It’s hard to imagine Damien Chazelle’s whimsical musical La La Land — which just nabbed a historic seven Golden Globe awards on Sunday — without Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling at the helm. After all, both actors also scored Golden Globes of their own for their charming performances as an aspiring actress and frustrated jazz musician.
However, the frequent costars — who also appeared together in Crazy, Stupid, Love and Gangster Squad — almost didn’t make it to the screen. In fact, at one point, La La Land was originally set to star a different duo.
“The casting of this movie during the six years it took to get made went through lots of permutations, and it’s true there was a moment where Emma Watson and Miles Teller were doing it,” Chazelle told Uproxx in a September interview. “And neither of those casting things wound up lasting or working out.”
“But I loved working with him in Whiplash. That’s why he and I started talking about doing this one together. And I think he’s an extraordinary actor and I can’t wait to see Bleed for This,” he continued, name-checking the actor’s latest film.
Teller has been open about missing out on the role. The 29-year-old told Esquire that he almost gave up the film War Dogs with Jonah Hill due to scheduling conflicts with La La Land when he unexpectedly found out the film was moving forward without him.
“And I got a call from my agent, saying, ‘Hey, I just got a call from Lionsgate. Damien told them that he no longer thinks you’re creatively right for the project. He’s moving on without you,’ ” Teller said.
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However, the actor shared that there was no animosity about missing out on the hit movie.
“I’m a pretty strong believer that everything happens for a reason,” he told Vanity Fair. “I’m happy Damien made the film he wanted to make … I don’t get jealous of good reviews. There’s movies that were reviewed terribly that I cherish. I think once you start getting envious of accolades, it’s never going to be enough.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, negotiations stalled over Teller’s salary for the movie, and he opted to shoot Allegiant in the interim, leaving little time for him to prepare for the demanding role as a pianist in La La Land.
Watson supposedly chose to take the part of Belle in Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast remake instead, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Teller, however, is determined to one day show off his singing and dancing skills.
He told Vanity Fair, “I will do something musical.”