Geena Davis has said that classic feminist road movie ‘Thelma & Louise’ could have been rather different, had she got her way.
Davis, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role as Thelma Dickinson in Ridley Scott’s acclaimed film, originally wanted the part of Louise, which went to Susan Sarandon.
25 years since the movie’s release, she’s explained why she wanted to be the waitress who kills would-be rapist Harlan (played by Timothy Carhart) before going on the run.
“I’d been following this [project] for a year,” she told The Hollywood Reporter, and then got her agent to contact director Scott for a meeting.
“He said, ‘Yes, sure, you could come in.’ And I’d met with my acting coach. And we had decided that I should play Louise. And I wanted this so bad, and I’m just pitching my heart out, and I brought all my notes and everything about why I absolutely have to be Louise.
“And he finally says, 'So, in other words, you wouldn’t play Thelma?’ And there was only a very slight pause, actually, before I said: 'You know what’s so weird is, I’ve been listening to myself as I’m talking and I’m not convinced anymore. Actually, I think I should play Thelma.’”
She was then signed up to play one or other of the lead roles, Scott eventually choosing Davis for Thelma and Sarandon for Louise.
The actresses then became firm friends on set.
“The first time I meet [Sarandon], it was just Ridley and she and I,” she said.
“We were going to get together and go through the script. And pretty much the second I met her, I was like: 'What was I thinking? How could I possibly play Louise? She’s just fabulous.’
“We hung out all the time together during the shooting. Because it was mostly just us. And a lot of times you can’t go all the way back to your trailer, because you’re out in the middle of the desert or something. So we’re just hanging around in the car, talking. We spent a lot of time together.”
The movie was a smash when it came out in 1991, receiving six Oscar nominations, writer Callie Khouri winning for best original screenplay.
It also helped launch the career of a young Brad Pitt.
Image credits: Pathe