May 5, 2014 8:43 am

John Lithgow reveals he turned down Cronenberg’s ‘The Fly’

John Lithgow, pictured in April 2014.

Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

TORONTO — Actor John Lithgow has revealed he turned down the lead role in David Cronenberg’s The Fly because it was “icky.”

The 68-year-old star told IN Magazine he has never spoken about the offer he received to play Seth Brundle in the Canadian director’s 1986 classic “out of respect for my good friend Jeff Goldblum,” who took the role.

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“My agent wanted me to do The Fly and I didn’t want to do it,” Lithgow told the magazine. “I just finished another project and I was exhausted, and I found it such an icky story.

“I told my agent I just didn’t want to play something so grotesque.”

In The Fly, which was shot in and around Toronto, Goldblum plays a scientist who transforms into a giant human-fly hybrid after an experiment goes wrong.

During an interview about his new movie Love Is Strange — in which he plays a gay man — Lithgow spoke to IN Magazine about homophobia in the ’80s. He said at the same time he was offered the role in The Fly he was offered a role in a gay-themed film, As If.

Lithgow recalled his agent told him he’d rather see him play a fly than a homosexual.

“This was in 1986,” said Lithgow. “Can you imagine?”

BELOW: Watch the trailer for The Fly.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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