"Yes. Yes, that's another demon. I've turned down some wonderful projects." For example? "You wanna list?" And he starts counting them out. Not the movies he didn't make, just those he regrets not making. "Ingmar Bergman, The Touch, because my first wife was pregnant and didn't want to leave her obstetrician in New York to go to Sweden." Is that really why he turned Bergman down? "Oh. I've always had great rationalisations. They rarely are the truth. You can find reasons not to do anything." Back to the list: "Close Encounters. Spielberg says I've turned him down more than any other actor. We finally did Hook together." Blimey, you could have chosen a better Spielberg film. "I just finally had to say yes! I'm glad I did it. So there's Close Encounters, the one about slaves and a love story Richard Dreyfuss did, and Schindler." Who would he have played in that? "Oh, Ben Kingsley's role." I tell him I'd have preferred to have seen him as Schindler's accountant. "I wish you'd tell him that." He laughs. "Yes, call him up now. Sir Ben!"Funnily enough other than the Bergman, there isn't one of those in which the subsequent actor wasn't perfect for the role. But then, I expect, we're heading into the discussional hinterland of the extent to which the best actors inhabit a role to such an extent that it's impossible to see another actor playing it. Also, I love Hook.
Film Hoffman has an interview in today's The Guardian in which he offers a ballsy list of films he turned down:
Posted on Saturday, December 15, 2012