9 Times Actors Who Almost Missed Out On Their Star-Defining Roles

Hollywood is packed with actors who will forever be associated with the role that first made them famous. These star-defining roles put actors on the map, revive stagnant careers for seasoned pros, or catapult actors into new genres.
But, many might not know that some iconic roles almost slip through an actor’s fingers. There are plenty of reasons why an actor may miss out on an ideal opportunity. Maybe they have scheduling conflicts or a lack of familiarity with the source material. Or maybe it’s a much dumber reason. Fortunately, thanks to an amazing miracle, these actors all had a change of heart and took on their characters after all. And we, film buffs enjoy excellent performances.
Below are 9 star-defining roles that were almost turned down by famous stars. It means that some great characters could have never existed. If you want to see more, click here, here, and here.

#1 Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter

Star-Defining RolesSource: © Dave Hogan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

At 12 years old, Daniel Radcliffe rose to fame when he portrayed Harry Potter in the film series of the same name. The role earned him various awards and nominations. Many might not know that initially, Daniel Radcliffe’s parents prevent him from taking on this role. They didn’t want him to sign a deal that required him to commit to 6 films and all of which would be filmed in L.A. They were afraid that there was too much disruption in his life. Thankfully, the deal changed and the film location was much closer to them.

#2 Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange

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Helen McCrory turned down the role of Bellatrix Lestrange in “Harry Potter” so it went to Helena Bonham Carter. It was revealed that the original actress cast in the role was expecting a child. Helena said, “So they came to me, and I loved it. I love magic, I love witches, I love the whole Harry Potter world. I was all too happy to play a witch.”

#3 Hugh Jackman as Wolverine

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Huge Jackman was best known for playing “Wolverine” in the X-Men films but the iconic part was originally offered to Russell Crowe. In fact, the filmmaker didn’t give the role to Huge and passed it on to Dougray Scott but he refused it due to his busy schedule. Finally, Huge took on the role.

#4 Keanu Reeves as Neo

Star-Defining RolesSource: © Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection/East News

Keanu Reeves nailed the role of Neo in “The Matrix” but Will Smith was first offered the role. Will shared that he was confused when the people behind the film explained everything to him.

#5 Anne Hathaway as Andrea Sachs

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Anne Hathaway had a perfect performance in the film “The Devil Wears Prada”. In an interview, the film’s director revealed that they offered Rachel McAdams the role 3 times and that the entire studio was desperate for her to be in the film. On the other hand, Anne shared, “I patiently waited until it was my turn, and I got the call. It was the easiest yes in the world. I remember the moment I found out I got the part, I just ran screaming through my apartment.”

#6 Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller

Star-Defining RolesSource: © East News

Matthew Broderick was not the first choice for the role of Ferris Bueller in the 1980s high school comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It was reported that Johnny Depp confirmed that he would take the role, but he had to pass on the opportunity because he ended up being unavailable.

#7 Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso

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Ralph Macchio was not the first actor chosen for playing in “The Karate Kid”. According to the actor, Nicholas Cage and Robert Downey Jr. were also up for the role. He also shared, “I remember walking by and seeing Charlie Sheen hanging out outside Jerry Weintraub’s bungalow and thought, what’s Charlie doing here?”.

#8 Courteney Cox as Monica Geller

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The director of the famous TV series “Friends” initially wanted Courteney Cox to portray Rachel. The director said, “We met with Courteney Cox, and she explained to us why she didn’t think she was a Rachel, and that she herself was more of a Monica. And she was right.”

#9 Chris Hemsworth as Thor

Star-Defining RolesSource: © Image supplied by Capital Pictures/EAST NEWS

Liam Hemsworth, Chris Hemsworth’s younger brother got an audition for the role of “Thor” but he was never called back by the executives. Then one day, Chris’s manager called the film’s producers back, and they made him re-do the entire audition — this time, he got the part.  Chris said, “I guess, motivation and maybe frustration that my little brother had gotten further than me. It’s a little family, sibling rivalry sort of kicked up in me. Then it moved pretty quickly from there. It was cool.”
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