Movie heart-throb Viggo Mortensen was Oliver Stone's first choice to play Sergeant ELIAS GRODIN in Vietnam war film PLATOON - until the director dumped the actor for Willem Dafoe.

The LORD OF THE RINGS star signed up to play the soldier role in the 1986 hit alongside Tom Berenger and Charlie Sheen and was shocked when Stone changed his mind.

Mortensen recalls, "I researched that part as thoroughly as I could."

To add insult to injury, when Mortensen auditioned for a Stone film years later, the movie maker didn't recognise him.

Mortensen adds, "He didn't seem to remember much of any of it at all. Pretty shocking. Because I took it pretty seriously."

17/03/2004 02:04