Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Inside Bright Eyes? Conor Oberst Reveals He Auditioned For 'Inside Llewyn Davis'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 2, 2014 at 3:41PM

"We had difficulty. I mean, it just didn’t happen until he walked in the room," Joel Coen told Slate laset month about casting Oscar Isaac in "Inside Llewyn Davis." "It’s true that there was a point at which we wondered if we’d written something that was essentially impossible to cast. At first we just met musicians, because it’s a movie about a musician and there’s so much performance in the movie, and because the movie’s success is so contingent on buying this main character as a musician. So we started off just meeting musicians who we thought might be able to play the part. And the problem with that is that — it’s not that they can’t act, but there’s a big difference between acting in a couple of scenes and carrying a whole movie as a leading character. It’s a different order of thing, and that we just didn’t find."
1
Conor Oberst Bright Eyes

"We had difficulty. I mean, it just didn’t happen until he walked in the room," Joel Coen told Slate last month about casting Oscar Isaac in "Inside Llewyn Davis." "It’s true that there was a point at which we wondered if we’d written something that was essentially impossible to cast. At first we just met musicians, because it’s a movie about a musician and there’s so much performance in the movie, and because the movie’s success is so contingent on buying this main character as a musician. So we started off just meeting musicians who we thought might be able to play the part. And the problem with that is that — it’s not that they can’t act, but there’s a big difference between acting in a couple of scenes and carrying a whole movie as a leading character. It’s a different order of thing, and that we just didn’t find."

"Conversely, it seemed just as difficult to find an actor who could — I mean, a lot of actors can play and sing, but we wanted to find one who was musically talented enough to convince you through his performance, repeatedly, that he’s a musician," he continued. "And then Oscar came in. He went to Juilliard, and has been playing music his entire life."

And thank God for the Coens, and for us, that they found Oscar Isaac, because he is Llewyn Davis, delivering not only the sweet melancholy of the character, but also performing the songs in the film fantastically, in one of 2013's best soundtracks. But the question of "what if?" lingers, and here's a scenario to think about: Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst in the lead role. Yup, the indie rock singer has revealed he met with the Coens for the movie.

"I know I told you this when we met, but I tried out for your role in 'Inside Llewyn Davis'—and thank god for everyone that I didn't get it," Oberst told Isaac during their discussion for Interview (via Vulture). "But they auditioned a lot of musicians and actors for this part, to the point where I heard the Coen brothers and T Bone Burnett say that they had more or less given up on the idea of finding someone. And then you appeared."

So, an interesting trivia nugget and one wonders what other musicians will come forward to admit they were once considered to play Llewyn Davis.

This article is related to: Inside Llewyn Davis


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates