20 Actors Who Almost Had Roles in Our Favorite Films, but Life Decided Otherwise

Molly Ringwald as Vivian Ward (Pretty Woman)

Molly Ringwald had a chance to play the main character of Vivian in Pretty Woman since the Disney company didn’t want Julia Roberts to star in the film.

The film director offered Molly the role but she turned down the part. Ringwald didn’t want to play a prostitute. In an interview, after the Pretty Woman premiere, the actress said that she regretted her decision and that if she could go back, she’d have accepted the offer.

David Schwimmer as Jay (Men in Black)

David Schwimmer was offered the role of the main hero in Men in Black, but the actor was busy with his own project called Since You’ve Been Gone and Schwimmer didn’t want to let the people that he worked with down. Even though his film failed, David cemented his good guy status.

Pamela Anderson as Scully (The X-Files)

Gillian Anderson — who was eventually cast as paranormal Agent Scully — said that Pamela was supposed to play the part of the FBI investigator. “Pamela was somebody who was more familiar to them in terms of what was on TV at the time. They were looking for someone bustier, taller, and leggier than me. They couldn’t fathom how David and I could equal success.”

Eminem as Max Da Costa (Elysium)

Film director Neill Blomkamp originally wanted Eminem to be the headliner. The rapper accepted the offer but had one condition: He wanted the film to be shot in Detroit. Filmmakers weren’t interested in bringing the shoot to Detroit, so Matt Damon took over the role.

Anne Hathaway as Tiffany (Silver Linings Playbook)

Anne Hathaway was cast as Tiffany and even started acting in the film but she had to drop out after a clash with the film director.

Later, Jennifer Lawrence replaced Anne and won an Oscar thanks to this part.

Mel Gibson as James Bond

Many actors have almost played James Bond: Clint Eastwood, Henry Cavill, Clive Owen, Jude Law, and Mel Gibson. Director Albert Broccoli was sure that only an English man could play James Bond and so he didn’t give this role to Mel Gibson.

Salma Hayek as Betty Suarez (Ugly Betty)

Ugly Betty proved that a kind heart is the best part about a person and this role made America Ferrera really famous. Salma Hayek originally could’ve gotten this role but became the film producer of this TV series instead.

Ryan Gosling as Joker (Suicide Squad)

Warner Bros. wanted to offer Ryan the role of Joker, but the actor refused to sign the contract because he didn’t like the terms. Eventually, Jared Leto got this role.

Cameron Diaz as Mia Thermopolis (The Princess Diaries)

Many Hollywood actresses wanted to play Mia Thermopolis in The Princess Diaries: Reese Witherspoon, Kirsten Dunst, Kate Hudson, Alicia Silverstone, and Cameron Diaz. But film producers chose Anne Hathaway.

Sean Penn as Tyler Durden (Fight Club)

Sean Penn and Matt Damon wanted to get a part in this movie, but film producers decided that Brad Pitt’s image was the most suitable.

Kelly Osbourne as Anna Coleman (Freaky Friday)

Freaky Friday is a comedy about mother and her daughter who have swapped their bodies. It’s hard to imagine anyone in place of Lindsay Lohan playing Anna. But originally Kelly could’ve starred in the film if she hadn’t changed her mind.

Later, Kelly said that she regretted her decision and her friends are sure that this was her biggest mistake.

Henry Cavill as Edward Cullen (Twilight)

Stephenie Meyer, the author of the book, really wanted Henry Cavill to play Edward. She said, “Henry Cavill is the only actor who can play this part.” But she didn’t even offer him the role since she thought he looked too old for the film (he was 24 and Robert Pattinson was 22).

Charlize Theron as Roxie Hart (Chicago)

In one of her interviews, Charlize Theron revealed that she almost got a part in Chicago. She was removed after the original director was fired. After this Rob Marshall was hired, but she didn’t fit his vision. Charlize said she was really disappointed with his decision.

Al Pacino as Han Solo (Star Wars)

Al Pacino was offered the part of Han Solo in Star Wars, but the actor refused the offer after reading the script. He thought that the story was too complicated and intricate.

“I remember not understanding the script when I read it,” he told MTV.

Emma Watson as Cinderella

Emma was offered the part of Cinderella, but she turned down the role because she thought the fairy tale character wasn’t a suitably empowered role model. The actress was sure that a modern princess would be independent and curious, and wouldn’t have to wait for a prince to come save her.

Eventually, Lily James played Cinderella and Emma Watson starred in Beauty and the Beast.

Matt Damon as Jake Sully (Avatar)

20th Century Fox wanted only famous actors to play in the movie since the budget was $237 million. Matt Damon was invited to take part in it, but the actor had to turn down the offer due to his workload.

Avatar turned out to be a box-office success and Matt cursed his decision to refuse James Cameron’s offer. “It’s the most significant role in my life I had to turn down,” says Damon.

Emily Watson as Amelie

Movie maker Jean-Pierre Jeunet felt sure Watson could play Amelie when he created his famous character. He really liked her in Breaking the Waves. But the actress passed: She didn’t know French well and wasn’t sure she could master the foreign language.

Fortunately, Audrey Tautou managed to fascinate Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

Sacha Baron Cohen as Freddie Mercury (Bohemian Rhapsody)

The idea of creating a film about Freddie appeared 8 years ago and Sacha Baron Cohen was supposed to play the main part, but he turned down the role due to a conflict with the members of Queen. Cohen wanted the film to be more realistic and harsh and the band insisted on a family drama.

Sacha Baron Cohen was replaced with Rami Malek and the actor did an amazing job. The film was released in October 2018.

Do you think these actors would’ve been better than their replacements in the movies they turned down? Share your opinion with us!

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