Everybody’s Chattin + Question of the week: Supporting cast you wish got the leading role


I can hardly believe half of the year’s already come and gone! It’s been a rather odd month for me, but in terms of movie watching, it’s rather uneventful. I sure hope the later part of 2015 have better films in store for us… and looking at Katy’s list of highly-anticipated movies for the rest of 2015, I think the chance of that is VERY promising! I’d add Southpaw to the list, which I’ll be seeing on the third week of July, and The Man from UNCLE which looks like fun!

Ok so about those links…

Since I’m currently embarking on my first screenplay project, this post on opening sentences in fiction from my pal Cindy, who happens to be a novelist herself, is definitely an inspiring read

I won’t have a Music Break post this week, so take a listen to Josh‘s pick of Movie Song of the Week

Khalid reviewed Terry Gilliam’s comedy Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Andrew is back with his Oscar series 4 Ways a Best Picture, and the year is 2009

Jay just reviewed a film I still haven’t got around to but will have to soon, Calvary

Though Summer’s just starting here in the States, Michael‘s veering into cold, dark horror territory with his book-film duo post on The Shining

And last but not least, Eddie‘s talking about Orphan Black season 3, a series I’ve been curious about for some time.

Time for question of the week!

So this week’s question is inspired by my recent viewing of Self/less. My review of it is done in my draft folder, but there’s one thing that’s stuck with me whilst I was watching it. In fact, I kept thinking about it as I was writing my review. Why isn’t a perfectly talented actor like Matthew Goode leading this movie? Now I’m not saying the movie would’ve automatically been stellar as no matter how good an actor can’t overcome a bad script, but at least Goode would’ve been more enjoyable to watch for two hours than Ryan Reynolds!


I had the same feeling when I watched Tristan + Isolde a few years ago. I kept wondering why they cast James Franco being all sullen and morose as Tristan whilst the much hunkier Henry Cavill was stuck playing third banana. Now I’m not saying Franco is a terrible actor, I just think Cavill would’ve suited the role better. Heck, even Rufus Sewell who’s another supporting actor in the film left a more lasting impression to me than Franco did. I even dedicated a post here.


The New World is another one that came to mind as I think Christian Bale would’ve been great in the lead role instead of Colin Farrell. The last 20 minutes of the film with Bale is the highlight of the film for me and I actually bought the DVD because of it.

Interesting that both Cavill and Bale have ended up becoming Superman and Batman, respectively, I didn’t purposely select them because of it, but clearly both have leading-man qualities.


I’m sure there are others but let’s just start there. I bet you’ve also felt the same when you watch certain films.

So tell me, which films have you seen where you wish one of the supporting cast got the lead role?

43 thoughts on “Everybody’s Chattin + Question of the week: Supporting cast you wish got the leading role

  1. Always look forward to this regular posting of yours, Ruth. Much obliged when you link to something of mine, including me in great company. I’m honored. Many thanks.

    Good point about casting decisions and who would have been tailor-made for roles given to others. Can we imagine the likes of Russell Crowe in KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, and not Orlando Bloom, and how awesome that would have been?

    1. My pleasure Michael.

      Oh Crowe would’ve ROCKED Kingdom of Heaven! Well anyone besides Bloom really, but I was thinking about supporting actor who’s in the same movie 😉 I think Nikolaj Coster-Waldau had a teeny bit parts, I’d rather see him as the hero.

    2. Totally agree with you on Kingdom of Heaven, Bloom had no business starring in that film, had Crowe or some other actor starred in it, I would call it a great film. I remember reading back when the film was in development that Ridley Scott wanted Crowe to star in it but he already signed on to star in Cinderlla Man and passed on the project. So Fox insisted that Scott cast an up and coming young actor I.E. Bloom. Apparently he fought hard against the idea but relented when Fox told him they wouldn’t finance the picture if he cast some one else.

      1. Good point, Ted. I think it’s one of the two things (the other being the studio releasing a sub-standard cut rather than Ridley’s definite version later issued as the director’s cut) that kept the film reaching greater acclaim.

