John Waters’ cult classic, Serial Mom, might not have been a box office smash, but the low-budget film remains a favorite among movie enthusiasts. The flick is gory enough to entice horror movie lovers but still funny enough to attract more mainstream audiences. In the role of Beverly Sutphin, Kathleen Turner makes the movie what it is. Sam Waterston as Beverly’s completely oblivious husband, Eugene Sutphin, helped the film along, too. Turner and Waterson weren’t the only stars considered for the roles. Reportedly, Waters considered several other high-profile actors before settling on Turner. The part of Eugene almost went to another iconic movie dad.
Before landing on Kathleen Turner, John Waters considered Julie Andrews and Susan Sarandon, among others, for the part
Once John Waters developed Serial Mom, he had the difficult task of finding an actor who could play Beverly Sutphin and make her both likable and a killer. Waters reportedly considered a slew of A-list stars.
According to IMDb, Julie Andrews and Susan Sarandon were top contenders. While Andrews reportedly had little interest in the film, Sarandon was interested. Allegedly, her asking price was too high for the film. While Sarandon’s asking price remains unknown, Serial Mom had a budget of $13 million.
Andrews and Sarandon weren’t the only A-lister considered for the part. According to TV Tropes, Waters thought Mary Tyler Moore, Kathy Bates, Glenn Close, and Meryl Streep would have been good in the role. Producers wanted Waters to consider Jessica Lange and Goldie Hawn.
Cybill Shepherd was almost Beverly Sutphin, too
According to TV Tropes, most of the actors considered for the part of Beverly were never particularly close to getting cast. Cybill Shepherd, however, was. According to the publication, Shepherd was seriously considered for the role but was passed over in favor of Turner because of a previous casting.
TV Tropes alleges that Waters was concerned about Shepherd’s look, alleging she didn’t resemble Ricki Lake closely enough to play her mother. Lake had already been cast as Misty Sutphin. Matthew Lillard was cast as Chip, Eugene, and Beverly’s son.
Chevy Chase could have played the part of Eugene in ‘Serial Mom’
Turner wasn’t the only star that had competition when it came to landing the role. According to several sources, Chevy Chase was once in the running for the role of Eugene Sutphin. While Waterston accepted the job and was perfect in the part, Chase would have been a natural fit, too.
Chase is well known for playing classic movie dads. When Serial Mom debuted in 1994, Chase was in the midst of his iconic run as Clark Griswold. Chase first portrayed Clark in National Lampoon’s Vacation in 1983. He reprised the role in 1985, 1989, and 1997. Chase also took on the part of Jack Sturges in Man of the House in 1995, opposite Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Farrah Fawcett.