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Kurt Russell Secretly Wanted a VERY Different Job

Since the 1970s Kurt Russell has been one of Hollywood’s leading men. Kurt has starred in a plethora of films as the leading man including Escape From New York, Big Trouble In Little China, and Tombstone. If you want to know some amazing facts about the actor Kurt Russell, you’re in luck. In this video, we’re going to tell you about 8 incredible Kurt Russell facts that you may not have heard anywhere else before.

You’ll be able to amaze your friends and family with your Kurt Russell trivia knowledge. Make sure you watch the entire video to find out how Kurt feels about anyone else playing the iconic Snake Plissken in a possible Escape From New York remake, why he turned down Star Wars, and what happened to his hopes of a professional baseball career.

As a young man Kurt Russell dreamt of becoming a professional baseball player. Kurt was born on the 17th March 1951 in Springfield, Massachusetts. His parents Bing and Louise Russell then moved the family to Thousand Oaks, California. It was here that Kurt grew up and developed his love of baseball. Kurt’s father, Bing, inspired the young Kurt Russell as he was both an actor and later Bing became an owner of a minor league baseball team, the Portland Mavericks.

A Professional Baseball Career

As a young man, Kurt acted and pursued a professional baseball career. Russell appeared in films made by the Disney studio following a 10 year contract with Disney. Kurt starred in Disney films including The Computer Wore Tennis Shows in 1969 and The Strongest Man In The World in 1975. Sadly, in 1973 a shoulder injury ended Kurt’s burgeoning baseball career, so he began concentrating on acting full-time. Russell later tells the story about the doctor delivering the news that he could no longer play baseball. The doctor asks Kurt “Aren’t you also an actor?”, Kurt replies that he is and the doctor responds “Well, you’re an actor all the time now.”

Turned Down A Part In Star Wars

Incredibly Kurt Russell turned down a part in Star Wars. Although at the time Russell couldn’t have known how big a movie Star Wars would be both then and today with Disney carrying on the huge franchise that Star Wars has become. In 1975 George Lucas was auditioning actors for various roles. Kurt was auditioning for the roles of either Han Solo or Luke Skywalker. At the same time, Kurt is auditioning for Star Wars, he receives an offer a role on a TV show called The Quest. The Quest was a western TV show that wanted Kurt Russell to be the star.

To make a decision Kurt asked George Lucas to confirm if he want for Star Wars and if so, which part. George replied “I don’t know which part I prefer you in, I don’t know if I like you as Han and this guy as Skywalker, or this guy as Han and you as Skywalker. I don’t know.” As Lucas couldn’t give Kurt a definite answer, Russell decided to star in the TV show The Quest. Sadly, for Kurt, The Quest only ran for one season but as we all now know Star Wars turned into a blockbuster franchise!

Acting Career In Disney Films

After starting his acting career starring in Disney films, Kurt then moved onto more adult roles starting with the 1979 TV miniseries Elvis with Kurt as the title character. This role earned Kurt Russell a nomination for an Emmy award in 1979 and was the beginning of his long-time collaboration with legendary director John Carpenter. After appearing in Elvis, Kurt also starred in Escape From New York, the 1995 sequel Escape From L.A., and The Thing in 1982. All directed by John Carpenter. Kurt Russell involves in other projects involving Elvis Presley or The King if you prefer.

As a child he appeared in the 1963 film It Happened At The World’s Fair which included a scene that sees a young Kurt kick Elvis in the shins! Next, he played a criminal that was an Elvis impersonator in the 2001 movie 3000 Miles To Graceland. Finally, in the smash hit 1994 film Forrest Gump Kurt Russell agreed to dub over the actor playing Elvis Presley as a personal favor to the director Robert Zemeckis. Zemeckis and Russel knew each other after previously working together on the 1980 black comedy Used Cars. Zemeckis was the director with Russell playing the lead role of Rudy Russo.

Next, hear how the 1988 movie Bull Durham should have starred Kurt Russell. First, if you’re enjoying these amazing Kurt Russell facts, be sure to like the video and subscribe to our channel for more videos! Don’t forget to click the bell and never miss a video again!

