Before They Were Famous: Robert De Niro, Johnny Depp & Kate Mara
Welcome to “Before They Were Famous“, where we take a look at some of the past exploits of today's biggest stars, be it from movies, television, Broadway, competitions, etc.! The more embarrassing, the better. Our memories are long, but the internet's memory is forever, so jump back in time with us to witness some of our favorite stars before they were marquee names.
Before he starred as a young Vito Corleone in THE GODFATHER PART II, Robert De Niro actually auditioned for the role of Sonny in THE GODFATHER. The part eventually went to James Caan (CAAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), who was nominated for an Oscar in the category of Best Supporting Actor, along with Robert Duvall and Al Pacino; the three eventually lost to Joel Grey (CABARET). De Niro was then slated to play Paulie Gatto, but was allegedly traded to another production, THE GANG THAT COULDN’T SHOOT STRAIGHT, for Pacino. What is this, the MLB?
But don’t feel too sorry for Bobby D. Just two years later, De Niro received his first Oscar nomination and win for his role as Vito. I guess Coppola saw something in De Niro’s audition, or his role in Scorsese’s MEAN STREETS (1973), that kept him close in mind to play a young Marlon Brando.
Badabing! Here is the actual version of the scene from the movie. Who would you have cast in the role?
Remember when Pepsi had great commercials? In the mid 1980s, right around the time when he was cast in A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, Johnny Depp (and his then-girlfriend Sherilyn Fenn) starred in this lengthy commercial for Pepsi. I imagine this spot showed in movie theaters before the trailers started. Has there ever been a more quintessential 80s advertisement? I mean the hair, the clothes, the makeup… all that’s missing is a DeLorean.
We all know Kate Mara (and her sister Rooney) come from a football dynasty. Their father’s side of the family founded the New York Giants and their mother’s side of the family founded the Pittsburgh Steelers. But football must hold another special place in Kate's heart. In 1998, Kate starred in a Super Bowl ad for AT&T. Highlighting the most incredible technology of the late 90s - giant cell phones, beepers, and dial-up internet/e-mail - Kate’s a-hole friends, whose lips were NOT sealed, tell the whole school about her crush on Bobby Templeton. Thanks to the aforementioned “high-speed” communication technology from AT&T, Bobby quickly found out he was the object of Angela’s affection and was waiting in her room when she got home, denim jacket and all. I wonder if he’s a member of Steeler Nation or a supporter of the G Men?
Have a suggestion for Before They Were Famous?
E-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org with anyone you'd like to see featured in future columns!