Biggest career mistakes of movie stars – 15 actors who turned down huge roles


We all make poor decisions from time to time, but when that decision costs you millions of dollars and a shot at an Academy Award, it can result in a lifetime of regret. Actors need to be extremely cautious when choosing their roles as one wrong decision can torpedo several decades of hard work.

Similarly, the right part can transform an actor’s career and lead to some of the greatest characters ever seen in TV and film.

The following 15 actors all turned down these iconic roles and let an incredible opportunity slip right through their fingers.

1. Dana Delany: Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City

It almost feels like blasphemy, but Sarah Jessica Parker was not the first choice to play what ultimately became the role she was born to play in “Sex and the City.”

Dana Delany turned down the role because she believed she wasn’t stylish enough. It is hard to imagine a world where Sarah Jessica Parker is not connected with fashion icon Carrie Bradshaw.

Parker was initially hesitant to accept the role in a television series as she was more focused on film and theatre at the time.

The bubbly actress went on to win an Emmy award for her performance as Carrie, and the series spawned two hit movies. Delany also refused the role she was originally offered on “Desperate Housewives” three times.

In the end, that part went to Marcia Cross, but Delany did eventually join the hit soap opera to play the part of Katherine Mayfair.

“Desperate Housewives” are available on Amazon – Click Here

When questioned about her role in “Desperate Housewives”, Delany stated “The hardest thing for me was figuring out the tone of the piece because it’s such a specific tone, so it was more of an acting challenge than anything else.”

She has since starred in hit ABC series “Body of Proof” and won a role alongside Robert de Niro in the 2012 movie “Freelancers.”

435 Comments on this post

  1. not get typecast in an action role … but he’s Wolverine …

    Anne / Reply
  2. Like Kristen Stewart was outstanding in the role. Her participation in the Twilight series should have insured that she never works again. About as close to nothing as you can get.

    HLain / Reply
    • What’s she doing now?

      Publicpersona / (in reply to HLain) Reply
    • She’s actually quite good in some of her other roles, like Joan Jet in The Runaways. There’s not much any actor can do with a shitty, shitty script and even worse source material.

      ashgreen2080 / (in reply to HLain) Reply
    • I thought she was great in the series, maybe the fact that I find her incredibly attractive makes me biased but I’ve never understood this whole kristen stewart can’t act thing.

      bobby bobby / (in reply to HLain) Reply
  3. Molly Ringworm would have been an absolute disaster in “Pretty Woman.”

    pauletteb / Reply
  4. Emily Browning yeah that was a big mistake, bc now no one even knows who you are and stewart is getting more mature roles bc of the spotlight Twilight gave her. The movies were shit of course but it made her popular and her name rings bells

    Dart Vade / Reply
    • Even if Emily Browning did get the role of Bella Swan in Twilight, the movie would still suck ass.

      Megan Payette / (in reply to Dart Vade) Reply
      • Damn, but you would be set for life with the money that they pay you. Each of the cast is worth +50 million. You wouldn’t need to worry about finding any other job in your life.

        Tyler Thomas / (in reply to Megan Payette) Reply
    • things could have been different though. If she was in twilight it may not have been so successful. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with her acting but successful films are like jigsaw puzzles, every piece has to fit. Sometimes even the best actor or actress just doesn’t fit.

      bobby bobby / (in reply to Dart Vade) Reply
  5. Paul Giamatti would have been excellent in the Office

    Dart Vade / Reply
  6. I don’t know if those are huge career mistakes really, just because someone else gets a role does not mean the movie would be the same. John Travolta as Forrest Gump, eh not really. Chevy Chase? Yeah you wouldn’t see Bubba Gump themed restaurants if that was the case. Matthew Broderick as Walter White? 2 seasons max on that show. Pamela Anderson as Scully? Ok that show would not have had the appeal it did. Sandra Bernhard? Well ok that would have been the one thing that may have made Sarah Jessica Parker actually seem hot on the show, putting her next to that.

    Mike / Reply
    • SJP is not elegant or sexy. Why they picked her is beyond me.

      Doris C / (in reply to Mike) Reply
      • Shes very unattractive

        khepra Bey / (in reply to Doris C) Reply
        • She was really cute and natural in “L.A. Story”, but went under the knife and eliminated all the aspects that made her genuinely attractive.

          EclecticHorseman / (in reply to khepra Bey) Reply
  7. Career mistakes? I disagree. Most actors are smart enough to know if a part is not right for them. It’s part of the job.

    $28355456 / Reply
    • Good point.

      Debbie Love / (in reply to $28355456) Reply
    • That was my thought also. As much as I like Travolta I just can’t imagine Forrest Gump being as good without Tom Hanks. With Pam Anderson no one would have taken the X-Files serious and it would have been canceled after a couple of episodes.

      woodt / (in reply to $28355456) Reply
    • I know. These kinds of mistakes are very much in the eye of the beholder. The whole article sounds pompous and judgmental.

      Mr. Negative / (in reply to $28355456) Reply
  8. FYI – Tom Selleck did not turn down the Indiana Jones role. He was under contract and therefore was not available to do the film.

    Shawn M. Knox / Reply
    • He could have broken the contract (happens occasionally), but he did the honorable thing because that’s how his parents reared him.

      rose1957 / (in reply to Shawn M. Knox) Reply
    • Doesnt matter. I liked Ford in the role and Selleck has made enough great movies to suit me even as an older heavier model. He is aging like Sean Connery with grace and dignity.His Jesse Stone movies need to revise and make more.

