The 1964 epic war film “Zulu” featured actor Michael Caine, who at this early stage in his career was primarily playing bit parts, as the character Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead. However, Caine was originally up for the role of the character Private Henry Hook, which eventually went to actor James Booth. The story is rather a little more interesting than that.
According to Caine, he was extremely nervous during his screen test for the part of Bromhead and director Cy Endfield didn’t help. Endfield told Caine that it was the worst screen test he had ever seen, but they were casting Caine in the part anyway because the production was leaving for South Africa shortly and they had not found anyone else for the role.
Still, Caine’s performance in “Zulu” won him praise from reviewers and his next film role would be in the starring role of the 1965 British espionage film “The Ipcress File” in which Caine was reunited with actor Nigel Green who also co-starred with Caine in “Zulu” as the character Colour Sergeant Frank Bourne.