15 Famous Actors Who Were Completely Cut Out of Big Movies
We've previously discussed how actors have gotten fired or replaced before filming what could've been a breakthrough role. But you know what might be worse? Filming your scenes, then having them get cut from the finished film.
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And we're not talking about a few seconds of screentime, either — we're talking about entire performances that were left on the cutting room floor, leaving an actor or actress with no trace of ever being in the film.
Whether it's because their cameos were deemed unnecessary or because they appeared in a time-consuming subplot, it's still shocking to think that we never saw …
Harrison Ford in 'E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial"
Harrison Ford had a cameo as Elliott's school principal in "E.T," but director Steven Spielberg chose to scrap his scenes for the final cut. Even if they had been included, Ford would've been barely recognizable — Spielberg intentionally obscured most of the adults' faces in the film, leaving us with only a glimpse of his frame and the sound of his voice. (Watch one of the scenes here.)
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Tobey Maguire in 'Empire Records'
Tobey Maguire had a smaller role in the coming-of-age film "Empire Records," but reportedly left the production of his own accord, and his scenes were cut from the movie. His name still appears during the end credits, indicating that he played a character named Andre.
La Toya Jackson in 'Bruno'
Sacha Baron Cohen doesn't show much mercy when it comes to pranking celebrities, but when Michael Jackson died only hours before the premiere of "Bruno," the filmmakers edited out a scene where Jackson's sister La Toya is coaxed into eating sushi off an obese naked man's body. (By one account, the cut was actually made in the theater's projection booth.) Universal Studios said their decision was made "out of respect," though the scene was later included as an extra on the "Bruno" DVD. (Watch it here.)
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A Whole Slew of Actors in "The Thin Red Line"
Terrence Malick shot so much footage for "The Thin Red Line" that his initial cut of the film was almost five hours long. In whittling it down to a lean three hours, he removed whole performances from Billy Bob Thornton (who provided a voiceover), Mickey Rourke, Bill Pullman and Lukas Haas (and perhaps also Viggo Mortensen and Martin Sheen). Even Adrien Brody's performance, which remains in the film, was severely slashed to that of a supporting role, rather than the lead character Brody was led to believe. ("I was publicly humiliated," he said about being cut.) Of all the performances that were axed, Mickey Rourke's is the only one that's ever been released. (Watch part of it here.)
Paul Rudd in 'Bridesmaids'
Paul Rudd filmed a scene for "Bridesmaids" where he played a klutz with a short temper who takes Kirsten Wiig's character on a date. "We had so much fun the days he was there," said Wiig to Entertainment Weekly, adding that it was "incredibly painful" to edit him out of the finished film. "Our first cut was so long. It’s the hardest thing to have to cut stuff." (You can watch Rudd's scene here, but be warned: His language is NSFW.)
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Liza Minnelli in 'The King of Comedy'
Liza Minnelli filmed a cameo appearance for Martin Scorsese's "The King of Comedy," during which she sings a rendition of "New York, New York" on a late-night talk show. This scene is nowhere to be found in the final cut, but Minnelli probably didn't hold a grudge — she sang the same song in an earlier Scorsese film, also called "New York, New York."
Kevin Costner in 'The Big Chill'
In "The Big Chill," a group of thirty-somethings reunite after the death of their old college buddy Alex. You barely see Alex on screen (save for a small glimpse of the deceased character's wrists during the opening), but that's not how the movie was originally planned. Kevin Costner rehearsed with the rest of the ensemble for a month and filmed a flashback sequence as Alex, but his scenes were ultimately cut from the finished film.
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Sam Kinison in 'The Three Amigos'
"The Three Amigos" would have marked Sam Kinison's second film role, but his entire cameo as a "cannibal mountain man" was cut from the film for time reasons. "The film was too long and I was looking for stuff I could lift without damaging the plot," director John Landis once remarked. "I wish we could find that footage because it was outstanding."
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Ellen Pompeo in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"
A few years before landing a starring gig on "Grey's Anatomy," Ellen Pompeo was cast as Jim Carrey's ex-girlfriend Naomi in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." Her scenes never made it to the finished film, but as she once told Allure, "I got completely cut out … but got so much affirmation to be hired." (Watch one of her scenes here.)
Lara Flynn Boyle in 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'
Lara Flynn Boyle was only 16 when she got a part in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," which was filming in her hometown of Chicago. Her scene (or scenes) was ultimately deleted from the film before hitting theaters, but her experiences on the set of "Ferris Bueller" are said to have inspired her passion for acting.
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Andy Garcia in 'Dangerous Minds'
Oddly enough, Andy Garcia claims that he knew his role as Michelle Pfeiffer's love interest was unneccessary to the plot of "Dangerous Minds." In an interview with Blog Talk Radio, Garcia explained that his character wasn't in the initial script, but rather written in at Pfieffer's request. "I read the script and I said to her, 'You really don't need [a love interest].'" He shot his scenes anyway, only for the director to eventually agree with his initial assessment. "But, you know, I did cash the check," he added.
James Gandolfini in 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close'
Despite being credited in both the film's promotional poster and trailer, James Gandolfini does not appear in the final cut of "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." He had originally filmed scenes as Sandra Bullock's love interest, but his entire subplot was cut after negative reactions from test audiences.