Mandy Patinkin had a ‘disastrous’ audition for the role of The Hunchback Of Notre Dame
For a generation of filmgoers, Mandy Patinkin will always remain Inigo Montoya. The fiery swordmaster in Rob Reiner’s 1987 film The Princess Bride. The actor has since gone on to a distinguished career in film, theater, and music. Patinkin was also in the running to voice the lead role of Quasimodo in Disney’s 1996 classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame. But as the directors of the movie Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise recently explained to Collider during an interview, the actor’s desire to put his own spin on the film’s music did not go over well during auditions.
“He brought his own accompanist. We had a guy there. He was on the piano and everybody who came in and sang, he supplied the music. His accompanist had rearranged the song. This is Alan and [lyricist] Stephen Schwartz in the room!”
“So they played it. And Kirk and I were like huh. You could see Alan and Stephen just turning red and levitating. Like the room behind them was getting dark. And when he finished with the song, I can’t remember who it was, but almost immediately they said. ‘Kirk and Gary do you want to step outside?’ We said, ‘Okay.'”
As it turns out, Mandy Patinkin had a habit of taking the compositions of songs he was supposed to sing and rearranging them as he saw fit. This part of the actor’s creative process did not go over well with the rest of the film’s team, and led to a legendary shouting match that is remembered to this day.
“We could hear an animated discussion happening behind the door and then Mandy Patinkin came back out, ostensibly to work with us on a little bit of the dialogue. He was going to read a dialogue scene, because he hadn’t yet for his audition. We were supposed to give him some feedback and talk about the character. He was very gracious with us and he’s talking with us and nodding and a little bit intense. Then, in mid-sentence, Gary and I were talking and at one-point Mandy goes, ‘Guys, I’m really sorry, I can’t do this.’ And he turns on his heel and he goes back into the room and shuts the door. Then the fireworks really started. The walls shook.”
“Mandy chewed out Stephen so bad that Stephen was so pissed that he got up and left. Stephen gets in the elevator and he’s gone. And then Alan has to go talk him off the ledge. So Alan puts on his coat and his scarf and he’s out of here. So now we’ve lost Mandy, we’ve lost Alan, and we’ve lost Stephen. We’re sitting there in this smoking crater.”
Fortunately, the team behind Disney animated classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame were able to recover from the incident and get to work bringing in new voice actors who would not feel the desire to rearrange the music on their own. The film went on to draw great critical acclaim upon release, while Patinkin brought his intense energy over to his role in Homeland, with much better results. This comes to s from Collider.