      Doris C / (in reply to Shawn M. Knox) Reply
    • You are correct on that point. I think Selleck did well with Magnum, PI, his Three Men and a Baby roles.

      Debbie Love / (in reply to Shawn M. Knox) Reply
  9. I wouldn’t say turning down ‘Pretty woman’ was a mistake for Molly Ringwald but I will say ‘Some kind of wonderful’ would have been even better had she accepted the role that Lea Thompson ended up taking.

    Cleric Preston / Reply
  10. From the days of yesteryear: Steve Reeves was reported to be chosen for the first James Bond film. Also the role that made Clint Eastwood a star: the Man with No Name (Reeves said he didn’t think the Italians knew how to make westerns). At the “Hercules” star was the biggest in European cinema.

    After Dinner / Reply
  11. Dana is so much better looking than Sarah Jessica Parker, she would have looked so much better playing that part!

    Paul M. / Reply
    • I think Dana Delany is gorgeous and, if that’s what she was thinking, seriously underrated herself as a candidate for that show

      EclecticHorseman / (in reply to Paul M.) Reply
  12. With Molly Ringwald, Pretty Woman would NOT have been such a big hit!

    Paul M. / Reply
    • I love Molly and Julia but hate, hate , hate forever the movie Pretty Woman. A Cinderella hooker story, puuuulllleeeeze!

      Charlotte Eden Orth / (in reply to Paul M.) Reply
      • Pretty Woman was not a Cinderella hooker story. Pretty Woman was the story of almost every woman alive. The female protagonist was a woman with low self-esteem. The male protagonist recognized that she was in possession of her fair share of human dignity, and it would be wrong to treat her with anything but respect. She came to realize that he was right. They fell in loved and lived happily ever after. A Cinderella story is similar, but it’s certainly different. In the Cinderella story, Cinderella’s sisters and mother oppressed her. In Pretty Woman, Vivian oppressed herself.

        bsrasmus / (in reply to Charlotte Eden Orth) Reply
        • Ridiculous statement that wholly misunderstands the concept of Cinderella, and adaptation.

          Bill / (in reply to bsrasmus) Reply
  13. John Travolta as Forrest Gump= ridiculous!

    Paul M. / Reply
    • Don’t agree. I thought that Travolta did a great job in Phenomena as a mentally slow farmer.

      Nuschler / (in reply to Paul M.) Reply
      • Maybe, but he’s not anywhere near the actor that Hanks is. Hanks did an incredible job.

        Paul Rolfgren / (in reply to Nuschler) Reply
        • Pul–
          I agree re; Hanks–great acting job!

          sparksnavy / (in reply to Paul Rolfgren) Reply
        • Almost as good as his near Shakepearean “Kip” on Bosom Buddies, and his amazing “Joe” in Joe and the Volvano, and his amazing tour de force in Bachelor Party.

          Curly Bill / (in reply to Paul Rolfgren) Reply
      • That was a good example of type casting.

        photonblaster / (in reply to Nuschler) Reply
      • He wasn’t a “mentally slow” farmer; he was a mentally advanced carpenter with a brain tumor.

        Mark Schwartz / (in reply to Nuschler) Reply
      • And as a mentally slow disco dancer. And as a mentally slow Texas two-stepper. And as a mentally slow sound man. And as a mentally slow high school greaser (three times). I am sensing a pattern here.

        Curly Bill / (in reply to Nuschler) Reply
    • You are so right.

      Old Buck / (in reply to Paul M.) Reply
  14. Sandra Bernhard???? Just goes to show you how bad casting could have lead to a lot of bombs that were otherwise hits!

    Paul M. / Reply
    • or maybe she was just right for the part, some people who may not necessarily be the best actors are just made for certain roles.

      bobby bobby / (in reply to Paul M.) Reply
  15. Pamela Anderson in the X-Files, season one cancellation!

    Paul M. / Reply
    • Good God Almighty! That would have been horrible! I never understood why FOX execs were so against Gillian to begin with. She totally nailed the role and ANYONE could have seen Pamela Anderson didn’t have the talent to do it.

      EarlGrayHot / (in reply to Paul M.) Reply
      • Pamela cannot act, just stand and look pretty.Gillian did a fine job in the series.

        Doris C / (in reply to EarlGrayHot) Reply
        • they weren’t hiring her for her acting ability. They wanted to attract the male audience. I happily don’t find her attractive myself but many guys do. I think it’s just guys suffering from barbie syndrome though but I may be wrong.

          bobby bobby / (in reply to Doris C) Reply
          • She’s got boobs. That’s it. (And she bought them.)

            Little boys are focused on boobs, and some never grow out of that.

            Bill / (in reply to bobby bobby)
          • Honestly I don’t even find her attractive and I don’t like fake boobs. However most males like big boobs whether they are fake or real. There is nothing wrong with that, calling them little boys is a little harsh. Everyone has the right to their preferences, even if you don’t agree with them.

            bobby bobby / (in reply to Bill)
          • or said guys never emerged from oral phase

            Clare O / (in reply to bobby bobby)
          • I have no idea what you mean. Please rephrase.

            bobby bobby / (in reply to Clare O)
          • Clare is referring to men who still, subconsciously, recall the suckling and gratification they attained.

            suomunon / (in reply to bobby bobby)
        • And she could “just stand and look pretty” also.

          igotacomment / (in reply to Doris C) Reply
          • She’d have to… she sure cannot act her way out of the Baywatch bathing suit.

            ThereAintNoJustice / (in reply to igotacomment)
        • I think Gillian had her Pamela beat both ways there.

