Belfast Telegraph

Voight: Arnie to make me Superman

Jon Voight has said Arnold Schwarzenegger offered to help him bulk up so that he could play Superman in 1978.

The Deliverance star said he had been offered the role by the director Richard Donner but felt that he didn't look right, leading Richard to get him on the phone with bodybuilder Arnie.

He explained: "Richard Donner, who did all those wonderful Supermans, and is such a good director... I met him and he asked me to do it. I explained to him: 'Richard, I don't have the physicality to play the character. I'm not right for it.'

"He said: 'Will you do me a favour? Talk to a friend of mine. Do you know who Arnold Schwarzenegger is?'. So I said 'Yeah, I know who Arnold is and I think he's terrific'.

"He gets Arnold on the phone and he says (adopting Schwarzenegger accent): 'Jon, listen! Take the part!'. I said, 'Arnold. I'm not right for it'. He said: 'Take the part. In two months I make you as big as a house!'. I said 'Arnold. I don't want to be as big as a house!'. It was a cute conversation and Arnold was very charming, and enthusiastic, and he was trying to help his buddy."

But Jon, 75, said there was no truth to the rumour that he'd turned down Richard Dreyfuss's role in Jaws.

He said: "That's a myth. I met with Steven Spielberg on the advice of Goldie Hawn to make this piece that he made about cars... and there was a heist.

"He offered me not the lead in Sugarland Express, but [the role of] this kind of hayseed Sheriff in it. It really wasn't much of a role, and I turned that down, but I don't remember turning down the Dreyfuss character, and I can't think of anyone that could have done it better. I certainly couldn't have done it better than Richard."

:: Jon also stars in TV's Ray Donovan, with Season 1 available on Blu-ray and DVD from June 2

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