  2. I love this question and my answer is going to be pretty predictable if you read my blog at all. I love Liev Schreiber in everything he’s in, but I am so disappointed that he is always a supporting actor (until he got Ray Donovan anyways). He is so talented and with the right role he could be a great leading man in any kind of movie, action, comedy, drama, he can do it all. I’d love to see him back with Hugh Jackman in the next Wolverine film.

    1. Hi Sherise! If you like Liev, have you seen him in The Reluctant Fundamentalist? He’s good there but I don’t think he’d fit to play the lead role though, as the protagonist is supposed to be of Pakistani descent 😉 But yeah, he’s a good actor!

  3. One of my pet peeves about Hollywood is sometime they messed up the leading character by casting the wrong actor, hopefully once my movie casting site launches, they can hear our displeasure with their inept casting choices. The only movie I can think of right now that I wish a supporting actor was lead is The Rocketeer, I was cheering for Timothy Dalton and it would’ve better had the film focus more on him and make The Rocketeer a secondary character. Similar to Tim Burton’s Batman where The Joker was actually the lead and Batman was the secondary character.

    As for the films you mentioned, it’s a simple answer. Those lead actors are/were more well known to most audiences and of course they get the lead. For Self/Less, if you ask general movie fans, they won’t know who Matthew Goode is, while Reynolds has been in more bigger films and TV shows. Cavill was an unknown before Man of Steel and same goes with Bale, I’m sure you remember around that time, Colin Farrell seems to be everywhere.

    1. That’s right Ted, that’s what happens when they’re driven by the bottom line instead of finding the right fit for the role. So what you said in the second paragraph is absolutely correct, but still it’s a terrible reason and that’s why Hollywood is rarely about art but really more about money.

      Oh I LOVE that you mentioned Dalton in Rocketeer, I’m SOOO with you, and that’s why I dedicated this post to him a while back http://wp.me/pxXPC-2wb The movie would’ve been a lot better if the focus had been on Sinclair as the lead actor’s so bland!

      1. It’s one of the reasons I was worried about when I thought of becoming a filmmaker years ago. I cannot direct an actor who’s not right for the role and I’ll eventually get fired for insisting on hiring the right actor. As I mentioned above on Michael’s comment, Ridley Scott fought hard with casting of Kingdom of Heaven but in the end he had to go with the studio’s choice since they’re the ones financing the movie.

        Yeah, Billy whatever his name was so boring as the hero and Dalton steals the show every time he’s on the screen.

  4. Thank you for the mention, Ruth! Sadly, I haven’t seen Self/less or Tristan + Asolde so I can’t comment on the casting choices but I did feel Topher Grace could have made a great Peter Parker rather than an Eddie Brock. An even better one than Tobey Maguire.
    And, Good Luck with the screenplay!

    1. You’re welcome Khalid! Hmmm, I actually like Maguire as Peter Parker, sorry! It’s funny but I only like Topher Grace in That 70s Show.

      And thank you for the well wishes 😀

  5. Oh man. You’re so fucking right about Matthew Goode. I could watch him read a phone book than watch anything starring Ryan Reynolds as I usually picture Reynolds as some dorky guy in a fat suit.

    Henry Calvill is OK but Tristan and Isolde was just bland as James Franco isn’t fond of that film.

    One film I felt needed fixing was that awful movie Jumper. Remember that one with Hayden Christensen, Rachel Bilson, and Samuel L. Jackson. One of the actors that saved the film from being a complete disaster was Jamie Bell as a fellow jumper. He possessed everything that Christensen lacks as an actor. Range and charisma.

    1. Glad to hear you agree about Goode! The Self/less movie practically went downhill whenever he’s NOT on screen, which is far too often for the detriment of the movie. Reynolds is just so bland all around.

      I can see that Franco isn’t fond of the film but he really wasn’t right for the part, so why the heck did he even take that on??!

      Oh I totally agree about Jamie Bell. I haven’t seen Jumper but I could totally see he’d have been better than Christensen who has no range nor charisma, just like Reynolds!

  6. Thanks, Ruth, for the sound out and the link. 🙂 Like the previous comments, that’s a tough question. I’m going to bend and say Martin Scorsese’s The Departed. You could have changed around DiCaprio, Damon, and Wahlberg’s characters and they all would have played that role well. Also, Ocean’s 11,12,13. Interchangeable Ken dolls.

