Paul Hogan turned down Ghost, because he thought it was an 'unfunny comedy'

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Paul Hogan turned down the Patrick Swayze role in ‘Ghost’ – Credit: Paramount

Can you imagine Crocodile Dundee taking on the emotional potters wheel scene in ‘Ghost’, to the strains of ‘Unchained Melody’?

“That’s not a vase… *THIS* is a vase,” he would undoubtedly have quipped.

In the end, the role went to Patrick Swayze, and the rest is history, but had Paul Hogan not got the wrong end of the stick, it could have been all his.

Hogan, 77, yesterday received the Longford Lyell Award, for ‘a truly outstanding contribution to the enrichment of Australia’s screen environment and culture’, presented to him at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards.

(Credit: Getty)

But as well as accepting the award from Geoffrey Rush (“He’s an actor,” he told the audience, referring to Rush, “I only play one character. I’m a huge one-hit wonder,”) Hogan also spoke about the ones that got away.

“The one I regret was probably Ghost,” he said. “One of the Zucker brothers was directing it so I assumed it would be a fall-about comedy.

“I read it and thought ‘it’s not very funny. It’s interesting but not funny’, so I passed on it.”

The movie was indeed made by Jerry Zucker, of ‘Top Secret!’ and ‘Airplane!’ fame, a rare foray into drama.

(Credit: Getty)

Hogan then revealed that he was set to appear opposite Swayze in ‘Almost An Angel’, but Swayze dropped out to take the job in ‘Ghost’ instead.

“I didn’t tell him anything but he went on and did it and it was huge,” he said. “I passed on an awful lot of stuff. I was only interested in doing comedy.”

The Longford Lyell accolade, the highest screen honour in Australia, comes as his most famous movie, the 1986 comedy ‘Crocodile Dundee’, celebrated its 30th anniversary.

It remains Australia’s highest-grossing domestic-made movie, making $47.7 million.

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