Robert De Niro breaks silence on why he dropped out as the lead role in iconic film Big

Tom Hanks reveals the 'scariest animal' he's found in Australia

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Hollywood actor Robert De Niro, 77, revealed he had a huge part to play in Tom Hanks’ successful career, after he turned down the lead role in the 1988 movie Big. Despite being cast first for the part of the adult version of Josh Baskin, he revealed why the project didn’t work out for him, paving the way for Hanks to become the star.

We had a thing, an issue with the negotiations so on

Robert De Niro

Big sees Josh magically transform into an adult after making a wish to a fortune teller to get bigger in size.

His wish is fulfilled in a very different way, and he has to adjust to life as an adult in New York City.

De Niro broke his silence on being replaced by Hanks, who was nominated for an Academy Award nomination for best actor for his performance, during a recent interview on The Tonight Show Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

He revealed exactly what happened to make him step down.

He briefly explained: “We had a thing, an issue with the negotiations so on.

“It went the way it went, but that was fine.”

Hanks, who was 31 at the time he starred in the movie, appeared alongside Elizabeth Perkins, who played Susan Lawrence.

And it was she who made it public about De Niro’s casting a couple of months ago.

While featuring on Watch What Happens Live, Perkins dished: “Robert De Niro was actually cast in the role of Josh.

“And then it fell apart because he had a scheduling conflict, and then they went to Tom Hanks.”

She revealed that De Niro gave a “more moody” performance, joking that it was “a little bit of a horror movie.”

Perkins added: “It was Robert De Niro wandering around the streets of New York.

“What Tom Hanks brought to it was so much lighter.”

While she made the surprising admission, the actress also cheekily admitted that she had a “major crush” on Hanks, now 64, at the time of their on-screen kiss in the film, making the moment “unforgettable”.

“He was with Rita Wilson already,” she recalled, sighing.

“They were dating – they hadn’t gotten married yet – so he was completely off-limits but he was adorable.”

Tom and fellow actress Rita married that same year in 1988, and recently became one of the first celebrity couples to be struck down with Covid.

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