The roles that got away

Some of the most famous onscreen performances could have gone a totally different direction.

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/07d0480c-Getty_LadyGaga_JenniferLopez.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Jennifer Lopez (right) confirmed to Extra that she was originally in talks to do a remake of "A Star is Born" with Will Smith. However, the idea "never took off." The current film stars Lady Gaga (left) and Bradley Cooper.
    Getty
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/mia-wasikowska-jennifer-lawrence-reuters.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Jennifer Lawrence (left) revealed she was "devastated" when she lost the lead role in Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland." "The one thing that really killed me, like the only time I’ve ever been truly devastated by losing an audition...was Tim Burton’s 'Alice in Wonderland,'” the actress told Howard Stern. The role went to actress Mia Wasikowska.
    Reuters
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/Getty_ETHandout_DorisDayAnneBancroft.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Journalist Douglass K. Daniel, who wrote "Anne Bancroft: A Life," told Fox News actress Doris Day (left) was originally considered for the role of sultry Mrs. Robinson in 1967's "The Graduate" opposite Dustin Hoffman. However, her husband and manager Martin Melcher allegedly thought the plot was too dirty for America’s Sweetheart. DORIS DAY FINDS OUT SHE'S TWO YEARS OLDER THAN SHE THOUGHT
    Getty
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/Getty_ETHandout_MiaFarrow_CharmianCarr.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Julie Andrews may have instantly gotten the role of Maria in the hit 1965 musical "The Sound of Music," but another star was aiming to also appear in the film. Angela Cartwright, who played Brigitta von Trapp, told Fox News Mia Farrow (left) originally auditioned for the role of Liesel."[Director] Robert [Wise] had a hard time casting that role because he didn’t want a known face," explained Cartwright. "He liked the idea of having someone who was new, but who was very talented and had a very beautiful voice. There was something about Charmian Carr (right). She has these amazing blue eyes and a very distinct voice. I think he made a very wise choice there. And she owned it." MORE: ACTORS WHO ALMOST GOT THE PART
    Getty
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/Getty_ETHandout_JaneFondaMiaFarrow.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Mia Farrow achieved international stardom when she became Rosemary Woodhouse in the 1968 iconic thriller "Rosemary's Baby," but she actually wasn't director Roman Polanski's first choice. Closer Weekly reported Polanski originally considered Jane Fonda for the role. However, Fonda chose to appear in then-husband Roger Vadim’s space fantasty "Barbarella" instead. MORE: JANE FONDA SLAMMED OVER PLASTIC SURGERY FEUD
    Getty
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/Reuters_JenniferLawrence_EmmaStone.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    During The Hollywood Reporter's Actress Roundtable, Jennifer Lawrence playfully confronted Emma Stone about beating her for the role of Olive in the 2010 teen comedy "Easy A." “I auditioned for 'Easy A,'" said the 27-year-old. "I wanted it so bad."
    Reuters
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/Reuters_HenryWinkler_JohnTravolta.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Henry Winkler, who found fame as Fonzie on "Happy Days," admitted to turning down the role of Danny from the 1978 film musical "Grease." Jon Travolta would eventually take on the iconic character. "I turned down the lead role," Winkler told AARP. "Didn’t want to be typecast. But you’re typecast anyway. And it’s not now that I’m like, 'Oh, I should’ve done the role.' It’s that I turned it down intellectually instead of instinctually. Listen to your gut – it knows everything. Your head knows only some things. So I went home and had an orange juice. Travolta went home and bought a plane."
    Reuters
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/Reuters_GettyEtHandout_HocusPocus.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Leonardo DiCaprio was once considered for the role of Max or "the virgin that lit the black candle" in the 1993 beloved Halloween cult classic "Hocus Pocus." However, film director Kenny Ortega told Entertainment Weekly that the then-19-year-old was also auditioning for "two films he really wanted." DiCaprio would go on to star in "This Boy's Life" and "What's Eating Gilbert Grape." Actor Omri Katz played the role of Max. MORE: 19 REASONS WHY 'HOCUS POCUS' IS THE BEST HALLOWEEN MOVIE OF ALL TIME
    Reuters/Getty
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/AP_Getty_Sinatra_Romero.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Burt Ward, who starred as sidekick Robin in the 1960s series "Batman," confirmed to Fox News recently that Frank Sinatra wanted to play Adam West’s main foe Joker, but Cesar Romero already earned the role. MORE: RANKING ALL OF THE JOKERS IN THE BATMAN-VERSE
    AP/Getty
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/Getty_RT_ETHandout_MenInBlack.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    “Men in Black” director Barry Sonnenfeld revealed to The Daily News actor Chris O’Donnell was considered for the role of Agent J and Clint Eastwood for Agent K. However, he originally had Will Smith and "the very intimidating" Tommy Lee Jones in mind for the film. Sonnenfeld's picks proved to be a winning combination. “Men in Black” earned nearly $600 million at the box office. MORE: FAVORITE TV REUNIONS
    Reuters/Reuters/Getty
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/RT_Getty_ETHandout_RobertBrad.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Actor Brad Pitt originally made female audiences swoon with his portrayal as J.D. in the 1991 film "Thelma & Louise" opposite Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon. However, Vulture.com reported Robert Downey Jr. was originally considered for the role. However, Davis had a better connection with Pitt during rehearsal and asked both the casting director and the producer to settle with him instead. MORE: GWYNETH PALTROW RESPONDS TO A FAN ASKING IF SHE WOULD GET BACK TOGETHER WITH EX BRAD PITT
