Brad Pitt, you owe Geena Davis big-time — and not just because you stole all her getaway money in “Thelma & Louise.”
On Thursday’s episode of BBC America’s “The Graham Norton Show,” the Oscar-winning actress revealed that she auditioned with three other actors to play conman cowboy J.D. opposite her Thelma in the 1991 Ridley Scott classic. And it was Davis who gave the thumbs-up to Pitt for the breakout role that sent him on his way to becoming one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
After Norton said that “Brad Pitt owes his entire career” to Davis, she told the story about how she was transfixed by Pitt’s talent — and no doubt, his fair-haired hunkiness — when she auditioned with him after first reading with the three other finalists, who all had brown hair.
“The fourth one who comes in is Brad Pitt, and he’s so charismatic and so incredibly talented that I was, like, screwing up his audition,” said Davis of being mesmerized by Pitt. “I’d forget to say my lines.”
Then when Davis was asked for her opinion on the finalists, she gave “the blond one” as her hands-down pick. And the rest is Hollywood history.
Although Davis didn’t know who the other finalists were at the time, she revealed that they included “Avengers” star Mark Ruffalo and Grant Show of “Melrose Place” and “Dynasty” fame. And Davis ended up having a chance encounter with the fourth finalist when she sat next to him on a plane a few years after he auditioned.
“This gentleman was very friendly,” she recalled. “And finally he said, ‘You know, I hate Brad Pitt.’ I said, ‘No, you don’t — he’s, like, a really good friend of yours.’ He said, ‘No, I hate him, because he got the part.’ ”
But Davis didn’t remember her seatmate from the audition. “I said, ‘Oh, did you want the part?’ And he said, ‘You couldn’t tell when I auditioned with you?’ And it was George Clooney.”
This story originally appeared on NY Post