Bette Midler rejected Stephen King film “too violent”

Bette Midler has become Hollywood royalty throughout her nearly 60-year career. And she’s still going on, as she recently starred in the highly anticipated sequel, Hocus Pocus 2 on Disney Plus. But there have also been some big roles that she didn’t take on. One of them was in a horror movie originally written by Stephen King, which she confessed was too scary for her.

Midler recently said Variety she was offered the role of Annie Wilkes in the 1990 thriller Misery. The picture follows a writer (Paul Sheldon, played by James Caan), who is stranded in a blizzard before being taken in by a nurse (Wilkes), his “number one fan”. The crazed fan then forced the writer to create a new manuscript while she tortured him and broke his bones.

Midler recalled that she “just couldn’t” join the cast of Misery. “He was too violent,” he admitted. “The character wasn’t that funny, so he lacked any redeeming qualities.”

She added that there were some parts of the role that were too much for her, specifically the horrible acts that Wilkes carried out on the writer.

Midler also spoke candidly about giving up on another successful franchise: Sister Act. The movie starred Whoopi Goldberg, who also appeared in a sequel. The film grossed a staggering $231 million at the box office on a meager budget of $31 million.

Midler recalled, “They came to me with Sister Act and I said, ‘My fans don’t want to see me in a coif.’ Can you believe that? How weird is that? How crazy is that?

The 77-year-old added that American filmmaker Jeffrey Katzenberg called her “every day” because he desperately wanted her to star in the film.

“I stood my ground,” Midler added. “Because I was really afraid of the costume. Isn’t that amazing? Can I wear anything but a nun’s habit?”

She added: “Whoopi wore it all the way to the bank. So God bless her. And she was perfect for it.”

However, that is not to say that Midler was unsuccessful. In 1979 she starred in The Rose, an American musical drama directed by Mark Rydell. Her performance in the film resulted in a Best Actress nomination at the Oscars that same year.


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