Actress Karen Allen says if things had gone differently, one of her “National Lampoon’s Animal House” cronies also might have been her Indiana Jones.
]]>“Raiders of the Lost Ark” decided on Harrison Ford. Among them: Tim Matheson, legendary to “Animal House” fans as charmingly snarky pledge master Eric “Otter” Stratton. “Tim and I had maybe two lines between us in one scene in ‘Animal House,'” Allen tells Zap2it, “so even though we were part of the same film, we had really never worked together. All those guys were so much fun to be around, though, we had developed a friendship.” In fact, Allen reports many friendships made on “Animal House” have endured well beyond its 1978 release. “I did another film with Peter Riegert, called ‘White Irish Drinkers,’ which is playing at film festivals right now. And I’ve been talking with Stephen Furst, who played Flounder and has become a producer, about doing a project together. There are these all ways in which we, as a group, continually intersect.” A star of CBS’ new “Hallmark Hall of Fame” drama “November Christmas” Sunday, Nov. 28, Allen recalls her “Raiders” test with Matheson as “a blast. He was really a lot of fun, as was John Shea (the former Lex Luthor of “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” who also had tried out to play Jones). In the end, though, I can’t imagine anyone else in that role but Harrison.” Another famous actor clearly had the best shot at starring in “Raiders” before it went to Ford. “Tom Selleck had tested with some other actresses,” Allen says, “and he actually had been cast as Indiana Jones … but by the time I met with them, ‘Magnum, P.I.’ had been picked up, and whatever network it was (CBS) would not let him out of that contract. Suddenly, there was no Indiana Jones. “I think they were also interested in Jeff Bridges (whom Allen would work with later in ‘Starman’), then at some point after they had actually cast me, it occurred to them that Indiana Jones was possibly in their own back yard as they were looking at the second ‘Star Wars’ film (‘The Empire Strikes Back’). “Maybe Harrison had always been in their minds,” Allen adds, “but because he had taken on Han Solo, maybe it seemed too much to think of him jumping over to Indiana Jones. Somehow, though, he managed to do it.” Follow Zap2it on Twitter and Zap2it on Facebook for the latest TV, movie and celebrity news. Photo credit: Getty Images