In the world of Hollywood, stories of forgotten opportunities and surprising twists are not uncommon. One such remarkable story revolves around Angelina Jolie, whose strong actions changed the path of a 2010 thriller movie, Salt, and made the studio a massive success with a $183M profit. When Tom Cruise declined the film’s leading role, it seemed like a devastating setback. However, the 47-year-old stepped in, investing in the project with her mesmerizing talent.
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Angelina Jolie Took The Role On Male-Originated Spy Character
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Back in 2007, screenwriter Kurt Wimmer made a splash in Hollywood when he sold a script titled The Far-Reaching Philosophy of Edwin A. Salt to Columbia Pictures. Initially, the film caught the attention of none other than Tom Cruise, a renowned star and potential franchise launcher.
However, after a year of negotiations, Cruise declined the role, fearing it resembled his ongoing character in the Mission: Impossible series.
Amy Pascal, then chief executive at Columbia, made a groundbreaking decision and she transformed the lead role from male to female. This move brought Angelina Jolie into the spotlight.
Further, the director Philip Noyce revealed,
“The final act of the original movie was devoted to Edwin A. Salt saving his wife and kid. But that was so expected and Angie didn’t want to have a kid (in the movie). She thought she wouldn’t have a child if she was that character to put the child in such jeopardy.”
Thus, Edwin became Evelyn Salt, presenting Jolie with a rare opportunity to become an action star in a genre typically dominated by men.
Surprisingly, the script underwent minimal changes, resulting in a phenomenal movie that enthralled audiences upon its release.
Salt, tells the gripping story of CIA operative Evelyn Salt, who is accused of being a Russian sleeper agent. As Salt investigates her husband’s disappearance and uncovers a network of lies, she becomes feared and is chased by her coworkers.
The revelation of her past raises questions about her loyalties, and her actions could potentially kindle a destructive global conflict. Further, the reports suggest that the actress did her stunts mostly on her own.
Angelina Jolie Performed Majority Of Stunts Herself In Salt
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When it came to action-packed films, it was not uncommon for actors to lean on stunt doubles to execute daring and dangerous sequences.
Jolie and stunt coordinator Simon Crane shared a shorthand developed over six movies, where she spent almost as much time harnessed to cables as she did sitting in the makeup chair.
They knew how to craft action sequences that played to Jolie’s skill set, with Crane noting that she had become more opinionated and stubborn over time. His role was to guide her on what was possible and what was not.
Jolie’s portrayal of Evelyn Salt showcased her fearlessness as she eluded her pursuers by leaping off bridges, traversing high-rise ledges, and even jumping out of a helicopter. Crane shared,
“She’s absolutely fearless when it comes to high places. That’s a fantastic asset to have. You can use her confidence with heights to put her in all kinds of dicey situations and know that she’s going to be convincing pulling it off.”
Jolie’s fearless approach to stunt work in Salt stands as proof of her incredible talent and passion for her skill.