John C. Reilly, one of Paul Thomas Anderson’s regulars (also known as the PTA players) recently told the story of how he talked himself out of being in one of the best films of the year – There Will Be Blood.
“Paul and I talked a lot about it. He wrote me a part for the movie, and I said, ‘Don’t put me in there just because you think you have to, because we’re friends. Put me in there if I’m the right guy to be in there.’ And he thought about it, and he was like, ‘You know what? You’re right. You just talked yourself out of a part.’
Reilly admits that while he is sorry for not taking the part, he’s glad for his close friend’s accomplishment.
“I was really glad. That movie just seems so seamless. It just seems like he discovered this real place.”
Now the question is, what part would Reilly have played if he had accepted the role?