Date: 6th November 2000
Although 2,000 "unknowns" recently showed up to audition for the lead role in director Roman Polanski's The Pianist, none of them will be chosen, the London Sunday Times reported. The newspaper noted that a picture of Joseph Fiennes accompanied Polanski's ad for the open audition, which indicated that the director was seeking "a man aged 23-35, slightly built ... sensitive, vulnerable and charismatic." The Sunday Times said that in fact Polanski wanted Fiennes for the role but that the actor had turned him down to appear in a play. Although some of those who applied waited for hours to be auditioned, they were reportedly only seen for a few seconds. The Times said that Polanski will cast a well-known American actor to star in the film about Jewish composer-musician Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Pole who reportedly was saved from Nazi concentration camps by a German officer who appreciated his talents.
Source: Studio Briefing