Saturday, July 24, 2010

Why not a woman in that role?

I often find myself watching movies and television programs and thinking -- what roles could have been played by a woman instead of a man?

And not necessarily big, starring roles -- even little ones that might seem inconsequential can have an impact on gender stereotyping

Well... some Hollywood writers, directors, and casting executives must have had the same thought.

Direct from the pages of Entertainment Weekly, here are some roles that were originally "written for men, but played by women," Including Angelina Jolie's new release, "Salt," originally conceived for Tom Cruise.

>LOUISE FLETCHER in Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)

Yes, it's one of the worst sequels ever made, but don't blame Fletcher (who took the role of Linda Blair's shrink after George Segal was considered). She's the best thing in it.

>SIGOURNEY WEAVER in Alien (1979)

That's right, the greatest action heroine of all time was originally written as a dude — although it's hard to imagine Ridley Scott's sci-fi classic being half as good with a male Ripley.

>HOLLY HUNTER in Copycat (1995)

In an early draft of this serial-killer thriller, the detective was played by a man — a man romantically involved with a stalked, shut-in criminal profiler played by...Sigourney Weaver.

>ZHANG ZIYI in Rush Hour 2 (2001)

The Chinese actress' role as a Hong Kong assassin in the Jackie Chan-Chris Tucker action sequel was conceived as a male gangster. We're guessing a less sexy one.

>JODIE FOSTER in Flightplan (2005)

Sean Penn was supposed to play the parent who loses a child at 30,000 feet. Oddly, eight years earlier, it was Penn who took over Foster's role in David Fincher's The Game

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