Anthony Hopkins gave us the creeps as Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs and will soon scare audiences again when he takes on the role of Alfred Hitchcock. According to Variety magazine, Hopkins is in talks to play the horror auteur in a biopic based on the 1998 book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho. The story focuses on the director’s struggle to finance his classic 1960 thriller, the film that reminded us that “we all go a little crazy sometimes.” Vitamin String Quartet’s latest release Blood Curdling Strings!: VSQ Pays Tribute to Horror Classics gives homage to frightful film scores and includes selections from Psycho, Rosemary’s Baby, The Omen of course, Silence of the Lambs and more. Here are some lesser known facts about the leading men in these horror classics: The Shining: Director Stanley Kubrick considered Robert DeNiro and Robin Williams for the lead role of Jack Torrance in this 1980 thriller classic, but eventually deemed DeNiro “not psychotic enough” and Williams “too psychotic.” Although The Shining’s author Stephen King rallied for Jon Voight to play the insane hotel caretaker, the role eventually went to Jack Nicholson.
The Exorcist: Nicholson was considered for the role of the young priest, Father Karras, in 1973’s The Exorcist. The part eventually went to Broadway actor Jason Miller, who was repeatedly doused with cold pea soup while filming his first onscreen role.
Nightmare on Elm Street: This 1984 horror flick was Johnny Depp’s first film. The then 21 year old actor was chosen for the role because the producer’s daughter thought he was “dreamy.” Rosemary’s Baby: Warren Beatty turned down the role of Guy Woodhouse, the husband who makes a deal with the devil to boost his acting career. Jack Nicholson was deemed “too sinister looking” for the role, and eventually went to John Cassavetes. The 1968 movie was director Roman Polanski’s first American film and earned him an Academy Award nomination in the Best Adapted Screenplay category.
Jaws: Director Steven Spielberg considered acting legend Charlton Heston to play Chief Brody in this 1975 film. The role ultimately went to Roy Schneider. Heston was so annoyed that he vowed never to work with Stephen Spielberg and turned down the director’s offer of a role in his film 1941.