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SHE'S JUST A GIRL WHO CAN'T SAY YES

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Back on the A list after megahit Sleepless in Seattle, Meg Ryan can have nearly any role she wants-if only she could decide on one. Over the last eight months, Ryan has turned down a number of high-profile films, which has meant other actresses have found plenty of work. ”Casting is always a drama for Meg,” a talent agent confides. ”She agonizes.” Among the projects Ryan has rejected: *Cop Tips Waitress $2 Million, the TriStar comedy starring Nicolas Cage-and now Bridget Fonda. ”Meg was interested,” says her agent, Steve Dontanville of ICM, ”but only that.” *To Die For, Gus Van Zant’s dark comedy about a sociopathic housewife who hires her teenage boyfriend to kill her husband. Ryan thought the character, based on the Joyce Maynard novel, might offer a stretch but ultimately felt ”it was a scary piece for her,” says her agent. Nicole Kidman has since snagged the role. *Maverick, the big-budget remake with Mel Gibson and James Garner. Ryan committed to the movie, then decided she needed to spend time with her 20- month-old son, Jack, and husband, Dennis Quaid. The part went to Jodie Foster. *Beyond Rangoon, John Boorman’s drama about a recently widowed woman who goes on a soul-searching adventure in Burma. Ryan almost agreed to play the lead, but according to her agent, she ”wasn’t totally comfortable with the script.” True Romance’s Patricia Arquette will now star.

So what will Ryan do next? Sources close to the actress feel she’ll sign to do Waiting for Michael, possibly with Stephen Rea (The Crying Game), a romance along the lines of Sleepless. Stick with what you do best.

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