In an interview in the present issue of Entertainment Weekly, Donald Sutherland reveals that Director Robert Redford had the casting of Ordinary People‘s WASP parents down to Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore or Gene Hackman and Angie Dickinson.
Hackman has stated in earlier interviews that he declined the opportunity to star in the 1980 Best Picture winner due to a failure of Paramont to meet his salary demands. He appeared in Superman II that year. Some speculate that Paramont purposefully sabotaged the negotiations with Hackman, because the studio was openly pressuring Redford to take the role.
Do you think Hackman and Dickinson would have been a better casting choice as Calvin and Beth Jarrett?
Ihappy it was not Hackman but now knowing that Dickinson could have been in the movie makes me wonder if she would have been good in the role of Beth.
Well, Hackman, imo, is great in everything. Dickinson? I’d call her “OK” . Mary Tyler Moore, is a revelation here.
But, keep Sutherland. Please. And give him an Oscar nod for chrissakes…..
I think it was correctly cast. Mary Tyler Moore was so good….as was everyone else.
Considering how great Donald and Mary are in the movie (I thought they were great). I would say this movie was cast correctly.
I’d always heard Lee Remink, Natalie Wood and Tom Skerritt were the other front runners.
Hard to picture Dickinson in the role. She always had a sexy image. Beth was supposed to be an “ordinary” surburban housewife.
I think the film is perfectly cast (even the small roles like Hutton’s friends and especially Elizabeth McGovern.) She was a unique goofy prescence in the film. I always like the girl who is trying to sell her brother’s clarinet too. Every person who spoke was pitch perfect so I credit that to the director.