Table of content    
  1. Anne Hathaway in Silver Linings Playbook
  2. Eddie Redmayne in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  3. Madonna in The Matrix
  4. Jake Gyllenhaal in Zoolander
  5. Emma Watson in La La Land
  6. John Krasinski in Captain America: The First Avenger
  7. Sir Ian McKellen in Harry Potter movies
  8. Adrien Brody in lord of the Rings
  9. Matt Damon in The Dark Knight
  10. Joaquin Phoenix in Doctor Strange
  11. Tom Hiddleson in Thor
  12. Beyoncé in A Star is Born

12 Actors Who Walked Away From Win-Win Roles

For actors, choosing a movie role can be a career-defining moment. Some decisions to decline or be turned down for a role turn out to be blessings, leading to better opportunities. However, a few actors do carry regrets about missing out on specific Movies
The film industry is full of instances where an actor's choice or a casting decision steer their career paths. Some actors find silver linings in missed opportunities, while others can't help but wonder about the paths not taken.
In this article, we’ve rounded up some actors who missed out on legendary movie roles and regrets that for years.

#1. Anne Hathaway in Silver Linings Playbook

Anne Hathaway Source: Silver Linings Playbook / Spyglass Media Group
Jennifer Lawrence won an Academy Award for her role as Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook. The part was initially offered to Anne Hathaway, but she turned it down due to creative differences with the director, David O. Russell.

#2. Eddie Redmayne in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Eddie Redmayne Source: Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens / Lucas Films
Eddie auditioned for the role of Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but he described his reading as “catastrophically bad.” 
He shared, “They gave me like a Star Trek scene — or like something from Pride and Prejudice. It was one of those films. With films that top secret, they don’t give you the actual lines. So they give you a scene from Pride and Prejudice, but then they tell you you’re auditioning for the baddie. If you’re me, you then put some ridiculous voice on.”
Despite multiple attempts, he couldn't get the role, and it eventually went to Adam Driver.

#3. Madonna in The Matrix

Madonna Source: The Matrix / Warner Bros.
Madonna, a highly celebrated celebrity, does have one movie role she regrets turning down – it was for The Matrix. While she didn't specify the role, she expressed regret for passing it up, considering it “one of the best movies ever made.” In an interview, she admitted a small part of her regrets about that particular moment in her life.

#4. Jake Gyllenhaal in Zoolander

Jake Gyllenhaal Source: Zoolander 2 / Red Hour Films
Owen Wilson was initially the top pick for the role of Hansel in Zoolander, but due to his busy schedule, Ben Stiller had to consider other actors. Jake Gyllenhaal became the next option, impressing Stiller with his amusing portrayal of a wide-eyed Hansel. However, when Wilson's schedule opened up, he reclaimed the role, and Jake Gyllenhaal missed out on the opportunity.

#5. Emma Watson in La La Land

Emma Watson Source: La La Land / Summit Entertainment
Emma Watson was set to be in La La Land with Miles Teller. However, she had to pass on it because she didn't have enough time. She had already agreed to play Belle in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. To prepare, she needed to do horse training, dancing, sing for three months, and be in London.

#6. John Krasinski in Captain America: The First Avenger

John Krasinski Source: The Avengers / Marvel Studios
Chris Evans won our hearts as Captain America, but other actors auditioned too, like John Krasinski. When Krasinski tried on the suit, Chris Hemsworth complimented him, but Krasinski felt he couldn't match Hemsworth's physique. Maybe it was also because he didn't want to leave The Office. So, he decided not to take on the role.

#7. Sir Ian McKellen in Harry Potter movies

Sir Ian McKellen Source: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix / Warner Bros.
After the original Dumbledore, Richard Harris, passed away, the movie producers approached Ian McKellen, asking if he would consider being in Harry Potter movies. Although they didn't specify the role, McKellen deduced it. 
He declined the offer because Harris had once labeled him and other British actors as “technically brilliant but passion-less.” McKellen felt he couldn't take over the part from an actor who disapproved of him.

#8. Adrien Brody in lord of the Rings

Adrien Brody Source: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring / New Line Cinema
Adrien Brody turned down the chance to play a Hobbit in Peter Jackson's masterpiece. When offered the role, he mentioned, “I, somehow, didn’t get it, I don’t know what part I would have been right for, but it was some Hobbit-like character. I was looking for something else.” Eventually, he deeply regretted saying no to the opportunity.

#9. Matt Damon in The Dark Knight

Matt Damon Source: The Dark Knight / Warner Bros.
Matt Damon was offered the role of Harvey Dent, the Two-Faced man in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight. Unfortunately, he had to say no due to scheduling conflicts. Despite being a fan of the director, he never discussed it with Christopher Nolan. Eventually, Aaron Eckhart took on the role, and he did an outstanding job, proving to be the perfect fit.

#10. Joaquin Phoenix in Doctor Strange

Joaquin Phoenix Source: Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness / Marvel Studios
Before Benedict Cumberbatch got the role of Doctor Strange, it was first offered to Joaquin Phoenix. Even though he likes blockbuster movies, Phoenix couldn't picture himself in one, and he said, “All parties were satisfied.” Marvel lawyer Peter Sarker thought Phoenix's situation was unique because the deal was almost done but couldn't go forward.

#11. Tom Hiddleson in Thor

Tom Hiddleson Source: Thor: The Dark World / Marvel Studios
Tom Hiddleston initially tried out for the part of Thor, not Loki. He worked hard, gaining weight from 180 to 198 pounds, but didn't land the role. The filmmakers were considering him for Loki too. As he got closer, they decided, "You should be the bad guy." So, he ended up playing the role of Loki.

#12. Beyoncé in A Star is Born

Beyoncé Source: A Star Is Born / Warner Bros. Pictures
Before Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, the main roles in the movie A Star is Born were offered to Clint Eastwood and Beyoncé. According to the movie producer, this was the best version of the movie, but suddenly, Beyoncé got pregnant. Later, Clint passed up on the role too for another movie. Then the roles were offered to Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.
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