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Stanley Tucci “tried to get out” of his most intense movie

Stanley Tucci is known for feel-good movies such as The Devil Wears Prada and Easy A, so when he was cast as a child murderer, he tried to get out of it.

Stanley Tucci

Peter Jackson’s 2009 thriller movie is more well-known now for what happened behind-the-scenes than for the movie itself. It was highly anticipated, due to being based on a book which was popular and acclaimed. However, the film was generally viewed as a disappointing adaptation.

The most famous story surrounding the film is that Ryan Gosling was initially cast as the grieving father of a 14-year-old girl, despite being only 26-years-old himself. Gosling turned up on set having gained 60 pounds and sporting a full beard, as he believed this would make him look older. He had not discussed any of this with director Peter Jackson, but had just taken it upon himself. Gosling was fired and replaced by Mark Wahlberg, who was at least more age appropriate.

Someone who was hired, then wished he could have got out of it was Stanley Tucci, who had the difficult role as a murderer of young girls. “I would not play George Harvey again in The Lovely Bones, which was horrible,” Tucci recently shared with ET’s Ash Crossan, when promoting his new thriller series Citadel. “It’s a wonderful movie, but it was a tough experience. Simply because of the role.”

Reportedly, Tucci’s wife at the time strongly advised him against doing the role, and he did try to get out of it. Tucci is best-known for his roles in feel-good movies such as Big Night (1996), The Devil Wears Prada (2006), and Julie & Julia (2009), and Easy A (2010), so his role in The Lovely Bones was certainly against-type. Tucci admitted to ET trying to get out of the role before understanding Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson’s motivation for casting him in the sinister part.

The Tooch continued; “I asked Peter Jackson why he cast me in that role. I tried to get out of playing the role, which is crazy because I needed a job. But I was like, ‘Why do you want me?’ And he said, ‘Because you’re funny.’ And I thought, ‘OK.’ But I understand what he was saying.”

Tucci, who is now best-known for his travel and cooking TV series Searching for Italy, continued; “I think what he meant was that I wouldn’t be overly dramatic about it. That I would throw it away a bit. Which is what you have to do when you’re playing somebody who’s that awful, right? You can’t play into it.”

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