During her appearance on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,’ Jodie Foster recently shared that her decision to turn down a ‘Star Wars’ role was due to her commitment to a Disney project at the time.
Fallon asked Foster whether it was true that she was offered the role of Princess Leia in the original ‘Star Wars’ film. The actress explained that while she was indeed offered the part of Princess Leia, she had to decline due to her existing contract with Disney:
“I was, yeah, and they were going for a younger Princess Leia. But I had a conflict. I was doing a Disney movie, and I just didn’t want to pull out of it because I was already under contract, so I didn’t do it.”
Foster turned down the offer for the 1977 film ‘Candleshoe,‘ where she portrayed Casey Brown, an orphan on a quest to find a hidden treasure in England. She also humorously mentioned that Leia’s famous hairstyle could have been quite different with her in the role:
“They did an amazing job. I don’t know how good I would have been. I might have had a different hair, you know. I might have gone with a pineapple.”
Check out that part of the show below.
Foster Didn’t Regret Making This Decision
In a 2005 interview with Total Film, Foster reflected on her decision, remembering that she was about 14 or 15 years old at the time the role was offered:
“I was doing two films back-to-back at the time. It would have been fun. But my career would have been different, and I’m happy with the one I’ve got, so I don’t really regret it. And honestly, I was 14 or 15 at the time, and it was when they were still conceiving those characters as very young. By the time they got to making it, they had a totally different conception of the film.”
Besides Foster, There Were Other Actresses Thought For the Role
Alongside Foster, names such as Amy Irving, Cindy Williams, Glenn Close, Farrah Fawcett, Jessica Lange, Sissy Spacek, Sigourney Weaver, Cybill Shepherd, Jane Seymour, Anjelica Huston, Kim Basinger, Kathleen Turner, Geena Davis, Meryl Streep, and Terri Nunn were in the mix for the part.
However, Carrie Fisher, who was 19 at the time, was eventually cast as Princess Leia, a role she reprised in five films of the series and was digitally added to the final film posthumously in 2019. Fisher later revealed she knew Foster was considered for the role, among others:
“Jodie Foster was up for it… that one I knew the most. Amy Irving and Jodie. And I got it.”
In related ‘Star Wars’ news, the franchise continues to expand with new films set to explore various eras of its universe. This includes an untitled project by James Mangold, a film by Dave Filoni set between the original and sequel trilogies and a film by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy about a new Jedi Order.
Besides, in January 2024, Jon Favreau was announced as the director of a new film titled ‘The Mandalorian & Grogu.’