    1. Always a pleasure Cindy! Ahah, interchangeable Ken dolls! Too funny. But those newer Oceans movies are just style over substance, plus I don’t care for any of the actors to make it worthwhile for me. If they had cast ALL British actors, now that’d be a different story!

  7. That’s a good question! The one that came to mind is Lovelace. While Amanda Seyfried was good in it, Juno Temple played her friend, and I think she’s a stronger actress. She would’ve made a good lead.

    1. I haven’t seen Lovelace but I’d agree w/ you that Juno Temple is an underrated actress. She seems to be stuck in supporting roles for some reason. She’s got a small role in Far From the Madding Crowd too.

  8. That’s a good question! A lot of secondary characters from The Hunger Games series comes to mind. There just wasn’t enough of Jenna Malone in Catching Fire; I thought they did a real disservice to her. In the books, and the movies, she has such a small role but she is much more complex and compelling character than Katniss (to me lol). A spin-off or series of her would be awesome.

    1. I second [or I guess third as Steven beat me to it] this about Jena Malone!! She’s so freakin’ talented and pretty much stole every scene she’s in. Yeah I’d be up for watching her in a Hunger Games’ spinoff, great answer Katy!

    1. Hi Eddie! This question applies to TV as well, maybe you can think of something TV-related? Glad to hear you like Matthew Goode, too!

  9. Cillian Murphy!!!!! Hahaha I know he has been in leading role so many times but I still think he needs that big break that make everyone knows who he is. Unfortunately the man is not a fame seeker

    1. Ahah well if you didn’t answer Cillian, I’d be disappointed Nov. I think he’d been a better lead in In Time rather than Justin Timberlake!

      1. But I like him more as the Time Keeper. Justin Timberlake’s character is not interesting too see, not challenging enough for Cillian 😉

  10. Love the question especially since I just watched a film yesterday that I thought throughout about how I wished the film was about two of the supporting characters rather than the main pair. I know that’s not exactly the question but the direct question also relates to the same film.

    The film was an old one that I had been searching for years on end to find called The Walls of Jericho that I found on Youtube. The main stars were Cornel Wilde, who was fine, and an extremely young Anne Baxter playing a lady lawyer in the small Kansas town of Jericho at the turn of the last century. Now usually I love her and she wasn’t bad but she played the part too earnestly and with a touch too much theatricality. It also didn’t help that their story wasn’t as interesting as the secondary ones. In support were two actresses, Linda Darnell and Ann Dvorak, either of whom would have probably been better in Ann’s part since neither were prone to quite the degree of dramatic overreach that Baxter, mistress of the pregnant pause, could fall into from time to time.

    The second part where I mentioned how I wished the movie had been about the secondary characters, that would be the ones played by Darnell and Kirk Douglas with the totally fabulous but over the top names of Algeria and Tucker Wedge! Now to me any movie that she was in could use more Linda Darnell, she’s my favorite actress, but especially here where she played a scheming hoyden who steers Kirk’s Tucker to the Senate and is decked out in one magnificent outfit after another. Their too few scenes together had a spark that was missing from the rest of the picture except those involving the intense and also underused Ann Dvorak.

    1. Hi Joel! I often see films where I wish the supporting cast had been the lead, I guess because most of the actors I like are so obscure and under-utilized.

      I haven’t seen too many of Ann Baxter films but the one I remember her most was Ten Commandments and All About Eve. I take your word for it that the two actresses in the supporting role might have been better as the lead. But then again Hollywood often cast people based on monetary reason and not because the actor fit the role.

  11. Thanks for the link, Ruth! 🙂

    Since Wimbledon is going on right now, I’ll go with Wimbledon, which starred Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst. Though I like Bettany, I would’ve put James McAvoy, who plays Bettany’s friend, in the lead role. McAvoy and Dunst as the leads in a rom com would’ve be great!

    1. You’re most welcome! I haven’t seen that film but I LOVE McAvoy and I’d think he’d be far more interesting to watch than Bettany.

  12. Pingback: FlixChatter Review: Self/less (2015) |

  13. Pingback: JULY Viewing Recap + Movie of the Month |

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