The Big Role Michelle Pfeiffer Gave Up That Still Kills Her

Murder on the Orient Express Michelle Pfeiffer returning to her room

In the hall of Hollywood "what ifs," you'll find a lot of interesting hiring decisions that almost happened. After all, Will Smith was almost in The Matrix, and Steven Spielberg was really close to directing the Cape Fear remake. Now we have a new entry to put send to the archives, as Michelle Pfeiffer recently revealed that if it wasn't for timing, she would have played one of the leads in Ridley Scott's Thelma & Louise. And she also stated in a recent interview that it has left a lasting effect on her:

I still can't watch Thelma & Louise. It was a direct conflict, so it was one film or the other. It still kills me. You can't always do everything. You've got to give something up.

As the story goes, Pfeiffer was already committed to shooting the 1992 drama Love Field when the offer to play a part of that legendary duo came her way. This was already after she'd previously passed on the prime gig of starring in The Silence of the Lambs, so obviously going two for two with big ticket female leads certainly didn't feel good for the actress. Though, to be quite honest, her admitting she had to pass on Thelma & Louise to Variety is enough for us to sympathize with Michelle Pfeiffer's pain.

The Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis dramedy from 1991 is still considered one of director Ridley Scott's better films, as well as a landmark film for feminist cinema. With its rebellious, bittersweet ending, as well as the introduction of Brad Pitt to the world of movies, there's a lot of different pieces of history that Michelle Pfeiffer could have taken part in if she were able to participate. Then again, there was still a silver lining for Michelle Pfeiffer, as Love Field would deliver her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. So while she may not have gotten to take part in the groundbreaking action, there was certainly a professional advantage to the project she eventually sided with. Still, we can imagine her fitting well into the movie still, below.

Thelma and Louise Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis taking a Polaroid

Still, Pfeiffer's more recent works have seen her return to the limelight with more of the trademark gusto she's given in every one of her performances. She's also giving off the impression that she's just getting started with her most recent roles in mother! and next month's Murder on the Orient Express. Not to mention, she's also got her role in the upcoming Marvel Studios film Ant-Man and The Wasp to look forward to, as she'll be playing the long lost Janet Van Dyne to Michael Douglas's Hank Pym.

If there's anyone who's learned the lesson of trying to keep the right roles in play, it's Michelle Pfeiffer, and her recent resume only reinforces that belief. Now that we know she could have been one of the two famous female hellraisers that took on the world, and made us laugh and root for them while doing it, it kind of stings for me, at least. Because now we can't stop thinking of her as either half of Thelma & Louise, and that possibility is too awesome to ever forget.

Murder on the Orient Express pulls into the station on November 10th, and if your local theater is daring enough, you might still be able to see mother!

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.