11 Celebs Who Turned Down Roles That Could Have Earned Them Fame and Millions

In the Hollywood industry, being offered a role is the call that many actors and actresses desire. However, you will realize that the more famous you become and the higher you climb the ranks, the more offers will come to you rather than the other way around.
And of course, just because a role is given to them does not guarantee that they will accept it. There are other factors to be taken, such as their schedules, capabilities, and, of course, their job with them. A celebrity may not be able to live up to a role if they find it too intimidating. And an actor may find a role offensive or unsuitable at times.
For example, John Travolta turned down the role of Forrest Gump and Jack Nicholson thought it was impossible to be a Sicilian man without actually being one, Al Pacino was cast as Michael Corleone.
Still, these actors were able to star in many films that gained them recognition and reputation. However, occasionally things do not go as planned, and the rejection of a role can smash all expectations of a successful career.
We decided to find out what celebrities turned down roles and how this affected their the actors' professional fate.

#1 Claire Danes — Rose DeWitt Bukater, Titanic

Celebrities turned down rolesSource: © Titanic / 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, Mary Evans/Allstar/Cinetext/Mark Liley./ East News

Kate Winslet gained worldwide fame and an Oscar nomination for her performance as Rose. The young woman became an overnight success in Hollywood. However, Claire Danes was initially asked to play this role; she declined, citing she was exhausted and bored with her most recent work. Danes apparently didn't want to work with DiCaprio because they both starred in Romeo + Juliet by William Shakespeare not long before Titanic.
Claire's acting career continued, and she landed a role in Homeland, a show that ran for nearly ten years. The actress almost never receives praise or positive reviews for her participation in feature films. Her recent films can't claim that viewers liked them.

#2 Jennifer Love Hewitt — Prue Halliwell, Charmed

Source: © Charmed / Paramount Pictures, Mary Evans / Allstar / Graham Whitby Boot / East News

When actress Shannen Doherty left the project Charmed at the end of the third season, the writers were left wondering what would happen to her character, Prue Halliwell. Jennifer Love Hewitt was asked to try out for the role. The actress, however, refused to appear in the series. Tiffani Thiessen, who received the same offer, also declined the post. Prue Halliwell was eventually dropped from the list of characters in the series.
Jennifer Love Hewitt recently moved from starring in feature films to starring in television programs. As a result, she has appeared in shows such as Criminal Minds and Hot in Cleveland. Today, the actress may be seen in the drama series 9-1-1.

#3 Josh Hartnett — Superman and Batman

Source: © Superman Returns / Warner Bros. Pictures, Invision/Invision/East News

Josh Hartnett declined roles as Batman and Superman. The actor claims that this was the right decision, and possibly the only right decision he's ever made. Josh did not want to become a victim of stereotypical roles, which is why he did not consider this partnership.
Despite landing the lead part in the 2006 film Lucky Number Slevin, the actor only made cameo appearances in low-budget films for the next ten years. Josh appeared in 6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain in 2017, but the film received mostly negative reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the movie a 22% approval rating.

#4 Laurence Fishburne — Jules Winnfield, Pulp Fiction

Source: © Pulp Fiction / Miramax Films, JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX / AFP / East News

Laurence Fishburne has played Morpheus from The Matrix for many years, despite having every chance to avoid this situation. When Quentin Tarantino began working on Pulp Fiction, he asked Laurence to play Jules Winnfield, but Laurence declined.
Samuel L. Jackson played Jules and won a BAFTA for Best Film Actor in a Supporting Role.

#5 Mads Mikkelsen — Vesemir, The Witcher

Celebrities turned down rolesSource: © The Witcher / Netflix an co-producers, Invision / Invision / East News

Mads Mikkelsen was offered the role of Vesemir, the oldest living witcher, and Geralt's mentor before Danish actor Kim Bodnia was selected. Mikkelsen wasn't interested in the project and turned it down. That decision had no impact on the actor's career, as he hopes to appear in a new Indiana Jones film in the future, as well as projects Billion Dollar Spy and The King's Land.

