TIL Audrey Hepburn was the first choice for Anne Frank when they were making her movie.
I never read the whole Diaries when was in school. lol I made a BS article and was surprised I passed the homework because I made stuff up and didn’t bother skimming the book XD. Ss now I’m gonna read it along with the Play (and imagine Audrey in the role for the play script)!
I know this was a personally painful experience with what Audrey witnessed in Netherlands during the war so hence why she refused to even consider taking up the part for the movie despite a huge paycheck and even willingness for the studio to up the cash.. But how do you think she’d do for the movie?
To add an even more awesome fact it was Anne’s father Otto who requested Audrey be casted as Anne and even wrote a letter to her directly! But understandably Audrey refused because of trauma from the war.
Oh I forgot since this isn’t a /r/AudreyHepburn and a movie subreddit, believe it or not Audrey lived through World War 2. Because she was a half Dutch of nobility lineage, she was living in Holland just as the Nazis were invading nations across Europe. Beloved relatives of hers were executed by the German military and she witnessed people gunned down in cold blood as a teen. She volunteered to be a message deliverer and spy for the Dutch Resistance…..
And was almost raped because she was captured and sent to a home full of a bunch of rounded up young Dutch girls. Disguised as “servicing German soldiers through Kitchen work”, practically every girl rounded up would be forced into sexual service for German soldiers…. Except for Audrey who escaped by miracle before nasty German soldiers starting entering the inn for “rest time”. She managed to make it home days later unmolested.
Near the end of he war she became so ill. The need for rations caused the German army to round up Dutch supplies, leaving little for the people of Arnhem in the early years to practically nothing as the German military was slowly reaching collapse and gathering every supplies needed for the final stand. So in the final days of German occupation she went through starvation for months and her young body was permanently damaged as a result. She was basically in bed rest when the Allies freed the city.
Her dream all her life was to become a dancer and she was seen by instructors as being out of this world talented…….. But her body was so damaged from malnutrition during the war that when she went to dancig academy after the war in England, she was booted off the training program because she lacked the stamina for prolonged dance sessions. For the rest of her life, the damage from starvation under Nazi occupation didn’t simply end her dream career, but she’d get sick from time to time. Its believed her early death at 60 something was n large part due to malnutrition as a teen.
Oh while we are at it, Audrey was THERE as Operation Market Garden was taking place. She wasn’t at the epicenter of the Arnhem battles but she experienced stuff like bombs exploding in her neighborhood,hearing gunfire from miles away, soldiers on the move, and seeing sounded various times. She was actually the first choice for the Dutch matriarch in the Sean Connery movie A Bridge Too Far but just like with the Anne Frank movie she refused because of horrifying memories from the war.
Since this site subreddit is so related to Jews, Audrey witnessed Jewish neighbors rounded up by the Gestapo and other Nazi military and police, never to be seen again. Is his specific events that sparked the trauma that specifically led her to refuse the role of Anne Frank.
And I will stop here because this is as much as its related to the Holocaust. Her acting career alone is already an epic story, the stuff of legends, but dear God I was so shocked to learn just how incredible Audrey was when I learned about her living through war torn Europe during the War.
While understandably she would never take up the role, I wonder how she’d do as Anne? Not just because she was Otto’s first choice, but as I mentioned regarding her acting career…… She was simpl a top calibre stuff. She not onl won Best Actress for Roman Holiday and was nominated multiple more times, she won a Tony for the original run of Ondine a Best actress. So while the Millie Perkins dd a great job (and this is coming from someone who never bothered reading the whole book but is judging on the criteria as a movie buff)…………….. I can only imagine what a unparalleled performance Audrey would have done in the role!