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ANNA FARIS, OVERBOARD
The original Overboard —which sees Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell portray a spoiled heiress and struggling carpenter, respectively — has inspired a 2018 remake, which has Faris take on Russell's role in the film about a blue collar worker who gets the last laugh when her adversary gets amnesia.
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GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
The major female villain role in the new Star Wars – Captain Phasma, a devious Stormtrooper – was originally conceived as a man. Not that Christie knew: "Really?" she said, when she found out from New York Magazine writer Kyle Buchanan, who'd gotten the scoop from co-writer Lawrence Kasdan. "It's so interesting, because I'm really uncovering more about this film from people like you than I knew before!" she replied. "Please just tell me everything he said!"
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JULIA ROBERTS, SECRET IN THEIR EYES
The Oscar winner's latest part was written for a man – but it's not the first role of that nature she's perused. "Of all the ones that have been offered, none have really kind of spoke to me or interested me at that time. This was something that did," Roberts recently told reporters. In this case, her character Jess is an amalgam of two male characters from the original Argentinian film. "It takes two men to make one me," she joked.
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SANDRA BULLOCK, OUR BRAND IS CRISIS
"Initially, it was written with George Clooney in mind," Bullock told Entertainment Weekly of her tough-as-nails role as "Calamity" Jane Bodine. "About two-and-a-half years ago I just put out the feelers saying, 'I'm not reading anything I'm excited about. Are there any male roles out there that they don't mind switching to a female role?' " The interest paid off.
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JESSICA CHASTAIN, INTERSTELLAR
"Maybe because my eldest child is a girl, I decided to change Murph into a girl," Interstellar director Christopher Nolan told Dazed of Chastain's character. "I found that came very naturally to me, writing that relationship between a father and a daughter."
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ANGELINA JOLIE, SALT
Tom Cruise was originally offered the lead role in the action film before it went to Jolie. The actress has always been interested in strong roles, as Salt producer Lorenzo di Aventura remembers. "It's true that [former Sony executive] Amy Pascal had joked to [Angelina] about her being a Bond Girl one day and Angelina really said, 'No I don't want to be a Bond Girl. I want to be Bond,' " he shared.
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JANE LYNCH, THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN
The swap in the mega-hit comedy came about after Steve Carell's wife advised the crew to add another woman to the cast, prompting Lynch to come read for the store manager role. "We improvised, we had a good time and they cast me," Lynch told Marlo Thomas in a video interview. Interestingly, her part in The Fugitive was also initially written with men in mind.
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JODIE FOSTER, FLIGHT PLAN
According to Foster, the role of Kyle Pratt, an aircraft engineer and mother whose daughter mysteriously disappears on a flight from Berlin to the U.S., "just didn't ring true with a man. It is true that women tend to typically have a problem differentiating between themselves and their children," Foster told MTV. "They kind of don't know where their kids stop and where they start, and it's hard to explain that to people."
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SIGOURNEY WEAVER, ALIEN
The decision to make Alien's protagonist a woman was a good one: Not only was Weaver a total badass on screen, but Entertainment Weekly echoed the sentiment when they called Ellen Ripley "one of the first female movie characters who isn't defined by the men around her, or by her relationship to them."
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