Payday Loans
Bruce Dern


  1. Jack Nicholson, St. Valentine's Day Massacre, 1967.     Director Roger Corman considered Jack and Dernsie for the gangster, Johnny May. Nicholson asked instead  for the smallest part - with the longest run in the film. As the killers' driver, he worked three weeks. "I earned more money in a Corman movie than ever before [triple the actors' weekly scale of $375].  Only had only one line -  only laugh in the picture, I might  add.  Someone says, 'What  the hell  are you  doing?'  to  one of the killers, who's rubbing garlic on his bullets.  And I say, using a gravelly voice:  It's garlic.  The bullets don't kill ya, ya die of the blood poisoning."
  2. Luke Askew, The Green Berets, 1968.      Askew replaced Dern as Sergeant Provoiin John  Wayne’s asinine Vietnam war movie. Chicago critic Roger Ebert (like so many others) buried ite as  “cruel and dishonest and unworthy of the thousands who have died there.” Dern got his rervenge - shooting Duke dead in The Cowboys, 1971.  Told that the audience would hate him for it, Dern said: "Yeah, but they'll sure love me in Berkeley."  Maybe  so, but 30 years on, he was still getting hate-mail!.
  3. Jack Nicholson, Easy Rider, 1969.    When Rip Torn dropped out of what he termed  the "shitty film," Dennis Hopper asked  director Jack Starrett to be George Hanson. Then, Dern who found scant difficulty in turning down what he considered too little money.  And so, he spent  "ten fucking years playing the Fifth Cowboy From the Right. Mr [Elia] Kazan told me : Be the most fucking interesting cowboy in the scene."
  4. Robert Duvall, The Godfather, 1971. 
  5. Robert Towne, Drive, He Said, 1970.     They'd made five films together so obviously new director Jack Nicholson offered his pal, Dernsie, his pick of two roles - Karen Black’s professor husband or the college basketball coach. Unlike   most basketball stars,  Bruce chose ball over  balling.
  6. Jack Nicholson, King of Marvin  Gardens, 1972.    To "take away the audience's presuppositions,"  director Bob Rafelson cleverly switched his initial casting of the brothers Staebler. Nicholson become the younger, quieter, radio dee-jay and Dernsie  the older, flamboyant Nicholsonesque type.
  7. James Taylor, Two-Lane Backtop, 1971.    Declined director Monte Hellman’s offer of the anonymous driver. Enter: Sweet Baby James for his one and only movie.   Up to 2007, Taylor had never seen the film! 
  8. David Carradine, Boxcar Bertha, l972.    Producer Roger Corman and his director, the   unknown Martin Scorsese wanted Barbara Hershey - and she would not do it without her "unhirable"  David. And so,  Dern remained a character actor. "Because he thought of himself that way," noted Kirk Douglas.
  9. Donald Sutherland, Ordinary People, 1979.  Novelist Judith Guest’s anatomy of a family more in pain than love  reminded Robert Redford of “the missed signals” of his own upbringing, - it became  his directing debut.  Paramount naturally wanted him to play the father. (D’oh! When is Redford ordinary?   Ruling himself out, he looked at Bruce Dern, Anthony Franciosa and Ken Howard and then decided on Sutherland (first been up for the shrink). But Dern was good thinking!  Listen to Hitchcock: “If I ever said that actors are cattle, then Bruce is the golden calf.” Dern grinned at the memory. “You think he was small. But he was big. Six-foot-one. Weighed 285. No one to fuck with.” 
  10. Brian Cox, Manhunter, 1985.    Probably because he was such a good villain in the movie version of the first Thomas Harris novel, Black Sunday, Dernsie found himself in talks for the first film about Harris’ most infamous creation, Dr Hannibal... Lecktor, as it was spelled way back then. 

  11. Mitchell Ryan, Lethal Weapon, 1986.    There were 39 possibles for Mel Gibson’s suicidal cop. Just seven seeking promotion to General McAllister: Ryan, Dern, Peter Boyle, Robert Duvall, James Earl Jones, Richard Jordan and Lee Marvin.
  12. Patrick McGoohan, A Time To Kill, 1996.    Joel Schumacher's (otherwise engaged) choice for the dreadfully named Judge Noose. “I’ve been turning in Dernsies all my life, ” Bruce said when close to a 2013  Oscar for Nebraska. Dernsie was Nicholson’s pet name for his pal. Plus, said daughter Laura Dern, that “something unique with a moment that only Dad can do - something with incredibly irreverent humor; the bad guy you love to hate. This movie is the opposite - really stripped bare.”
  13. Bruce Davison, The Lords of Salem, 2012.   One BD for another as the Salem historian as Dern had to quit what proved to be horrormeister Rob Zombie’s real coming of age flick. “Made,” he said, “like Ken Russell directing The Shining.”













Copyright © 2023 Crawley's Casting Calls. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.