In 1976, John Guillermin tackles the rehabilitation of “King Kong”! The film highlights Jessica Lange who got the role of an actress well known today but considered too “ugly” at the time by the producer.
King Kong: a rehabilitation of John Guillermin
Released in 1976, King Kong was directed by John Guillermin and produced by Dino De Laurentiis. The 1933 film rehash returns to the story of the giant gorilla. Despite a bad reputation, the film actually had a major commercial success.
In search of the island of the skull which is supposed to have an oil deposit, the company Petrox sends one of their employees. A scientist, convinced of the existence of a monster, infiltrates the team which will end up also collecting a castaway, Dwan. After a tense encounter with the natives, they will eventually capture Kong and bring him back to New York. The monster that has set its sights on Dwan escapes in pursuit of the young woman, sowing destruction and chaos in its path.
Meryl Streep: “too ugly”
If since the film has undergone Several-Rehabilitation, the 1976 version revealed Jessica Lange. Yet at the time, another well-known actress tried to get the role: Meryl Streep. But if today the actress has a solid reputation, this has not always been the case. In the 70s, the young actress was not yet so famous.
Then a beginner, Meryl Streep is introduced to Dino De Laurentiisproducer of King Kong, by her son who had seen her play in a play. Eager to embody Dwan, the actress, since Oscar winner, then presents herself to the casting. A humiliating encounter but also memorable since seeing the actress the director then exclaimed in Italian: “Why did you bring me that nasty thing?“. Unfortunately for him, Meryl Streep is fluent in Italian and does not have his tongue in his pocket. Also, the actress did not hesitate to answer: “I’m sorry I’m not pretty enough for King Kong” before leaving the room.
Today Meryl Streep has nothing left to prove! With 3 Oscars, 9 Golden Globes, 2 BAFTAs, and more than twenty nominations for various American and international awards, she is the most nominated performer in Oscars history, male and female alike. It is the same for the Golden Globes where she has 30 nominations.