Bull Durham In 1988

The 1988 hit movie Bull Durham writes by writer and director Ron Shelton with Kurt Russell in mind to play the lead role of veteran baseball player Crash Davis. Kurt Russell, and his father Bing Russell, had a strong background in baseball with Kurt very nearly building a career as a pro baseball player. Sadly, due to injury Kurt’s baseball career ended early and in the case of the movie Bull Durham the studio blocked Kurt’s casting as Crash Davis. Instead the role of Crash Davis went to Kevin Costner and went on to be a commercial success, grossing over $50 million dollars in North America.

When Kurt Russell agrees to star in the 1994 movie Stargate, he receives a pay twice his going rate. Why did the studio want Kurt so badly for this movie? Well, the studio wanted an actor that appealed to an audience and had zero unlikability. According to a 2016 interview Kurt Russell did with GQ, Kurt explains that the studio conducts market research to find the actor that considers universally likeable. They wanted an actor with zero unlikability. The resounding answer they got, Kurt Russell. This meant the studio offered Kurt twice his going rate because he was going to play a character that was unlikeable. Even though the character was unlikeable the studio still wanted the audience to like the actor that played him. Kurt finished the interview with GQ by confirming the research was conducted a long time ago so numbers may have changed since then!

1993’s Tombstone

A modern classic of the Western genre is 1993’s Tombstone directed by George P. Cosmatos. However, in a 2006 interview with True West magazine Russell explained that he did most of the directing after Kevin Jarre’s departure from the project. Kurt Russell did this without adding his name as director, instead choosing to leave Cosmatos listed as the movie’s director.

This is apparently an arrangement Cosmatos also agreed to with Sylvester Stallone when making Rambo: First Blood Part 2 in 1985. Since then Kurt Russell has stated he doesn’t want to discuss what happened on the set of Tombstone. Russell said “Publicly, I have no interest in tainting anything about Tombstone. The credits are what the credits are, and I will leave it at that.” Make of that what you will, but it would seem like Russell was more involved in the making of Tombstone than he was ever credited with.

Kurt Russell is an avid fan of flying and even has his own pilot license after starting pilot training with his grandfather in 1988. In 1997 he was flying his plane along with Oliver Hudson. Oliver is Goldie Hawn’s son that Kurt Russell has raised as his own. Whilst flying they saw 6 lights forming a perfect V shape appear over the airport.

Iconic Lines

In an interview with the BBC Russell describes what they saw that day “I saw six lights over the airport in absolute uniform in a V shape. Oliver said to me – I was just looking at him, I was coming in, we’re maybe a half-mile out – and Oliver said, ‘Pa, what are those lights?’ Then I kind of came out of my reverie and I said, ‘I don’t know what they are. He said, ‘Are we OK here?’, And I said, ‘Yeah, I’m gonna call in,’ and I reported it.” This incident was witnessed by several others at the time across several different locations and is now known as the Phoenix Lights incident. However, It wasn’t until 2017 that Russell decided to go public with his sighting and explain what he saw that day.

Snake Plissken

One of Kurt Russell’s most iconic career performances was that of Snake Plissken. Kurt played Snake in the 1981 movie Escape From New York and reprised the role in the 1996 sequel Escape From LA. In recent years there have been talks about remaking Escape From New York with a new actor to be cast as Snake Plissken. When asked how he felt about this in 2017 by Entertainment Weekly, Russell Replied “I didn’t play Snake Plissken. I Created him!”. When asked if he would consider a cameo appearance or playing a supporting role in a remake, Kurt firmly responded “I am Snake Plissken!” It’s fair to say Kurt Russell is only interested in playing Snake Plissken himself should a remake of Escape From New York happen. Despite been 69 years old, there is no doubt Kurt could still play this role!

That ends our list of 8 incredible Kurt Russell facts. Which fact did you like best: Kurt turning down Star Wars or the fact he has his own pilot license? Let us know in the comments. And if you learned a new Kurt Russell fact in this video, make sure to hit the like button and subscribe to Facts Verse for more videos!

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