(Original Caption) Portrait of Bette Davis in the role of Margo Channing for the 1950 Twentieth Century Fox production "All About Eve." Undated publicity photograph.
Movies - TV
Bette Davis' Casting In All About Eve Changed The Entire Way Her Character Was Depicted
It's difficult to imagine anyone other than Bette Davis playing Margo Channing, the aging, acid-tongued theater star that finds her life being stolen out from under her in “All About Eve.” However, comedy queen Claudette Colbert was originally set to play her, and Davis was only cast in the career-reviving role because Colbert suffered an injury while on the set of “Three Came Home.”
With the casting of Davis, Margo became a very different character, and even the themes within “All About Eve” were tweaked to accommodate such a drastically different actress. Director Joe Mankiewicz’s original plan was to emphasize the issue of Margo’s age, but Davis’ involvement put the issue of age in the backseat and allowed some of Margo's spicier qualities to rise to the surface.
Davis played up Margo's bitchiness to spectacular effect, and it's the very reason why audiences can't really picture anyone else as Margo. Her casting may have been a last-minute thing, but it absolutely takes “All About Eve” to another level — and as devastated as Colbert might have been to lose out on the role, she later said that “Bette did a great job!”