11 Actors Who Rejected Iconic Parts
People say that when opportunities come, you have to take them. Otherwise, you may regret it forever. Something like that happened to famous actors, who dismissed roles that later turned out to be iconic. Some parts that actors rejected even earned the most prestigious awards and were acclaimed by the audience. On the other hand, another great actor managed to land the role and was launched to fame.
1. Emma Roberts could have been one of the stars of Spring Breakers but had creative differences with the director.
The Scream Queens and American Horror Story star was about to be one of the leads in Spring Breakers: alongside Selena Gómez and Vanessa Hudgens. Why did she decide not to continue in the film? Director Harmony Korine said because of “creative differences.” Finally, the character of Emma was played by Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson.
2. Emma Stone turned down a role in the female version of Ghostbusters because it’s a franchise.
The multi-award-winning American actress and singer had just starred in The Amazing Spider-Man; this was one of the reasons why she turned down the proposal to participate in the female version of Ghostbusters (2016). Stone read the script and thought it sounded like a lot of fun but didn’t feel it was the right time to jump back into a franchise due to the commitment involved in such projects. Ultimately, the film stars were Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon.
3. Rachel McAdams was the first choice for The Devil Wears Prada, but she turned down the role more than once.
It’s hard to think of The Devil Wears Prada without Anne Hathaway as one of the leads, but that might have happened if Rachel McAdams had accepted one of the many times Fox, the film’s producer, offered her the role. McAdams may have regretted it, as the film was a hit that grossed more than $300 million and garnered two Oscar nominations.
4. Jennifer Lawrence met with Tarantino for The Hateful 8, but she was in the middle of two projects and didn’t have time.
Quentin Tarantino, director of The Hateful Eight, wanted Jennifer Lawrence for the female lead. He met with the actress, but according to the director, he believes that this talk was just out of politeness because there was no way on Earth Lawrence could join the crew since she was shooting Joy and was promoting The Hunger Games. Finally, Tarantino rethought his choice and decided on Jennifer Jason Leigh, 28 years older than Lawrence, who was nominated for an Oscar for her performance.
5. Warner bought the screenplay of The Imitation Game for Leonardo DiCaprio but had to give it up because the actor never formalized anything.
Leo rejected the role of mathematician Alan Turing in The Imitation Game. Warner Bros. actually acquired the script because DiCaprio was interested in starring in the movie. But the actor never formalized anything, and the production company did not proceed with filming. Finally, the rights were acquired by Black Bear Pictures, and the role of Turing went to Benedict Cumberbatch, earning him a nomination for best actor at the Oscar Awards.
6. Matthew McConaughey had to choose between joining a successful franchise or starting one from scratch.
The actor had to choose between Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and The Dark Tower, both being a franchise. He ended up choosing the latter, the adaptation of a series of novels by Stephen King. What was the reasoning behind McConaughey’s decision? Guardians of the Galaxy was already a success, and, in the second part, they had the opportunity to make room for a big-name actor; But that would have made the actor feel like an amendment of sorts. Instead, in The Dark Tower, he could give his personal touch to the character since it was the first film in a story destined to become a franchise.
7. Willow Smith, 12, stood up to Will Smith, her father, and walked out on Annie.
Annie’s remake was designed around Willow Smith, Will Smith’s daughter. Her father actually produced the film. Despite her father’s intentions, Willow dropped out of the project after having a difficult time on tour with Whip My Hair. Her father tried to convince her to stay by telling her that she could be with her friends during the filming and, in addition, she would see Beyoncé. However, his daughter was very clear and told him: "Dad, I have a better idea. What if I’m just 12 years old? In the end, the role was played by Quvenzhané Wallis, who earned a Golden Globe nomination.
8. Miles Teller would have danced and sung in La La Land, but there were problems during the negotiations.
The role of Sebastian in La La Land was originally written for Miles Teller, but after lengthy contract negotiations, the actor stepped aside. Finally, the director turned to Ryan Gosling, 7 years older than Teller, who learned to play the piano for the role. In addition, thanks to his performance, he won a Golden Globe and was nominated as best actor for the Oscar Awards.
9. Molly Ringwald, a star of the 1980s, was the first choice to star in Pretty Woman.
Many actresses were shortlisted for the role of Vivian in Pretty Woman. However, director Garry Marshall’s first choice was Molly Ringwald, who played in iconic ’80s films such as The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, and Sixteen Candles. The actress read an early script titled $3000 but turned down the role. Ultimately, Julia Roberts would play Vivian, who originally intended to have a supporting role. Not only was the film a success at the box office (grossing over 460 million USD), but Roberts was nominated for an Academy Award and won a Golden Globe for Best Actress.
10. Sandra Bullock could have played the boxer in Million Dollar Baby, but Miss Congeniality 2 got in the way.
The role of boxer Maggie Fitzgerald was supposed to be played by Sandra Bullock. Why did she have to drop out of the role? The filming of Million Dollar Baby was in conflict with the shooting of Miss Congeniality 2. Finally, Maggie’s role was played by Hilary Swank, the film was a success, and the actress won, among other awards, the Golden Globe and the Oscar for Best Actress.
11. Tom Hanks could have played Edward Scissorhands.
Before casting Depp to play Edward Scissorhands, Tim Burton negotiated with several actors, including Tom Hanks. In the end, the famous performer turned down the role to appear in The Bonfire of the Vanities alongside Bruce Willis.
What is the best decision you have made in recent years? How did this choice change your life?