We’ve all turned down jobs we didn’t care for in the past. Actors are no different when it comes to declining roles in popular films. Most of them have clear reasons for doing so, like other work obligations and clashing schedules, to name a few. Several other actors, on the other hand, have rejected assignments for such strange reasons, they’re hard to believe. Here’s a list of 5 actors that turned down big projects for bizarre reasons:
1. Sean Connery as Gandalf in Lord of the Rings
Sean Connery’s wallet is a lot lighter than it would have been if he had agreed to play Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. According to reports, he was promised a flat fee of $30 million for the role, plus a 15% bonus on box office receipts. He did not, however, accept the role. According to him, “I didn’t understand it. I had never read Tolkein and I did not understand the script when they sent it to me. Bobbits? Hobbits?” Later after seeing the movie, “I read the book. I read the script. I saw the movie. I still don’t understand it.” Mind you, he’s talking about a story that kids read in grade school.
2. Jet Li as Seraph in The Matrix
Jet Li, a well-known actor and martial artist, was intended to play Seraph in the second and third installments of the ‘The Matrix‘ trilogy, but he turned down the part. Why? He didn’t want Hollywood to “steal” his moves by digitally recording them. “It was a commercial struggle for me. I realized the Americans wanted me to film for three months but be with the crew for nine. And for six months, they wanted to record and copy all my moves into a digital library. By the end of the recording, the right to these moves would go to them. Yet they could own [my moves] as an intellectual property forever. So I said I couldn’t do that,” said Li.
3. Russel Crowe as Wolverine in the X-Men franchise
Hugh Jackman starred as Wolverine for 17 years in several films, and it’s extremely difficult to picture anyone else in the role. However, it turns out that Jackman was not the initial choice of director Bryan Singer for the first X-Men film. Singer had hoped to cast Australian actor Russell Crowe in the role of Wolverine. However, the Oscar winner turned down the challenge because he didn’t want to be ‘typecast as a wolf’. Crowe mistook a wolverine for an actual wolf, rather than an animal that looks like a little bear, and hence lost an iconic role.
4. Hugh Jackman as James Bond
With his toned body, incredible action movie experience, and an undeniable sex appeal, Hugh Jackman was the first pick to play Bond. However, just because he possessed the required qualities, it did not imply that Jackman wanted the position. According to him, h e didn’t want to be a part of two hugely successful franchises. He was simply not interested after two X-Men films and the tremendous experience of the Wolverine character. “I did not want to be doing two iconic characters. I thought it would box me in to much.” Hugh was apparently unable to accept the part due to the abundance of success lavished upon him.
5. Mark Wahlberg in a number of movies
A devout Catholic actors Mark Wahlberg did not specifically cite the homosexual romance among teenage cowboys in Ang Lee’s 2005 Academy Award-winning thriller Brokeback Mountain as the cause for his decision to turn down the film. The actor from Boogie Nights reportedly turned down the part of Jack Twist because he was “creeped out” by another scene in the film. Furthermore, he could have also potentially portrayed Donnie in ‘Donnie Darko,’ but Wahlberg insisted on the character having a lisp, and the director objected.