          CowboyUp / (in reply to Doris C) Reply
        • Dana Delany would have been my first choice for X Files, but Gillian Anderson was wonderful. I think the studio wanted someone who’s hair contrasted with David’s.

          Wyatt Earp / (in reply to Doris C) Reply
        • Who could ever except Pamela as a ‘scientist’ with an IQ of 190 like Gillian displayed in the show. The only thing that is 190 with Pamela are her boobs.

          Sandy / (in reply to Doris C) Reply
          • Sandy–the word is “accept” not except! Liked your comment though!

            sparksnavy / (in reply to Sandy)
          • her boobs are 190 what? let’s see, 190 millimeters is 7.8 inches. Doubt you can find a dimension that small on her chest, unless she happens to have 2 moles located that distance apart.

            joeymegatron / (in reply to Sandy)
      • it’s not about talent it’s about attracting the male audience.

        bobby bobby / (in reply to EarlGrayHot) Reply
      • does Anderson have the brain cells?? and no one would believe Scully’s job would allow all the teats to hang out in so many ‘suits”

        catbell7cat / (in reply to EarlGrayHot) Reply
        • she really is not that dumb.

          bobby bobby / (in reply to catbell7cat) Reply
          • Evidence?

            Bill / (in reply to bobby bobby)
          • were’s the evidence that she isn’t dumb? Just listen to her speak she doesn’t sound like say a sara palin. Also on true hollywood story it was said that she actually has a high IQ. Take what you want from that I Know you can’t always trust so called documentaries.

            I don’t know why I’m sticking up for her though I don’t even really like her to be honest lol

            bobby bobby / (in reply to Bill)
          • Did you just call Sarah Palin intelligent???

            Valerie Hunsinger / (in reply to bobby bobby)
          • no I said sara palin has a dumb sounding voice. I didn’t say she was intelligent at all.

            bobby bobby / (in reply to Valerie Hunsinger)
        • She has them, they just never made it past her chest, LOL.

          beelp / (in reply to catbell7cat) Reply
        • i’m thinkin’ udders.

          Clare O / (in reply to catbell7cat) Reply
      • You obviously never saw Pamela’s critically acclaimed performance in that iconic tribute to super heroes – “Barbed Wire”

        firewateriv / (in reply to EarlGrayHot) Reply
      • I only watched X-Files as syndicated re-runs…never knew it originally was on Fox! Chris Carter et al must have loved writing the dialogue referring to “Fox” as being a weird name for SA Mulder.

        Standard example: “Fox? Who would name their kid Fox?”

        Nuschler / (in reply to EarlGrayHot) Reply
      • She would have been perfect. Brainy aliens meets brainless blonde.

        jim / (in reply to EarlGrayHot) Reply
      • Because it’s Fox. One of the few times where they actually did something right and it was because things didn’t play out the way they wanted it to.

        Russell / (in reply to EarlGrayHot) Reply
      • Because Anderson did’t wear shoulder pads to the audition. I am not big on liking women on TV, but Gillian Anderson and Sharon Lawrence (Sylvia Costas on NYPD Blue) were wonderful in their roles and very attractive, too.

        Wyatt Earp / (in reply to EarlGrayHot) Reply
      • Gillian is so hot! I will be glad when she’s done with this “girl on girl” stuff …

        Jack_Reacher / (in reply to EarlGrayHot) Reply
      • Obviously they were hoping for something a little different for the role than what Gillian Anderson brings, namely sex appeal. IF Pamela Anderson could act (that’s obvious she cannot…but IF SHE COULD ACT), she would have had the job, I am sure. But if she could act, perhaps she would have been as good as Gillian Anderson. Those are hugemongous “IFS”, don’t you think?

        joeymegatron / (in reply to EarlGrayHot) Reply
    • That was the one on the list that seems fake. X-Files required some serious acting. I highly doubt that she was offered the part. This one has to be a rumor.

      WordsOfWisdom82 / (in reply to Paul M.) Reply
    • well, yea, clearly Gillian Anderson is a great actress but if you look back at the first few episodes, that haircut she had was holy unattractive … it was only after they fixed her hairdo and her performances proved she had talent, she started to look better and by season 2, she was damn attractive.

      jbelkin / (in reply to Paul M.) Reply
      • don’t forget — Scully was a nerd — so she had to ‘transition’ first so we got to know her – not her hair/looks – She was an AGENT — a rep of the US Gov — and a brain — we would not have wanted the tax dollars being spent. ??

        catbell7cat / (in reply to jbelkin) Reply
    • are you kidding the ratings would have been higher, guys seem to love that fake chick. Luckily I’m not one of them.

      bobby bobby / (in reply to Paul M.) Reply
      • So what part of her is fake? Just saying.

        jim / (in reply to bobby bobby) Reply
      • No, they wouldn’t have. Guys really got into Gillian Anderson plus Anderson’s lack of intellect and fake chest would have killed the show.

        Lynn McDaniel / (in reply to bobby bobby) Reply
        • killed the show? Yeah you keep thinking that lol

          bobby bobby / (in reply to Lynn McDaniel) Reply
        • Nah, wouldn’t have killed the show. Look at Baywatch. The lamest show put in television. And it lasted years, watching girl “ladies” bounce around. Pam wasn’t chosen for her intellect, or acting ability.

