These 11 Actors Turned Down Movie Roles Worth Millions Of Dollars

The success of Hollywood blockbusters is mainly due to the excellent performance of the main actors. However, few people know that the role was not originally handed to them, but rather to other talented actors.
Take a look at the iconic role of Rose DeWitt Bukater in the movie "Titanic". Today, it’s hard to imagine someone else apart from Kate Winslet as the beautiful Rose DeWitt Bukater -the main character of the movie. And thanks to this role, Kate Winslet received an Oscar nomination and she instantly became a star in Hollywood. However, Claire Danes was the first actress who was invited to take the role of Rose but she turned down it.  After "Titanic" was released, Claire's decision made some fans feel regret.
However, she's not the only one to have declined some of the most celebrated movie roles! So, who are they? Scroll down to discover!

#1 Claire Danes — Rose DeWitt Bukater, "Titanic"

Source: © Titanic / 20th Century Fox Film Corporation© Mary Evans/Allstar/Cinetext/Mark Liley./ East News

When Kate Winslet was 22 years old, she rosed to international stardom and received an Oscar nomination for her performance as Rose. But Claire Danes was initially approached for the role, but she declined, citing she was exhausted and dissatisfied with her most recent efforts. Danes apparently didn't want to work with DiCaprio because they both starred in William Shakespeare's "Romeo + Juliet" not long before "Titanic."
After that, Claire played a role in the series "Homeland", which aired for nearly ten years until its conclusion in April 2020. But acting in feature films nearly never results in actress accolades or positive reviews. The films she's been in recently "As Cool as I Am" has a 5.8 IMDb rating, while "A Kid Like Jake" has a 5.4.

#2 Josh Hartnett — "Superman and Batman"

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

Today, it’s hard to imagine someone else apart from Henry Cavill as the character of Batman and Superman. However, initially is was Josh Hartnett who was considered for the role. But Josh Hartnett turned down this role. The actor said that this was the best decision he's ever made because Josh didn't want to be a victim of stereotype roles.
Despite having a leading role in "Lucky Number Slevin" (2006), the actor only appeared in low-budget films for the next ten years. In 2017, Josh appeared in "6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain" but the film received mostly unfavorable reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the approval rating for the film is only 22%.

#3 Jennifer Love Hewitt — Prue Halliwell, "Charmed"

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

When actress Shannen Doherty left "Charmed" at the end of the third season, the creators were unsure what would happen to her character Prue Halliwell. Jennifer Love Hewitt was asked to audition for the part. The actress, however, declined to appear in the series. Tiffani Thiessen, who received the same offer, also declined the part. Eventually, they decided to remove Prue Halliwell from the list of the series’ characters.
Jennifer Love Hewitt recently made the transition from feature films to television shows. So she's been in shows like "Criminal Minds" and "Hot in Cleveland". The actress is currently starring in the drama series "9-1-1".

#4 Nicolas Cage — Aragorn, "Lord Of The Rings" trilogy

Source: © The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring / New Line Cinema© Invision/Invision/East News

Nicolas Cage had the opportunity to portray Aragorn I in the "Lord Of The Rings" trilogy, but he declined since he didn't want to leave his home for such a lengthy time. As a result, Viggo Mortensen became the first High King of the Reunited Kingdom and gained world fame thanks to this role.
Today, Nicolas is frequently in the media: in just one year, he participated in a number of films, although his roles primarily dcaused furious comments from haters and perplexed his long-time followers.

#5 Laurence Fishburne — Jules Winnfield, "Pulp Fiction"

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

Jules Winnfield in "Pulp Fiction" is one of the most famous roles of Samuel L. Jackson, for which he earned a BAFTA for Best Film Actor in a Supporting Role. Laurence Fishburne, on the other hand, was considered for the role at first. Laurence was offered the role of Jules Winnfield by Quentin Tarantino while he was working on Pulp Fiction, but he declined.
Laurence Fishburne is an actor who has won three Emmy Awards and a Tony Award for his work on stage and cinema. His films have been praised for their strong, combative, and authoritative characters. He is most recognized for his roles as Morpheus in "The Matrix" (1999–2003), Jason "Furious" Styles in the John Singleton drama film "Boyz n the Hood" (1991), and "The Bowery King" in the John Wick film series (2017–present).

