What Iconic Roles Did These Actors Miss Out On?


Have you ever finished watching a breathtaking movie, sat back and thought to yourself, "Wow, no other actor could have pulled off that role?" It seems like some actors are just destined for the parts they play so we rarely stop to consider whether or not they were the first choice. Actors don't always get the parts they audition for but sometimes they also get offers that they turn down. They may not like the look of a script, the subject matter, or even the other actors assigned to play alongside them, and they decline on the role. Some actors land the job but then end up leaving the movie when it doesn't feel right or they can't agree with the director. And then there are some actors who even end up getting fired. Missing out on a film role can have positive or negative results depending on how the movie is received. If an actor drops out of a movie and it ends up bombing at the theater, well, he might just breathe a sigh of relief. But how do you think they feel when the movie they missed out on goes on to become an Academy Award winner or cult classic? Test your movie general knowledge and see if you can spot the films these actors missed out on!

Question 1

Molly Ringwald turned down a leading role in which of these movies?

Molly Ringwald made a name for herself as a teen idol in the 80's and early 90's after she appeared in a string of successful John Hughes movies including Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty in Pink. She made her movie debut in a film called Tempest in 1982 and was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance. She was an in-demand actress during these years but she turned down a role which could have taken her career to the next level.

Question 2

From which of these movies was Megan Fox fired?

No matter how famous you are you still need to watch your words carefully when giving interviews. Megan Fox obviously thought that she was too important to be fired but her off-handed comments during an interview led the director to give her a marching order. What did she do that was so bad? Well, she compared the director of the flick to Adolf Hitler, meaning that she felt he was very difficult to work with. Needless to say, this didn't go down very well and Megan soon found herself out of work.

Question 3

Which iconic movie did Will Smith pass on?

Some movie ideas are harder to pitch than others and this movie was one of those. But looking back now it's hard to believe that Will Smith turned this role down just because he couldn't wrap his head around it. At this point in Smith's career he was riding high after films like Independence Day and Men in Black and had his pick of roles but he decided to pass on this one. A few years later he spoke about it in an interview and said he made the right choice because he wouldn't have pulled it off.

Question 4

Which epic movie did Stuart Townsend miss out on?

This one is actually a pretty sad story. Stuart Townsend was hired to play a leading role in this epic movie and spent months preparing his body for the role only to find himself fired by the director the day before filming was set to begin. The director's reason for this move was that he felt Townsend was too young for the role. And to make matters worse he wasn't even paid for his time. This movie could have bolstered his career but it seems it wasn't meant to be...

Question 5

Eric Stoltz was fired from which movie set?

Acting may seem like an easy job but imagine being hired by a big name director and then getting fired just a few weeks later? Now that has to suck. This is exactly what happened to Eric Stoltz. The director chose him for the role when the actor he actually wanted wasn't available but a few weeks into filming he fired Eric because he felt he couldn't hack the leading part. The other actor found time to do the movie in the end and the film was a massive hit.

Question 6

Jennifer Lawrence lost out on which movie?

Jennifer Lawrence has made a name for herself playing strong female leads but before she made it as Katniss Everdeen she tried out for a role in one of the movies listed below. It's a pity that she wasn't chosen as the female lead for this film because the actress who did finally take the role well, let's just say Jennifer could have done a lot better. Which of these movies did Jennifer Lawrence audition for but get turned down from?

Question 7

Which movie set was Ryan Gosling fired from?

Sometimes actors and directors have very different ideas about what a character should look like so it's important to try and get on the same page from the start. Ryan Gosling learned this lesson the hard way. Ryan was hired to play a leading role in this movie but he thought that the character would be overweight so he gained 60lbs by drinking melted ice cream in the months before filming began. When he showed up on set the director was not impressed and promptly replaced him with another actor.

Question 8

Dougray Scott backed out of which movie?

The director of this movie originally wanted Russel Crowe to play the lead role but the actor's salary demands were a little steep so the role was offered to Dougray Scott instead. He accepted the role but soon realized that the contract required a sequel and he had already committed to another movie so he backed out. The part was then given to a relatively unknown actor at the time. The movie was so successful that it made the star an overnight sensation.

Question 9

Which movie did Mel Gibson pass on because he felt he was too old?

Before his racist rants leaked out to the media and ruined his reputation, Mel Gibson was one of the most bankable actors in Hollywood. As a result, he was in demand with plenty of roles being offered to him. But it's not as easy as it seems to always choose the right roles and Gibson turned down this particular role because he felt that he was too old. You can imagine how disappointed he was when the film went on to become a huge hit with audiences and critics alike.

Question 10

Tom Hanks turned down which iconic role?

Everyone knows who Tom Hanks is but did you know that this talented guy is also the third highest-grossing actor in North America? His movies have grossed more than $9.0 billion worldwide and he's won numerous Golden Globe and Academy Awards for his work. When you are a big name actor you need to choose your roles very carefully. Tom Hanks was offered a role in one of the movies below but turned it down to work on a directorial project instead. Do you which one it was?

Question 11

Sean Connery turned down a role in which of these movies?

Sean Connery was approached to play an iconic role in one of the movies of the movies listed below but according to him he declined on the role "because he didn't understand the script". The movie went on to become a runaway success and so Connery decided to go with the next movie role offered to him even if he didn't understand it. Unfortunately, that next movie turned out to be The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Win some, lose some right?

Question 12

Which role did John Travolta regret not taking?

