Susan Sarandon has revealed she was originally cast in the role played by Cher in their 1987 film “The Witches of Eastwick”, but that Cher convinced the movie’s producers to swap their roles.
While Cher played an earth-goddess sculptress, Sarandon played a straight-laced, cello-playing teacher alongside third “witch” Michelle Pfeiffer and Jack Nicholson as the devil.
In a candid conversation with the film’s screenwriter, reports Page Six, Sarandon explained what took place.
“I initially was cast in Cher’s part, and didn’t find out till I got to L.A. — because I was living in Rome — that I was actually moved to a different part,” she told screenwriter Michael Cristofer. “I had to learn suddenly to play the cello, and I had never played an instrument in my life. They said they would sue me if I left, so I didn’t have much choice!”
Cristofer shared his recollection. “Cher sort of muscled her way into that part,” he agreed, while Sarandon pointed to the film’s producer, Jon Peters, as the culprit.
“That’s Jon… [He] and Cher had a past liaison or something, so that was another element,” said Sarandon of Peters, who was in the news earlier this year due to his short-lived marriage to Pamela Anderson.
However, Sarandon conceded that it all worked out in the end; in fact, she said that everyone in the cast got along so well they all had lunch together each day in Nicholson’s trailer.
However, the shoot wasn’t all sweetness and light, with Sarandon recalling Peters throwing chairs on the set, and director George Miller quitting mid-production — twice.
“There were a lot of reasons why we could not have gotten along, and everybody took a higher road,” Sarandon said.
According to Page Six, reps for Peters and Cher hadn’t responded to a request for comment.