          AJF / (in reply to Lynn McDaniel) Reply
          • I never watched Baywatch. But to call it ‘lame’ seems to be missing the point–if you look at the view numbers worldwide, Baywatch is out of this world. Can’t say the same for X Files.

            joeymegatron / (in reply to AJF)
          • You can’t say X Files is out of this world. Lol

            Guest / (in reply to joeymegatron)
    • I think Gillian Anderson is 1,000 times more attractive than Pamela and I can’t imagine PA doing anything more than putting on 3 ounces of bikini and 16 ounces of makeup and trying to get famous for it.

      walkrrrr / (in reply to Paul M.) Reply
      • Isn’t that how Pamela Anderson was discovered? In a crowd, maybe a sporting event, the cameraman singled her out because of her upper body dimensions, shall we say?

        joeymegatron / (in reply to walkrrrr) Reply
        • I read she was on the jumbo tron because of her face…she was wearing a Labatt Blue t-shirt & her actual chest back then was pretty small. She got a lil fame & money and bought herself a new face & body! I actually thought she looked alot like Claudia Schiffer before she completely changed her looks

          Guest / (in reply to joeymegatron) Reply
    • Unbelievable that they would even consider Anderson. She simply cannot act.

      Dave Nesbitt / (in reply to Paul M.) Reply
    • So true!

      James Wind / (in reply to Paul M.) Reply
    • Unless she undressed at the end of every episode.

      John Farrell / (in reply to Paul M.) Reply
    • Agreed. Pam Anderson CANNOT act! This role needed someone that could act first and look good second. Gillian Anderson nailed that role perfectly.

      Nola76 / (in reply to Paul M.) Reply
    • thought the same thing. not a very big brain when compared to the other parts lol. i could not see travolta as gump.

      carl6352 / (in reply to Paul M.) Reply
    • Ohhh Gaaagggg, I just threw up.

      CharlieSeattle / (in reply to Paul M.) Reply
  16. Darryl Hannah: Vivian in Pretty Woman, wow they couldn’t get anyone to say yes to this role could they? Better than Molly but still wrong. Would have at least scored some better office numbers though than Ringwold.

    Paul M. / Reply
    • Playing a Hooker or a Stripper usually doeen’t work out well. Ask Elizabeth Berkly or Demi Moore.

      James / (in reply to Paul M.) Reply
  17. Hugh Jackman: James Bond in Casino Royale BAD BAD BAD choice, the one they had would have been much better than him! He’s the wrong actor for that part, but good in other roles!

    Paul M. / Reply
  18. Michelle Pfeiffer: Clarice Sterling in Silence of the Lambs=questionable. But she probably would have stuck around to fo the sequels. Foster was a one trick pony!

    Paul M. / Reply
    • They should have never made the sequel, it sucked! She didn’t like the script & she was right.

      carbono / (in reply to Paul M.) Reply
      • Hannibal was bad. I actually liked Red Dragon though i thought it was great!

        Tyler Thomas / (in reply to carbono) Reply
      • but it was a cash grabber, they don’t just make movies because they are “good” they make them to make money.

        bobby bobby / (in reply to carbono) Reply
    • Actually, one trick pony refers to someone who has only one trick – like someone who gets typecasted or plays the same role over and over. Jodi is not a one trick pony – she is the opposite – multi-talented.

      ratsass / (in reply to Paul M.) Reply
  19. Will Smith: Neo The Matrix no, just no!

    Paul M. / Reply
  20. Tom Selleck: Indiana Jones= possible but Selleck is better on TV than as a movie star. he doesn’t quite have the charisma to pull of Indiana Jones in my opinion. He had the looks for it though!

    Paul M. / Reply
    • I don’t know, I just don’t see Indiana Jones as being quite that harry.

      bobby bobby / (in reply to Paul M.) Reply
  21. forest gump with a dance seen

    charles pitts / Reply
    • Forest Gump has a couple dance scenes. In the beginning with Elvis, and towards the end with Jenny. Nothing like what would have been with Travolta….but there were “dance scenes.”

      Deapea / (in reply to charles pitts) Reply
  22. John was just thinking, this movie is going to cut into my Spa Time! Can’t have that?

    Jeronimo Dan / Reply
  23. Tom Selleck, all can be said is…what a shame.

    Jeronimo Dan / Reply
  24. Pamela Anderson’s head has turned alien, just missing the huge oval black eyes.

    wargamer1969 / Reply
  25. these actors that turned down these may not have been right for the part anyways, the actor makes the character they play famous if they are good at playing that character, it would be interesting to see characters in roles that have been killed by bad acting.

    Marcus Aurelius / Reply
  26. i saw pamala from about 4 feet away a few yrs ago…she is not a good looking lady.

    sma / Reply
    • I never thought she was all that attractive but 10 years ago almost no one would have agreed with me or you for that matter.

      bobby bobby / (in reply to sma) Reply
  27. Most of these are big stars without the roles they turned down. Who can imagine Pamela Anderson playing an intellectual role? And maybe Gillian Anderson had no interest in Dowton Abby. I don’t even like to watch it. Some of these stars are private people, and that could be how they like it. Not everyone is motivated just by money.

    Publicpersona / Reply
    • the role she played probably would have been different then the one it ended up being with a different actress.

      bobby bobby / (in reply to Publicpersona) Reply
  28. Where is one of the biggest ones…George Peppard turning down the role of Blake Carrington in Dynasty…though I guess that A-Team thing did kinda work out for him….

    Paul B. / Reply
  29. I could never see Paul Schaffer as George Costanza. Jason Alexander hit it perfectly on every level. Besides, everyone would be watching Paul thinking “he’s a band leader for David Letterman.” Just wouldn’t have worked.
    I’m surprised Seinfeld and David even thought that way back then. But, the more I watch Jerry nowadays the more I dislike him. And I can quote anything from any Seinfeld at any given moment any time during the day…that’s how much I liked and watched the show.
    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    John Cochran / Reply
  30. It’s so weird to see Michelle Pfeiffer get older. She looks great but it’s always disheartening when you have to add “for her (his) age” at the end of that sentence.

