The Story Behind Why Steve McQueen Turned Down Acting With Paul Newman

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Everyone remembers that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid starred Paul Newman and Robert Redford, but Steve McQueen was actually set to play Redford’s role. The famed movie, which came out in 1969, is considered one of the best Westerns in history, which follows real-life Wild West outlaws Robert LeRoy Parker.

Before Redford was officially cast in the film, many other Hollywood stars were considered and then ultimately turned down the role, including McQueen. But it turns out, he didn’t want to act alongside Newman. Why?

Why Steve McQueen turned down acting alongside Paul Newman

Robert Redford, Paul Newman
BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, Robert Redford, Paul Newman, 1969 TM and Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. / Everett Collection

McQueen agreed to do the film around the same time Newman did, and at the time, McQueen was a huge star and didn’t want to come in second to Newman on the film’s billing. Additionally, he actually counted the number of lines his co-star had and wanted an equal amount. Ultimately, McQueen wasn’t pleased with this outcome and walked away from the film entirely.

RELATED: Teaching Steve McQueen Martial Arts Got Chuck Norris Into Acting

Steve McQueen
THE GREAT ESCAPE, Steve McQueen, 1963 / Everett Collection

So, as the story goes, instead of McQueen, Redford ultimately got the role, worked alongside Newman, and became a huge star. While McQueen passed up this role, he eventually did work alongside Newman in 1974’s The Towering Inferno… and this time, the billing was to McQueen’s favor, too.

Paul Newman, Steve McQueen
THE TOWERING INFERNO, Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, 1974 / Everett Collection

RELATED: New Book Tells All On Steve McQueen Becoming A Born-Again Christian Just Months Shy Of His Death

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The post The Story Behind Why Steve McQueen Turned Down Acting With Paul Newman appeared first on DoYouRemember? – The Home of Nostalgia. Author, Jane Kenney

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