'Seinfeld' Fact: George Costanza Was Almost Played By Danny DeVito
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Before Jason Alexander took the screen as iconic ‘90s “bad boy” and summer namesake, George Costanza, it seems yet another actor was in the running for the highly coveted role, none other than our favorite “Trash Man," Batman Villain and twin to California’s ex-Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger -- Danny DeVito.
Yep, in a recent interview with the Inside of You podcast, Alexander detailed the highs and lows of the bi-coastal audition process which helped him snag the highly-covered gig, one that had seemingly gone on for quite sometime before “Art Vandelay” had become the go-to excuse of, well, anyone. By the time he auditioned, he says, it seems that the team had explored several leads for who, exactly, would don those plaid button-ups and a custom voicemail, including some fairly famous faces.
“I lived in New York at the time, all the casting for Seinfeld was being done in LA,” Alexander recalled. “They had seen a gazillion people, I guess for George, some, very famous, who I think had been offered the role who had either turned it down or they got nixxed." One of the star-studded contenders in question? Legendary comedian Chris Rock, and of course, good ‘ol Danny Devito. While the It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia icon was a strong contender, it seems the show's team had yet another frontrunner.
“One of the guys they really liked and I think he said no, was Paul Shaffer,” he explained, noting that he thought the Canadian actor had possibly turned down the role.
Finding little luck in LA with their search for George Costanza, the Seinfeld team decided to head back east in pursuit of the total package – someone who could play a character self-described as disturbed, depressed, and inadequate.
“They were kinda, a little all over the map, and somebody said you know, we should get some New York actors into the mix, so that meant calling a New York casting director," he explained, noting at the time, George was detailed as “a funny sidekick, best friend to Jerry Seinfeld,” with “no real description”
Yet even with this concerningly vague outline of the man, myth, and legend that is George Costanza, Alexander, who was fresh off of his role in Pretty Woman and said he had heard of Jerry Seinfeld, was evidently intrigued, gifting us with the performance we've all grown to know and cherish.
Top Image: Netflix/Shutterstock