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For every blockbuster in Hollywood there are a million more near-misses. What would "Indiana Jones" have been like starring Tom Selleck? How about "The Terminator" headlined by O.J. Simpson? Or "Dirty Dancing" with Val Kilmer?
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... or, back in 1976, Nick Nolte was on a short list of actors, including Christopher Walken and Kurt Russell, being seriously considered for the role of Han Solo in George Lucas' ambitious space epic "Star Wars."
"I think that was a given that [Han Solo] was going to go to Harrison Ford," Nolte told NextMovie at the press day for his new film "Warrior." "In that group of filmmakers, he was their actor. I'd have been kind of a goofy 'Star Wars guy."
Nolte then gave an impromtu, guttural growling performance as Han Solo: "Rrrrmmm-eeechooo-bblllleeeh, look at this planet." (He's probably right about the goofy part.)
There’s at least one disappointed "Star Wars" fan out there who wishes Nolte had landed the hunky action role. Back in 1998, comedian Patton Oswalt appeared on an episode of "Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist" to lament over how the sci-fi series would’ve been 10 times better with Nolte in the Millenium Falcon:
Nolte, who will appear in Robert Redford’s "The Company You Keep" next year, also reminisced about the time Richard Dreyfuss did his spot-on impression of "Lumpy" on the 1986 set of "Down and Out in Beverly Hills."
"Paul [Mazursky, the director] called [George Lucas] 'Lumpy' too," the actor said laughing. "I thought I had made that up and he said, 'No, we all call him Lumpy.’ I didn’t know who Richard was at that time. None of the actors did. Here was Richard pretending he was Lucas, and Lucas was sitting [right] there."
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