#6 Molly Ringwald — Vivian Ward, "Pretty Woman"

Source: © Pretty Woman / Walt Disney Studios, © Mary Evans / AF Archive / Graham Whitby Boot / East News

Molly Ringwald, Meg Ryan, Michelle Pfeiffer, Valeria Golino and many other actresses had turned down the role of Vivian in "Pretty Woman" before Julia Roberts was cast in it. Molly Ringwald later admitted in an interview that she regretted making this choice.
It's not surprising because, in the 1990s, that actress lost her fame after appearing in obscure films and television programs, but Julia Roberts' portrayal of a laid-back girl earned her the title of one of Hollywood's most recognizable stars.

#7 Oliver Hudson — Jack Pearson, "This Is Us"

Source: © This Is Us / 20th Century Studios© Todd Williamson / Invision / AP / East News

Oliver Hudson had an opportunity to play Jack Pearson in the "This Is Us" series, but he chose to go on a 10-day fishing trip instead of working on the set. Milo Ventimiglia eventually landed the lead part and received several Emmy nominations for it.
Oliver Hudson is best known for playing Adam Rhodes in the CBS comedy Rules of Engagement from 2007 to 2013. He starred in Ellen DeGeneres' ABC sitcom "Splitting Up Together" as one of the major cast members. He debuted as FBI agent Garrett Miller in Fox's "The Cleaning Lady" in 2022.

#8 Ja Rule — Tej Parker, "The Fast and the Furious" saga

Source: © Furious 6 / Original Film© Mary Evans/Allstar/Graham Whitby Boot/East News

In the first part of "The Fast and the Furious", rapper Ja Rule makes a cameo appearance. During the filming of "2 Fast 2 Furious", director John Singleton sought to convince the rap musician to join the cast, but he refused. It generated a disagreement and Ja eventually turned down the half-million-dollar offer, but he didn't give up on his acting dreams. Ja Rule tried himself working with different filmmakers, but he didn't have much luck. As a result, "Half Past Dead" received a 4.6 IMDb rating, while "Don't Fade Away" received a 4.9.
At the same time, Ludacris appeared in almost every part of the saga, including the last one, F9. In the film, Tej Parker is a technical expert, mechanic, and former street racer. Brian O'Conner, Tej's friend, permitted him to compete in races when he lived in Miami, Florida. Later, Tej joins Dominic Toretto's Crew after Dominic Toretto recruits him to steal money from a corrupt Portuguese businessman named Hernan Reyes.

#9 Michael Madsen — Vincent Vega, "Pulp Fiction"

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

If Michael Madsen had been cast in the part of Vincent in "Pulp Fiction", the iconic dance between Uma Thurman and John Travolta would have been different. However, the actor declined the part since he was working on another movie at the time – he was filming "Wyatt Earp", a western picture. However, this film was not as successful as Quentin Tarantino’s black comedy.
Michael recalls the rejection of this role with humor and says that no one would have been happier to see him instead of Travolta. Madsen has long been associated with low-budget films, although he has recently begun to act in Russian cinematic ventures such as "Velvet Revolution", "The Way", and "The 5th Execution". Furthermore, the actor dabbled in a new field and released numerous books of his own poems.

#10 Matthew Broderick — Walter White, "Breaking Bad"

Source: © Breaking Bad / Sony Pictures Television© Invision/Invision/East News

In "Breaking Bad", Bryan Cranston played an anti-Semite with a terminal illness who took series co-protagonist Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) hostage. But the creators of the "Breaking Bad" series were hopeful that Matthew Broderick would play the main role in the series. However, he declined the offer.
After that, Broderick went on to star in a number more films although none of them were very successful. Broderick is better known for his voice-overs for animated characters than for his acting. And he voiced "Simba" in the live-action "The Lion King" (2019).

#11 Emily Browning — Bella Swan, "Twilight saga"

Source: © The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 / Summit Entertainent© Gilbert Flores / Broadimage / Broad Image / East News

Bella Swan in "Twilight saga" is one of the most famous roles of Kristen Stewart. However, it was Emily Browning who was the first choice for this role.
Emily Browning made her film debut in the 1998 television film "The Echo of Thunder," but it was in the 2002 horror film "Ghost Ship" that she broke through. For her performance as Violet Baudelaire in the film "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," Browning earned the Australian Film Institute International Award for Best Actress in 2005. (2004). She is presently appearing in the Starz TV series "American Gods" (2017–2021) as Laura Moon.
Share this article