While Bruce Greenwood is earning rave reviews for his lead performance, another actor was previously cast in his part and shot scenes for the show.
Since being released last week, the show has remained in the streamer’s top 10 list, while at the same time earning rave reviews – scoring a whopping 90% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Elements of House of Usher being singled out for praise include the way it modernises and threads together several Edgar Allan Poe stories; its scathing societal critiques; its masterful blend of dark comedy and horror; and its stellar cast.
In regards the latter, the show’s cast is nearly completely comprised of actors who have worked with its creator Mike Flanagan, who also made The Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass.
As for the series standout performance, an argument could be made for several actors – such as Carla Cugino as the enigmatic figure stalking the central Usher family; Carl Lumbly as the idealistic lawyer seeking to bring the villainous clan to justice; Henry Thomas, Kate Siegel and Rahul Kohli as the feuding Usher siblings or Ireland’s own Ruth Codd as the latter three’s young step mom.
However, the answer is probably the show’s main star Bruce Greenwood as Roderick Usher, the uber-wealthy and corrupt patriarch of the Usher family who faces a supernatural reckoning over the course of the series.
House of Usher had massive reshoots with new actor following huge controversy
Given the central role his character plays in the series, it may surprise fans to learn that the Canadian actor was not initially cast in the part and only joined House of Usher late into its production.
First cast as Roderick Usher was Oscar-nominee Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon).
However, about halfway through the project’s production, Langella was fired by Netflix following an investigation into alleged unacceptable conduct on set.
In a guest column in Deadline, who broke the story of the actor’s axing, Langella refuted the allegations.
Within the same month, Netflix hired Greenwood – who Flanagan previously worked with on the movies Doctor Sleep and Gerald’s Game to fill in as Roderick Usher, with all of Langella’s scenes being reshot with the new actor.
As such, Greenwood – who is also known for his supporting roles in movies like Double Jeopardy, Thirteen Days, Flight and Star Trek – wound up with one of his most high profile roles to date.
The Canadian actor has earned raves for his lead turn in the Poe adaptation, with some commenting on how his work is even more impressive given the behind-the-scenes troubles.
Tweeting about the show, filmmaker Brian Duffield (No One Will Save You) wrote:
“Breaking out into hives remembering that every shot of Greenwood in The Fall of the House of Usher was a f*****g emergency reshoot.”
In response, Greenwood’s co-star Siegel responded with three bullseye emojis, to which Duffield replied: “HOW”.
— Kate Siegel (@k8siegel) October 13, 2023
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