The Forgotten, a Jerry Bruckheimer show set to appear on ABC in the Fall, was going to be Rupert Penry-Jones’ stab at US stardom – sort of. He was to play the part of Alex, a former cop whose daughter was kidnapped and never found, and who now runs a network for identifying dead bodies. You can read all about it in my ABC fall preview.
However, Penry-Jones – and just about every foreign actor in every pilot – was dropped from the show, along with former 24-star Reiko Aylesworth. No reason’s been given but the general assumption is that to save cash, the networks hired cheaper actors from outside the US for the pilots, with the intent of dropping them in favour of bigger, more expensive names once the pilots had gone to series.
Anyway, our Rupe has been talking to Simon Mayo about being dropped from an unnamed US pilot (ie The Forgotten) and what he thought of it.
The odd thing is that he talks about it having been cancelled – implying it’s not being done at all – when as we all know, it’s still on ABC’s books for the Fall and is likely to have Christian Slater playing his part. Rupes trying to make it seem like the show was the issue, rather than him/any foreign actor in the role, or does he know something we don’t know?
Here are some of the things he talks about:
- He didn’t really want to do it, as he’s just moved house to the country and he has two kids
- It was cancelled from under him – ie, it wasn’t his decision
- His agent talked him into it and he was going to be paid a lot of money for it
- Even when he read the script and was doing it, he didn’t think it was very good
- ABC must have thought so, too, given they ‘cancelled’ it
- He’s glad it didn’t pan out
The points about the quality of The Forgotten seem to echo my own thoughts. You can see some footage of Rupes in action in the pilot below and I think you might agree with me (and him):