Tom Hanks fired this actor a few days before the start of filming “Brothers in Arms” because of his “dead eyes”. They meet again 22 years later to discuss this experience…
After Saving Private Ryan in 1998, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks reunited for another World War II project a few years later. But this time, on the small screen.
In 2001, the HBO mini-series Brothers in Arms was released, a fiction considered one of the best in the history of television. The series tells the story of a group of American soldiers from their training in 1942, to the liberation of Nazi Germany in 1945, including their parachuting into Normandy on June 6, 1944.
At the helm of the show: Spielberg and Hanks, and the latter, in addition to being the co-creator, also directed the episode “Crossroads” (1×05) – which is one of the 5 series episodes he directed during his career.
Last minute dismissal
However, a few days before filming for the miniseries began,decides to fire one of the actors.
In the casting of, we find names that are very popular today: Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston, James McAvoy, Andrew Scott, Tom Hardy, David Schwimmer and Michael Fassbender. This list should also include Connor Ratliff, who thought the time was right to make a name for himself in the industry.
Ratliff's role in the show was small: he was to play Private Zielinski who only appears in the episode directed by(and which will ultimately be played by Adam Sims), but it was a great opportunity to break into the business. After a test and a few calls with the casting directors, he joined the project. However, a few days before filming began, the actor received a message from his agent: “You have to take the train to London now! Tom Hanks saw your audition and has doubts. He thinks your eyes are dead”, declared the latter.
then went to London in a hurry to meet . He performed his scene in front of him and the latter thanked him for coming. After a few minutes of waiting, however, the casting director told him that he would not be part of the series. described this moment as one of the worst times of his life, an experience that even made him give up acting for a time.
Things have since changed and we have been able to see the actor in several series including Orange Is the New Black and The Fabulous Mrs. Maisel. He can also be found in Mean Girls, Lolita Despite Me, currently in theaters.
Tom Hanks s’excuse
Their first meeting took place in 2000: 22 years later, in 2022,met again who was a guest on his podcast called… “Dead Eyes”! The actor was thus able to express, directly in front of how his dismissal had affected him and the latter even ended up apologizing, calling this memory “scary story”.
“First let me take full responsibility for what I did to you. It was undoubtedly an act of the director, and it was me“, saidthen explaining that it was “one of those very, very subtle decisions that steers the story in the direction you want it to go.”
Since starting his podcast in 2020,has received many actors such as Seth Rogen, Zach Braff and Adam Scott and directors like Damon Lindelof and Rian Johnson. He even spoke to the son of Colin Hanks, and that's how the Forrest Gump interpreter heard about the podcast.
“I was appalled. I was… Actually, I was cold. My heart rate skyrocketed and I said, I did it…I did what? I did what ?“, added. “In the sanctuary of what that casting session for Brothers in Arms was… I'm sure I said, 'I don't know man, this guy has dead eyes.' I could have said, 'His hair is too blond, he's too tall, and I can't have an assistant taller than Captain Winters.' I could have said, 'He's too short and too thin… I could have said any of those things, and they would have been true and they would have been the opinion.”
He added : “Anyone who has communicated to you what was said, in the sanctuary of this session, with such authenticity, should have their kneecaps broken, because that is… That is not allowed. It's not quotable here. It's unofficial.”
indeed agreed that the comment should not have been forwarded to him, but he attributed it to the chaos of filming. When the actor showed his former actor portrait, the latter declared: “These are not dead eyes. I can just tell now from this black and white 8×10.”
This is the best way to put the finishing touches on this story.
Brothers in Arms can be seen streaming again on Prime Video, via Le Pass Warner. Connor Ratliff can be found in Mean Girls, Lolita Despite Me currently in cinemas.