Today, we couldn’t imagine these iconic characters played by anybody else. The ones who ended up getting the acting gigs now have their faces on any paraphernalia or spinoffs related to the role. But, when you realize that a bunch of other, equally beloved actors almost had the parts, it might make your head spin. Here are 10 major roles lost or turned down by famous actors.
Travolta turned down the role that earned Tom Hanks an Oscar, and Travolta has admitted it wasn’t his greatest decision. But today we can’t imagine anyone besides the sweet-tempered Hanks playing the iconic role.
Paltrow turned down the role that won Kate Winslet an Oscar in “Titanic.” Do you think that would have been goop…um…we mean good? Paltrow reportedly said she didn’t think she was right for the role.
Accent too sexy for the role? Perhaps. But Connery actually turned the role down in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, not the other way around. He said he didn’t understand the plot. (Not a Ringer apparently?)
Tom Cruise nearly acted as the Iron Man and produced the film. Cruise was actually all set to play the role for several years, but production took too long to get off the ground and Cruise lost interest.
Wayans got so far as the fitting for Batman’s sidekick, Robin. Wayans had been backed by director Tim Burton, but Burton dropped off the project and the new directors asked for a large recasting. Wayans contract had already been signed so he was still paid. Chris O’ Donnell ended up with the part.
Nicholson’s signature intense glare probably would have worked well in “The Godfather,” and he was set to play the role for a while but eventually said the role wasn’t for him because, as he put it, “I believed Indians should play roles written for Indians and Italians should do the same.”
Roberts was another actor who was almost in “The Godfather”—she was up for the role of Michael Corleone’s daughter, Mary, in Part III. Roberts couldn’t do the role because it conflicted with another role at the time that made her very famous…Vivian Ward in “Pretty Woman!” Sofia Coppola got the part.
Connery has been up for several major roles that he turned down! We’ll admit that he has the deep, calming voice right for the role of Morpheus in “Matrix Reloaded.” But Connery said that when he read the script he “didn’t get it.”
The Fresh Prince almost trumped Keanu Reeves for the roll as Neo in “The Matrix,” but Smith has said in an interview that he wouldn’t have known how to play the part. Smith said, “At that point I wasn’t smart enough as an actor…”
Today, the names “Sarah Jessica Parker” and “Carrie Bradshaw” are practically interchangeable, but somebody else almost played the quirky, witty, fashion icon in “Sex And The City.” Dana Delany of “Desperate Housewives” was up for the role but said she didn’t believe she was fashionable enough for it.
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