By Kyle | April 14, 2009
I’d always heard that Richard Dreyfuss was the original choice to play the lead character in my favorite film, “All That Jazz,” but a new bio of Paul Newman by Shawn Levy says Newman was also offered the role. He later was asked how he felt about turning down the part and mimed shooting himself in the head. “It was just dumb of me,” he said. “I was just so stupid, I didn’t take into consideration what the contribution of the director was going to be. That was a terrible oversight.” Not that Roy Scheider did so badly. He turned in magnificent work. It may be the most underrated performance in the history of movies. Levy’s bio of Newman, by the way, billed as the first-ever full-length life of Cool Hand Butch, may not contain a lot of new revelations — but Newman comes off as far from a saint.