Cage was too vain for Shrek
Nicolas Cage was up for the role of Shrek, he has revealed.
But he says that he turned down the part of the green ogre with questionable personal hygiene for reasons of vanity.
“We were talking about Shrek and I just didn’t want to look like an ogre,” he said. “Maybe I should have done it looking back.”
Instead, the role went to Mike Myers, who trotted out a dodgy Scottish accent for three more very successful films, ‘Shrek 2’, ‘Shrek the Third’ and ‘Shrek Forever After’.
The role was originally comedian Chris Farley’s, who recorded almost the entire film.
But following his death in 1997, the role was then taken on by ‘Wayne’s World’ star Myers.
It is not the first high-profile role that Cage has turned down in his chequered acting career.
Among the others he reputedly missed out on were Aragorn in ‘Lord of the Rings’, Neo in ‘The Matrix’, The Scarecrow in ‘Batman Begins’, John Bender (Judd Nelson’s role) in ‘The Breakfast Club’ and Willy Wonka in ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factor
Also his for the taking was Harry Dunne in ‘Dumb and Dumber’, but he passed on the role instead opting to take on one of his finest performances, playing alcoholic writer Ben Sanderson in ‘Leaving Las Vegas’.
He was even offered – and accepted – the role of Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson in Darren Aronofsky’s ‘The Wrestler’, but later thought better of it and pulled out.
Mickey Rourke would go on to play the role and receive a Bafta, a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination.
Cage is currently starring in DreamWorks’ animated feature ‘The Croods‘.