Movie star Jon Voight credits his ex-wife MARCHELINE BERTRAND with urging him to pursue his role in epic adventure movie Deliverance because he was all set to hand the part to Gene Hackman.

The 1972 buddy river journey movie, directed by John Boorman, has since become a classic but it almost had a very different look - with Marlon Brando and Hackman in the lead roles, instead of Burt Reynolds and Voight.

Voight explains, "I told John, 'I'm going to make this decision tomorrow,' and he said, 'OK, after that I'm gonna go with Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman.'

"I read it with this young girl who turned out to be my future wife and the mother of my children and she loved it. She said, 'It's great.'

"She went right through the sodomy scene, all that stuff, no problem. She just thought it was a terrific movie.

"The next day I made the call to John and he said I'm gonna count to three and I said, 'I'm gonna do it.'"

15/11/2004 21:08