in , ,

18 Actors Who Regretted Turning Down These Roles

Some roles are just meant to be played by a particular actor/actress. I mean, can you believe Robert Downey Jr not playing the role of Iron Man, or Matthew Perry not playing the role of Chandler in Friends? Oh! What a disaster that would have been. But, we are not talking about the iconic roles played by some famous artists. Instead, we are here to know which renowned artist turned down an iconic role. Let’s take a look at the list of actors/actresses who regretted turning down the roles:- 

1. Marilyn Monroe

Stop. Worshiping. Audrey Hepburn. | by Cammila Collar | Outtake | Medium
Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe had incomparable beauty and talent, so naturally, she was the first choice for the lead role in Breakfast at Tiffany’sHowever, her agent suggested against it, and the part went to Audrey Hepburn. Audrey received many laurels for her role; meanwhile, Monroe acted in The Misfits, which became a disaster. 

2. Henry Winkler Turned down Grease 

Henry Winkler Turned Down John Travolta's 'Grease' Role: "I Didn't Want to Be Typecast!" - The Life & Times of Hollywood
Henry Winkler and John Travolta

Danny Zuko in Grease is considered one of the best roles ever played by John Travolta. Many people don’t know that he was not the first choice for this role. Henry Winkler was the first choice, but he rejected the part. He said he has already played a similar character and doesn’t want to get typecast. A few years later, in an interview, he said, “John Travolta went on to buy his own plane, and I just went home.”

3. John Lithgow

John Lithgow: Joker role in Tim Burton's Batman haunts him |
John Lithgow and The Joker

Tim Burton approached Lithgow for the role of Joker in BatmanBut he believed that he was not suitable for the part, so he rejected Burton’s offer. Later on, he admitted to regretting this decision. 

In The Dark Knight, the character of Joker was immortalized by Heath Ledger.

4. Burt Reynolds turned down the chance to become James Bond

The Film That Stopped Burt Reynolds Working for Two Years - Den of Geek
Burt Reynolds in City Heat

After Sean Connery, Reynolds had the opportunity to carry on the 007 legacies, but he turned down the role. He said an American man playing James Bond would be impractical. Later on, he confessed it was a stupid thing to say. Ultimately, David Niven carried on the legacy. 

5. Kevin Costner turned down Shawshank Redemption 

Tim Robbins & Kevin Costner | Brad Pitt in Brokeback? 23 great film roles rejected by star actors - Film
Tim Robbins and Kevin Costner

The Shawshank Redemption is probably one of the greatest movies ever made. Costner rejected the role of Andy Dufresne, and it went on to Tim Robbins. Well, Costner is still one of the actors who regretted turning down the role. 

6. Lindsay Lohan 

47 Actors Who Rejected Iconic Roles | TomorroWoman
Heather Graham and Lindsay Lohan

The Hangover is one of the best comedies of all time. It made more than $450 million at the box office and further made two sequels. 

When offered the role of Jade, the stripper, Lohan said it had no potential and rejected the offer. Well, the part went to Heather Graham, and the rest is history. 

7. David Schwimmer turned down Men In Black 

Men in Black: David Schwimmer on rejecting the Lead Role - Den of Geek
David Schwimmer and Will Smith

Imagine if Will Smith didn’t play Agent J in Men in BlackSurprisingly, David Schwimmer was the first choice for Agent J, but he refused. The movie had two sequels and earned $1.6 billion worldwide. Men in Black skyrocketed Will Smith’s career, whereas Schwimmer went on to do a few not-so-great films. He deeply regrets his decision. 

8. Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey rejected the role of Captain Jack Sparrow Dustin Hoffman, one of the actors who regretted turning down the role.
Johnny Depp and Jim Carrey

Captain Jack Sparrow became an iconic character, partly because of how Johnny Depp played the role. Can you imagine what could happen if Jim Carrey played Jack Sparrow? He was approached for the role first but rejected it because he was working in Bruce Almighty. I guess we can safely say, whatever happened, happened for the best, right?

