Thirty-three years after the release of “The Witches of Eastwick,” actress Susan Sarandon revealed that Cher stole her role in the dark fantasy-comedy.
In the film, Cher played widowed single mom Alex, a sultry sculptor, while Sarandon portrayed painfully shy Jane. But according to Sarandon their roles were supposed to be reversed.
“I initially was cast in Cher’s part, and didn’t find out till I got to LA — because I was living in Rome — that I was actually moved to a different part.” Sarandon said.
Sarandon was assigned the new role of a divorced music teacher who is seduced by the Devil (Jack Nicholson) alongside Cher and Michelle Pfeiffer. She was told she would face legal consequences for backing out of the film.
“I had to learn suddenly to play the cello, and I had never played an instrument in my life. They said they would sue me if I left, so I didn’t have much choice!”
Seemingly Cher did some seducing of her own, after having a “liaison” with the movie’s producer John Peters, she stole Sarandon’s role.
“That’s Jon … [He] and Cher had a past liaison or something, so that was another element.” She recalled. Screenwriter Michael Cristofer confirmed her assertion, “Cher sort of muscled her way into that part.”
The shoot ended up being a nightmare for all the actors involved, as Peters caused a host of problems on set. “He was difficult, unpredictable and threw temper tantrums,” Cristofer has said. When director George Miller quit the film twice, “it was Jack who held the movie together.”
The actresses had lunch in his trailer every day and ended up getting along so famously, that Sarandon borrowed Cher a dress and wig for a scene. “There were a lot of reasons why we could not have gotten along, and everybody took a higher road,” she remembered.