10 Famous Actors Who Refused Iconic Movie Roles

One of the downsides of being an actor is Being an actor is that you’re not going to be able to take every role you’re presented with.Unless you’re Christopher Walken, who seemingly does take every role he’s offered.As a result we’ve seen a lot of instances where actors could have played certain roles,some of them iconic, but for one reason or another turned them down.Imagine Tom Cruise as Iron Man or Nicholas Cage as Superman.Was their refusal a mistake?Here are 10 Famous Actors Who Turned Down Famous Roles:

1.Leonardo DiCaprio & Paul Walker – Anakin Skywalker

Despite Leonardo DiCaprio being considered to be one of the finest actors around today,there was a time when he was often typecast as the shallow pretty boy lead who would try to get the girl in movies like Romeo + Juliet and Titanic rather than the character actor he truly wanted to become.Perhaps one of his biggest mistakes then, was that he was unable to shake that image sooner when Leo not only turned down Spider-Man, but also Anakin Skywalker.Given that the Star Wars prequels proved to be a bit less than promised, in hindsight now maybe it wasn’t such a mistake, but at the time Leo was facing super stardom from being in the biggest film franchise ever but chose to focus on his acting chops by collaborating with directors like Marting Scorcese in the Aviator and Gangs of New York.

Leo wasn’t the only person to turn down the role before it finally went to Hayden Christenson.Star of the Fast and Furious movies, the late Paul Walker was also offered the role early in his career but also turned it down.

2.Emma Watson – 50 Shades of Grey

As soon as 50 Shades of Grey was announced rumors were circulating that Emma Watson would play the lead role.Probably because she’s a successful actress…who a lot of people wanted to see nude who roughly fit the description of Anastasia Steele .While it’s not known if she was ever approached in any official capacity to play the role,we do know that Emma Watson burned all bridges to ensure that it wouldn’t happen.Not only did she deny that she would take the role if it was offered to her, but also seemed offended at the notion that she would ever be in the film.We’re not exactly surprised that Watson feels this way, after all why would you want to get naked on camera for all those… millions…and millions of dollars in royalties.Well maybe we would do it… but after HarryPotter, Emma Watson is probably already rich enough

3.Hugh Jackman – James Bond

Many actors have played James Bond over the years: Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.Even more interesting than the actors who have played 007, are those who have been considered:Idris Elba and Gillian Anderson to name a few.It’s also worth mentioning that all of those actors are from the British Isles.Which is why it might surprise you to know that Australian actor of film and stage Hugh Jackman was at one point approached to play the 007.The idea of an Australian James Bond is strange,but needless to say it was an idea that was never realised on screen as Jackman shot the offer down.Hugh Jackman is not the first person to reject the role, with Dalton rejecting the role twice
before finally taking it on years later.Hugh Jackman’s reasoning was that he didn’t want to become best known for doing action movies…Awkward.


4.Michael Jackson – Jar Jar Binks

As if Michael Jackson needed more bad press,the King of Pop at one point had wanted to play Jar Jar Binks. Now while at first it may be tempting to think that George was some sweet angel of mercy in stopping this from ever happening, it turns out that the reason Michael Jackson never played the weird space duck might make you angry.Michael Jackson, a long time advocate of practical effects known and known for very elaborate costumes and prosthetics in his music videos like Thriller, wanted to portray Jar Jar without the use of CGI This idea faced staunch opposition from George Lucas who at the time was of the opinion that everything ever should be CGI.This coupled with Michael Jackson being bigger than the movie, meant that the role of Jar Jar went to Ahmed Best… and the rest is history.Michael Jackson died in 2009, ironically leaving us with a musical legacy, and a few thought of what may have been.

5.Robert Downey Jr. – Gravity

Alfonso Cauron, one of the three amigos of Mexican cinema, is one hell of an auteur when it comes to making movies.So it’s not surprising that despite his relatively short resume, everyone wants to be in his movies.Both Robert Downey Jr and Angelina Jolie were originally up for the lead roles in his most recent movie Gravity Angelina Jolie dropped out early and Robert Downey Jr. – despite being in talks for longer,ultimately turned down Gravity as well.The reason given was that Gravity was a relatively stripped back film and no one was really sure if Robert Downey Jr. could perform well in a movie with that tone.While Robert Downey Jr. he often benefits greatly from a larger cast to bounce off of, this was something that Gravity just doesn’t have.As result the role ended up going to George Clooney, who used the move to expand his list of endlessly likeable performances.

6.Jason Momoa – Drax (Guardians of the Galaxy)

When you’re a big man in Hollywood it canbe a double edged sword.On one hand having significant muscle mass will make it easier for you to get work, but on the other hand it takes so much intense work and physical conditioning to maintain that size and it can also result in you getting typecast.Jason Momoa was asked to play Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy but turned it down because he was tired of playing shirtless warriors, saying that he wanted his children to be able to see their father happy.As a result the role went to WWE superstar-turned-actor,Batista.While it could be argued that Momoa went against this in taking the role of Aquaman, we can’t help but feel that it was the right choice as Aquaman fits the kind of cunning warrior that Momoa tends to play far more than a comicrelief character like the MCU’s Drax. Leave a comment and let us know!


7.Angelina Jolie-Gravity

Angelina Jolie who was offered the role of Dr. Ryan Stone in Gravity. Both the director and the studio were keen to work with Jolie believing her to be one of the few actresses who had the box office pull to carry an entire film, but Jolie turned down the role in order to focus on her own directing projects. The part eventually went to Sandra Bullock and the film became one of the most successful box office hits of all time. The film won seven Academy Awards and Bullock will reportedly earn over $70 million dollars from the film when all revenue streams are factored in.This is not the first time Bullock has reaped the benefits of another actresses decision to turn down a role. Halle Berry refused the part of Annie in Speed which was Bullock’s breakthrough role and Julia Roberts turned down the part of Leigh Anne Tuohy inThe Blind Side for which Bullock earned her best actress oscar.

8. Johnny Depp and Drew Barrymore -Titanic

Titanic before he settled on Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet both of whom received career making boosts James Cameron had several different ideas of who should lead his Titanic cast his first choice was drew Barrymore but the actress said that she would have been miscast and so turned it down Johnny Depp then turned down the film – telling how it’s done that he labored through the script ouch what did that make instead around the mammoth production of Titanic Depp was making the great Donnie Brasco and the terrible the brave neither of which would have class spotted him to the big time like Titanic would have

9. Will Smith- Matrix


Will Smith who was offered the role of Neo in the Matrix.Smith refused the part when he couldn’t buy into the concept. He later told The Sun newspaper: “It’s a hard movie to pitch. You know, everybody lives inside a computer. It was only when I saw it that I really got it.”Smith opted to star in the critically panned Wild Wild West instead and the role of Neo went to Keanu Reeves.


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