Elizabeth Perkins says Robert De Niro was cast in the role of Josh in the movie Big and would have brought a different vibe to the movie.
Elizabeth Perkins says that Robert De Niro was originally cast as Tom Hanks’ character in Big. The 1988 comedy-drama follows 12-year-old Josh Baskin who wishes to be “big; “turning him into a 30-year-old man (Hanks). In his most iconic scene, Josh meets the owner of the MacMillan Toy Company and the duo perform” Heart and Soul “and” Chopsticks “on a foot-operated keyboard, leading to a promotion trying out new toys. Eventually, Josh discovers that living as an adult is not as glamorous as he thought it would be and he yearns to return to his life as a child.
Thanks to an endearingly silly portrait of a boy in the body of a man, Hanks earned his first Oscar nomination for Big. The film solidified its status as a Hollywood A-lister and was arguably the launching pad for a career that would rise to the mark of Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Toy story, Discard, Y Apollo 13. It is virtually impossible to think of Big and not picturing Hanks in the lead role; however, the original choice for the film’s lead role was another Oscar winner, almost the opposite.
In an interview in Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, Perkins, who played Hanks’ love interest, revealed that Robert De Niro was originally cast as Large protagonist. In fact, Perkins auditioned with De Niro for what would have been a very different experience:
“Robert De Niro was cast in the role of Josh in the movie. Big. He fell apart because he had a scheduling conflict, and then they went to Tom Hanks. It’s like a totally different movie in my brain with Robert De Niro. He was more grumpy. It was more of a … a little more of a horror movie … what Tom Hanks brought in was much lighter.
Same year Big came out, De Niro played a bounty hunter in Night race. At the time, he was in his mid-forties and an established actor known for award-winning roles in films such as The Godfather: Part II Y Raging bull. That said, he was (and still is) known for starring in complex character studies and / or crime dramas.Big it certainly would have had a completely different feel if De Niro had stayed on board. A different approach may have worked (Taxi driver-Esque with a twist?) But it certainly wouldn’t have produced the classic fans know and love.
Since Big, Hanks has earned a reputation as one of the most likable and prolific stars in the industry. Although equally prolific, De Niro has cultivated a tough guy / gangster personality; you are more likely to ask for lunch money from someone than to perform a duet on an electric keyboard. However, as two of the greatest actors of all time, both have shown a knack for contradicting typecasting. Even though De Niro has shown he can do comedy (especially in recent years), it’s probably a good thing that this casting decision didn’t work out.
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