“He couldn’t even call me”: Charlie Sheen Was Deeply Hurt After Tom Cruise Stole His Role in $162 Million Movie ‘Born on the Fourth of July’

"He couldn't even call me": Charlie Sheen Was Deeply Hurt After Tom Cruise Stole His Role in $162 Million Movie 'Born on the Fourth of July'
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Tom Cruise is Hollywood’s biggest action star. Top Gun: Maverick becoming the second-highest-grossing film of 2022, just behind Avatar 2, cemented his position as the most bankable star of the film industry again. However, he wasn’t always seen as the top A-list actor in the industry. Once upon a time in the 80s, he stole a 1989 film from Charlie Sheen that went on to gross $162 million on a budget of about $17 million and changed the trajectory of his career.


Tom Cruise Stole Charlie Sheen’s Role In Born On The Fourth Of July 

Tom Cruise in Born on the Fourth of July
Tom Cruise in Born on the Fourth of July

As per The Hollywood Reporter, it was Charlie Sheen who was originally set to get Tom Cruise’s role of Sergeant Ron Kovic in Born on the Fourth of July. Apparently, Sheen thought that after collaborating with Director Oliver Stone on the critically acclaimed and commercially successful film Platoon (that grossed $138 million domestically and gave Stone his first Oscar for directing) he was going to be in Born on the Fourth of July. But that didn’t happen. As per Sheen during a 2001 Playboy interview:

“He (Stone) said we were going to have a relationship like Scorsese and De Niro. He said Al Pacino wanted to do the movie (Born on the Fourth of July), De Niro wanted to — everybody wanted to — and ‘I’m going to give you this movie.”

Read More: “As long as you don’t fluff what you’re saying…”: Did Tom Cruise’s Lack of Creative Control Lead to Massive $410M Movie Failure That Killed MCU’s Potential Rival Franchise?

Charlie Sheen in Platoon
Charlie Sheen in Platoon

However, Sheen didn’t get the film. In fact, as per the actor, Stone didn’t even call him to say that Cruise had replaced him. It was his brother and actor Emilio Estevez, who told him the news. As per Sheen:

“Hurt… I wouldn’t have cared if Oliver had called me personally, based on what we’d been through. We fought two wars you know. But here was a crucial point for both of us, and he couldn’t even call me and say, ‘I’ve changed my mind?”

The role changed Tom Cruise’s career and got him his first Oscar nomination in the Best Actor category. But should Charlie Sheen have been given that opportunity instead? Experts have varied opinions on it.

Read More: Tom Cruise Banned His Ex-wife Katie Holmes From Flying With Christian Bale and Her Co-stars While Shooting Batman Begins? Mystery Debunked


Should Charlie Sheen Have Got The Film Instead Of Tom Cruise?

Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise

Jim Emerson, the editor of Roger Ebert’s website, said that it’s understandable why Oliver Stone chose Tom Cruise instead of Charlie Sheen in his film. As per Emerson:

“Tom Cruise was a much bigger name: Risky Business, Top Gun, Color of Money, Rain Man. Did people pay specifically to see Charlie Sheen in Red Dawn, Platoon, Wall Street, Young Guns, Eight Men Out? Not so much.”

Anthony Morris for SBS said that with the role in Born on the Fourth of July, Cruise showed everyone that he could act. Morris wrote:

“It was his (Tom Cruise’s) first real chance to show major audiences that he could really act – that there was more to him than charm, confidence and that thousand-watt smile.”

Read More: Veteran Showrunner Chuck Lorre of Two and a Half Men Fame, Who Was Called a “miserable f**king d***bag” by Charlie Sheen, Donates $30 Million for a New School


But would the success of Cruise’s Ron Kovic role have been replicated by Sheen? Caryn James, an ex-New York Times critic, thinks so. As per James:

“Sheen might have been fantastic in what we know as the Cruise role. He was still, for good reason, taken seriously as an actor. If you look at his career in the late 80’s — Platoon, Wall Street, Eight Men Out — Fourth of July would have kept him on that path.”

However, in the end, the conversation arrived at Sheen’s personal life. Reports of alcohol and drug abuse compiled with allegations of marital discord and violence swerved the actor’s life in a narrow lane that has brought him only shame and anonymity. As Caryn James said, “What a waste of talent.”

Studio 360 host Kurt Andersen said that even if Born on the Fourth of July would have helped him get the same Oscar nomination that Tom Cruise got, the actor would still probably be facing the same situation he is now. Cruise will be seen next in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One while Sheen will be seen in the show Ramble On.


Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One will release on 14 July 2023, and Ramble On has no release date yet.

Source: THR and SBS


Written by Ishita Chatterjee

Articles Published: 628

A literature graduate who loves sharing her views on everything pop-culture and entertainment. Ishita especially loves dreaming about superheroes and comic books when she isn't day dreaming about them everyday either way.