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16 Times Actors Stick It To The Producers By Being The Perfect Casting

Hollywood has a difficult casting process. Sometimes, a role will go through multiple A-listers, then B-listers, before landing on an unknown actor.

This doesn’t take away any of the actors’ talents. Sometimes they just don’t have the right chemistry for the character. And other times, the producers fail to see how right they are for the characters.

Stories about actors missing out on a role that seems to be written for them plenty. Tom Cruise as Iron Man, Saiorse Ronan as Scarlet Witch, or Emily Blunt as Black Widow, and more, these missed opportunities still spawn tons of fanarts.

While most actors simply accept that it was just not meant to be, others take it upon themselves to prove that the casting director was dead wrong in skipping out on them. They go back, kill their audition, and stick it to the producers by being the perfect casting.

And here are 16 cases of these awesome actors.

#1 Sean Penn – Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Source: John Springer Collection / Corbis via Getty Images

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sean informed Jimmy Fallon about his Fast Times at Ridgemont High audition experience in a 2020 Tonight Show episode. At the time, the actor hadn’t yet landed his big break, but he went into the audition with “an awful amount of confidence.”

Casting directors told Sean he may go since they didn’t think he was the right actor for Spicoli. A member of the casting department chased him down as he walked to his car, telling him to “go back in [there] and audition [his] ass off.” Sean took the advice and landed the part.

#2 Whoopi Goldberg – Ghost

Source: Ron Galella / Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images, Paramount Pictures / Via youtube.com

Whoopi’s friend told her she had just returned from an audition when “every Black lady and her mother” showed up to try out for the film Ghost. When Whoopi questioned her agent about why she hadn’t been told about the audition, he brought some bad news from the film’s casting department.

Whoopi subsequently claimed that she was cast as Oda Mae Brown after Patrick Swayze became engaged in the film and campaigned for her to be cast. She went on to win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for the role in 1991.

#3 Julia Roberts – Mystic Pizza

Source: Night Life Inc. / Via youtube.com

Before she was cast as Daisy Araujo in Mystic Pizza, casting directors believed Julia didn’t have the right look for the role.

Julia then spent 95 cents on black hair mousse, which she used to deepen her naturally blonde mane. She was brought back in to read for the job alongside Adam Storke, and her new ‘do help her land it.

#4 Michael J. Fox – Family Ties

Source: Nbc / NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Michael’s breakout role as Alex P. Keaton in Family Ties was nearly cut before the series premiered. Former NBC president Brandon Tartikoff saw Michael in the pilot episode and urged series creator Gary David Goldberg to recast him. Brandon and the casting directors were unsure if Michael had the right look for a series lead.

Gary refused to do the program without Michael, so Brandon caved and allowed the actor to stay on the show. When the program became a huge hit, Michael would make light of Brandon’s remark.

#5 Anne Hathaway – The Devil Wears Prada

Source: Fox 2000 Pictures / Via youtube.com

Despite the fact that it is now one of her most well-known roles, Anne was the tenth in line to play Andy Sachs in The Devil Wears Prada. The film’s director, David Frankel, told Entertainment Weekly in 2021 that Rachel McAdams rejected the role three times. Despite this, she was eager to play Andy in the 2006 film.

Meryl Streep then saw a Brokeback Mountain clip with Anne and met with the actress. Following this, Meryl stated that Anne was “wonderful” and that they would “work well together.” This helped Anne land the role.

#6 Marlon Brando – The Godfather

Source: Silver Screen Collection / Getty Images

According to NPR, executives at Paramount Pictures were vehemently opposed to Marlon playing Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather, seeing him as a “washed-up” performance who was the wrong person for the position.

Director Francis Ford Coppola, on the other hand, thought Marlon was the perfect option to portray the mafia father and battled hard for him to get the part. After begging with the company, Francis was ultimately permitted to conduct a screen test with Marlon and hired for the role.

#7 Audrey Meadows – Honeymooners

Source: Cbs Photo Archive / CBS via Getty Images

Audrey was turned down for the role of Alice in the series by her Honeymooners co-star, Jackie Gleason. He believed she was too young and pretty for the part. This only fueled her determination to earn the role.

She hired a photographer to photograph her without makeup, all crazy hair, in an old shirt and an old apron, standing in a kitchen with a frying pan. When the comedian learned of these photos, he knew he had to cast Audrey as Alice.