    John Cochran / Reply
    • You don’t have to. If you think she’s pretty, she’s pretty. No need to refer to her age.

      markmywords / (in reply to John Cochran) Reply
  31. Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones I can see. He has the looks, wit and charm to pull it all off and he would have been great. It’s one of the few people that turned down a role that I could see still playing in that role and would pull it off well.

    John Cochran / Reply
  32. Kate Jackson was under contract with Charlie’s Angels. It hindered her ability to take on the Meryl Streep role in Kramer vs. Kramer.

    Lisa / Reply
  33. The catch to this is had they not turned down these roles there is no guarantee they would have been as huge. Dana Delany could have sucked as Carrie Bradshaw and Sex and the City would have been cancelled after one season. Same with Desperate Housewives.

    Molly would have been hideous as Vivian and Pretty Woman would be one of those movies you only watch when it turns up on TBS late night

    lucascott / Reply
  34. Also, the role of Sheriff Gillespie in the movie “In the Heat of the Night” went to Rod Steiger instead of George C. Scott. I think in all of these cases the actors/actresses who ended up in the films turned out to be the better choice.

    Debbie Love / Reply
  35. I’m so glad Gillian turned down Game and Downton – she is EXCELLENT in The Fall.

    Marci / Reply
  36. Matthew Broderick as Walter White? No way, no how! Soooooo glad that one didn’t come to fruition!!!!!!!

    Dody Adkins / Reply
  37. The title suggests she’d need to be “pretty” so it would be a miss…

    Chief / Reply
  38. No way Travolta could be Forest Gump…He doesn’t fit that role at all

    Chief / Reply
  39. Travolta also supposedly turned down American Gigolo(if I remember right he was his mother died and he dropped out) and An Officer And A Gentleman.

    Terry Powell / Reply
  40. All choices and actions has consequences some good and some bad but when they are done you have to live with them and move on

    loyd melton / Reply
  41. I think they would also agree that whatever gig it was wouldn’t have turned out as well as it did if they had played the part. Who knows how many movies could have been classics if not for bad casting. It just goes to show you how many parts have to fit perfectly from casting to editing and all parts in between, to create a classic.

    g_jefferson / Reply
  42. Matthew Broderick could have rocked Walter White!!!

    Charlotte Eden Orth / Reply
  43. Tried to get into the teen angst thing with Kristen Stewart, but I’m too old. She seems bored, sullen, and disinterested in the MOVIES, so I can imagine what a drag the promotional events are. Imagine the stress of being young, thin, attractive, famous AND rich. Oh, what to do next?

    Lost Croat Outburst / Reply
  44. Bryan Cranston was great as Walter White, but i don’t think Matthew would’ve been bad. I haven’t seen him in anything serious, but never was Bryan Cranston in anything serious before Breaking Bad and looked on how that turned out.

    Tyler Thomas / Reply
  45. What role was Gillian offered in Game Of Thrones? Game Of Thrones is spectacular and i just wondered how different it would be?

    Tyler Thomas / Reply
  46. All Tom ever needed was Quigley. That’s better than any of those Star Trek movies he turned down. Pretty funny comment, eh?

    avlisk / Reply
  47. This slideshow assumes the roles that were passed on would’ve been just as huge if these actors had opted them—but who’s to say whether a Walter White or a Forrest Gump would have been just as successful if played by a different actor?

    wartybliggens / Reply
  48. How about Shu Qi, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

    Jenny Choi / Reply
  49. despite many opposite views……i think travolta would have been great in gump…….sellect would be great as jones………and pamela anderson looks fine….she isnt 20 anymore…..i love her short hair…….

    BARFLY101 / Reply
    • If you like hair cuts that make you look a lot older than you are so be it, I personally think it looks horrible & makes her look much older & ragged especially since she cut it that way just to be trendy, not a good look

      mtzpitbull / (in reply to BARFLY101) Reply
  50. The article does not give reasons why roles were turned down; it’s not always the script. Sometimes it’s the director, the studio, the location, timing, family concerns, health issues. Actors can say they are not interested for many reasons — not necessarily mistakes or stupidity.

    TigerKim / Reply
  51. The whole basis of this article is a false assumption. The actors that turned down the roles would not necessarily have had the same success as the actors that did perform. Who knows, maybe some of the films could have been complete flops and vice versa. Come on people! There are obviously different actors who will bring different aspects to any production. That is the beauty of the whole process!

    bjeanfreau7 / Reply
  52. hugh jackman when he’s skinnier would have made a good james bond

    bobby bobby / Reply
    • I’m thinking PeeWee Herman. Or maybe Rick Moranis. Shake things up a bit, put a different edge on your James Bond.

      Tommy Tuttle / (in reply to bobby bobby) Reply
  53. Hugh Jackman (Bond) and Will Smith (Neo) are the only two of the entire lot that I actually feel would have made better fits. The rest more than likely would have been wildly unsuccessful in those roles.

    thecryptowizard / Reply
  54. Breaking Bad is a good show. It is NOT the best show of all time. Period. There are differing opinions, and I understand that… but there is also right and wrong… and you are just… wrong.

