Sherry Lansing, the first female studio boss, has a lot to reveal in her new biography from author Stephen Galloway.
The Hollywood Reporter has exclusive excerpts from Galloway’s book about Lansing’s career in Leading Lady: Sherry Lansing and the Making of a Hollywood Groundbreaker. She reveals the on-set fights between Glenn Close and Michael Douglas while filming “Fatal Attraction” and all the drama that surrounded Angelina Jolie while filming “Tomb Raider”.
While filming her action blockbuster “Tomb Raider” there were concerns regarding Jolie’s “fragility” and supposed drug use. According to Lansing, her father Jon Voight and family-friend Jane Fonda called her to warn that the actress was fragile. She also reveals that Jolie went through random drug testing and that Bobby Klein was hired to supervise her.
Jolie was more than okay with being tested for drugs as she wanted to prove she was fine to do the job as required. Director Simon West revealed that Jolie was adamant about proving herself. “She said: ‘Look, I want to do it, but I know what my reputation is, and I’ll do anything you want to prove that I’m worthy. I’ll be reliable, and I’ll turn up, and I’ll work hard,’” said West. “She said, ‘I don’t care if the studio wants to drug test me every day,'” he revealed.
Former Paramount president John Goldwyn revealed they did end up drug testing her as they were concerned. “We were sufficiently worried that we obliged her to undergo random drug tests — and not just urine tests but also blood tests,” he said.
Lansing also disclosed secrets from the set of “Fatal Attraction” and how tumultuous filming was. Lansing revealed that there were other actresses in contention before they landed on Close. Her first choice? Barbara Hershey. Unfortunately, she wasn’t available. Other possibilities included: Isabelle Adjani, Debra Winger, Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jessica Lange. All of them considered but turned down the role.
She also revealed there were big onset fights between the film’s director, Adrian Lyne and Michael Douglas. Lyne was demanding according to Lansing and during filming, the two had an altercation about production delays. “I start yelling, and he comes right back at me. I thought he was going to murder me. He let me have it more than I was giving him. It was absolutely this cathartic shouting match. He was somebody not to mess with. I remember thinking, ‘F***, that’s his dad in there,’” Lyne revealed about his fight with Douglas.
“Adrian got nuanced performances. But that need for perfection could drive a producer crazy. Stanley would threaten him, ‘Shoot the damn scene or we’re moving on,’ and then Adrian would yell at him. The three of us had operatic screaming fights,” Lansing said.