Behind every Oscar frontrunner is a line of actors fuming because they were almost that Oscar frontrunner. "La La Land" is still looking like the movie to beat at the Sunday, Feb. 26 Hollywood Super Bowl, with Emma Stone likely to win Best Actress. Director Damien Chazelle confirmed that Emma Watson and Miles Teller were previously cast in the movie, but then things did not work out.
Now Page Six has a story quoting unnamed insiders who claim that Teller and Watson are furious with their teams for not securing the film, when those behind the scenes blame the stars themselves for being "too demanding."
One insider said that Teller was offered $4 million to star in the movie, but he wanted $6 million. Watson initially wouldn't commit to the lead role, then "began making all these crazy demands," the source claimed, "like rehearsals for the film must be done in London — for a film called 'La La Land!' They jumped through hoops to make it work with her, but she just didn't feel the film was right for her."
Eventually, the film cast Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, who have worked together a couple of times before, and both keep picking up nominations and awards for this movie. (They both won Golden Globes and Emma Stone just won a SAG Award over the weekend.)
The same source said, "Now both Miles and Emma Watson are raising hell with their agents for not securing the roles for them — even though it was the actors' fault for being too demanding." Another source, clearly of a similar mind, said, "Both Miles and Emma f*cked themselves over for not doing 'La La Land.' Now that it's winning all the awards, they're freaking out and looking for someone else to blame."
However, other sources told the site that Watson stepped away to do "Beauty and the Beast," which comes out in March. It does seem likely that she made a conscious choice, like she did to decline "Cinderella" when it didn't seem right for her. Sometimes the timing doesn't line up to do everything.
Teller has opened up about losing "La La Land," telling Esquire that Chazelle offered him the role when they were filming "Whiplash," before that movie became its own Oscar-winning hit. Here's more of that interview:
"Teller gets a little nervous telling the story, tearing his dinner roll to shreds and claiming he doesn't know what happened before deciding, whatever, 'These are just facts.' He explains that he almost passed up the chance to be in Arms and the Dudes because it would have conflicted with La La Land. 'And I got a call from my agent, saying, 'Hey, I just got a call from Lionsgate. Damien told them that he no longer thinks you're creatively right for the project. He's moving on without you.' " So he sent him a text: What the f*ck, bro?"
There are probably a dozen different reasons why things didn't work out, as there always are for each movie. And it's possible "La La Land" would not be the Oscar frontrunner it is without Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling as the leads. C'est la vie.
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