    WIzeCrax / Reply
    • Im sure many of us breaking bad fans would love to see a list of what shows you think are better, we all are entitled to our opinion’s so curious to see your’s

      mtzpitbull / (in reply to WIzeCrax) Reply
      • How funny that you failed to use the apostrophe for the possessive of I am “Im (sic)” but used it for a possessive (opinion’s (sic)) when you meant a plural.
        And yes. Nothing better to do than criticize grammar/spelling today.

        Mike HSV / (in reply to mtzpitbull) Reply
        • Wow, you must be a very boring & petty person, you do realize that this is a internet comment I typed on my cell phone & not a mid-term paper, thank you for adding absolutely nothing to the conversation & for being completely off topic & good luck finding a life and/or a constructive hobby

          mtzpitbull / (in reply to Mike HSV) Reply
    • It isn’t my cup of tea but those who like it, REALLY like it. And the fact is, you can name a bunch of great TV programs and try to call any of ’em the best of all time. No show stands out as the best one. Nobody would argue that Small Wonder was the best show of all time, but a solid case can be made for Breaking Bad. So, we’re back to differing opinions. My opinion is that you are just wrong. Not that I like BB, not that I care, but there is right and wrong and you are just wrong.

      Tommy Tuttle / (in reply to WIzeCrax) Reply
  55. I think “Pretty Woman” was disgusting as a romantic comedy. Daryl Hannah was absolutely right to turn the role down. Really, the moral of the story is “all women are whores anyhow, so don’t judge”. Yeeech.

    Jeffrey Coley / Reply
  56. Interesing re: Emily Browning, since I’ve never even heard of her.

    walkrrrr / Reply
  57. OK where does it say that Matthew Broderick was offered the role? Kinda misleading.

    OnePCWhiz / Reply
  58. Um, it’s *LADY GRANTHAM* on Downton Abbey, whose given name is Cora Crawley.

    *MRS.* Crawley NOT “Lady”, is someone else.

    walkrrrr / Reply
  59. Hugh Jackman as James Bond? Yes!!!! Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones? Yes!!!! As James Bond? Yes!!!!

    LucyRicardo / Reply
  60. I cannot see Michelle Pfeiffer as Clarice Starling. Not that she isn’t a good enough actress; she is. But she’s almost too glamorous and sophisticated looking. You cannot deglamorize her. The character was a young FBI trainee. She needed to be earnest looking. Young looking. Vulnerable.

    Contrarian / Reply
  61. John Revolta couldn’t get permission from his controllers at SEA to take the Forrest Gump role.

    So Kali / Reply
  62. I thought Broken Arrow was a very good film

    mnelson52 / Reply
  63. John Travolta did NOT turn down a role in “Apollo 13”. As I heard it, the actor fervently wanted to be part of the project, being a huge aviation and space buff. However, Ron Howard couldn’t see Travolta in any of the roles– especially the lead. Travolta was politley turned down when he asked for a part.

    hal09i / Reply
  64. “Biggest Career Mistakes of Movie Stars”? Just because someone was originally desired for a role doesn’t mean that person would have brought to the film or TV show the success that eventually followed. In most of those examples, it was for the BEST that that person turned down the opportunity. But I will say, Giamatti as Michael Scott would have been very entertaining in its own way.

    Brian Johnson / Reply
  65. The movie isn’t “Indiana Jones”, it’s Raiders of the Lost Ark.

    JoseAmerica / Reply
  66. Just because the actors that actually got the mentioned roles did well doesn’t necessarily mean these would have been successful.

    John Doe / Reply
  67. Paul Giamatti is probably one of the most underrated actors in films today. All of the films that I have seen him in had him playing his role perfectly. The police inspector in the Illusionist, the building superintendent in Lady In The Water, his role in Downton Abbey just to name a few.

    ospreycbk / Reply
    • Don’t forget the John Adams series. Superb!

      Mike HSV / (in reply to ospreycbk) Reply
    • Underrated implies doing good work that is criticized or reviewed as bad work. He’s not underrated, he’s underappreciated.

      chiefkurtz / (in reply to ospreycbk) Reply
  68. So how many of these “stars” actually turned down the role. When you read the article the role ended up with who the director/writer/producer wanted to begin with and or they weren’t available due to other contract requirements, or heaven forbid they blew the audition.

    ospreycbk / Reply
  69. Vinnie Barbarino as Forrest Gump? I don’t think so.

    iolaisinwisconsin / Reply
  70. George C. Scott turned down the role as Vito Corleone in the Godfather.

    wolfdoctor / Reply
  71. Sorry, but I can’t see Molly Ringwald as a hooker so maybe it was good that she turned it down. She
    didn’t go to Paris because she turned it down, she had to go to Paris because she was type-cast as the John Hughes teenage girl, which is why she turned down Some Kind of Wonderful.

    Thank god Pamela Anderson turned down the role of Scully; can you see her as the more logical, scientific doctor? Actually, can you see anything other than those cartoonish Jessica Rabbit implants she had back then?

    paganW / Reply
  72. Um, does anyone else realize that the x files didn’t need anything else to attract the male audience? You guys realize what show you’re actually talking about right? If anything, they needed to get the FEMALE demographic to be more supportive. Sci-fi tends to draw a bigger Male crowd naturally. Oh, and Gillian Anderson is attractive to many men too.

    God / Reply
  73. Pamela in the x files, would have have some options…like pamela giving birth to some alien….no one really knows how many have done pamela, not even pamela!! probably if tested, pamela;s va jay jay would be a hazardous waste site/hole(s)!!

    jackcandobutwont / Reply
  74. The only problem i have with this list is that the actors made the character. Who is to say that Chevy Chase would have made Forest Gump the icon that he is?

    magnusrobot12 / Reply
  75. This would be a much cooler slideshow if pictures had been used of the actors at the time of filming (for instance a 1994 John Travolta to compare him with 1994 Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump). Oh well.