#6 Matthew Broderick — Walter White, Breaking Bad

Celebrities turned down rolesSource: © Breaking Bad / Sony Pictures Television, Invision/Invision/East News

The Breaking Bad creators were hopeful that Matthew Broderick would accept to play the lead role in their film. But he declined the offer, forcing the creators to look for another option to fill the role. Bryan Cranston was one of those people who didn't waste his opportunity and gave it his all in the role.
Following that, Broderick appeared in several films, none of which brought him much success. Broderick can now be heard more than seen because he does voice-overs for animated characters. For example, Simba the lion speaks in Matthew's voice.

#7 Michael Madsen — Vincent Vega, Pulp Fiction

Source: © Pulp Fiction / Miramax Films, © Kill Bill: Vol. 2 / Miramax Films

The iconic dance of Uma Thurman and John Travolta in Pulp Fiction would have looked different if Michael Madsen had played Vincent. However, the actor declined the job since he was working on another project at the time, Wyatt Earp, a western movie. However, this film was not as successful as Quentin Tarantino's black humor — it was nominated for 5 Golden Raspberry Awards and won two of them. Though it's worth noting that the film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography.
Michael remembers the rejection of this position with humor, claiming that no one would have preferred to see him instead of Travolta.

#8 Molly Ringwald — Vivian Ward, Pretty Woman

Celebrities turned down rolesSource: © Pretty Woman / Walt Disney Studios, Mary Evans / AF Archive / Graham Whitby Boot / East News

Many other actresses turned down the role of Vivian in Pretty Woman before Julia Roberts was cast in it. Among them are Molly Ringwald, Meg Ryan, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Valeria Golino. Molly Ringwald later admitted in an interview that she regretted making this decision.
It's not surprising given that the actress lost her popularity in the 1990s after appearing in small films and television shows, whereas Julia Roberts' portrayal of a laid-back girl elevated her to the level of one of Hollywood's most famous stars.

#9 Oliver Hudson — Jack Pearson, This Is Us

Celebrities turned down rolesSource: © This Is Us / 20th Century Studios, Todd Williamson / Invision / AP / East News

Oliver Hudson had every opportunity to play Jack Pearson in the This Is Us series, but he chose to go on a 10-day fishing trip instead. Milo Ventimiglia eventually played the main role and received multiple Emmy nominations for it.
Oliver's biggest part was in the Rules of Engagement sitcom, in which he acted for seven seasons.

#10 Saoirse Ronan — Wanda Maximoff, MCU (Marvel Universe)

Celebrities turned down rolesSource: © WandaVision / Marvel Studios, Jack Shea / Starshots / Broadimage / Broad Image / East News

When director Joss Whedon started planning work on "Avengers: Age of Ultron," he modeled the original concept design for Wanda Maximoff on actress Saoirse Ronan. According to his statements, Whedon had Saoirse Ronan in mind for the role of Scarlet Witch. Ronan has even expressed interest in starring in the MCU film. Perhaps Whedon changed his mind, but Elizabeth Olsen was eventually cast in the role.
Ronan went on to work on many other notable films, including Lady Bird, Little Women, and The French Dispatch. Wand Maximoff's performance by Elizabeth Olsen was praised. Her debut on both the big and small screens in Phase 4 of the series could be an indication that Olsen will become one of the universe's key faces.

#11 Toni Collette — Bridget Jones, Bridget Jones’s Diary

Celebrities turned down rolesSource: © Bridget Jones's Diary / Miramax and co-producers, EVERETT COLLECTION / East News

Toni Collette was the first person considered for the role of Bridget Jones. She was mostly unknown to international producers at the time. However, the actress declined the proposal. Colette was now the lead in The Wild Party, a major Broadway production. As a result, she opted not to leave the scene for that film.
Renée Zellweger was eventually cast in the legendary role. Bridget Jones' Diary won her the Academy Award's first nomination. Bridget Jones' Diary was a huge commercial success, grossing $281 million globally.
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