Sometimes it's hard for actors to choose the right movies and choosing the wrong ones can cause their careers to nosedive. Nobody wants to be associated with a flop, right? But what happens when the movie you turn down ends up becoming a massive hit? John Travolta, known for his roles in movies like Face Off and Pulp Fiction turned down a role in this 90's movie which went on to become a firm cult film favorite and he said he deeply regretted his decision. Do you know which one it was?

Question 13

Which script was too disturbing for Michelle Pfeiffer?

There are actors who are more reserved than others and Michelle Pfeiffer is one of them. She even turned down the lead role in Basic Instinct because she wasn't willing to show the amount of skin needed for the part. This wasn't the only iconic movie role she turned down either. She also passed on one of the following movies because she found the subject matter too disturbing. The film went on to win five Academy Awards and is one of only three movies ever to do so.

Question 14

Naomi Watt's agent turned down a role in which movie on her behalf?

When you get to be a well-known and in-demand actor or actress you need help to manage to career. One of the roles of an agent is to screen scripts for their clients and make decisions on their behalf. Sometimes they get it right and other times their choices might spell disaster. That's exactly what happened to Naomi Watts. She was offered a role in one of the movies below but her agents rejected the part before she even had time to consider it.

Question 15

Which iconic movie did Johnny Depp pass on?

Johhny Depp made his debut performance in the classic horror flick A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984. After outstanding performances in movies like Platoon, Edward Scissorhands, and What's Eating Gilbert Grape, the movie offers began to pour in for Depp and as far as we can tell the demand for him is still just as high. Depp was among the top candidates for one of these films but in the end, he had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. Can you guess what movie it was?

Question 16

Jack Nicholson turned down a role in which of these movies?

Jack Nicholson has made a name for himself playing difficult roles and to be honest we think he could have pulled this movie off. But Jack passed on a leading part in this movie because he didn't feel that he was the right guy for the part. Although this decision certainly didn't ruin his movie career he must have regretted it at some stage as the movie went on to become one of the best-known in history. Which one of these was it?

Question 17

Which movie did James Purefoy walk away from?

Have you ever started a job only to realize a few weeks later that you absolutely hate it? It's happened to most of us and believe it or not it happens to actors too. James Purefoy (who you’ll remember from his roles in series like The Following and Rome) landed an iconic movie role but it didn't work out for him and he ended up quitting the project after about six weeks of filming. The official reason he gave was "creative differences" but he must have kicked himself for this choice afterward.

Question 18

Anne Hathaway was dropped from which of these movies?

Anne Hathaway was originally chosen to play the main female lead in one of the movies listed below but she was so demanding that she was dropped from the flick and replaced with someone else. According to the rumor mill, Hathaway just couldn't agree with the director about a number of key scenes and seemed to have her own ideas about how the story should be presented. The director eventually grew tired of her and dropped her from the movie. Do you know which one it was?

Question 19

Robert Downey Jr. passed on a part in which movie?

Robert Downey Jr. may be enjoying a career right now thanks to his role as Tony Stark but there was a time when no-one wanted to hire him. Back in the nineties, Robert was fired from his role in Ally McBeal largely due to his drug addiction problems but he managed to clean himself up and start getting work again. He turned down a role in one of these movies because it didn't leave room for improvisation - which one was it?

Question 20

Brad Pitt could have been the star of which of these movies?

Brad Pitt is one of the most bankable actors in Hollywood so it goes without saying that he's had to turn down a number of roles. After all, he can only make so many movies at a time! This acting big shot has turned down roles in movies like Apollo 13 and The Bourne Identity but we bet you didn't know that he was also offered the leading role in one of the movies below. Can you guess which one it was?

Question 21

Which movie did Jim Carrey turn down?

Jim Carrey made a name for himself with movies like Ace Ventura and Dumb and Dumber when audiences fell in love with his special brand of comedy. He's known for his highly energetic slapstick performances and over the top facial expressions but he's proven that he can take on more serious roles as well such as The Number 23. It's almost impossible to believe that he was offered the leading role in one of these movies but turned it down.

Question 22

Which iconic movie role did Hugh Jackman pass on?

Did you know that Hugh Jackman enjoyed his breakthrough performance thanks to another actor turning down a role? Dougray Scott was originally cast to play the role of Wolverine in X-Men but had to back out due to a prior commitment. The studio gave the role to Jackman and it made him a household name almost overnight. A few years later Jackman was offered another iconic role but turned it down because he didn't want to portray two iconic characters at the same time.

Question 23

Which movie did Gwenyth Paltrow miss out on?

At the time that this film was made Gwenyth Paltrow was in high demand with plenty of scripts coming her way. But she was really interested in working on this film and tried out for the lead female role. She was one of the top contenders for the role but all that fell apart when another actress arrived on the scene. The producers fell in love with her and offered her the role instead of Gwenyth. We're sure she still wishes that she got the role!

Question 24

Which movie did Denzel Washington miss out on?

Often there are a number of actors considered for a certain role but in the end, only one of them can get it. Missing out on a role is something that can happen even when you are an A-list actor like Denzel Washington. Denzel was among a number of Hollywoods greats considered for this thriller flick but unfortunately for him, he lost out to another actor. However, we are sure that you'll agree that the actors who were eventually chosen were perfect!

Question 25

Which of these movies did Warren Beatty turn down?

In retrospect, we are sure Warren Beatty is still kicking himself from turning down a role in this movie. The offer came at a time when Beatty could have really used a career boost but he was very picky and chose to turn down the offer, even though he was the directors first choice. Beatty's career has taken a sharp dive since the early 2000's and this role could have put him back on the map. Which movie did Warren Beatty pass on?

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