Denzel Washington Derailed Robin Williams’ Chance of Starring With Tom Hanks in $206M Movie Despite Being Director’s First Choice

Denzel Washington Derailed Robin Williams’ Chance of Starring With Tom Hanks in $206M Movie Despite Being Director’s First Choice
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Director Jonathan Demme’s 1993 movie, Philadelphia, is often labeled as one of the most iconic movies of all time as it massively contributed to spreading awareness regarding AIDS in an era where misinformation and stigma prevailed. The film’s stars Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington were praised for their remarkable performance, which also earned them several awards.

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While Washington’s on-screen performance as Joe Miller was amazing, another iconic Hollywood actor was shortlisted to play the character, Robin Williams. Demme initially wanted Williams to star in the movie, but then the role went to Washington.

Denzel Washington replaced Robin Williams in 1993’s Philadelphia

Robin Williams
Robin Williams

Director Jonathan Demme wanted actor Robin Williams to play the role of Joe Miller in 1993’s Philadelphia because a comedic actor would’ve been a good counterbalance for Tom Hanks’ character, Andrew Beckett.

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So, the director shortlisted Bill Murray and Robin Williams for the role, however, when actor Denzel Washington approached the director for the role, he decided to cast him because he had wanted to work with the actor for the past few years. For the role of Andrew Beckett, actor Michael Keaton was the second choice.

Also read: Desperate For Money, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck Were Praying Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman or Meryl Streep Would Say Yes to Work With Them

Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks went through drastic physical changes for their roles

Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington
Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington

Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington had to go through extreme physical changes in order to star in the film. Hanks had to lose a lot of fat to accurately portray his character during the courtroom scenes.

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On the other hand, Denzel Washington was asked to gain a few pounds for his role. It was revealed that Washington often ate chocolate bars in front of Hanks, who was starving himself for the role. In total, Hanks lost 26 pounds for the role. Hanks once said that his casting was a deliberate step to get people to see “the movie about a lawyer with AIDS over the big puppet show.

Also read: “To hell with that stuff!”: John Travolta Regretted Mocking Denzel Washington’s $160.5M Film For Its Absurd Plot After Its 2 Oscar Nominations

Philadelphia was a massive success

Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington in Philadelphia
Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington in Philadelphia

Jonathan Demme once revealed that he was inspired to create this film after a friend of his, illustrator Juan Suárez Botas, was diagnosed with AIDS. The film successfully managed to raise awareness regarding AIDS, also accurately highlighting the struggles faced by individuals with AIDS. The movie was nominated for several prestigious awards and Hanks even won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his powerful performance as Andrew Beckett in the movie.

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The journey of creating this film was not easy as the script went through more than 25 major revisions and the film’s subject matter sparked debates. Financially, the film performed fairly well, earning roughly $206 million worldwide, becoming the 9th highest-grossing film of 1993.

Related: “This is his swan song, this is it”: Director Has A Disheartening News For Denzel Washington Fans Ahead Of ‘The Equalizer 3’

Source: FarOut Magazine

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Written by Farhan Asif

Articles Published: 1182

With over 2 years of experience in content writing, Farhan Asif is a seasoned writer at FandomWire where he specializes in bringing the latest news and insights from the world of entertainment and gaming to readers around the world. With over 700 published articles for FandomWire, he has also written more than 750 articles for AnimatedTimes. Apart from this, he has a passion for coding and is pursuing a degree in computer science. During his free time, Farhan loves to play video games and hopes to create a video game of his own one day.