Princess Leia came this close to singing and dancing. As with her role in Star Wars, Carrie Fisher had George Lucas to thank for getting considered for Grease.
Of course, the role eventually went to Olivia Newton-John instead.
Kleiser and Lucas’ friendship reportedly traced back to their days as students at the University of Southern California. Mental Floss also noted that Kleiser starred in Lucas’ short film Freiheit from1966.
Lucas apparently shared dailies — unedited footage from the Star Wars shoot — with Kleiser. But since the footage wasn’t extensive enough for Kleiser to get a grasp on Fisher, the Grease director allegedly didn’t pick Carrie Fisher. He also didn’t know whether she sang and danced.
Conversely, Marie Osmond turned down a chance to play Sandy.
“You turned down the role of Sandy in Grease, famously,” Andy Cohen said to her during an interview on his Watch What Happens Live show in April 2016. “Did you ever regret that?”
“Well, they asked me first, and the script was a lot edgier. Sandy was not a nice girl,” Osmond replied. “But obviously they liked Olivia better than me, because they toned down [the character] for Olivia.”
Andy Cohen in April 2016.
Carrie Fisher Turned Down a Ghostbuster Too
Meanwhile, Carrie Fisher turned down another role too: as the wife of Dan Ackroyd.
Fisher called off her engagement with the Saturday Night Live legend in 1980 to get back together with her former boyfriend, Paul Simon, Entertainment Tonight reported in January 2017.
“We had a great time,” Ackroyd reportedly said. “[Carrie Fisher] was also in love with Paul Simon. She married him but I hope she kept my ring.”