The best movies always come with some casting near misses. Actors who were movie villains but couldn’t, or great bit parts that just didn’t suit them. Prince, the artistic troubadour, was once approached for a science fiction movie, and now we can only ponder what could’ve been.
The choice was revealed by Chris Tucker for the action movie The Fifth Element. In an interview with GQ, he mentions that he wasn’t the first choice for the eccentric radio host Rudy Rhod.
“Luc Besson said he wanted a flamboyant character, and he wanted sexuality and all this stuff,” Tucker recalls. “I thought of Prince, because Prince was supposed to play the part, but declined I think because of the wardrobe, because Prince had his own style.”
Prince caught word that Tucker had taken on the thriller movie, and merely said he just “didn’t want to do it”. Tucker reflects that he’s “so glad” the part came his way, because it deepened his acting chops.
“It brought out range in me that I only us probably on stage,” he says. Working with Luc Besson was unbelievable, we filmed in London, using all these stages in Pinewood, he really was in another world.” The ’90s movie, featuring Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich, is widely celebrated still for the amount of effects work that went into bringing New York City off the 23rd century to life.
Tucker’s character, Rudy, is a loud, audacious broadcaster whom the protagonists meet on an intergalactic cruise. He’s got incredible hair and stunning costumes, and it sounds like Tucker loved the experience of bringing them to life.
Still, imagine what Prince would’ve done! Have a look at our new movies list to see what other blockbusters are coming.