turned down the leading roles in both West Side Story and Cleopatra.

The young John Frankenheimer was the original choice as director, but Hepburn didn't want him on the film. "Pressure was brought to bear," he later recalled, "and that was that."

Other directors who were considered before the relatively inexperienced Blake Edwards got the job included William Wyler, Billy Wilder, George Cukor and Fred Zinnemann.

Tony Curtis coveted the role of leading man, but Mel Ferrer didn't want his wife playing opposite Curtis.

"Who knows why?" co-producer Richard Shepherd said. "That was just the way Mel was." Edwards thought Peppard would be all wrong for the part, recalling "I dropped to my knees to the producers and begged them not to cast him."

Irish Independent

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