Jason Alexander‘s portrayal of George Costanza on the hit TV series, Seinfeld, is easily one of the top sitcom characters of all time. From the “Summer of George” to “It’s gold, Jerry!” the actor turned in an iconic performance full of countless memorable lines over nine seasons. However, as the legend goes, the role of George almost went to some very famous actors, and Alexander recently revealed how he managed to land the part despite some stiff competition.
While talking to Michael Rosenbaum’s Inside of You podcast, Alexander opened up about the audition process, and how he somehow ended up in the room. Apparently, his work in Pretty Women put him on Rob Reiner’s radar, which scored him a reading for George as creators Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David were having trouble casting the role. According to Alexander, Danny DeVito and Chris Rock were two big names in the mix, and even more surprisingly, Seinfeld and David aggressively pursued The Late Show band leader Paul Shaffer, who turned down the role.
With those names out of the way, Alexander went into the audition with a full-on, all-New York attitude-laden Woody Allen impression that he openly admits was not great. A few weeks later, David called and said they wanted him to read for the network and do everything he did in the audition except the Woody Allen impression. However, when Alexander got to the network read, he noticed that Seinfeld’s best friend and fellow comedian Larry Miller was there. Figuring that there’s no way he’s getting the part, Alexander said he did the whole reading “loosey goosey” and just assumed he was out of the running. Obviously, not.
Seinfeld, David, and the network liked what they saw, and to this day, Alexander still can’t walk down the street without people calling him “George.”
(Via Inside of You)