Anne Heche Revealed She Lost Out on Major Role in This Tom Cruise Classic

by Suzanne Halliburton

Anne Heche conceded that if she’d “learned to shut her mouth,” you might remember her for one of the biggest hits of Tom Cruise’s career.

We’re talking Jerry Maguire, one of the most popular movies of 1996. It inspired several well-known quotes. And maybe it would’ve been Heche who told Cruise’s Jerry “you had me at hello,” instead of Renee Zellweger.

Anne Heche, 53, died earlier this week. She got into a fiery wreck on Aug. 5 when she crashed her car into a house. She was driving at a high speed in a residential neighborhood near Venice Beach. Heche then spent the next six days fighting for her life in a Los Angeles hospital that specializes in treating burn victims. She was pronounced brain dead last Friday. Doctors took her off life support Sunday. The Los Angeles Police Department had been investigating the case but announced their officers no longer would pursue it.

Following her death, the host of the Behind the Velvet Rope podcasts released an interview he did with Anne Heche earlier this year. The podcast is all about pop culture. And Heche talked about roles she’s auditioned for but didn’t receive. One of those movies was Jerry Maguire.

Host David Yontef tweeted, “I had the pleasure of interviewing Anne Heche earlier this year. I am deeply saddened to hear of her passing last week. We release this episode today as a tribute to the life of Anne Heche.”

Back in the mid-to-late 1990s, Heche was one of the biggest stars in the country. She starred alongside Harrison Ford in Six Days, Seven Nights. She appeared in the political satire Wag the Dog and was in Donnie Brasco.

Cameron Crowe also considered her for Jerry Maguire. But he also looked at other actresses for the part of Dorothy Boyd, who started out working for Jerry and then ended the movie as his love interest. Zellweger, who was then a Hollywood newcomer, earned the career break. Crowe also considered Patricia Arquette, Mira Sorvino, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Beckinsale, Marisa Tomei, Winona Ryder, and Bridget Fonda.

On the podcast, Anne Heche said she told Crowe that the movie’s love story “didn’t make sense.” Maybe she didn’t think a career-obsessed, high-profile sports agent would ever date a single mother from the office. She thought that’s why Crowe looked for another actress.

Heche said on the podcast that after the movie, “I learned to shut my mouth.”

This is a portrait of Renee Zellweger taken right before Jerry Maguire premiered. Anne Heche said she was up for the role, but criticized the movie in front of its director, Cameron Crowe. (Patrick Downs/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Heche offered other tidbits about her life. Namely, she talked about who she’d like to see playing her in a movie about her life. She mentioned that she’d want Kristen Bell to play her in a movie. The two met on set on the Lifetime Gracie’s Choice, when Heche played Bell’s mother.

She also thought Miley Cyrus could pull off playing her. That’s because both actresses started working when they were young.