    HayleySherie / Reply
  76. The greatest show of all time is a show about a drug dealing chemistry teacher??? LOLOLOLOL

    Ron Baker / Reply
    • I somehow think you might not have watched the show, I personally wouldn’t say it was the greatest show of all time but I think it’s in my top 5 ever. The writing, acting and casting was close to perfect.

      Tyrsca / (in reply to Ron Baker) Reply
  77. How is it a mistake for this woman to have NOT been in Twilight? Yeah it made money, but if reputations is important at all, isn’t this a good thing to have avoided? But I guess that depends on if she is in it for the paycheck more than respect.

    Zeke Teke / Reply
  78. Hugh Jackman is doing just fine I think

    Zeke Teke / Reply
  79. um … “urban cowboy” wasn’t a flop. it was a huge hit. just sayin’.

    kim bunchalastnames / Reply
  80. Can we all agree that Matthew Broderick not takin the breaking bad role is a GREAT THING

    Ricky Hoppes / Reply
  81. Not mistakes. Travolta would’ve flailed as Gump, and the movie wouldn’t have been a success. And a Tom Selleck Indiana Jones would have been quite… uh… different. If the actor’s not right for the part, the film won’t be a hit. So it’s no mistake to turn down such a role, even if the next guy nails it and makes a huge hit of it.

    Tommy Tuttle / Reply
    • Here, here. Those are my thoughts too.

      interestedinjustice / (in reply to Tommy Tuttle) Reply
    • People just assume that Selleck would not have done as well as Ford because he ended up having a career mostly in television but we forget that at the time Ford was not nearly the icon he is now. He was known mainly for Star Wars at the time, but Indiana Jones is what made him an icon. Selleck was relatively unknown but one can certainly see why Lucas might consider him for the role. The Indiana Jones movies are great, but lets be honest, Shakespeare they are not. They are built on special effects and thrilling action sequences. While Indiana Jones is a great role, it is a fairly flat and one-dimensional role. And Ford made a career playing those types of characters because he is smart and knows his limits. He has had great success and has been connected with some of the biggest blockbusters ever. But as an actor he is good but not great. There is a reason why he has only been nominated for one Academy Award. He’s worthy of respect and reverence but he’s never gonna be said to have the depth of a DeNiro or Pacino or Hanks or Duvall. If Selleck took the role and made similar choices there is no reason to believe he wouldn’t have done just as well as Ford and perhaps even better.

      Steve67 / (in reply to Tommy Tuttle) Reply
    • My thought exactly. Every one of these actors made the right call.

      cometboy / (in reply to Tommy Tuttle) Reply
  82. Burt Reynolds turned down two roles that Jack Nicholson picked up and won Oscars for; McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Garrett in Terms of Endearment. Instead, Reynolds chose The Longest Yard over One Flew … and chose Stroker Ace over Terms … ! Reynolds also turned down the chance to take over the role of James Bond from Sean Connery. Evidently Burt didn’t think an American actor should be cast as Bond.

    sgjsdad / Reply
  83. Breaking Bad is the “best TV show of all time.” Ah… exaggerate much?

    Shawn N / Reply
  84. I am I agreement with others that the “huge success” that these actors missed out on may have been a dismal failure if they had actually been in the starring role. I recall a Magnum PI episode where Tom Selleck mimicked (archeology mystic episode with him even wearing the hat and outfit) raiders of the lost ark so that his fans could see what they had missed without him in the starring role as Indiana Jones.
    It was cringe inducing, absolutely awful, he giggled in the worst places. If he had been in Raiders it would have been mediocre at best.

    Summerwarmth / Reply
  85. I like Selleck but he doesn’t translate to the big screen. If he was Indi, the first movie would have been the last.

    tayt / Reply
  86. Regarding Kristen Stewart’s reputation for looking “bored, sullen or disinterested,” that’s exactly how Bella Swan is in the books. I would say that was perfect casting.

    interestedinjustice / Reply
  87. I think Will Smith would’ve been great in the Matrix as he looked so weak in the Wild West movie. Another reason of course is that in the books Neo was a black man. I still enjoyed the Matrix definitely one of my favorite shows

    Gregory Eaton / Reply
  88. Pam has “Twice” the talent!

    Jeff Shank / Reply
  89. She would have been more pleasant to look at in all the publicity, that’s for sure!

    Annie Laurie / Reply
  90. I think a lot of you are simply showing your biases in your estimations of how some of these actors would have done. While there are some obvious ones; like Paul Shaffer as Costanza?? Or Sandra Bernhard in Sex and the City (or anything for that matter)?? Or Pamela Anderson in the X-Files?? Or Molly Ringwald in Pretty Woman??

    But others are not so obvious if you just apply a little objectivity. It would be hard to imagine anyone but Tom Hanks playing Forrest Gump but Travolta is a very good actor. I am not saying he would have done as well as Hanks but I don’t think it would have been the train-wreck that some of you are so sure it would have been. Who knows? Maybe he would have done just as well. I would say the same for Matthew Broderick as Walter White. Cranston is awesome as Walter White and with Broderick it would have been different but I don’t think it would have been as horrible as some of of you think.

    Also I think Paul Giamatti would have been an improvement over Steve Carrell on the Office. I think Carrell was overrated in that role.

