“American History X” is the first film that gave Edward Norton a big role, just before shining in “Fight Club”. The actor refused a tempting proposal to a huge director to play this neo-Nazi.
American History X : Edward Norton becomes a neo-Nazi
In 1998, Tony Kaye signed his first feature film: American History X. The story follows Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton) as he transforms into a neo-Nazi after his father is killed by African-American drug dealers. Bruised by this disappearance, the son decides to take his revenge and in turn kills two African-Americans. During a stay in prison, he will understand that he has not taken the right path. When he left, his brother, Danny (Edward Furlong), in turn wanted to join this movement to be like his elder. However, Derek has learned from his mistake and wants to prevent his brother from tipping on the wrong side.
The film allows Edward Norton, early in his career, to confirm the potential that had been seen in the past. The actor transforms, gains muscle, shaves his head and adopts a brawler’s gait to enter the role. Author of a striking performance, it is no surprise that he was nominated for the Oscars. He did not win the interpretation prize, which went into the hands of Roberto Benigni for Life is Beautiful. Among the nominated was also Tom Hanks, thanks to the film We must save the soldier Ryan. Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece dominated the nominations for this edition.
The actor could have worked with Steven Spielberg
Did you know that Edward Norton had rightly turned down one of the main roles to shoot in American History X ? When setting up his cast, the boss of American cinema is seriously considering the actor to play James Ryan. The famous soldier of the title, the last member of a family decimated during the Second World War. The proposal was concrete but the native of Boston preferred to work with Tony Kaye. A choice which may surprise because Steven Spielberg is not just anyone in the 90s. The role will then return to Matt Damon.
In all the careers of stars, you will find missed appointments or missed opportunities. The most interesting thing is to see that these actors still managed to forge a good filmography by missing out on roles in great films. In another genre, we recall thatEdward Norton refused to continue filming in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, when he had started playing the Hulk. When we see the scale taken by the machine, we say to ourselves that he may have missed another great opportunity to change the course of his career.