Jonathan Demme’s 2008 “Rachel Getting Married” was a critical success and even pulled in about $13 million at the box office. The film has an 85% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and nabbed an impressive 37 awards on the festival circuit. Anne Hathaway scored her first Oscar nom for her work as Kym, the titular Rachel’s troubled sister.
And why shouldn’t the film and its stars have received so much acclaim? Look at the cast: in addition to Hathaway, Demme lined up Anna Deavere Smith, Rosemarie DeWitt, Bill Irwin, and even TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe as Rachel’s groom, Sidney.
As it happened, that last piece of casting almost wasn’t to be. In a recent interview with Stereogum, Adebimpe reveals scheduling conflicts prevented Demme’s first choice from joining the project, and the prospective Sidney might surprise you.
“Oh, and the other funny thing about it was later, Jonathan [Demme] was telling me: he said, ‘Yeah, you know, originally we tried some people out for the part, and before you, P.T. Anderson was going to do it but he got caught up in a project he had to do.’ I think the project ended up being something like ‘There Will Be Blood,’ or something [laughs].” Adebimpe said. “We just started talking about him and how much we both liked him and Jonathan was like ‘yeah, that guy knows more about film than I do! I was [working] in the ’70s and I was making some of the movies that he was talking around. I had no idea what was going on around me. He’s like a living library of film.’ It was like a double-edge thing where it’s like, ‘I’m glad I got this role, I don’t know how I feel about that, though.’ I don’t know how I feel about [filling in for] P.T. Anderson.”
How different might the film have been had Paul Thomas Anderson filled the role instead? Given the size of Sidney’s part, we don’t think the change would have been too drastic, but man, that could have been interesting. Nonetheless, Adebimpe was great, and we’re looking forward to catching him in the upcoming flicks, “Nasty Baby” and “7 Chinese Brothers.”