Hollywood is a chaotic industry where careers may be created or destroyed in a short time. An actor’s fame can quickly rise if they are cast in the right role, and from that point on, more attractive offers are sure to come across their table.
Often, it takes years and years to “break into” the moviemaking industry, with hundreds of auditions heartbreakingly resulting in varying “no’s,” “you’re not quite right for the parts,” or “it was lovely meeting you”. It’s not a surprise to discover that some of Hollywood’s brightest actors have all experienced being rejected for a role they’d love to play.
Many of the most famous, beloved, and acclaimed performers are very familiar with rejection, having been turned down for a role for one of the many reasons that a filmmaker may decide to go in another direction. Surprisingly, not all of the reasons are appropriate; several of them are pretty ridiculous!
Here are 14 actors who were rejected from TV roles because of their looks, age, race, or other unfair reasons. Scroll down to read more!
#1 Chris Pine was rejected for Ryan Atwood in “The O.C.” because of his acne
Casting director Patrick Rush told that his heart was broken at the time he met Chris Pine. His skin was bad. He remembered that Chris was so good.
Source: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
The role went to Ben McKenzie.
Source: Fox / Via youtube.com
#2 Sheryl Lee Ralph earned a role in a pilot in the 1980s, but a producer fired her and informed her she wasn’t “Black enough”
She told People, “Those were his words. It was horrible. I can still remember the way I felt.”
#3 Before Sarah Jessica Parker finally decided to take the role, Lisa Edelstein had a contract to play Carrie Bradshaw in “Sex and the City”
Lisa told, “I was either going to do it or not. It all depended on whether she said yes.”
Lisa was fired from the show after Sarah opted to take the role, and she later said that the play “was too painful.”
#4 Regé-Jean Page was supposedly not cast as Seyg-El (Superman’s grandfather) on Krypton due to his race
It is said that the production boss said Superman couldn’t have a Black grandfather. He rejected the reports, though.
Source: Ian Walton / Getty Images
In response to the reports, Regé-Jean tweeted, “Hearing about these conversations hurts no less now than it did back then. The clarifications almost hurt more tbh.”
The role went to Cameron Cuffe.
#5 Daniel Kaluuya was rejected from the role to his competitor’s advantage
Daniel Kaluuya once went through ten rounds of auditions for a program in English about aliens. He nearly got the lead role but it went to another actor. Daniel Kaluuya realized his competitor had been given an advantage. He said “the other guy had been given an acting coach. They didn’t love me as they loved him.”
Source: Prince Williams / Getty Images
#6 Alden Ehrenreich was rejected for the role of Dan Humphrey in “Gossip Girl” because he wasn’t “tall enough” to play Blake Lively’s love interest
Alden is 5’9″, and Blake is 5’10”.
The role went to Penn Badgley, who’s 5’9″.
#7 Marshall Herskovitz missed out on the role of Angela Chase in “My So-Called Life” because of her beauty
Marshall said that Alicia was so beautiful that would make people would just tell about her looks. Her outstanding appearance was not suitable for a normal girl.
The part instead went to Claire Danes.
#8 In the “Stumptown” pilot, Mark Webber was replaced due to his appearance
He tweeted, “Look, I’m a straight white male so I know my journey has been way less painful in this warped industry, but I’m being recast in a network television show because I’m not handsome enough for the executives.”
He thought that these treatments were so degrading and he believed that network television was dying because of these “executive” decisions.
Source: Albert L. Ortega / Getty Images
The role went to Jake Johnson.
Source: ABC / Via youtube.com
#9 Mindy Kaling was rejected because the producers determined she wasn’t “beautiful or funny enough” to play the part
She told the Guardian that she felt like karmically, she was vindicated, but at the time it felt terrible.
#10 Mädchen Amick didn’t get the role because she didn’t look old enough
In the “Gilmore Girls” audition process, the network determined Mädchen Amick “didn’t seem old enough to be a mother”.
She told TVLine, “The network said I didn’t seem old enough to be a mother, which I had thought was kind of the whole point.”
The role went to Lauren Graham.
However, series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino allowed Mädchen to go to Stars Hollow by having her return in three episodes as Sherry Tinsdale.
#11 On “Girl Meets World”, Elliot Matthews was originally portrayed by Teo Halm. But, his character was dropped after the pilot
Source: Rodin Eckenroth / Getty Images
He noticed on Twitter that he wouldn’t be on “Girl Meets World”
Danielle Fishel, who plays Topanga, responded, “Teo, you are an incredible talent and I adore you. You may still call me ‘mom.'”
#12 Alyson Hannigan’s daughters Satyana and Keeva Denisof were slated to play Lily Aldrin’s second child on “How I Met Your Mother,” but the producers decided they were “too old”
Source: Michael Bezjian / Via Getty
Alyson told HuffPost, “I was like, ‘You fired my child. First of all, that’s ageism. I don’t think you’re allowed to fire her because she’s too old.'”
The role of Daisy Eriksen was played by an uncredited baby.
#13 In the “Man with a Plan” pilot, Jenna Fischer’s episode was only ever aired during the 2016 CBS Upfronts. Before the preview, the network chose to recast her
Source: Axelle / FilmMagic / Via Getty
Her lack of chemistry with co-star Matt LeBlanc, according to reports, was the deciding factor. “It was fine, but we think we can do better in terms of the chemistry between the two of them,” CBS’s then-Entertainment President Glenn Geller told the Wrap.
The part went to Liza Snyder
#14 For taking a piece of candy from Lorne Michaels’ desk, Marc Maron believed he lost his chance to join the Saturday Night Live cast
He told the New York Times, “I think I was a little high on pot. Some pictures were facing [Mr. Michaels], and in front of the pictures was a bowl of candy. It was all very loaded.”
“Then he just starts looking at me, to a point where Steve Higgins [then an SNL producer] goes, ‘Lorne?’ And Lorne goes, ‘You can tell a lot by looking into someone’s eyes.’ And then I took a candy,” he continued. He said, “Lorne looked at Steve, and the meeting was over. I thought I failed the candy test.”
Source: Helen King / Getty Images
But Lorne later clarified on Marc’s WTF podcast that his denial had nothing to do with the sweets; SNL just didn’t have a space for him.