Cruise turned down part in 'Milk'

Tom Cruise was originally selected for Josh Brolin's acclaimed role in Gus Van Sant's new biopic 'Milk'.

Tom Cruise was originally selected for Josh Brolin's acclaimed role in Gus Van Sant's new biopic 'Milk'.

Brolin plays the part of Dan White, a Vietnam veteran and former police officer and firefighter.

But filmmaker Van Sant's first wanted Cruise for the role - because he thought the megastar's involvement in the movie, alongside fellow Hollywood actor Sean Penn - would get the controversial project off the ground.

He says: "I thought if I connected those two guys (Cruise and Penn) at the time I could go into the studio and say, 'Look, I have these two guys' and they would do it.

"There was always the problem with the gay community aspect of the film so they needed a reason to overcome that fear that they had of making a film that wasn't going to have a very big return money wise, so that was my plan."

'Milk' has grabbed a clutch of awards since its release, and is tipped to feature heavily at the Oscar's next month

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