Why did Stuart Townsend get fired?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Anakin, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. Anakin

    Anakin King of TFF

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    Recently I read something that shocked me. Now this actor had been cast as Aragorn. If he would have been better or not, we'll never now. He trains for two months in swordfighting.. You know what is required for the movie... And a day before filming they said 'bye bye', we got Viggo, now get out! Without any good reason at all. At least not as far as I'm aware. Now I read more cases where something similar happened.

    Recently I was reading about Eric Stoltz who was to play Marty McFly in Back to the Future. They were already filming for five weeks and I could see why they thought they picked the wrong guy, fired him after five weeks of work and picked Michael J. Fox instead. The guy was just too serious. I like Back to the Future mainly because of its comedy and it would just have failed if Stoltz played Marty. I'm sure he's a good guy and such, but he was just not right for the part.

    But with Stuart Townsend there was not really a reason given why he was fired and they could at least have had the decency to pay him.

    Edit: Found this quote: "I was there rehearsing and training for two months, then was fired the day before filming began. After that I was told they wouldn't pay me because I was in breach of contract due to not having worked long enough. I had been having a rough time with them, so I was almost relieved to be leaving until they told me I wouldn't be paid. I have no good feelings for those people in charge, I really don't. The director wanted me and then apparently thought better of it because he really wanted someone 20 years older than me and completely different."
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2010
  2. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Well I can understand how politics within the acting circles will affect things like this - you'll get directors having their pet actors as well as those paying to fun the project - remember a lot of make or break isn't going to be how they act but getting the job itself and the screen time.

    As for the reasoning we'll probably never know the full story - but I do think that the lack of payment is a very poor show for so many weeks dedicated work and the fact that in this line of work the chap has already signed off taking other jobs that would have covered his earning for the months to come during filming - so he not only loses weeks of pay but also potential earnings after that.
    However its not the first time Newline has been skimping out on the payments - not paying the director and the Tolkien fund both being things that set the start date of the Hobbit back a long way and had to hit hte courts before they would pay up.
     
  3. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

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    James Cagney was originally cast as Rick in Casablanca but turned it down as "too corny."
     
  4. Anakin

    Anakin King of TFF

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    That's different. That's where the actor turns down a role, but here is where actors do get cast, but get fired later unexpectedly almost for no reason.
     
  5. Ravenhart

    Ravenhart New Member

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    As far as I know, the decision was made because he was too "young and babyfaced" or something like that, which is a fair enough reason in itself. What I really don't understand is why he was cast in the first place with that issue present. And of course, they should probably have paid, seeing as the fault lay with the company that hired the guy in the first place. Unfortunately, that is rarely how our lovely little world works.
     
  6. Anakin

    Anakin King of TFF

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    I used to really respect Peter Jackson. I'm not the number one Lord of the Rings fan, but I thought he was a good director. But when you hear about things like this. Seems the decision came from him and I heard something similar about King Kong. Howard Shore had made a score for it, cause it seems logical he would do the music since he also did the music of LOTR. But Peter Jackson pushed it away and went to James Newton Howard... Now I really think that was a bad decision... Oh well...
     
  7. Ravenhart

    Ravenhart New Member

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    Unfortunately profit is the number one motivator for most in the entertainment business, and so we'll have things like this happening. I don't see why they'd cast someone in their mid twenties for the role in the first place but I guess we'll never know.
     
  8. leefa

    leefa New Member

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    We hear of so many similar incidents when the actors either walk out of a movie or get kicked out of a project. It is a usual scenario in the movie world and there is no point in our breaking our heads over it. There may be reasons that we are not aware of and we cannot sit in judgment unless we hear both sides of the story!!
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    Last edited: Jan 29, 2011
  9. Tabris

    Tabris 11.11.11

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    I've seen countless behind the scenes interviews and the like for LotR, and this issue has always been brushed away quickly with little notice, which makes me suspect there is more to it than they want to tell in public. I think it's a combination of him being too young, and probably also creative differences between Townsend and Jackson on how to portray the character. (How much older is Viggo Mortensen, though? Townsend isn't that young). I still think he should have been payed for those two months, though.
     
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