MovieChat Forums > Labyrinth (1986) Discussion > Dodged a bullet by not casting Michael J...

Dodged a bullet by not casting Michael Jackson


He, along with Sting, Prince and Mick Jagger, were other considerations for Jareth.

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Bowie was perfect for Jareth. Can't imagine anyone else playing him.

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Totally agree. Give or take Prince, who wasn't as good an actor as Bowie but who I nevertheless adore from a musical perspective, Bowie is probably my favourite of the various options.

That said, I could see Sting in the part (although I doubt the music would have been as good).

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It's true, Sting can act if he takes the trouble, and he can come off as arrogant and slightly creepy, as the role requires.

However, he wasn't nearly as photogenic as Bowie, or as sexy. So the producers got that one right.

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That's interesting, because even though I'm a bigger fan of Bowie, I always thought Sting was more conventionally good-looking.

Bowie was extremely attractive, and certainly sexy, but in a very androgynous, almost alien, sense (which admittedly suited the part of Jareth).

They definitely cast the right rock icon for the role, but as a second-choice Sting definitely could have pulled the part off (see Dune, and Brimstone and Treacle, where he plays an utterly hateful POS).

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I think Bowie was a very good-looking man (from the neck up), and extremely photogenic. He actually downplayed his looks during his rock star days, with weird hair and makeup and clothes, but once you took away all that there was a classically handsome face underneath.

With a creepy air that made him right for playing vampires and faery kings. If the Lord of the Rings movies had been made a few years earlier, he'd have been perfect for the role of an elf-lord.

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Elrond: absolutely.

But I think he could have taken on Gandalf as well... Every performance I've seen by Bowie I'm always impressed by his acting skills.

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He was a damn good actor and photogenic enough to be a movie star, in fact, I have an old post over on the Bowie board asking why he didn't become one. Everyone there said he had better things to do.

That said, Bowie would hsvd made a sucky Gandalf, he just wasn't warm and grandfatherly, enough. But he would gave made a perfect elf-lord, he always read as cool, regal, and knowing it all.

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The others could be great for something else but Jareth was meant for Bowie. Everything Jareth was, in appearance, acting, singing, just exudes from him as if he had been born to play the role.

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MJ couldnt come across as evil enough for the role, which is probly how he got away with so much

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Probably, but even before we knew what we now know about him, he could still give off a somewhat creepy, off vibe (see, for instance, 'Thriller', assuming one can stomach watching it right now).

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not really , the actual lyrics take on an even more horrific meaning these days...

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Excuse me, but you don't seem to "know" anything. Stop spreading those lies!

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Bullshit! Stop spreading those lies!

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Yeah, while MJ was a good singer and dancer, I don't think he had the acting chops for this.

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Yeah, it would not have aged anywhere nearly as well.

I could see Sting doing it because he's less of a "personality", and Prince might have made it a bit of a fun novelty film, but Jagger would've really wrecked it. And the "abducting children" plotline with Michael Jackson would have become pretty unwatchable at some point.

But Bowie was the right choice. He's got that otherworldly quality, he's actually a really good actor, and his shifting personae allowed him to be both as big as the role and not quite dominate it. It gets a fun blurred line quality with Bowie in the tights.

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