12 Actors Who You Wouldn’t Expect To Miss Out On Career-Defining Roles

No matter what parts they perform in the future, certain actors will always be linked with the roles they portray. These characters frequently appear in long-running television programs, the type that keeps us entertained or is great for binge-watching on a weekend afternoon. Sometimes it comes from movies that have had such a profound cultural impact that the performers in them are unable to escape the behemoths of which they have been a part. But what if other actors played these roles? How would you feel about it?
In fact, the actors who end up playing your favorite movie roles are frequently not the initial choices for the parts. This implies that if the optimal casting had occurred, enduring films may have been drastically different. How different is this? Let's just say it's difficult to even envision this parallel silver screen existence.
The actors and celebrities listed below discussed losing out on what may have been their career-defining roles. Your perspective on your favorite movies will never be the same again.

#1 Emma Watson as Mia in La La Land

Career-Defining RolesSource: Lions Gate/Courtesy Everett Collection/East News, AP/EAST NEWS

Who got the role: Emma Stone
Unfortunately for Watson, La La Land became a scheduling conflict with Beauty and the Beast for her. The actress explained that both projects demanded a lot of preparation, so it was impossible for her to commit to both: “I knew I had to do the work, and I had to be where I had to be. So, you know, scheduling conflict-wise, it just didn’t work out.”

#2 Russel Crowe as Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy

Career-Defining RolesSource: © The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers/ New Line Cinema and co-producers, Mary Evans/Allstar/Graham Whitby Boot/East News

Who got the role: Viggo Mortensen
Russell Crowe once had the opportunity to take The Lord of the Rings as a brilliant next step, but he went with his instinct and declined the role of Aragorn: “I didn’t think [director] Peter Jackson actually wanted me on the film. I think he was forced into talking to me because there was a moment in time when everybody wanted me in everything... my instinct was that he had somebody else in mind... and he should be able to hire the actor that he wants.”

#3 Emilia Clarke as Anastasia Steele in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy

Career-Defining RolesSource: Image supplied by Capital Pictures/EAST NEWS, MARK RALSTON/AFP/East News

Who got the role: Dakota Johnson
The sole factor driving Clarke's decision to decline the well-known book part was her reluctance to perform personal scenes: “Well, Sam [Taylor-Johnson, the director] is a magician. I love her, and I thought her vision was beautiful. But the last time that I was naked on camera on [Game of Thrones] was a long time ago, and yet it is the only question that I ever get asked because I am a woman... No way am I going to voluntarily walk into that situation.”

#4 Justin Timberlake as Elton John in Rocketman

Source: David Appleby/Everett Collection/East News, Invision/Invision/East News

Who got the role: Taron Egerton
The Tiny Dancer singer was considering having Timberlake portray him in his biography since he had appeared in a spoof video of an Elton John song. But after considerable thought, Elton and his husband, who produced the film, decided to go a different path: “But we never formerly approached Justin because we weren’t ever at a stage where it was the right time to approach him. But he did an amazing job in the video. He put on a prosthetic nose, and it turned out to have been some really interesting acting work as well.”

#5 Gwyneth Paltrow as Rose in Titanic

Career-Defining RolesSource: face to face/Reporter/East News, EAST NEWS

Who got the role: Kate Winslet
Paltrow once said that while some people thought she declined the part, she most likely missed out on it instead: “I know that the story is that I turned it down. I think I was really in contention for it — I was one of the last 2.” But Gwyneth has no regrets: “There’s a universal lesson here. What good is it to hold onto roles?”

#6 Christina Applegate as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde

Source: Image supplied by Capital Pictur/EAST NEWS, EVERETT COLLECTION/EAST NEWS

Who got the role: Reese Witherspoon
The fear of being typecast is very real for many Hollywood actors, and that is exactly why Applegate passed on what could’ve been the role of her career: “The script came along my way and it was right after I had just finished, Married [...with Children], and it was a blonde who in that first script didn’t win it but ends up going to Yale, or Harvard, I don’t remember. I got scared of kind of repeating myself. What a stupid move that was, right?”

#7 John Travolta as Forrest in Forrest Gump

Career-Defining RolesSource: Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection, Mary Evans/AF Archive/Graham Whitby Boot/East News

Who got the role: Tom Hanks
Travolta has faced some difficult decisions throughout his career. The Grease actor once reflected on his choices and recalled: “Oh, if I had done Forrest Gump or Chicago, what might have been?” But based on his stellar filmography, we’d say Travolta has done pretty well for himself in Hollywood.

#8 Brendan Fraser as Superman in Superman Returns

Career-Defining RolesSource: © Universal Images Group North America LLC / Alamy Stock Photo, PHOTOlink / Courtesy Everett Collection / East News

Who got the role: Brendon Routh
Fraser reportedly reminisced about how he nearly accepted a role as the next Superman but ultimately decided against it: “Of course, it’s a life-changing, amazing opportunity, but I had to reconcile with, ’Okay, say you do get the job to be the Man of Steel. It’s going to be chipped on your gravestone. Are you okay with that? You will forevermore be known as the Man of Steel.’”

#9 Matthew McConaughey as Jack in Titanic

Source: © Titanic / Twentieth Century Fox and co-producers, Mary Evans/AF Archive/Graham Whitby Boot/East News

Who got the role: Leonardo DiCaprio
The Interstellar star came very close to falling in love with Rose in the 1997 film: “I went and auditioned for that. I wanted that. I auditioned with Kate Winslet. Had a good audition. Walked away from there pretty confident that I had it. I didn’t get it. I never got offered that.”

#10 Hugh Jackman as James Bond in Daniel Craig’s Bond movies

Source: EAST NEWS, Adam Orchon/Everett Collection/East News

Who got the role: Daniel Craig
The selection of the next James Bond vexes fans and everyone involved in making these renowned films every few decades. You might be shocked to find that Hugh Jackman was a viable option to play the renowned spy: “I was about to do X-Men 2 and a call came from my agent asking if I’d be interested in Bond.” Ultimately Jackman was “worried that between Bond and X-Men, I’d never have time to do different things.”

#11 Sandra Bullock as Neo in The Matrix franchise

Source: © The Matrix Revolutions / Warner Bros. and co-producers, Mary Evans/AF Archive/Graham Whitby Boot/East News

Who got the role: Keanu Reeves

If the creators had given up trying to find the ideal male actor, the renowned character of Neo would have been quite different.
According to one of the producers, they approached Sandra since they thought she was great in Speed: “We went to Sandy Bullock and said, ’We’ll change Neo to a girl.’ [...] We sent her the script to see if she was interested in it. And if she was interested in it, we would try to make the change. [...] It just wasn’t something for her at the time. So, really, it didn’t go anywhere.”

#12 Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter franchise

Source: EAST NEWS, © LANDMARK MEDIA / Alamy Stock Photo

Who got the role: Rupert Grint
When he was a little child, the Love Actually actor tried out for well-known films, and getting a rejection devastated him: “I do remember thinking, though, that the next time I went for an audition, I’d have to put up a shield to stop myself from getting hurt.” But the entire experience turned out to be a great lesson: “It was the last time I ever felt like that, so whatever I did seemed to work.”
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