February 06, 2010

Alternative You-Niverse

I was skipping around the internets the other night, and came across a blog about actors and the famous roles they had turned down.  There were some that I already knew and some that I didn't.  For instance, did you know that Cary Grant turned down the role of James Bond in Dr. No?  He was producer Albert Broccoli's first choice.  I wonder how that would have been.  Let's imagine ...

Judy, Judy, Judy ... Nah.

Al Pacino, Nick Nolte, Chrisopher Walken and Burt Reynolds all turned down the role of Han Solo in Star Wars.  Yeesh!  Burt Reynolds?  I think Al Pacino would have been okay ...

It Was Barzini all along.

Steve McQueen turned down the role of Sundance in that one movie with Paul Newman (what was the name of that?) because he wouldn't have had top billing.  Steve also turned down the role of Popeye Doyle in The French Connection because he wanted to do LeMans instead. And there are a slew of others too numerous to mention.

I think it would have been fun to see these three in their missed roles.  Cary would have been okay, and his varied career would have continued.  Al's might have taken a completely different course that I wouldn't have liked (No Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, or Heat?).  Godfather III would never have been made.  But come to think of it, that would have been a good thing.  A lot of people would probably disagree with me, but I think Steve McQueen was one of the most over rated actors of his generation. He had no emotion, no range and not much going for him but an ability to look pissed off.  He would have killed "Butch Cassidy" and "The French Connection" at the box office

The point of all this is that there are choices and random events that happen to all of us on a daily basis that guide the course of our lives.  Who knows whether or not what we do at any given moment leads us down a path of destruction ... or glory?  The term for this type of thinking is "Alternative Universe".  A world of "what if".

Take me for example (and since this is my blog, I will). What would have happened if on that Saturday in May, 1974 I had decided not to go to that party?  I probably would have never met Jan, and we wouldn't have been married, and our son would not exist, and this particular house that I'm living in right now would not be here in it's present form.

And that's just one minor decision.  Imagine that repeated thousands of times.  Blows your mind dude ...

If it were possible, would I go back and make an opposite decision, just to see where that would lead me?  Only if I were sure I could find my way back to that point once the other path became too frightening.

Alternative Universes are great for day dreaming, but just make sure to take that bag of mental bread crumbs with you, so you can find your way back.  Because most of us wouldn't want to do anything any differently.

Would we?

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