    Reuters/Getty
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/RT_Getty_John_Joker.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    John Lithgow told Vulture he was considered to play Joker in Tim Burton's 1989 film, "Batman." “I was doing ‘M. Butterfly’ on Broadway and it was an exhausting show,” said the 71-year-old actor. “It would have meant leaving that show and going right into a movie, and I said, ‘I just don’t think I can.’ How about that for stupid? Actors are not necessarily smart people.” The role would go on to Jack Nicholson. MORE: Ranking All of the Jokers in the Batman-verse
    Reuters/Getty
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/RT_ThelmaAndLouise.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    In the upcoming book "Off the Cliff," author Becky Aikman claims actresses Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep were desperate to star in the 1991 film "Thelma and Louise." "They didn't have their agents make the call; they did it themselves. No one would have expected the two friends, box-office champs, and Oscar winners, to campaign for parts, but they showed up prepared to kill," wrote Aikman. However, the roles ultimately went to Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis.
    Reuters
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/joseph-fiennes-roles-got-away-reuters.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Joseph Fiennes revealed he nearly landed the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in "Star Wars." "“It was whittled down after many auditions to myself and another fine actor who I was at that time at drama school with," Fiennes told The Wrap. The role eventually went to Ewan McGregor who went to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London around the same time as Fiennes.
    Reuters
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/RT_ConnieBritton_KerryWashington.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    "Scandal" creator Shonda Rhimes told The Hollywood Reporter that an insider originally thought the 50-year-old "Nashville" star would have been a good choice to play Olivia Pope. "When the show got picked up [to pilot], I got a phone call from somebody who said, 'This would be the perfect show for Connie Britton.' I said, 'It would be, except Olivia Pope is black.'" Kerry Washington was ultimately chosen to take on the iconic role, which was inspired by Judy Smith, a former Bush Administration press aide turned real-life crisis management expert.
    Reuters
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/ian-mckellen-roles-that-got-away-reuters.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Ian McKellen, left, didn't explore the possibility of playing Dumbledore in the "Harry Potter" films after the original actor Richard Harris died because he knew Harris wasn't a fan of his. "“When they called me up and said would I be interested in being in the 'Harry Potter' films, they didn’t say in what part,” he told BBC's "HARDtalk." “I worked out what they were thinking, and I couldn’t… I couldn’t take over the part from an actor who I’d known didn’t approve of me.” Michael Gambon, right, got the role in the end. 
    Reuters
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/RT_AnnetteBening_GettyCatwoman.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Michelle Pfeiffer revealed to Interview Magazine that she wasn't originally confirmed to appear in the 1992 film. "“[And] I have this weird synchronicity with Annette Bening,” she explained. “I was supposed to do ‘Bugsy’ [1991]. I fell out of that. She did it, so she met Warren [Beatty]. That wouldn’t have happened. And then she was supposed to do ‘Batman Returns’ [1992]. She fell out of that. I replaced her. So, we’re always kind of tag-teaming.” MORE: Michelle Pfeiffer Poses for First Magazine Cover in Years, Recalls Being 'Terrified' on 'Scarface' Set
    Reuters/Getty
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/emma-watson-emma-stone-split-reuters.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Emma Watson, left, was supposed to have Emma Stone's role in "La La Land," but she opted to go film Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" remake instead. "La La Land" earned 14 Academy Award nominations, including a Best Actress nod for Stone. We're guessing Watson may have some regrets. 
    Reuters
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/andrew-garfield-ben-barnes-split-reuters.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Andrew Garfield, left, revealed he missed out on a "Narnia" role and Ben Barnes, right, ultimately got it. “I really wanted to play...This is so silly. There was a 'Narnia' movie. The 'Prince Caspian' film..." he dished to ET. “Ben Barnes ultimately got it… I think the feedback was ‘he's not handsome enough.’ What can you do? Hey, I'm not handsome enough for Prince Caspian.”
    Reuters
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/eddie-redmayne-adam-drivers-roles-that-got-away.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Redmayne really wanted to play Kylo Ren in "The Force Awakens" but he lost the role to Adam Driver. Redmayne recently said he had a “catastrophically bad” audition for the part. 
    Reuters
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/leonardo-dicaprio-hayden-Christensen.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Reuters
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/jerry-lewis-some-like-it-hot.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Reuters/Metro Goldwyn Mayer
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/cameron-diaz-kombat.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Reuters
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/reese-witherspoon-christina-applegate-legally-blonde.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Reuters
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/clueless-role.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Reuters/AP
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/jada-pinkett-smith-roles.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Reuters
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/timothy-olyphant-reuters.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Cast member Timothy Olyphant poses at a premiere screening for season 5 of the television series

