Steven Spielberg Risked His $482M Tom Hanks Movie for Drug Addict Actor After Angelina Jolie’s Ex-Husband Refused Role Due to His Own Phobia 

Steven Spielberg Risked His $482M Tom Hanks Movie for Drug Addict Actor After Angelina Jolie's Ex-Husband Refused Role Due to His Own Phobia 
Featured Video

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Saving Private Ryan, a film celebrated as one of the finest and most authentic portrayals of WWII combat. Beyond its cinematic brilliance, the captivating behind-the-scenes narrative of Steven Spielberg’s classic war movie adds further depth to its legacy.

Steven Spielberg Was Against Tom Hanks to Kill Anyone in 'Saving Private Ryan': "I don’t think I want to see John Miller fire his gun"
Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks

Saving Private Ryan follows Captain John Miller (portrayed by Tom Hanks) and his soldiers on a perilous mission to locate Private James Francis Ryan (played by Matt Damon) and bring him home after his brothers’ death in combat. The movie earned widespread acclaim for its authentic depiction of warfare, compelling narrative, and outstanding performances, resulting in multiple prestigious awards, including five Academy Awards.

Also Read: Steven Spielberg Mulled Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones 5 After Transformers Star’s Appearance Failed to Impress Fans: “I’m more comfortable leaving him at this place”


Steven Spielberg Wanted To Cast Billy Bob Thorton

When Billy Bob Thornton turned down the role of Horvath in Saving Private Ryan due to his fear of water, Steven Spielberg approached Tom Sizemore for the part. Sizemore was considering another project, The Thin Red Line, but Spielberg enticed him by offering a choice: work in Australia with Terry Malick or join the team in Great Britain and Ireland alongside Tom Hanks.

Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Do you want to go to Australia with Terry Malick or Great Britain and Ireland with me and Tom Hanks?” Spielberg said to Sizemore. 

Due to Tom Sizemore’s past struggles with drug addiction, Steven Spielberg cast him for the role of Horvath in Saving Private Ryan on the condition that he undergo regular drug tests during filming. Spielberg made it clear that failing a test would result in immediate termination, and he would replace Sizemore and reshoot all his scenes if necessary.

Vin Diesel landed the role of Caparzo in Saving Private Ryan after Steven Spielberg came across his short film “Multi-Facial,” which highlighted the challenges faced by ethnic actors in Hollywood.


Also Read: “That’s a terrifying, perfect movie”: Matt Damon Hails $476M Steven Spielberg Classic as the Best Movie Ever, Despite the Director Himself Hating It

Steven Spielberg Put The Fim’s Cast Through A Boot Camp

Upon joining the project, Steven Spielberg enlisted Frank Darabont for uncredited rewrites of Saving Private Ryan. Darabont’s brilliant suggestion to start the iconic Omaha Beach scene as the second wave of soldiers arrives added a powerful dimension, immersing the audience in the harrowing experience of walking into “Hell on Earth” rather than an empty beach.

Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)

In a departure from the norm, Steven Spielberg made the bold decision to film in chronological order, despite the potentially higher costs. His motivation was to immerse the actors in their characters’ journey, aligning their emotional experiences with those of the characters. By doing so, when Ryan’s character entered the story, he was also the new arrival to the production, deepening the authenticity of the performances.


Before filming Saving Private Ryan, Steven Spielberg arranged a rigorous 10-day boot camp for the cast to forge a genuine sense of camaraderie as a military unit. When a vote emerged among the actors to abandon the camp, Tom Hanks decided to override their decision, recognizing the importance of the training in shaping their performances.

Saving Private Ryan is available for streaming on Paramount+.

Also Read: “They turned him down”: Steven Spielberg Begged to Direct James Bond Movie That Led to Director Exacting Revenge With Harrison Ford’s $2.2B Indiana Jones Franchise


Source: Twitter


Written by Vishal

Articles Published: 976

Vishal Kawadkar is a seasoned writer specializing in writing engaging and informative content on various topics. He is a cinephile with a keen interest in sci-fi and thriller movies and TV shows. With an eye for detail, Vishal likes offering readers a fresh perspective on the latest trends and developments.