Edward Norton Says Janeane Garofalo Is 'Mistaken' for Thinking He Cost Her a Fight Club Role
Edward Norton denies he didn't want Janeane Garofalo to star as his girlfriend in 1999's Fight Club
Garofalo, 55, alleged during an appearance on Yahoo’s Build Series last week that she “was in Fight Club until I just wasn’t,” adding she believed it was due to Norton wanting to cast his then-girlfriend Courtney Love in the David Fincher-directed film.
The actress said she was in talks to star as Marla Singer, which eventually went to Helena Bonham Carter.
Norton responded to her claims in a statement to CNN, saying, “I’m sorry Janeane is under that impression, but if she was serious, she’s really mistaken.”
“David Fincher does exactly what he wants,” Norton, 50, continued. “He makes the call on every dimension of his films, top to bottom. I don’t recall him ever even raising the subject of who he was considering for most other roles.”
Norton added, “The one suggestion I made, he shot down. I was a big fan of Janeane’s so I’d have loved to do a reading with her.”
A rep for Garofalo did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Garofalo recalled the experience, saying, “There were a number of things that happened. I met David Fincher — this is when I was popular, and the directors would want to sit with me and it’s so long ago now, I was popular for a very finite amount of time.”
“During that brief period, I met with David Fincher who just handed me a script and said, ‘If you like it the part is yours,'” Garofalo said. “I read it, called him and said I’d like to do it.”
While the actress may have thought she had her next job lined up, she said she received a phone call from her agent to say Bonham Carter had been cast instead.
“Edward Norton, who is a wonderful, wonderful actor, felt I didn’t have the chops to do it but nobody kind of told me,” Garofalo said. “He may or may not have been correct. And I said, ‘Can I audition with him or for him?’ I was told at the time he wanted Courtney Love to do it because he was dating [her]. And then Brad Pitt said, ‘I’m not going to sign off on that.'”
Garofalo also recounted how years after the film came out in 1999, Pitt, 56, “very kindly said, ‘I’m sorry about what happened with that.'”
“And he had nothing to do with it,” Garofalo added. “ I live right near Ed Norton, I see him all the time, he’s never said anything. In fact, he pretends he doesn’t know who I am when I see him. I see him all the time.”
In his statement, Norton responded to Garofalo, saying, “And if she sees me in the neighborhood I hope she’d come say hi!”