It’s hard to imagine the iconic film Thelma & Louise without Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis, but according to a new book, the film could have ended up very differently.
In Off the Cliff: How the Making of Thelma & Louise Drove Hollywood to the Edge, author Becky Aikman explained how the feminist script drew the attention of a number of leading female actresses — including Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn! — before the roles of Thelma and Louise were given to Geena and Susan, respectively.
According to Vanity Fair, the film’s director, Ridley Scott experimented with a whole host of actresses before settling on the final two.
Susan and Geena in Thelma & Louise.
Jodie Foster and Michelle Pfeiffer were on the original bill, but both ended up dropping out for other projects. Other names in the mix then included the likes of Kim Basinger, Meg Ryan, Andie MacDowell, and Julia McDonald.
However, none could commit because of conflicting schedules. Plus, according to author Aikman, Cher was even suggested by one of the studio chiefs but was dismissed by director Ridley.
When it came to Meryl and Goldie, they were both desperate to play the part, and personally called the studio to ask to be considered. “They didn’t have their agents make the call; they did it themselves. No one would have expected the two friends, box-office champs, and Oscar winners, to campaign for parts, but they showed up prepared to kill,” Aikman wrote.
Goldie and Meryl in 2011.
However, neither were quite right for Ridley’s vision and he went about auditioning Geena for the part of Louise. Although, after seeing her in action, he quickly decided she was better suited to Thelma.
With one part down it was time to find his Louise, and this is where Susan came in. “Susan had the authority, the sensibility. She was Louise,” Ridley said about seeing Susan for the first time.
Thelma & Louise was a career-making moment for both Geena and Susan, that’s for sure!
This story originally appeared on Grazia Daily.
Check out the gallery to see the Thelma & Louise cast then and now!
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