13 Times Actors Refused to Play in Movies That Became Iconic Later
Most of us can remember the time when we missed a good opportunity, and there’s nothing pleasant about that. Psychologists think this feeling can be called melancholy, and they advise us to remind ourselves that these emotions won’t be with us forever and to keep our minds open for the future chances that will come. Another way to cope is to read about famous actors who refused iconic roles and see that we’re not alone in this.
1. Adrien Brody in The Lord of the Rings
Many years have already passed, so Adrien Brody himself doesn’t remember which part he was proposed to play. He only knows it was “some hobbit-like character.” And he didn’t take it because he was looking for something else at the moment. He watched the movie with his then-girlfriend after, and she was amazed at how he could pass up a role in such an epic movie.
2. Emily Browning in Twilight saga
Today, it’s hard to imagine someone else apart from Kristen Stewart as the main character of the Twilight saga. However, initially is was Emily Browning who was considered for the role. If that had happened, Bella Swan would be totally different.
But Browning turned the role down. Later she said that she doesn’t regret making this decision because the actors who played in the flick became enormously successful and famous, and she was not ready for that.
3. Will Smith in The Matrix
Will Smith was chosen to play Neo because of his roles in other movies like “Men in Black” and “Independence Day.” But the actor said he didn’t understand the plot of the movie and believed that he wasn’t smart enough as an actor to play the role well.
4. Kristin Davis in Friends
Kristin Davis revealed that she auditioned for the role of Monica Geller before Courteney Cox got the role, though there were about 8,000 young actresses who read for Monica. So we may never know what kind of chance Davis had of becoming one of the 6 friends that stole the hearts of many people around the globe.
5. Claire Danes in Titanic
The role of Rose brought 22-year-old Kate Winslet world fame and a nomination for an Oscar. The young woman instantly became a star in Hollywood. However, initially, it was Claire Danes who was invited to take this role but she refused claiming she was tired and bored with her most recent projects. Danes also didn’t want to act with DiCaprio, because not long before Titanic, they both appeared in William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet.
6. Mel Gibson in Gladiator
The director, Ridley Scott, wanted Gibson to play Maximus, but Gibson turned down the role of the Roman gladiator because he believed that he was too old for it. The part eventually went to Russell Crowe who won the Oscar for Best Actor thanks to his brilliant performance.
7. Matthew Broderick in Breaking Bad
The creators of the Breaking Bad series were hoping that Matthew Broderick will agree to play the main role in their project. But he turned this offer down and the creators had to look for someone else to fill the position. Bryan Cranston happened to be that someone who didn’t miss his chance and did his best in the role.
After that, Broderick starred in many movies but, unfortunately, they didn’t bring him much success. Today we can hear Broderick more than see him because he does voice-overs for animated characters. Thus, Simba the lion, for example, speaks with Matthew’s voice.
8. Madonna in Batman Returns
Madonna still regrets turning down the role in The Matrix, though she doesn’t regret doing the same for Showgirls. But there’s one more role that ultimately went to another actress, and “that was pretty fierce.” As it turns out, she could have played Catwoman in Batman Returns, an iconic, unforgettable role magnificently played by Michelle Pfeiffer.
9. Sean Connery in The Lord of the Rings
The actor said that he didn’t understand the script and showed no enthusiasm for Tolkien’s work. He was offered $10 million for each film in the trilogy plus 15% of the box office for all 3 movies, but he still turned the role down.
10. Nicolas Cage in Lord Of The Rings trilogy
Nicolas Cage had a chance to play Aragorn I in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy but he refused to do it for personal reasons — he didn’t want to leave his home for such a long period of time. That’s why Viggo Mortensen became the first High King of the Reunited Kingdom and gained world fame thanks to this role.
Today Nicolas often appears in media: within one year, he appeared in many movies but his roles mainly caused furious comments from haters and confused his old fans.
11. Al Pacino in Die Hard
It turns out Al Pacino passed on the part of John McClane in 1988’s Die Hard. Later, the role went to Bruce Willis. Pacino even joked about the success Willis got after shooting the movie, saying, “I gave that boy a career.”
12. Molly Ringwald in Pretty Woman
Before Julia Roberts was approved for the role of Vivian in Pretty Woman, many other actresses rejected playing this character. They include Molly Ringwald, Meg Ryan, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Valeria Golino, among others. Later Molly Ringwald confessed in an interview that she regretted having made this decision.
It’s not surprising because in the ’90s that actress lost her fame, having started to take parts in little-known movies and series, while the role of an easy-going girl played by Julia Roberts brought her the status of one of Hollywood’s recognizable stars.
13. Matt Damon in Brokeback Mountain
And yes, Damon also rejected a leading role in Brokeback Mountain, saying, “I just did a gay movie and a cowboy movie. I can’t do a gay cowboy movie now.” Another actor got the role. And it was our beloved Heath Ledger.
What are your favorite movies? Can you imagine any other actor playing a major role in any of them?