Actors who turned down iconic roles

When you’re a working actor, FOMO is simply a part of the job description. Even Hollywood’s largest stars have been rejected time and time once more, however seemingly each actor additionally has a narrative or two about turning down an element, not realizing the huge hit they let slip by means of their fingers. From “The Matrix” and “Titanic” to “Pulp Fiction” and “Recreation of Thrones,” this is how a few of your movie and TV favorites may have seemed a lot totally different had an actor not handed on one of many leads: 

Will Smith turned down Neo in ‘The Matrix’ 

Whoa. Will Smith may have performed Keanu Reeves’ position of Neo in “The Matrix,” however he turned it down. The actor defined he was baffled by director Lana and Lilly Wachowski’s pitch, which didn’t convey how groundbreaking the film could be. Smith as a substitute starred within the notorious bomb “Wild Wild West.” Nonetheless, he feels this was for one of the best. “If I had completed it, as a result of I am Black, then Morpheus would not have been Black,” he stated, noting Val Kilmer was thought-about for that half as a substitute of Laurence Fishburne. “So I did y’all a favor,” he added. 

Matt Damon turned down Jake Sully in ‘Avatar’

Earlier than Sam Worthington was solid as Jake Sully in “Avatar,” Matt Damon handed on the position to deal with the Jason Bourne franchise. “Avatar” went on to develop into the highest-grossing movie of all time, and to make issues worse, James Cameron had provided Damon 10% of the income, that means he may have remodeled $250 million. “I’ll go down in historical past … you’ll by no means meet an actor who turned down more cash,” Damon stated, per Deadline. 

Claire Danes turned down Rose in ‘Titanic’

Damon is not the one one who turned down a James Cameron monster hit. On the “Armchair Professional” podcast, Claire Danes recalled passing on the position of Rose in “Titanic,” which went to Kate Winslet. Danes stated she “simply did not have it in” her to take the half and take care of the extent of fame it could carry, and she or he additionally needed to have “totally different artistic experiences,” as she had simply starred reverse Leonardo DiCaprio in one other romantic drama, “Romeo + Juliet.” Gwyneth Paltrow additionally handed on the position. 

Laurence Fishburne turned down Jules in ‘Pulp Fiction’

Laurence Fishburne handed up the possibility to play Jules in “Pulp Fiction” as a substitute of Samuel L. Jackson. On the “Rewatchables” podcast, Quentin Tarantino defined he wrote Jules for Fishburne, however the actor’s group instructed he flip it down as a result of it was a supporting position they usually have been making an attempt to determine him as a number one man. As an alternative, Fishburne starred in “Unhealthy Firm” reverse Ellen Barkin. “Their technique was proper on,” however “they took me flippantly,” Tarantino stated, including that “what he handed up with ‘Pulp Fiction,’ he ultimately will get with ‘The Matrix.'”  

Liam Neeson turned down James Bond in ‘GoldenEye’

It may have been Neeson, Liam Neeson, making his debut as James Bond in “GoldenEye” as a substitute of Pierce Brosnan. However the actor instructed Rolling Stone he handed on 007 as a result of his spouse instructed him, “When you play James Bond, we’re not getting married.” The “Taken” star added that she “gave me a James Bond ultimatum,” joking, “Come on, there’s all these attractive women in numerous nations entering into mattress and getting off the bed. I am certain loads of her decision-making was primarily based on that.” Neeson clarified he did not have a proposal, although, and was certainly one of a “bunch of actors” who have been thought-about. 

Sean Connery turned down Gandalf in ‘The Lord of the Rings’

Talking of Bonds, Sean Connery was provided the position of Gandalf in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy earlier than Ian McKellen was solid. Producer Mark Ordesky instructed The Impartial, “We did make a proposal to Connery however he stated no. We by no means obtained a solution till years later, however apparently he learn the fabric and simply did not get it.” 

Drew Barrymore turned down Sidney Prescott in ‘Scream’

In one of the crucial iconic opening sequences in film historical past, Drew Barrymore was killed firstly of “Scream,” stunning audiences who anticipated her to be in the complete movie. Properly, she was initially meant to be, as Barrymore was first connected to play the lead, Sidney Prescott. However she then determined she as a substitute needed to play the opening sufferer, realizing moviegoers could be shocked to see her die so early. “We have been actually bummed when she modified her thoughts,” producer Marianne Maddalena recalled within the e-book “It All Started With A Scream,” however “later we realized it was good.” With Barrymore now not taking part in Sidney, Neve Campbell was solid. 

Halle Berry turned down Annie Porter in ‘Velocity’

Halle Berry was provided the Sandra Bullock position in “Velocity,” which might have paired her with Keanu Reeves, although the film seemed fairly totally different at that time. “I stupidly stated no,” Berry instructed Leisure Tonight. “However in my protection, after I learn the script the bus did not depart the parking zone. I used to be like no, no, no, no. Then I see the film and I am like, arrrrghh.” 

Brian Cox turned down Robert Baratheon in ‘Recreation of Thrones’

“Succession” star Brian Cox may have starred on one other HBO hit, as he turned down the position of King Robert Baratheon on “Recreation of Thrones.” He later defined in his memoir this was largely due to his wage provide. “When it was initially provided the cash was not all that nice, let’s say,” Cox wrote. “Plus I used to be going to be killed off pretty early on, so I would not have had any of the advantages of the long-term results of a profitable collection the place your wages go up with every passing season.” 

Emma Watson turned down Mia in ‘La La Land’

Emma Watson and Miles Teller have been in talks to guide “La La Land” earlier than the elements went to Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Watson defined she needed to drop out due to commitments to Disney’s “Magnificence and the Beast” remake. “Scheduling conflict-wise, it did not work out,” she stated. Stone went on to win the Finest Actress Oscar for the position. 

Jack Nicholson turned down Michael Corleone in ‘The Godfather’

Jack Nicholson handed on Michael Corleone, Al Pacino’s character, in “The Godfather.” In a 1982 interview, he defined he felt an Italian actor ought to play the character. On high of that, Nicholson needed to work with Marlon Brando, however he “did not have any scenes with Marlon within the script I learn.” So Nicholson determined to carry out for an opportunity to work with Brando extra instantly, which he obtained with 1976’s “The Missouri Breaks.” 

Emily Blunt was compelled to show down Black Widow in ‘Iron Man 2’

Scarlett Johansson made her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut as Black Widow in “Iron Man 2,” setting her up for an 11-year run within the position. However Emily Blunt was in talks earlier than turning the half down, though not by alternative. On “The Howard Stern Present,” Blunt defined she was compelled to go as a result of she was contracted to star in “Gulliver’s Travels,” which was later panned by critics. “It was a little bit of a heartbreaker for me as a result of I take such satisfaction within the selections that I make,” she instructed Stern.

Amanda Seyfried turned down Gamora in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Amanda Seyfried instructed The Hollywood Reporter’s “Awards Chatter” podcast she turned down the position of Gamora in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which went to Zoe Saldaña. This was partially as a result of she did not need to spend hours entering into and out of inexperienced make-up on daily basis. However Seyfried additionally recalled not eager to be “a part of the primary Marvel film that bombed,” admitting she requested, “Who desires to see a film a couple of speaking tree and a racoon?” Clearly, she added, “I used to be very mistaken.”