Can you imagine any child other than the adorable tow head Jonathan Lipnicki in the role of Renee Zellweger’s son Ray Boyd in the classic film Jerry Maguire?

We sure can’t.  But according to WENN, former child star Jonathan Lipnicki almost missed out on his big break and was only cast when another child actor dropped out of the project!

Lipnicki explains, “They cast another kid and actually shot two weeks with a [him] and it just wasn’t working out; the chemistry wasn’t there, the kid wasn’t happy.

“They went back to recast it but they wouldn’t even see me because I was on a list of people who’d already auditioned, but I auditioned for an associate and not the actual casting director… and then she said, ‘How would you like to fly today to Arizona to read with Tom Cruise and (director) Cameron Crowe?'”

And that simple decision led to a big break and the chance to always have Cruise as a mentor. Lipnicki went on to land the lead in the Stuart Little film franchise.

Lipnicki recently reconnected with Cruise as he plans his return to film as an adult.

Jonathan said, “He’s amazing… I cold called his office… and I got a response pretty quickly… and within a few months we found a date, I met up with him and I realised it was the perfect time… I needed some guidance… and there’s so much I took from that conversation.”