With its hilarious whodunit shenanigans, wacky cast of characters, and three alternate endings, «Clue» is one of the 1980s’ most iconic films with a lasting legacy that includes the «Knives Out» film franchise and a «Psych» parody episode starring three actors from the film. But most fans of the black comedy don’t know that Lesley Ann Warren’s character came exceedingly close to being played by Carrie Fisher.
Before casting Fisher for his film, director Jonathan Lynn had heard rumors that she was struggling with a substance abuse problem. But Fisher managed to keep it together during casting, with Lynn telling Entertainment Weekly, «I didn’t really see any sign of it. Not that I would have known.» On the contrary, he found her to be perfect for the role of Miss Scarlet, calling her «extremely funny» even if he would later come to recall Fisher’s constant sniffling, something she attributed to hay fever.
The week before filming was due to begin, Fisher called him with a surprising update: she had checked herself into rehab but still planned on coming into work, checking herself out every morning to shoot the film. Unfortunately, the studio’s insurance company wasn’t interested in taking on the risk of mid-rehab Carrie, and the role of Miss Scarlet was recast with Lesley Ann Warren. Warren, a friend of Fisher, would later admit, «I was very sorry that she was not able to do it, but I was excited and jumped in.»
If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).