He was a controversial choice to play one of the great genuises of all-time and he had some heady competition: Mel Gibson, David Bowie, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mick Jagger, Sam Waterston, Mark Hamill and Tim Curry all either auditioned or were considered for the role at some point. In his autobiography Kenneth Branagh states that he was actually cast in the role before producer Saul Zaentz changed his mind and decided to work with an American cast and crew.

So the wheel of fortune stopped on Tom Hulce's number and he went on to create one of the most memorable film performances of the 80s as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the film, Amadeus. The movie won 8 academy awards including Best Picture. Hulce himself was nominated for Best Actor but lost out to his Amadeus co-star F. Murray Abraham. Hulce went on to appear in a number of other films through the 80s and 90s, though he was never to revisit the mountaintop that was Amadeus.

Hulce retired from acting in the late 90s and spends much of his time in New York now where he has had a successful second career producing for the stage.