10 Stars Who Almost Lost Their Most Famous Roles Because Of Their Appearances

Appearance is important, especially when you’re an actor. Directors choose the stars to play their characters not only through talents but through looks as well. Some famous movie stars almost lost their most famous roles because their appearances weren’t compatible with the characters.
Can you imagine Jessica Alba being told she was too ugly to play Susan Storm, or Emma Watson being told she was too pretty to play Hermione Granger? It might sound hard to believe, but these were all true stories. So let’s find out how these amazing movie stars almost got rejected for their most famous roles because of their looks.

1. Benedict Cumberbatch - Sherlock

most famous roles Benedict Cumberbatch - SherlockSource: BBC/ Courtesy of Everett Collection

Benedict Cumberbatch did an amazing job playing the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes in the modern world. However, he almost never got his role because he was "not sexy enough." Sherlock showrunner Steven Moffat claimed the BBC execs said: “You promised us a sexy Sherlock, not him.”

2. Emma Watson - Hermione Granger

most famous roles Emma Watson - Hermione GrangerSource: Warner Bros. Pictures/ Courtesy of Everett Collection

Hermione Granger was almost played by another actor instead of Emma Watson. Crazy, right? Turned out that the first time seeing little Emma, J. K. Rowling thought she was too pretty to play the character. Luckily, Emma was able to convince Rowling to think again by giving her a phone call and speaking for 60 seconds at least without drawing breath.

3. Keira Knightley - Pride and Prejudice

most famous roles Keira Knightley - Pride and PrejudiceSource: Universal Pictures and co-producers

Like Emma, Keira Knightley also almost lost her role in Pride and Prejudice because she was too beautiful. Director Joe Wright didn’t think her beauty would fit the character but changed his mind upon meeting her face to face. “Then he met me and said, ’Oh no, you’re fine!’” Knightley jokingly added when she recalled their encounter.

4. Amanda Seyfried - Mamma Mia!

most famous roles Amanda Seyfried - Mamma Mia!Source: Universal Pictures and co-producers

Amanda Seyfried had to suffer a lot of body shaming before she got her role in Mamma Mia! And she was deemed “overweight” for many other roles many times before too. To get her part in the movie, Seyfried had to work out and follow a strict diet to lose weight.

5. Olivia Wilde - The Wolf of Wall Street

most famous roles Olivia Wilde - The Wolf of Wall StreetSource: Lionsgate and co-producers

Olivia Wilde auditioned for a role in The Wolf of Wall Street and sadly, she lost the part. The first reason the casting directors gave her was that they deemed her too sophisticated to play the main character’s wife. However, Wilde later found out that they actually said she was too old. She lost her part to Margot Robbie, who was 6 years younger than her.

6. Jennifer Lawrence - Winter's Bone

Jennifer Lawrence - Winter's BoneSource: Roadside Attractions/ Courtesy of Everett Collection

Katniss might be one of the most famous roles of Jennifer Lawrence, but it was her role in Winter's Bone that won her an Oscar. The actress had to prove that she was not cute to get her part in the movie. The casting directors originally turned her down thinking she was too pretty to play a poverty-stricken teenage girl. Lawrence then auditioned again after days of not showering. She had no makeup on and red eyes just to be sure. “Eventually, they went, 'Oh, she's right. She's not cute!'," the actress said.

7. Kate Beckinsale - Pearl Harbor

Kate Beckinsale - Pearl HarborSource: Jerry Bruckheimer Films and co-producers

Imagine saying Kate Beckinsale is not pretty enough for a role. Unbelievable, right? However, that was exactly what director Michael Bay said to the actress back then. According to Kate Beckinsale, Bay didn't think she was attractive enough because she "wasn't blonde and her boobs weren't bigger than her head." To get her part as Nurse Evelyn, Beckinsale had to work out a lot and stay on a very strict diet.

8. Jessica Alba - Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Jessica Alba - Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver SurferSource: 20th Century Fox/ courtesy Everett Collection

Similarly to Beckinsale, Jessica Alba was also deemed not beautiful enough for her iconic role in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. The actress was told that she needed to be prettier. During her character's death scene in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Alba was even told to try crying pretty. WTF?

9. Meryl Streep

Meryl StreepSource: Twentieth Century Fox and co-producers

Nowadays we can all agree that Meryl Streep can nail all types of characters, but back then it was a whole different story. At one point in her career, Streep was only given witch roles. As the actress turned 40, she was convinced that playing a witch was how her acting days would end. Thankfully, she broke the stereotype and gave us many great performances with memorable characters.

10. Winona Ryder

Winona RyderSource: Happy Sad Confused

In an interview, Winona Ryder revealed that she was deemed not attractive enough to be a star in the 80s. During one of her auditions in the 80s, a casting director stopped her mid-sentence and told her, "You should not be an actress. You are not pretty enough." The director then added, "You should go back to wherever you came from and you should go to school. You don’t have it." Whoever that director was, they must have regretted their words a lot later on.
These actors and actresses are not the only ones who have trouble getting their most famous roles. There are other actors who are actually not the first choice for their most legendary characters as well. Can you imagine anyone else other than Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine?
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