There’s nothing more important than the chemistry between co-stars. The best way to achieve that is to find two actors who share incredible respect for one another. It’s then that having an outspoken star on set can actually be a blessing. Confused casting directors and fed-up studio heads sometimes need a fresh perspective. In these cases, they got them from some of Tinsel Town’s top names.
Many of these iconic films wouldn’t feel the same with different names on the marquee. Thankfully, the already-cast performers spoke out and found roles for some truly fitting screen partners. With so many stories of feuding co-stars, knowing that duos like these fought for each other’s casting and compensation can bring a smile to any face. It’s a beautiful thing to know that these actors fought for their co-stars’ casting in movies.
7/7 Kate Hudson Fought For Matthew McConaughey — How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey worked amazingly well together in the 2003 hit How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Little did audiences know how close they came to seeing someone else in McConaughey’s role. Hudson’s desire to have him cast in the film is what made it a reality.
According to Hudson at the BAFTA Life in Pictures event in London (via PEOPLE), she addressed how concerns by the studio over their age differences created friction. It was Hudson herself who made them see the light. She knew from the start that McConaughey was the right choice. “We had an energy together, I wanted to play with him,” Hudson said at the event. “We both have a competitive spirit, we’re both super athletic…We like to push each other and I just love Matthew’s commitment to everything. He’s razor-focused.”
6/7 John Krasinski Pushed For Millicent Simmonds — A Quiet Place
Fans were captivated by the sleeper hit A Quiet Place. The film, set in the terrifying world of sound-sensitive monsters, was applauded for its authenticity. That authenticity is due, in part, to the sound (no pun intended) casting choices done at the behest of star John Krasinski.
The Office star felt that the part of Regan Abbot would have a more realistic feel with a deaf actress. His choice? Millicent Simmonds. The Wonderstruck actress struck Krasinski’s wonder, and he knew immediately she was right. As co-screenwriter Scott Beck told The Hollywood Reporter, “We always had a deaf character in the script, but John really pushed for them to hire Millicent. She came to set and taught everyone sign language. It was really amazing and brought an extra depth to the film.”
5/7 Sharon Stone Lobbied For Russell Crowe — The Quick and the Dead
Sharon Stone has long been celebrated for her desire to help fellow actors. When it came to The Quick and the Dead, Stone may have made her biggest move. She lobbied for Russell Crowe, still five years from his Oscar win for Gladiator, to play her co-star.
Crowe credits Stone for this major role and actually opening the door for his Hollywood career. In an interview with Seth Myers, the rowdy Australian couldn’t help but heap praise. As he told Myers, “If it hadn’t been for her strength of conviction, I don’t know how long I would’ve had to wait to be able to shoot a movie in the United States.”
4/7 Maggie Smith Suggested Daniel Radcliffe — Harry Potter and the Sorcerers’ Stone
Daniel Radcliffe is the universally accepted face of Harry Potter. However, it almost wasn’t. If not for the effort of Maggie Smith, Professor McGonagall in the Potter Universe, the part could have gone to another actor. Knowing Radcliffe matched what directors wanted for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone after she had worked with him in a television adaptation of David Copperfield, Smith suggested that director Chris Columbus allow him to audition. The rest is wizarding history.
3/7 Robert Downey Jr. Threatened to Quit Over Low Pay For Scarlett Johansson and Chris Hemsworth — The Avengers
Robert Downey Jr. is a Hollywood success story. From the top of the list to the bottom of the barrel and back again, the resurrection of Iron Man has made history. Today, Downey is easily one of the most popular stars in all Hollywood. For someone on his level, it’s surprising to see how hard he fought for his co-stars in The Avengers. Reportedly paid $50 Million for his role as Tony Stark, Downey was unhappy when he discovered his co-stars’ pay. It was a shock to learn that some weren’t even making $200,000.
Scarlett Johansson and Chris Hemsworth were cited as two stars unhappy with the pay discrepancy and with good reason. Thankfully, the man behind Tony Stark decided to play real-life superhero and threatened to quit production unless everyone was fairly compensated. Needless to say, Iron Man’s iron fist kept the Marvel Universe alive.
2/7 Chris Pratt Negotiated For Bryce Dallas Howard — Jurassic World Domination
Pay gaps in Hollywood are a well-known issue. For many stars, earning as much as a co-worker can be tough. For many women, it can be impossible. Chris Pratt knows it firsthand, and he wasn’t happy about it. The huge difference in pay between him and co-star Bryce Dallas Howard for Jurassic World Dominion was so large that it made headlines. Without going into specifics, the gap between both salaries was said to be over $2 million. That’s enough to buy like four dinosaurs.
In an interview with Insider upon the film’s release, Howard gushed over the generosity and kindness of her co-star, “(Chris Pratt) literally told me: ‘You guys don’t even have to do anything. I’m going to do all the negotiating. We’re going to be paid the same.'”
1/7 Gregory Peck Pushed For Audrey Hepburn — Roman Holiday
Issues of equal billing in Hollywood are as old as the city itself. From today’s stars on the big screen to the Golden Age icons, there has always been a need for friends at the top. Luckily for Audrey Hepburn, she had the respect of Gregory Peck to help her out in Roman Holiday.
Initially, Hepburn, still a relative newcomer, was billed “below the title.” The format choice implied that she was not the co-lead, but rather a supporting player. Peck was not on board with the decision and his reasoning was sound: “I’m going to make a fool out of myself because this girl is going to win an Oscar in her very first performance.” And she did. Hepburn went on to receive an Academy Award for her role. Peck wasn’t even nominated. It was the future legend’s true breakout moment.