Angelina Jolie almost played the lead role in the iconic ’90s movie ‘The Craft’

jolie foxfire

This ^^ is a photo of Angelina Jolie in 1996’s Foxfire, the story about five teenage misfits who gang together to take down the man who has harassed them. Foxfire was the film where Angelina met and fell in love with Jenny Shimizu, incidentally. It was also the film Angelina did instead of The Craft!! For ‘90s girls like me, The Craft is a pretty big deal. Personally speaking, Clueless was always a bigger deal for ME, but I did enjoy The Craft. The Craft is also a story of a gang of misfit girls banding together… but they banded together for witchcraft! The iconic ‘90s film starred Robin Tunney (in the lead role), Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell and Rachel True. The film turns 20 years old this year, and to celebrate, HuffPo did interviews with original cast members, producers and the director, Andrew Fleming. Fleming said that Angelina was very close to being cast in the lead role, which went to Robin Tunney. That’s what’s shocking to me, that Jolie read for Sarah and not Nancy (played by Fairuza Balk).

You may not be able to picture The Craft with a different group of teen witches, but that was almost the case when putting the coven together. During an interview with The Huffington Post to celebrate the cult classic’s 20th anniversary, casting director Pam Dixon and director Andrew Fleming revealed that the famous 1996 flick almost starred some now-huge A-listers, including Angelina Jolie, Alicia Silverstone and Scarlett Johansson. And they all went for the same part—Sarah, the lead role.

“We did these tests and we tested a lot of girls, some of whom have become really well-known,” Dixon shared. “We actually had a hold on somebody that we had to let go because she got offered another film, and we didn’t know if the movie was really happening. That girl was Angelina Jolie. She did Foxfire instead.” Oh, whaaaaat?

She continued, “Another person who came in was Scarlett Johansson, who was just 12 at the time. The other girl was Alicia Silverstone. This would have been ‘95. She had just shot Clueless, but it had not come out. Alicia also got something between the time that we read them and the time we were really going to make the movie, so we couldn’t pick her up either and she went to do something else. They were all really for Sarah.”

The lead role obviously ended up going to Robin Tunney, who actually auditioned for a smaller part in the film. “Robin was originally cast in the part that Neve Campbell played, but we wanted her for the lead. We had to talk her into playing the lead, which was weird. But she did it. She wanted to play Bonnie, and we said, ‘No, we want you to be Sarah.’ It was like a reverse-Hollywood story where she wanted the smaller part.”

[From E! News]

I could see how Alicia Silverstone would be in contention for the middle-of-the-road Sarah role, and I could also see how Angelina would have been outright offered the lead or any role in the film. But Angelina would have been better as Nancy. Perhaps they already had Fairuza at the time and they just wanted Sarah to be darker, thus Angelina. Because remember how Angelina was back then? She WAS The Craft. She was dark and witchy and goth and amazing. What could have been!



Photos courtesy of WENN, ‘The Craft’ and ‘Foxfire.’

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34 Responses to “Angelina Jolie almost played the lead role in the iconic ’90s movie ‘The Craft’”

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  1. Deedee says:

    I think Angie is too dark for Sarah, and I though Fairuza was excellent as Nancy, but I’m sure AJ would have given her a run for her money.

    • doofus says:

      I agree, I think she def could have pulled it off, and I’m not even a very big fan of hers in the acting realm. (I think she’s hit or miss in her roles, some great, some not-so-great.)

      but I see Nancy as similar to the role she played in “Girl, Interrupted” (which is one of her “hits”, IMO) and she nailed that character.

      I think she also could have done Neve Campbell’s character, too. But not Sarah…

    • tealily says:

      Yeah, Angie would be a better Nancy, but Fairuza was perfect and completely made the film. I’m a little indifferent toward Robin Tunney. Maybe that would have been interesting…

    • Lisa says:

      Yes, this is who I thought they meant! She’d have been a good Nancy, but Fairuza won the role fair and square, imo. I can’t picture anyone else in it.

    • holly hobby says:

      I definitely see Nancy in Angelina. That was really the one that got away!

  2. Jenna says:

    She also met with Amy Heckerling for Clueless too. It was in that oral history book As If that came out last year.

    It’s funny that she was in the mix for all these teen movies in the mid-90s. Which makes sense because that was generally all that they were making for actors in her age bracket back then, but it’s still so jarring to think about.

    But booooo to Angelina as a possible Nancy. Like Fairuza Balk was perfection.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Yes. I love Angelina but Fairuza owned that film. I quote ‘tricky, tricky’ in that exact tone of voice to my husband and friends all the time.

  3. WinonaRyder says:

    She would have looked too old in my opinion.

