Paul Newman and James Dean screen test for East of Eden (1955).

James Dean has already been cast for the lead role of Cal Trask by director Elia Kazan, after he saw Dean performing in The Immoralist on Broadway.

In February 1954, Paul Newman appeared in a screen test with James Dean, directed by Gion Mill, for East of Eden. Newman was testing for the role of Aron Trask, Dean’s goody-two-shoes older brother, which eventually went to Richard Davalos.

Paul Newman was an up and coming actor, trying to find his spot in the increasingly huge shadow cast by Marlon Brando. He was six-years Dean’s senior. The screen test footage shows the meeting of Newman’s straight clean-cut persona – he was married to Jackie Witte at the time – with Dean’s wild, young rebellious attitude.

The chemistry between the actors – who knew each other from the Actor’s Studio – has sparked rumors of an affair. Dean is believed to have been bisexual and there are rumors that he bragged to his friends about an affair with Newman

 

 

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