General News

Weaver casting cost Biehn a role in Avatar

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Feb 16, 2011 | 4:00am EST

The actor helped develop the alien-killing character with director James Cameron and fully expected to be cast in the role, but when the emails and phone calls didn't come from the production office, Biehn knew something was amiss.

He finally learned Cameron had decided not to cast two of his Aliens stars in the same film, after hiring Sigourney Weaver, when his son came home from school with the bad news.

Biehn tells WENN, "I found out unofficially I didn't get the role because my son goes to school with (producer) Jon Landau's son and his son told my son he didn't think I was gonna get it because once Jim cast Sigourney Weaver he kind of felt that by casting me it would remind people too much of Aliens and he didn't want that connection.

"About two or three months later my agent called and said I wasn't gonna get the role and that was the reason."

But Biehn insists he isn't bitter that the role went to Stephen Lang, adding, "If there was anybody out there that I would hope would get to play that role, it would be him. Almost any other actor I would've been, 'Damn him!' He's a great actor who's never quite had his shot and is under appreciated, so I was very, very happy he got the role.

"Stephen was a mentor to me on Tombstone and he originated the role that Jack Nicholson played in A Few Good Men on Broadway.

"And I have no bad feelings towards Jim (Cameron). He gave me the script and I gave him my ideas about the character. I think that he was impressed and he said that he was interested in me playing the role, but it wasn't meant to be."

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