#8 Zac Efron – Hairspray

Source: New Line Cinema

Zac played a convincing Link Larkin in the 2007 Hairspray remake, but the film’s director, Adam Shankman, first turned him down for the role. He looks to High School Musical, and not enough sexiness for Link Larkin.

Jennifer Gibgot, Adam’s sister and business partner, was instrumental in recognizing Zac’s star power. He opted to cast Zac as Link after consulting with Jennifer.

#9 Kate Winslet – Titanic

Source: Twentieth Century Fox

Kate nailed it as Rose DeWitt Bukater in Titanic, but director James Cameron was “unsure” about casting her for the role. James was searching for “an Audrey Hepburn type,” and he wasn’t convinced Kate was right for the role, even after her screen test impressed him.

Kate, on the other hand, stayed committed to the idea and sent James a rose with the scribbled inscription, “From Your Rose.” Kate’s perseverance paid off when James chose her to portray Rose.

#10 Matthew Gray Gubler – Criminal Minds

Source: Cbs Photo Archive / CBS via Getty Images

Criminal Minds’ casting directors liked Matthew’s initial audition for the role of Dr. Spencer Reid, but he didn’t have the enthusiasm they were looking for in the character.

When Matthew was called back for another audition, he was told, “You’re so great yet so incorrect.” Despite this, he was asked again for the part and was awarded the position after four or five rounds of auditions.

#11 Lark Voorhies – Saved by the Bell

Source: Nbc / NBCUniversal via Getty Images

In a 2020 Industry Standard podcast interview with producer Barry Katz, series writer Peter Engel revealed that the role of Lisa Turtle was originally conceived as “a Jewish princess from Great Neck, Long Island.”

When Lark was considered for a future guest appearance on the program, Peter believed she’d be a terrific addition to the regular cast. Casting directors initially opposed Lark auditioning for the role of Lisa, but Peter argued that they’d found the greatest actor for the part. And he was right.

#12 Miles Teller – The Spectacular Now

Source: Andrew Lauren Productions / Via youtube.com

After starring in Footloose, Miles auditioned for the role of Sutter in The Spectacular Now. This audition did not go well, so he asked to try out again. After watching him read for the job a second time, casting supervisors thought he wasn’t the perfect match for Sutter.

Later, the film’s staff changed, and a new director, James Ponsoldt, joined the production. Miles and James then met to talk about the project, which resulted in Miles getting the job without having to audition again.

#13 Dominic West – The Crown

Source: Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images

“Naysayers had a field day” after Dominic was picked to play Prince Charles in The Crown after Josh O’Connor’s portrayal of the prince, the Daily Mail stated in April 2022. Dominic began to doubt his ability to play the character convincingly.

These producers then “explained that this was not a copycat program,” Dominic stated, and he stayed in the position. Episodes starring Dominic as Prince Charles will air in November, according to the Daily Mail, and his portrayal would be “tender” and “thoughtful.”

#14 Chris Hemsworth – Thor

Source: Paramount Pictures

Chris didn’t hear back for months after he auditioned for Thor, he understood he was probably considered unsuitable for the character. Simultaneously, his brother, Liam, turned in an audition tape and received two callbacks for the job, leading him to question why he didn’t get a second audition.

Chris’ manager contacted the casting department, and they agreed to reschedule a meeting with him. Chris was offered the position this time, thanks to his mother’s assistance.

#15 Miley Cyrus – Hannah Montana

Source: Byron Cohen / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Miley was 11 years old when she initially auditioned for the main role in Hannah Montana. When casting directors watched Miley read for the part, they concluded she wasn’t mature enough for the role, she stated in a 2009 appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show.

When the job remained unfilled a few months later, Miley was requested to return to California from her home state of Tennessee to audition again. With this test, Miley persuaded casting directors that she could portray Hannah, and the rest is history.

#16 Zach Braff – Scrubs

Source: Paul Drinkwater / Touchstone via Getty Images

In an Off Camera with Sam Jones interview, Zach was asked how he got the role of J.D. on Scrubs. Bill Lawrence, the program’s creator, previously informed Sam that when he saw Zach’s initial audition tape for the show before throwing it away, he exclaimed, “‘This audition sucks.'”

Zach claimed that he was “extremely inebriated” from the night before the audition and that he wasn’t prepared for this chance. When the casting department still hadn’t picked an actor for the role, his agent persuaded him to try out again. Zach was cast as J.D. on his second try, and he ended up portraying the character for nine seasons.

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