Lou Ferrigno says he was denied a role in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator because fellow bodybuilder-turned-actor Arnold Schwarzenegger was “jealous” he had been cast.
Ferrigno was originally cast as Tigris of Gaul, but was replaced during production by Sven-Ole Thorsen. It had been thought that Thorsen won the role from Ferrigno because the Hulk actor was too musculature, and the part needed someone chubbier who could play a retired gladiator.
“I don’t think that’s the answer,” Ferrigno said during a press interview at MCM London Comic Con. “Schwarzenegger was jealous and he would rather have his friend because I was more of a threat. That’s what really happened.”
Pressed on Arnie’s intrusion, he continued: “I was in the film, I had auditioned twice and I had the part – the casting agent told me that it had to do with Schwarzenegger. Apparently he was kind of jealous, so they switched roles. But I auditioned twice and I was hired – everything changed once they began filming. And Sven felt bad about it, he’s a good friend of mine.”
Watch the full Facebook Live video of the Lou Ferrigno interview here…