Anna Nicole Smith was almost cast in 'The Mask' instead of Cameron Diaz to play Jim Carrey's love interest
Smith was almost cast in the role as Tina Carlyle, the glammed-up girlfriend of the film's mobster, Dorian Tyrell, who eventually became the love interest of Jim Carrey's titular role
Imagine the classic comedy, 'The Mask', but without Cameron Diaz. Instead, it is Anna Nicole Smith playing Jim Carrey's love interest. As strange as that sounds 25 years after the release of a film that is still relevant today, recent reports reveal that it was almost a reality. The Dark Horse Comics-based film that cemented Carrey's status as a movie star and simultaneously launched Diaz's career in the industry almost had Smith playing Diaz's role, reveal those involved with the film while reminiscing how the film came to be.
In a recent interview with Variety, director Chuck Russell revealed that he considered, and was quite interested in seeing the '90s icon, Smith, as Tina Carlyle. Tina's character was the glammed up girlfriend of the film's mobster, Dorian Tyrell, who eventually became the romantic interest of Carrey's Stanley Ipkiss/The Mask. Russell explains the change in decision, saying that he "would have had to read her for the part to get that far." He added: "We met. Anna was charming and bubbling but did not have other qualities needed for the role. I never took the next step to run scenes with her."
Back in the '90s, specifically 1994, Smith was quite the sensation, after her appearance on the March 1992 cover of the Playboy magazine. Right after, she bagged a contract as a model for Guess jeans, after replacing supermodel Claudia Schiffer. As her career began taking shape as a model, Smith also decided to extend her expertise into the world of acting. While 'The Mask' didn't happen, she ended up making her film debut in 1994, with the role of Za-Za in 'The Hudsucker Proxy'.
Soon similar roles followed, but sadly Smith wasn't able to break out of the "dumb blonde" persona that she had been typecasted in. Her most significant career point was getting her own reality TV show on E!, called 'The Anna Nicole Show'. Smith died in 2007 following an overdose of prescription drugs.
As for the role of Tina, Russell explained that despite considering Smith, all it took was Diaz's first reading to convince him that she was the only person he wanted to play the role. "I saw Cameron's 8x10 on the casting deck and asked, 'What about her?'" Russell said. "I was told she was submitted but had not acted in anything else yet. I said to bring her in and let's see. [Diaz] was the only person for the part as far as I was concerned after her first reading. And then I saw the chemistry with her and Jim [Carrey]. Eight callbacks later, including improvs with Jim, I finally convinced producers."