Ghost's Patrick Swayze was 10th choice for iconic role

Joe Anderton
Photo credit: Paramount

From Digital Spy

Patrick Swayze's role in Ghost is so iconic, it is hard to imagine anyone else playing Sam Wheat in the 1990 classic. But the movie studio wanted someone else. 9 someone elses, in fact.

Speaking to Metro, casting director Janet Hirshenson explained how there were major disagreements over who would star opposite Whoopi Goldberg and Demi Moore.

"For Patrick's part," she said, "the studio only wanted to make it with one of 10 box office actors. The 10th choice was Patrick, but (director) Jerry Zucker didn't want to cast him because he'd just seen Roadhouse, and didn't think he was right.

Photo credit: Paramount

Related: Whoopi Goldberg says Patrick Swayze refused to be in Ghost if she didn't sign up

"He was Texan, and [the character] was supposed to be a banker. Jane said, 'Well, there are Texans that are bankers, you know!' They kept saying 'no'.

"Jane (Jenkins, casting partner) concocted a thing with Patrick's agent, she made an appointment and Jerry went crazy, (yelling) 'How dare you set this up?!'

"He came in and she read with him. It was the producer and Jerry, they came in and did the reading… The producer was crying during the audition. At the end of the scene, Jerry Zucker jumped up and went, 'Well that's it!'"

Photo credit: Jim Spellman - Getty Images

Related: Whoopi Goldberg reveals some very surprising crushes from EastEnders

When it came to his co-star Whoopi Goldberg, things weren't plain sailing either, as Hirshenson explains: "Originally, we went and met with Jerry Zucker, because we read the script and several people could play various roles, but it was obvious it was Whoopi Goldberg for Oda Mae. Who else?

"Jerry was like, 'No, I don't want to use her'", causing them to continue to see more auditions. It eventually took Patrick Swayze and a read-through at an airport to convince her to take up the role. And thank goodness she did.

Patrick Swayze tragically died in 2009 at the age of 57 following a battle with cancer.

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