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We Almost Lived in a World Where Jodie Foster Played Princess Leia
True Detective star Foster also pointed out her son, Charlie, in the audience during her January 17 Tonight Show interview.
There are many famous Hollywood stories about actors who were nearly cast in an iconic part that was ultimately played by someone else. Britney Spears screen-tested with Ryan Gosling for Rachel McAdam's role in The Notebook, for example, while Eric Stoltz shot multiple scenes as Marty McFly before Back to the Future was recast with Michael J. Fox in the lead. But here's one we hadn't heard: The role of Star Wars' Princess Leia was originally offered to Jodie Foster.
As the True Detective: Night Country star told Jimmy Fallon during her January 17 visit to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, this was in the days when 13-year-old Foster has just risen to fame for her role opposite Robert DeNiro in the film Taxi Driver.
"They were going for a younger Princess Leia," Foster explained. Carrie Fisher, who portrayed Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise until her death in 2016, was 19 when she took on the role.
So why did George Lucas and co. take things in another (wonderful!) direction with Fisher? "I had a conflict," Foster explained. She was doing a Disney movie, and "I just didn't want to pull out of the Disney movie because I was already under contract. So I didn't do it."
Jodie Foster turned down Princess Leia for Freaky Friday
The Disney movie that Foster refers to is Freaky Friday, the mom-daughter body swap film that's since been remade several times, including with Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis.
And Foster has no regrets about her choice—both for her own career, and for fans of the sci-fi franchise. "They did an amazing job. I don't know how good I would've been," Foster told Fallon. "I might have had different hair. I might have gone with a pineapple!"
Jodie Foster's son Charlie supported his mom in The Tonight Show audience
At the top of Foster's interview with Fallon—during which she also shared her memories of hosting Saturday Night Live when the Not Ready for Prime Time Players were the main cast—she also pointed out her son, Charlie, in the audience.
"I was very excited to meet your son, Charlie, earlier in the show" Fallon said, before giving the tall 25-year-old a public shoutout.
"He's wearing my hat," Foster said sweetly.
Foster also played a round of "True Confessions" with The Roots' Tariq Trotter—watch below.