14 Stars That Rejected Promising Roles and Missed Their Big Chance
Today, it’s hard to imagine other actors playing our favorite characters, even though producers and directors actually wanted to cast other people. Can you imagine Forrest Gump played by Travolta, or Rose from Titanic portrayed by Gwyneth Paltrow? Neither could we, until we found out that they rejected these roles.
Forrest Gump: John Travolta — Tom Hanks
Few people know that in 1994, John Travolta was facing a difficult choice: appear in a Tarantino film or play a mentally challenged guy in Forrest Gump. Even though Forrest Gump won 6 Oscars, Travolta doesn’t regret his choice because he was able to play Vincent Vega.
Wonder Woman: Angelina Jolie — Gal Gadot
Now, when you hear Wonder Woman, you think of Gal Gadot. But when Joss Whedon was working on this character, he would only see Jolie as Wonder Woman. He thought she was the best candidate for the role.
Rose: Gwyneth Paltrow — Kate Winslet
A lot of different actresses wanted to play the lead in Titanic, so the director had to choose from hundreds of candidates. He finally chose Gwyneth Paltrow, but she rejected the role. Winslet didn’t seem like the right person at first, but after considering her, James Cameron agreed.
Rogue: Kate Winslet — Anna Paquin
The star of True Blood, Anna Paquin, portrayed the girl mutant in X-Men in 2000. Now, it’s hard to imagine anyone else in this role, but 20th Century Fox wanted to see an older character and invited Kate Winslet, but she turned it down.
Lolita: Natalie Portman — Dominique Swain
In 1997, young star Natalie Portman was offered the chance to play Lolita in Nabokov’s novel adaptation. She turned down the role and explained her decision in an interview later.
Leonard: Macaulay Culkin — Johnny Galecki
Macaulay Culkin was asked to play Leonard several times, but he kept rejecting it: he didn’t like the plot of the series. So, Johnny Galecki ended up getting it. Culkin realizes how much money he missed out on, but he doesn’t regret it.
Mitchie: Selena Gomez — Demi Lovato
Camp Rock is a very popular teenage comedy in the US. It made actress and singer Demi Lovato famous. Disney offered the part to Selena Gomez, who could have showed off her singing abilities in the comedy, but she rejected the role: she thought she wasn’t a good enough actress.
Napoleon Solo: Tom Cruise — Henry Cavill
Who doesn’t want to be in a Guy Ritchie movie? At first, the director wanted to see George Clooney in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and he agreed. But a back injury kept him from finishing it. A lot of other stars wanted to be in the film, for example, Robert Pattinson, Matt Damon, and Christian Bale.
But the director chose Tom Cruise, who agreed at first, but then he turned it down because he was busy with Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, so Henry Cavill ended up playing the character.
Catherine Tramell: Michelle Pfeiffer — Sharon Stone
Michelle Pfeiffer was already a famous actress at the time, and she turned Paul Verhoeven’s Basic Instinct down. The director had already gotten rejected by another star — Kim Basinger, so he continued to look for an actress. Sharon Stone agreed and became famous thanks to this single role.
Noah Calhoun: George Clooney — Ryan Gosling
Ryan Gosling has been working ever since he was very young, but his work in The Notebook made him really famous. And Noah was supposed to be portrayed by George Clooney, who strongly considered it but then rejected the role at the last minute.
Clooney said that he had already gotten into the character. But the problem was with Paul Newman, who played the old Noah. Clooney realized that he looked nothing like Newman.
Lydia Deetz: Sarah Jessica Parker — Winona Ryder
Today, the name Tim Burton is its own brand. When you buy a ticket to see his film, you have an idea of what it will be like: something gothic, fairytale-like, with a strange sense of humor, but really gripping. Appearing in a Burton movie is almost a 100%-chance of becoming famous. But it hasn’t always been like this.
The role of Lydia in Beetlejuice was turned down by many actresses, including Sarah Jessica Parker. Juliette Lewis was great at the audition, but Tim Burton saw young Winona Ryder in the teenage drama Lucas, and gave the character to her.
Scully: Pamela Anderson — Gillian Anderson
The producers of the show wanted to get another Anderson for the role of Scully — Pamela. It’s hard to imagine the blonde as Scully today, but she was incredibly popular at the time, and the showrunners thought she was a great choice.
Django Freeman: Will Smith — Jamie Foxx
Will Smith was working hard on the concept of Django Unchained with Quentin Tarantino, but they understood the idea differently. Smith wanted to make it the greatest love story, but Jamie Foxx got the role, and the film won several Oscars.
Vivian: Michelle Pfeiffer — Julia Roberts
Many celebrities were offered the main role in Pretty Woman. And, for example, Daryl Hannah said that the role was humiliating for women. Another star, Michelle Pfeiffer, also told the director she didn’t like the tone of the script. And if she had agreed, Vivian would have been blonde.
But the young, and relatively unknown, Julia Roberts decided to go for it. Between Richard Gere and herself, there was an obvious “chemistry” the first time they met. But Gere wanted to turn down the part before Roberts slid him a Post-it note with the words “please say yes” written on it. He accepted the role right then.
Even though according to critics and viewers, all the actors and actresses in these movies were picked correctly, all people are different, and they all have different tastes. For example, the author of this article adores Gillian Anderson as Scully. Maybe you have something to add about a movie from this article. We look forward to reading your comments down below.