15 Actors That Turned Down The Role Of A Lifetime

15 Actors That Turned Down The Role Of A Lifetime
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Pretty much everyone has a favorite tv or movie actor, whether they are in Hollywood, Bollywood, or New York. Sometimes people get to know a lot about a new show even before it reaches the premiere – especially with the help of our search engines. But, what if your favorite show ever would have had a different actor playing the lead character? Would the show not be the same or would it be even better with the other actor? There are questions that could be asked for days at a time to actors that dropped out of roles. Here’s 15 Actors That Turned Down The Role Of A Lifetime.


Sarah Michelle Gellar
Cher Horowitz, Clueless

We all know Sarah Michelle Gellar from her award winning portrayal of Buffy Summer on the hit tv series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and for her role as Kendall Hart on All My Children. But, what you may not know that she was up to play to part of Cher in the popular movie Clueless. But, unfortunately her schedule was booked solid for All My Children.



Johnny Depp
Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Johnny Depp has been in some all-star movies and tv shows, starting with 21 Jump Street, Edward Scissorhands, and all those Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Depp even declined the role of Ferris Bueller, only because he had a few other projects brewing and couldn’t do it. It would have been amazing to watch Depp put his unique spin on this movie.



Jennifer Hudson
Precious, Precious

People automatically associate the movie Precious with a young overweight black female played by Gabourey Sidibe. But, this role was originally offered to Jennifer Hudson. And controversy soon happened, as Hudson turned down the role and rumors claiming it was because of her weight. But, Hudson was quick to shut down the rumor mill and claim that this role was just not meant for her.



Paul Giamatti
Michael Scott, The Office

When people think about Michael Scott from The Office, they immediately think about the funnyman, Steve Carell. Good thing Paul Giamatti turned down the role, since he wanted to transition to tv or else Carell would not be who he is today, without Michael Scott. Who knows, the show could’ve been an even bigger hit or a huge train wreck and ended after only a season.



Sandra Bullock
Maggie, Million Dollar Baby

While Sandra Bullock made a name for herself in movies like Demolition Man, Speed, and Miss Congeniality, it’s shocking to hear that she had to drop out of the role as Maggie in Million Dollar Baby, because of some scheduling conflicts with the Miss Congeniality sequel. She was more than willing to try and make it work, but Bullock understands that things happen for a reason.



Denzel Washington
Detective David Mills, Se7en

Denzel Washington has played some pretty amazing roles in huge movies, from Training Day to Glory to Malcolm X. But, Brad Pitt in all of his sexiness was not the first choice for the role of Detective David Mills, Washington could have had this role if he wanted it. And Washington turned down the role, only to regret it after seeing the screener. Good for Brad, bad for Denzel – it happens.



Angela Bassett
Leticia, Monster’s Ball

Monster’s Ball was an epic movie. Billy Bob Thornton and Halle Berry scorched the big screen. But, Berry was not cast to be the original Leticia, Angela Bassett was. And Bassett who has played everyone from Michael Jackson’s mother to Tina Turner, did not want to play another cliché role. She didn’t want to play into the stereotypes placed on black female actresses, playing morbidly obese women or prostitutes.



Bette Midler
Sister Mary Clarence/Deloris Van Cartier, Sister Act

If you are a fan of Down and Out in Beverly Hills and Beaches, then Bette Midler has already pulled at your heartstrings in those dynamic roles. But, did you know that Midler was supposed to play to role of Sister Mary Clarence/Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act? Either way it goes, this movie would’ve been great with either her or the actual star, Whoopi Goldberg.



Brad Pitt
Jason Bourne, The Bourne Identity

We all know Brad Pitt and his amazing abs and shirtless role in the cult classic film, Fight Club. But, Pitt was also slated to play the butt-kicking assassin, Jason Bourne in The Bourne Identity. Pitt would have played an amazing and probably much a much more shirtless version of Jason Bourne than Damon. Fortunately for Damon, Pitt was already committed to other projects.


Gwyneth Paltrow
Rose DeWitt, Titanic

Gwyneth Paltrow has been in the entertainment industry since the late 80s, acting in everything from Sliding Doors to Shallow Hal to the Iron Man series. And she even passed on playing the massive role of Rose DeWitt across from Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic. This movie made a killing at the box office and too bad she passed it up, helping Kat Winslet win the role.


John Travolta
Forrest Gump, Forrest Gump

John Travolta is most recognized for his roles in Grease, Face/Off, and Pulp Fiction. But, how cool would it have been if Travolta had not turned down the role of Forrest Gump? Would he have done more dancing since he has a background in dancing? Or would the movie have been something else completely? Who knows, but kudos to Hanks on nailing this role and winning multiple awards.


Katie Holmes
Piper Chapman, Orange Is the New Black; Buffy Summer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

On this list of people who turned down roles of a lifetime, Katie Holmes is the most recent to do so, as she turned down the role of Piper Chapman in the hit Netflix show, Orange Is the New Black. Now, that was a big mistake for Holmes, as this role could’ve revitalized her Dawson’s Creek popularity status.



Will Smith
Neo, The Matrix

It’s no secret that a lot of people across the world love Will Smith. Back in late 90s and early 2000s, Smith was a busy actor. And when he was offered the role of Neo in the sci-fi movie, The Matrix… he turned it down. He was just coming off shooting 3 mega-hit movies when he passed on Neo, to be in the Wild Wild West.



Matthew Broderick
Walter White, Breaking Bad

When people talk about Breaking Bad and the story of some badass named Walter White (Bryan Cranston) was on the intense and popular tv show. And it’s too bad that Matthew Broderick didn’t take the part before it was given to Cranston. This show could’ve been something great for Broderick’s tv career, as he already has skill and experience on the Broadway stage and the movie screen.


Dana Delaney
Carrie Bradshaw, Sex And The City

Sex And The City was one of the hottest shows on tv during the late 90s and Sarah Jessica Parker was the It Woman of the moment. But, Carrie Bradshaw was offered to Dana Delaney as well, but she had no desire to be on a show about sex. Good thing Delaney didn’t take it, cause who knows where Parker would be without this role.