  4. Roma says:

    Without a doubt, both The Craft and Clueless meant everything to teenager me. I think any of the actresses named (especially AJ!) would have been distracting. Sarah was middle of the road, but needed to be to balance the story.

  5. Lucy2 says:

    I liked the craft, but loved clueless. I will still watch both if I come across them on TV.
    I can’t picture Angelina or Scarlett in either.

    • LAK says:

      Me too.

    • teacakes says:

      I can maybe picture Angelina, but Scarlett would have been 11 years old at the time of the audition….. WAY too young for this, who even thought of her for the job?!

  6. V4Real says:

    The Craft was one of my guilty pleasures. I could see her playing the part of Sarah.

  7. ell says:

    i LOVE that film. she would have been a great sarah imo (angelina does vulnerable so well), the nancy role was perfect as it was.

  8. Leen says:

    Ahhhhh I love 90s Angie!!! And the craft!

  9. Talie says:

    It’s definitely weird to think of Angelina ever being eligible for teen girl movies, but she was up for a lot of them according to many of these oral histories. It seems like she was tipped to be a major star right from jump street.

    • lisa2 says:

      Funny thing to me is she never talks about roles she didn’t get. At least I don’t recall her doing so in interview. Brad either for that matter. If you don’t get a role it is not a big deal. But I see a lot of celebrities going on and on about the roles they didn’t get. Why not sure. Regret or envy..

    • LAK says:

      Lots of people audition for lots of things before they finally hit big, if they ever hit big.

      Auditioning is a numbers game. It’s rare the actor who has never auditioned or does only a few auditions before getting THE star making role.

      George Clooney spent a decade auditioning and shooting pilots for TV shows that eventually went to other people or were never picked up. He became a millionaire from the process. After a decade of auditioning, one pilot was picked up. ER. The rest is history.

  10. lisa2 says:

    Damn her face is amazing.. and she can rock any hair cut. I love that buzz cut.. Especially since today we see so many actresses making such a big deal about getting their hair cut for a film role. Many women have done it before.

  11. LAK says:

    Teen films were to the 90s what action/superheros films are to the current decade.

    • V4Real says:

      Oh God, yes.

    • teacakes says:

      It’s a shame the genre basically died after 2004. There were some last-gasp greats like Easy A, but it was the first decent teen movie in several years, and there haven’t been any since.

      But those 90s teen movies (Cruel Intentions, all of Kirsten Dunst’s teen flicks, The Craft, Clueless, even scream queen stuff) are classics now, and some, like Bring It On, were even more ahead of their time than Mean Girls.

      (side note: the director of Bring It On went on to do Ant-Man. From teen movies to superheroes, indeed)

      • doofus says:

        don’t forget the great teen flicks of the ’80s…mostly John Hughes…

        Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, Some Kind of Wonderful, Pretty in Pink…

  12. M.A.F. says:

    Still love that movie.

  13. Cora says:

    Fairuza Balk was absolutely magnificent as Nancy. Full stop. She owned that role. Her casting was perfect. Jolie as a somewhat darker Sarah would have offered some interesting possibilities. I can see that angle.

  14. wolf says:

    why was Robin Tunney not more popular.

  15. Lisa says:

    Oh my god, no way. Robin Tunney did the best in that role. Angelina is too much like Fairuza Balk.

    • Carmen says:

      I agree. There would have been two Nancys in the movie if Angie had played Sarah. They needed Tunney for contrast.

      What was the name of the black girl? She was good and I never saw her again.

      • doofus says:

        I think the only other thing I saw her in was Half Baked, that stoner movie that Dave Chappelle did.

  16. grump says:

    Wow, it really shows how insular Hollywood is. Scarlett Johanson was auditioning for that type of role when she was 12?!?

    I guess to make it as a star, you really have to be ‘one of the chosen ones.’

    • teacakes says:

      Scarjo would actually have been 10 or 11, not 12 when she was auditioning – assuming the audition happened at least a year before the film’s release.

      It does seem crazy young now, but a lot of child actors in that era took roles in projects that were probably too adult for their age – Kirsten Dunst at 10 or 11 in Interview with the Vampire, Natalie Portman in Leon, Elijah Wood and Macaulay Culkin in The Good Son etc.

  17. Apsutter says:

    I love The Craft and Fairuza MADE that movie. Neve’s role was great too. I never cared for Sarah tho. I don’t know if it was how it was just written & directed or if it’s Robin’s take on it but I always found her to be the absolute dead spot of that movie. Totally dead-eyed, no animation in her, with a monotone. Such a snooze. Nancy far and away was the highlight

  18. Pants says:

    She could have worked it, but I thought Robin Tunney was great in that role (and in Empire Records!!).

  19. emma says:

    Fairuza IS The Craft! The movie would not have been the same.