9. John Travolta turned down Forrest Gump

John Travolta rejected the role of Forest Gump Dustin Hoffman, one of the actors who regretted turning down the role.
Travolta and Tom Hanks

Forrest Gump is one of the most loved characters of all time. The character earned Tom Hanks his second Oscar in two years. Surprisingly, he was not the first choice; John Travolta was! 

Travolta has rejected many roles that later went on to Tom Hanks, for example, Jim in Apollo 13 and Paul in The Green Mile.

10. Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage rejected the role of Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,
Nicolas Cage

Be it a comedy movie, an action movie, or a drama, count on Nicolas Cage to ace the role. However, he is one of the actors who regretted turning down the iconic role of Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. And it ultimately went to Viggo Mortensen.

11. Al Pacino turned down Star Wars

Al Pacino rejected the role of Hans Solo in Star Wars
Pacino and Harrison Ford

Al Pacino has many iconic roles attached to his name, including Michael Corleone in The Godfather (all the movies). He was almost cast as Hans Solo in Star Wars but refused later on. In an interview, he said, “It was mine for the taking, but I didn’t understand the script,” Harrison Ford got the role, and he made it one of the most popular characters of the Star Wars series.

12. Will Smith

Will Smith rejected the role of Neo in The Matrix
Will Smith and Keanu Reeves

The Matrix is a sci-fi classic. Will Smith was the first choice for Neo, but he refused. He was busy with Wild Wild West, which turned out to be a disastrous failure. The role went to Keanu Reeves; he nailed the part. 

13. Josh Hartnett turned down Bruce Wayne

Josh Hartnett rejected the role of Bruce Wyane
J. Hartnett

Josh Hartnett was offered the role of Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins by Christopher Nolan. He turned down the role saying it wasn’t for him. Later on, he regretted it immensely, as he lost the opportunity to work in The Prestige

14. Leonardo DiCaprio 

What Really Happened With Leonardo DiCaprio And Mark Wahlberg's Boogie Nights Casting - CINEMABLEND

Very few artists have a career as successful as DiCaprio’s, but even he has some regrets. He laments about not being a part of Boogie Nights, a movie he so dearly loves. DiCaprio turned down the role the role of playing Jack Dawson in TitanicWell, we are thankful he did so!

15. Gwyneth Paltrow turned down Titanic 

Gwyneth Paltrow rejected the role of Rose in Titanic actors who regret turning down
Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Winslet

Kate Winslet was not the first choice to play Rose in Titanic. The directors wanted Gwyneth Paltrow to play Rose, but she refused. Later on, she laments her decision and says, “I look back at the choices I’ve made and think, ‘Why the hell did I say yes to that? And no to that?'” 

16. Brad Pitt 

Brad Pitt rejected The Bourne Identity, one of the actors who regretted turning down the role.
Matt Damon and Brad Pitt

Brad’s popularity knows no bounds. He was also offered the role of Jason Bourne in the popular film, The Bourne IdentityMuch to our disappointment, he refused the role to work in Spy Game, which was not successful. Then, Matt Damon played Jason Bourne for four sequels. 

17. Dustin Hoffman, one of the actors who regretted turning down the role.

Dustin Hoffman, one of the actors who regretted turning down the role.
Dustin Hoffman

It is next to impossible to imagine anyone other than Robert DeNiro as Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver. Interestingly, Martin Scorcese considered the famous actor Dustin Hoffman for the role initially. Unfortunately, he rejected the role and later on lamented, “I made so many dumb mistakes. The list is endless.”

18. Matt Damon turned down Avatar

Matt Damon rejected the role of Sully in Avatar

Damon was offered the role of Sully in Avatar. It was a movie that took the whole world by storm. James Cameron even offered 10% of the gross to Damon if he agreed to work with him, but unfortunately, he refused as he was busy with The Bourne Identity. 

Avatar became the highest-grossing movie of all time, which means Damon would have earned around $250 million. He regretted saying no to the chance of working with Cameron.

We bet you didn’t know all these actors who rejected iconic roles. Did we miss out on some more famous roles? Let us know in the comments below. 


Written by FandomWire Staff

FandomWire is a leading media outlet delivering entertainment content to hundreds of millions.