MovieChat Forums > The Wiz (1978) Discussion > Diana Ross "insisted" on doing it.

Diana Ross "insisted" on doing it.


making her even less bankable then she already was. Careful what you wish for.

reply

She also said she could guarantee Michael Jackson too. He was fine as the Scarecrow, she was awful as Dorothy.

reply

Would not casting her have changed anything, or was it doomed with or without Ross.

reply

I would say it was doomed with having Lumet directing, more so than having Ross cast. I also feel that her performance, is largely due to Lumet too. It was way too strained and serious.

reply

Spot on.

reply

you'd think he would have jumped at the offer, even without Ross

reply

Didn't Jackson want to aspire to be like Ross at one stage? She was a big influence in his life and since he was like a child himself, I would say he needed coaxing and influencing.

reply

I remember him in a live interview during his male/female look: "I think I want to do film". Wants to do film

reply

"I think I want to do film". Wants to do film
________________
I 'think' a large part of the 'indecision', would be to do with 'monetary' value. Were they going to come to the party, with the fee asked for? Likely, not so innocent after all.

reply

I was addressing his manner of speech; just sounds unintelligent

reply

She insisted the role was ageless. But she was wrong and they should've told her she was wrong.

reply

[deleted]

[deleted]

If you consider how dark and intense some of the scenes were in this movie with the gritty landscape, she was perfect for role, the Dorothy absolutely should've been an adult in this world not a child.

reply

did the screenplay say it was supposed to be a 40 yr old woman (or however old she was)? She didn't pass for 25 either. I don't think casting is done based on how dark/gritty the landscape is. It worked on Broadway with a a young lead. Was the Broadway play dark and gritty too?

reply

@OP You didn't waste any time, I posted what I posted though, don't get mad and upset.

reply

I'm not upset. I was genuinely asking about the play (I never saw it) so as to compare it to the film's elements. "Absolutely"

reply

No, it was changed for Dorothy to be older when Ross got the part.

reply

http://www.lipstickalley.com/showthread.php/960322-Old-Tea-about-Diana-Ross-s-shenanigans-on-The-Wiz

reply

Nobody cares about a link with a bunch of lies Trashing Diana Ross and how she became Dorothy in THE WIZ.

That link is bogus because NOBODY EVER asked Stephanie Nor signed her to the role in the film, nor even ASKED her to be a part of it. So ALREADY I laughed when I read the first part because those are rumors and LIES that have gone around for years...

How about you look at this link were Stephanie says from HER OWN MOUTH that THEY NEVER WANTED TO SEE HER. Which means she was never promised or probably even ASKED to be a part of it.

Then come back and post how it feels to hear the TRUTH form the horses mouth instead of a bunch of LIES regarding Diana getting casted in THE WIZ from a bunch of stupid *beep*

http://www.nola.com/essencefest/index.ssf/2011/06/stephanie_mills_is_on_the_come.html

reply

Stephanie Mills was only 21 at the time and could have played even younger since she's only 4'9". This could have used a director like Gene Kelly. He had a great hand with musicals.

reply

https://www.datalounge.com/thread/16632101-diana-ross-s-acting-career

It is pretty well agreed that Diana Ross was fantastic in her first film, LADY SINGS THE BLUES. If she hadn't been up against Liza Minnelli she might have won Best Actress in 1972 (and some even thought she was going to win anyway). But her subsequent films were few and far between, and were very poorly chosen: MAHOGANY was ridiculously campy (without knowing it was campy), and she was far too old to play Dorothy in THE WIZ (and her performance in it is terrible). What happened?

reply

Tell me: was she good in MAHOGANY? (haven't seen it) If the answer is no, could it be that LADY was a fluke, and she's not a good actress?

reply

Mahogany suffered from a terrible script and abysmal direction. Not even Ross, Williams, and Perkins could save it. They did the best they could with what they had to work with.

Berry Gordy fired the original director and ended up directing it himself. Big mistake. It had the makings of a good movie, but he ruined it. There are some good scenes and I still enjoy watching it, but some of it's total cringe-inducing.

https://www.tiff.net/the-review/magnificent-obsession-berry-gordy-diana-ross

reply

TMC-4:

Mahogany would have been a better film if certain parts weren't maniacally over the top (I preferred the scenes with folks in the ghetto, and it had a great theme song "Do You Know Where You're Going To" which was a hit,I believe) but it was good for what it was, and Ross was still pretty good in it (she definitely looked like she was having fun, too, which made all the difference.) But its a shame she never did more films---there are actors with far more flops on their resumes than hers that are still working today. That's why I've never understood why only one flop ruined her career,unlike a lot of other actors.

reply

https://www.datalounge.com/thread/18281685-flush-your-acting-career-down-the-toilet!

Diana Ross. After a stellar debut in "Lady Sings The Blues," and an entertaining performance in "Mahogany," she chose to force herself into the role of Dorothy in "The Wiz," which she had NO business portraying. She got the role after much begging and convincing to the producing movie studio, and a very reluctant Berry Gordy. The part was revised from a teenaged Kansas farmgirl to a thirty-something year old Harlem teacher, with additional script modifications to explain why a middle-aged women needed The Wiz experience to "find herself."

Well, the movie was a critical and commercial failure, mainly due to the miscasting of Diana Ross, the reworking of the script to accommodate her now-adult character, and the inability to transfer the magic of a phenomenal Broadway show to the big screen.

"The Wiz" was the last theatrical movie Diana Ross ever starred in. She did two TV movies afterwards. But her acting career was already flushed away for having bulldozed her way into a movie role that she didn’t deserve, and ruining the magic of the story by her appearance.

—Mary Wilson

reply 86 5 hours ago

reply

She pretty much bought the movie and her role.

"You keep him in here, and make sure HE doesn't leave!"

reply

I know I will be in the minority about this one, but I've always liked Diana as Dorothy.

I found it refreshing that they gave us a new version of the character.

reply