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Great Scott! Christopher Lloyd initially threw out the ‘Back to the Future’ script

The actor who famously portrayed Doc Brown in the 1985 hit and its two sequels wasn't convinced he should take the role until meeting with director Robert Zemeckis.

If not for some second thoughts, Christopher Lloyd might have needed to invent a time machine to go back to the 1980s and force himself to pull the script for "Back to the Future" out of the trash.

The 83-year-old actor, who famously portrayed Doc Brown in the 1985 classic and its two sequels, shared with Al Roker on the 3rd hour of TODAY Tuesday that he initially had no interest in the most celebrated role of his decorated career.

"I went through it. I just wasn’t into it," he said. "I put it in the wastepaper basket."

That script turned out to be more valuable than Grays Sports Almanac when it came to the impact it had on Lloyd's career.

"I put it away," he said. "(Then) I pulled it out, I looked at it, I still wasn’t sure of Doc, but went back and met (director) Bob Zemeckis, and that was that."


Christopher Lloyd nearly passed on the most well-known role of his career as Doc Brown in the "Back to the Future" trilogy.Alamy Stock Photo

While many remember Lloyd for his turn as the zany Brown in the three "Back to the Future" films, he had previously won two Emmy Awards during five seasons on the hit sitcom "Taxi" after having started his career performing in Broadway and off-Broadway plays.

He also made his film debut in 1975 as one of the psychiatric hospital patients alongside Jack Nicholson in the iconic "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," which dominated the Oscars.

"Oh, the energy was great," Lloyd said about the film. "We all knew this was something special."

But that role paled in comparison to the fame he gained while playing Brown alongside Michael J. Fox's Marty McFly in "Back to the Future."

"It opened, and certainly wishing that it’d be a great opening and have a run, but it just kept running," Lloyd said.

Lloyd is also just like the rest of us when we see "Back to the Future" pop up on cable and end up getting sucked into watching the whole thing.

"I do that, too," Lloyd said. "It's just so well put together, so well written, so well performed. It’s a piece of magic."

Lloyd has no plans to slow down at 83, as he most recently played a grandfather in "The Tender Bar," a coming-of-age drama directed by George Clooney. He also took the stage this past summer as King Lear.

The advice he would give his 25-year-old self if he could go back in time in the DeLorean is simple.

"Keep at it. Keep doing it. If you do it fairly well, you’ll be asked to do it again," he said.