Albert Brooks Reveals Three Smash Movies He Turned Down!

Categories: Film

albert-brooks-drive.jpg

I'll get to that in a second.

But first let me remind you that Brooks is up for all sort of awards for his hipster performance as a Jewish gangster in Drive.

Of course it didn't happen overnight. In a Film Society of Lincoln Center talk that I attended in my surgical shoes, Brooks talked about his scenic drive to this current career place.

Originally, he had no intention of doing comedy -- it was considered deeply unhip at the time -- but Richard Dreyfuss was nabbing all the acting roles for 20-year-olds, so stand-up beckoned and Brooks did well with it.

Until he had to open for Sly and the Family Stone in Seattle.

"The audience was like he was," he related. "So loaded on every imaginable drug! It's a miracle that he and Zsa Zsa Gabor are still living."

(Bear in mind this was two nights ago. Someone check for updates.)

Brooks said he was supposed to do a 30-minute opening set, but Sly's manager begged him to go way longer. "Why?" he wondered. "Sly is in Ohio," the manager explained.

Horrified, Brooks went on and got pelted by beer bottles from the angry audience. And the second this gig from hell ended, he promptly quit stand-up and went into acting.

Oh, the movies he had to turn down (because he was working on films he was writing/directing at the time)?

Dead Poets Society, Big, and Pretty Woman.

"The Richard Gere role," he explained.

Still doing comedy!



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13 comments
Deke
Deke

Crazy genius of a guy. His short films for Saturday Night Live were light years ahead of their times. And how about his auditions for the New National Anthem?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

bitchtroll from Hell
bitchtroll from Hell

Rented "I'll Do Anything" and liked it.  Prince wrote the songs that were thrown out. 

Timmmyk
Timmmyk

Don't forget Albert on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, doing his ventriloquist act with a Speak and Spel toyl. He asked it what his girlfriend gave him for his birthday and Albert manipulated it to robotically say, 'V...D'

Epl
Epl

Hilarious Michael Musto.   (Small World Department) As Zsa Zsa Gabor's former publicist, I noticed the reference to her in this article on Albert Brooks role.  I am helping promote DRIVE for my pal Michael Walters, Executive Producer of DRIVE and son of Norby Walters, famed music agent who produces the Night of 100 Stars Oscar party in Beverly Hills....pushing for Academy Members to take a good look at Albert Brooks --who we all know nailed the Best Supporting Actor nom for Golden Globe.   Edward Lozzi www.lozzipr.com  , epl@lozzipr.com

Southern Dave
Southern Dave

And "Defending Your Life" with Meryl Streep and "Mother" with Debbie Reynolds, which has one of the all-time funny scenes in movies where they're negotiating in her kitchen over what he can or won't eat. Reynolds and Brooks were both fantastic in this film, Reynolds very real and subdued from her usual sparkly personality..

I remember the short films he did for "Saturday Night Live" that, for me, remain memorable. (NBC's new line-up was to include a production of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" --enacted entirely by children!)

And his ventriloquist act where the DUMMNY drank the glass of water.

His brother, Bob Einstein, was "Officer Judy" on "The Smother Brothers Comedy Hour,""Super Dave Osborne" and still works on "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

 Their father was Parkyakarkus, who, I just saw for the first time in an early '30s film on TCM for the first time. Funny man.

Charlie
Charlie

We can't forget the great "Lost in America"!

Gregorama
Gregorama

I'd include his performance in "Broadcast News" as one of the best comic performances ever filmed.  I've always found him to be mystifyingly "under-the-radar," when he should be far more recognized.  Maybe this year will (finally) be his year....

Imack7878
Imack7878

rent MODERN ROMANCE his best worlk in my opinion .

Timmmyk
Timmmyk

I still laugh so hard I am beside myself when I see 'Real Life' and Albert, in clown costume, has a moment of delusion when he thinks setting fire to Charles Grodin's house will 'save the picture.' The manic smile on his face as he runs around the house in the clown costume with a patio torch destroys me.I absolutely love him.

Musto
Musto

He also talked about I'll Do Anything, about a film mogul who panders to public tastes to alter his work. Brooks said it was weird that the movie itself did just that by throwing all the music out after test screenings! Brooks wouldn't comment on whether his character was based on Joel Silver (legal reasons), but he did say that Silver was mad at him for many years--though they buried the hatchet because Silver liked Drive. And last time he saw him, Silver murmured to Brooks, "James L. Brooks isn't doing so well."

Musto
Musto

Brooks also talked about how DeNiro wouldn't talk to him while making Taxi Driver because he was at the height of his method acting and his character didn't like Brooks' character. "But he didn't talk to me at the wrap party either," Brooks laughed. "Or six years later."

Indri
Indri

"Someone check for updates," lol.

Riordan
Riordan

Albert was Rob Reiner's best friend in school and Carl Reiner went on TV and said Brooks was hilarious. That jumpstarted his career.

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