‘Sixteen Candles’: Why Viggo Mortensen Lost the Role of Jake Ryan (Even Though Molly Ringwald Wanted Him)

by Jeremy Spirogis
Sixteen Candles Blu-ray

Viggo Mortensen did properly for himself, ultimately starring within the Lord of the Rings movies and the Oscar-winning Green Book. Back in 1984, he was nonetheless a struggling actor. One of the massive films Mortensen didn’t get was the John Hughes basic Sixteen Candles. His would-be co-star, Molly Ringwald, was pulling for him, however she didn’t have sufficient clout to veto the casting director.

Sixteen Candles Blu-ray
Sixteen Candles Blu-ray | Arrow Video

Casting director Jackie Burch gave an interview on the brand new Arrow Video Blu-ray version of Sixteen Candles. She informed the story of Mortensen’s audition and why she solid Michael Schoeffling as an alternative. 

Molly Ringwald was all the time going to be in ‘Sixteen Candles’

When the casting course of started, Burch knew Ringwald was going to star. Ringwald performs Samantha, a lady whose mother and father overlook her 16th birthday. She would go on to star in two extra Hughes movies, The Breakfast Club and Pretty In Pink.

“He had written it for Molly Ringwald,” Burch mentioned. “He had seen her in her first film so when he sat down to write down Sixteen Candles, he wrote it with Molly in thoughts. So we knew one which individual was solid.”

Molly Ringwald wished Viggo Mortensen in ‘Sixteen Candles’

Years later, Ringwald let or not it’s identified that she noticed Mortensen. In a 2011 Access Hollywood interview for her ABC Family collection The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Ringwald discussed the alternate casting potentialities for Sixteen Candles.

Anthony Michael Hall and Molly Ringwald | Steve Kagan/The LIFE Images Collection by way of Getty Images

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“I really wanted [Viggo Mortensen],” she informed Billy Bush. “He made me weak in the knees. He really did.”

Viggo Mortensen was not a teen hunk

Viggo Mortensen simply wasn’t proper for the position of Jake, the dreamboat love curiosity in Sixteen Candles. He would make his function movie debut as an Amish man in 1985’s Witness, after the TV film George Washington.

Viggo Mortensen in WitnessViggo Mortensen in Witness
L-R: Alexander Godunov, Lukas Haas, Harrison Ford and Viggo Mortensen | Sunset Boulevard/Corbis by way of Getty Images

RELATED: ‘Lord of the Rings’: How Viggo Mortensen Impressed the Studio and Saved the Movies

“I did meet Viggo Mortensen,” Burch mentioned. “He came in and read for Jake and I remember saying to him, ‘I hear an accent.’ He was so quiet. He didn’t want me to hear his accent. I just didn’t think he was right. I thought he was really interesting but I didn’t think right.”

Jackie Burch went with Michael Schoeffling for ‘Sixteen Candles’

Sixteen Candles was Schoeffling’s first film credit score after an additional position in Racing with the Moon. He solely acted till 1991. 

Sixteen Candles star Michael SchoefflingSixteen Candles star Michael Schoeffling
Michael Schoeffling in Sylvester | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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Schoeffling had been a mannequin. Schoeffling had such a sweetness about him. Even although he was very shy, even when he got here in for the producers, he was very low key, very unhappy. He simply had dental work and that’s why he was low key. I simply knew he might do it. There was one thing about him, he was an actual individual. In life, he dropped out of the business. He did a pair extra issues after that [but] he simply wished a traditional life. He didn’t need the Hollywood scene.

Jackie Burch, Sixteen Candles Blu-ray

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