Casting a major movie like director Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street always comes with its fair share of “what if” scenarios that linger when things don’t go a certain way. And yet, in no way could anyone have predicted the following double whammy example of that very phenomenon, as not only was Julie Andrews almost cast in The Wolf of Wall Street, she had to turn the role down due to being “too stoned.”
Yes, we have an explanation, and it comes from the legend herself, as Dame Julie Andrews told this story in a recent interview:
I had an operation. I'm a bionic woman. I have a titanium ankle. I was so truly stoned from all the drugs that I had to take just to take the pain away.
Apparently, the drugs that Dame Julie was under the influence of did help with her recovery from ankle surgery, but it unfortunately put her in the position that she couldn’t participate in the (simulated) drug fueled bacchanalia that was the film adaptation of Jordon Belford’s life of financial fraud and debauchery. Which is a shame, as Andrews was up for a role that could have been a lot of fun to watch her act out.
You might have already guessed this, but during her appearance on Watch What Happens Live, Julie Andrews was revealed to be up for the role of Aunt Emma, the relative of Margot Robbie’s Naomi who helped Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jordan hide some of his wealth overseas in Swiss banks. Ultimately, the role was played by fellow British legend Joanna Lumley, who absolutely made it her own.
And to be fair, it might have been a bit much for some audiences to see Andrews playing a character that not only admits to her own drug use, but also Emma asks herself if Jordan is trying to sleep with her. With audiences already complaining about the film during its release, and at its’ ensuing awards contention screenings, you could imagine the negative fallout that might have dogged this alternate version of The Wolf of Wall Street.
That being said, it’s still a hell of a thing to imagine the following scene, played out by Julie Andrews in her own brand of comedic timing:
Alternate castings are fun to speculate about, but in the end, the conversation always ends in the same place. While this “What If?” is a fun question to ask, what is wins out every time. Though reality is the bedrock upon which this school of thought is built upon, it’s still fun to play one of the most popular games known to humanity. Also, it’s certainly more fun to talk about how Julie Andrews rejected The Wolf of Wall Street due to being too stoned than it is to discuss how real life financial crimes have plagued the film’s legacy to this very day.