A number of Hollywood's biggest stars got their start in horror films, with Brad Pitt nearly snagging a role in a Phantasm film early in his career. The film's director, Don Coscarelli, revealed that the actor had auditioned for a part in the film before he earned his big break with Thelma and Louise.
“The studio would not allow Michael Baldwin to have the role [in Phantasm II], so we had to search for other actors,” Coscarelli shared with SiriusXM. “I was interviewing every hunky male actor in Hollywood. When we did Phantasm III, 10 years later, I brought Michael Baldwin back to play the role, and he reminded me that he had been friends with Jennifer Aniston before she was successful. He said that he was with her and her new boyfriend, and it was Brad Pitt, and he came over to Michael and he said, ‘Hey, you’re the Phantasm guy! I tried out for that movie, and I didn’t get the role.’"
Coscarelli might not have recalled the actor's attempts to score the role, but he ultimately recovered physical evidence of the event.
“Michael came and told me that and I go, ‘Mmm, I don’t remember Brad Pitt.’ In any case, a few months later, I had nothing to do and I found this little videocassette of all of those things, and I was fast-forwarding through, and there sure enough, the casting director opens the door and she goes, ‘Don Coscarelli, meet Brad Pitt,’" the filmmaker recalled. "And he walked in and, you know, he was a good-looking guy and his reading was really good. He wasn’t the Brad Pitt back then, this was before he did Thelma and Louise. In any case, big mistake on my part obviously, [although] James Le Gros is a terrific actor and he’s gone on to a stellar career.”
Obviously the actor still found other ways to break into Hollywood, currently being one of the most sought-after actors of his generation. One of the actor's bigger breaks was in Interview with the Vampire, in which he played Louis de Pointe du Lac. Despite it helping launch his career, Pitt has previously admitted it was an awful shooting experience.
The role required a long wig and yellow contact lenses, with a majority of his scenes being shot at night or in dark environments. The actor revealed to Entertainment Weekly in 2011 (h/t NOLA) that he almost quit the picture, until he realized what it would cost him.
"I'm telling you, one day it broke me. It was like, 'Life's too short for this quality of life,'" the actor confessed. "I called David Geffen, who was a good friend. He was a producer, and he'd just come to visit. I said, 'David, I can't do this anymore. I can't do it. What will it cost me to get out?' And he goes, very calmly, 'Forty million dollars.' And I go, 'OK, thank you.' It actually took the anxiety off of me. I was like, 'I've got to man up and ride this through, and that's what I'm going to do.'"
Pitt will return to the world of horror for the World War Z sequel, which is slated to begin shooting next year.2comments
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[H/T Entertainment Weekly]