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“I actually think she was better for it”: Tom Cruise’s $273M Cult-Classic Movie Nearly Had Patricia Arquette Before She Blew the Audition for the Role of a Lifetime

paricia arquette tom cruise

Jerry Maguire, often hailed as the last great romantic comedy in cinema, has only recently marked its 26th anniversary, invoking the iconic performance delivered by the ever-reigning king of the box office, Tom Cruise. And like all great classics, the Academy Award-nominated film, truly reserves a history that tells an interesting tale of its behind-the-scene hits and misses, the ongoing debate over its most iconic quote, the divisive genre of the film, and the definitive career best of Tom Cruise.

Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire
Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire

Also read: Must-Watch Tom Cruise Movies if You Liked Top Gun

Patricia Arquette Loses Out on Starring Opposite Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise, the star of the 1996 film by Cameron Crowe, almost found his female lead in True Romance’s Patricia Arquette. And if all had gone according to plan, it would have been her in the role of Dorothy Boyd that eventually went to Renée Zellweger. The actress recently opened up in a red carpet Variety interview at the 2023 SAG Awards about her botched audition for Jerry Maguire:

“I’m a notoriously bad auditioner. Everyone was saying, ‘Oh, this is just a formality, you’re gonna read with Tom Cruise for ‘Jerry Maguire,’ but this is your part, you got it,’ and I blew it. I actually think [Renée Zellweger] was better for it, and she was great.”

Patricia Arquette wins Best Supporting Actress in 2015
Patricia Arquette wins Best Supporting Actress in 2015

Also read: 20 Actors Who Could’ve Played Major Roles Had They Not Messed Up Their Auditions

And Arquette is not the only person who claims to have had a tough time getting their foot in the door with a potentially great film. Actors ranging from Tom Hiddleston (for Pirates of the Caribbean) to John Krasinski (for Captain America) to Tom Holland (for Star Wars: Episode IX) to Jake Gyllenhaal (for LotR) – every great actor has had a story about a bad audition that cost them potentially life-changing roles in career-defining franchises because of a bad day and a slip-up.

Revisiting History: Tom Cruise’s Jerry Maguire Turns 26

Jerry Maguire, the last great rom-com subverted the dominant sports culture of the time that was only beginning to soar to the very peak of its existence, showing the moral senselessness of the industry and simultaneously establishing a new business model that is now certifiably being adopted by Forbes as a sustainable system: the Jerry Maguire model – lesser clients, more efficacy, greater mental well-being. 

Jerry Maguire - 1996
Cameron Crowe & Tom Cruise on the sets of Jerry Maguire [photographed by Andrew Cooper]
Also read: “I really look up to him”: Ben Affleck Had to Take Blessings for $30M ‘Air’ From His Favorite Director as Movie Already Hailed as Modern Day Tom Cruise’s Jerry Maguire

But even as the Tom Cruise film contributes to society even after 26 years, the movie has had its own share of drama to face over the years ranging from the heated debates regarding the origins of the iconic quote, “Show me the money!” to the premise of the film as a complex story that delivers a sense of catharsis through its subject of moral epiphany and ethical dilemma. Jerry Maguire not only substantiates the typecast boy-runs-home-to-girl rom-com setting but delivers a strong message about the abusive system that Black athletes have to navigate in order to fulfill their NFL dream. 

Jerry Maguire is available for streaming on Netflix.

Source: Variety

Written by Diya Majumdar

Having graduated with honors in literature from Miranda House, Diya Majumdar now has more than 1300 published articles on Fandomwire, and her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema. She happens to be a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh, along with an obsessive collection of Spotify playlists