Jennifer Grey And Lea Thompson’s Red Dawn Casting Depended On The Answer To A Bizarre Question

Throughout the course of the movie’s 114 minutes, the Mason sisters would do their best to repel occupying invaders from the Soviet Union, Cuba, and Nicaragua. Despite not knowing what a flank or a defilade is, the girls prove themselves capable warriors and heartfelt avengers. The young women who would play them needed to carry a certain amount of intestinal fortitude, something John Milius would discern by asking candidates what they were willing to do to survive. 

In the featurette, Jane Jenkins recalls:

“When the girls would come in he would have a conversation with them before they even started to read, and he would say, ‘So, what would happen if you were in the wilderness and you were starving? Could you kill a bunny?’ And the girls would look a little horrified, and he would always say a bunny, not a rabbit, and he would say, ‘Could you kill a bunny, skin it, and eat it?’ The girls that were horrified at that suggestion, needless to say, didn’t go any further. The girls who said, ‘Well, if it was life and death and I really had to …’ those girls got to go on and read for the parts they were eventually going to play.”

Clearly, Thompson and Grey answered with confidence and earned their respective roles. To Jenkins, it’s an indication of the actors’ resilience in an industry that digests people and spits them out so much that movies like “Babylon” are still being made about its viciousness.

“Both Jennifer and Lea had the smarts, the moxie, the fortitude, the ambition to say, ‘Yeah, I’m gonna do whatever I have to do to get this part, to make it in this business, to survive in my life,” Jenkins continues. Both Grey and Thompson are still active and Wolverine strong. 

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