For Union, that's literally so, as she was originally cast as one of the supporting sisters to Berry's lead in "Deliver Us From Eva." Once Berry won her Academy Award, with the requisite hike in her fees, she dropped out of the project, making way for Union to take over the title role.
"Once she started really getting paid, she was more than the entire budget of our movie," Union says. "I was the economical, next-best-thing, blue-light-special choice.
"Let me just say," she quickly adds, "the fact that we're still talking about firsts -- first Oscar, first love interest on 'Friends,' whatever -- that's a sad reality. Those questions always come up, and the reality is we shouldn't be in a position where we're having these conversations anymore."
Off-handedly mentioning the LSATs, Union seems surprisingly comfortable with the idea of a life outside acting. She gives her husband, Chris Howard, partial credit for her grounded outlook. A former player with the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, Howard had his career cut short by an injury and has since returned to college to finish the degree he abandoned for the pro draft.