    Reuters
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/jeremy-sisto-titanic.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Reuters
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/reese-rosamund.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Reuters
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/neil-patrick-harris-876.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Actor Neil Patrick Harris attends the 52nd New York Film Festival opening night gala presentation of the movie

    Reuters
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/tom-hanks-bill-murray-reuters-split.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Reuters
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/reba-titanic-kathy-bates.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Reuters
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/jennie-garth-saved-by-the-bell.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Reuters
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/katie-holmes-orange-is-the-new-black.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Reuters/Jill Greenberg/Netflix
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/lucy-hale-50-shades.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Reuters
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/mel-arnold-terminator-copy.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/Robin-Williams-roles-that-got-away-joker-660-ap.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/Nic-Cage-as-Iron-Man.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    U.S. actor Nicolas Cage poses for photographers during a promotional event for the film

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/zooey-in-silver-linings.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Actress Zooey Deschanel arrives at the FOX after party after the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT PROFILE) (GOLDENGLOBES-PARTIES) - RTR3CFMA

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/tom-as-salt.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/Thomas-Jane-as-Draper.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/lindsay-in-hangover.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/will-smith-as-matrix.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/jackman-as-bond.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/JLaw-in-Twilight.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/Emma-Stone-in-Heroes.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/burt-in-pretty.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/Robert-de-niro-in-big.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/susan-and-adrian.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/Daniel-Day-Lewis-Pulp-Fiction-Reuters.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Reuters
  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/tom-in-goodfellas.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/frank-as-dirty-harry.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/sarah-in-almost.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/nic-cage-as-wrestler.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/eminem-as-wanted.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/OJ-as-term.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/haily-as-harry-potter.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/Kate-as-bridget.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/09/918/516/Back-to-the-Future.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/molly-as-pretty-women.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/Val-in-DD.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/Nicole-In-the-reader.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/John-as-Forest.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/anne-and-kath.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/tom-cruise-in-shaw.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/walk-as-han-solo.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/gwyneth-in-titanic.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/mark-and-heath.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

  • https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2018/12/918/516/tom-as-indiana.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

Image 1 of 68