    Steve67 / Reply
  91. Sylvester Stallone as Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop.
    Brad Pitt/Nicole Kidman ,Will Smith/ Catherine zeta Jones 1st&2nd choices Mr and Mrs Smith.
    Oj Simpson as The Terminator.

    michael s / Reply
  92. No mistakes there at all. Who got cast were way better. There is a God.

    joymars2 / Reply
  93. I recall reading somewhere that Travolta also turned down American Gigolo and An Officer and a Gentleman, both of which went to Richard Gere.

    Quantez Williams / Reply
  94. SATC wouldn’t have been the hit it was had Bernhard been cast as Miranda, even though they’re both lizards.
    And I think Jackman would have been very good as Bond.

    Political_Poop / Reply
  95. Hugh Jackman would STILL make a great 007. But he’s almost too nice a guy. The Bond character with Connery and in the Fleming novels was a misogynistic but cerebral guy who depended on his wits and savoir faire instead of his parkour.

    Nuschler / Reply
  96. How could they do this and NOT mention that Kate Jackson had to turn down the role in Kramer vs Kramer. It won Meryl Streep her first Academy Award.

    DeeBee123 / Reply
  97. 16: Sean Conery: Gandalf in THE LORD OF THE RINGS.

    Keith Robey / Reply
  98. Isn’t the headline misleading? Several of the people listed have never been or never will be MOVIE stars.

    Joe Gawel / Reply
  99. “Urban Cowboy” was not a flop; it was a huge success!

    BB53 / Reply
  100. Just because a movie went big with an actor doesn’t mean the actor who turned down the role made a mistake. They might have sensed they weren’t right for the role. Molly Ringwald in “Pretty Woman”, “Ghost”? I have trouble seeing it.

    Julia Roberts nailed “Pretty Woman” even though, or maybe because, I found her less than convincing as a prostitute.

    And who can imagine “Ghost” with anyone but Demi?

    John / Reply
  101. Who says they were mistakes? Maybe they wouldn’t have been good in that role. Seems to me all of these stars are doing just fine!

    Chris Pinkerton / Reply
  102. Holy crap Dana Delaney as Carrie?? SJP’s role of a life time, plus her contract allowed her to keep all the clothes she wore in the series. Damn to have turned down that roll must be hard to live with even all these years later. OUCH!

    just-me / Reply
  103. Whaaat molly ringwald in pretty woman?? The movie would have been a flop with her in that roll.

    lucygoose / Reply
  104. Travolta as Gump?? Cant believe that role would have been offered to Chevy Chase over Tom Hanks! Forrest Gump is one of my favorite movies love Tom Hanks but Travolta has had a great career too, his role in Pulp is iconic.

    just-me / Reply
  105. Paul Giamatti would have been great in ‘the office’ but he didn’t lose anything by declining that role. Steve Carell is a jerk, and everyone knows it. At the premiere of ‘despicable me’ first he refused to walk down the red carpet with any of his co-stars and then he threw a fit in his limo because he wasn’t the first one among the cast to walk down the red carpet. He then demanded to be the absolute last person to go down the carpet. They had to play the movie later than expected because he had to be coaxed out of his limo by his PR, taking no time to greet the kids who were lining the carpet hoping to get a pic or autograph from him. It was a rather sick display of how spoiled and childish these people can be.

    just-me / Reply
  106. Urban Cowboy was a flop? I didn’t know that.

    PollyVinylChloride / Reply
  107. Actually nobody ever says that the part was actually offered to them. Being considered for a part and actually being asked to play the part are two different things.

    ospreycbk / Reply
  108. Will Smith in anything is bad.

    Mike C / Reply
    • Not really, The Pursuit of Happyness, I am Legend, I, Robot, and Seven Pounds were all fantastic movies.

      Whitney / (in reply to Mike C) Reply
  109. Will Smith in the Wild Wild West or The Matrix. Both bad choices. The Wild Wild West movie was a flop.

    Celtic-Sword / Reply
  110. Not only did Matthew Broderick turn down “Breaking Bad,” he also turned down the role of Alex P. Keaton in “Family Ties” that put Michael J. Fox on the map.

    Dave Smith / Reply
  111. Cary Grant – James Bond. He felt he was too old. it was written for him, but he turned it down and it went to sean connery.

    ked5 / Reply
  112. The biggest was Elvis was offered the part of Tony in West Side Story. Col. Tom Parker persuaded him to turn it down. But for that Elvis might have been a serious actor.

    Jules / Reply
  113. A picture of Emily Browning without a “bat in the cave” might have been nice

    BleedinCubbyBlue / Reply
  114. And from the past: Gary Cooper declined the role in “Gone with the Wind” that eventually went to Clark Cable.

    DrRGP / Reply
  115. Will Smith would have made a better Neo.
    A piece of wood would have made a better Neo!

    Makka2000 / Reply
  116. Dana Delany would have been awesome as Carrie Bradshaw. She had the personality and the looks to make the show even bigger than it was. SJP has personality which worked for the show but she isn’t really attractive at all. Though I suppose SJP did clearly show that men in bars wanting to get laid are not picky about looks.

    HeidiJo / Reply
  117. Sandra Bernhard clearly has “regret,” after stating that she would have taken it had she known Sex and the City would be so successful, lol. She should have taken a page out of Jonah Hill’s book. He took a pay cut in order to work with Leo DiCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street, knowing that it would do wonders for his career. Celebs need to look at the bigger picture, and understand that some roles with smaller checks can make you bigger than you already are

    LadyDee33 / Reply
  118. the Jackman story is false.

    He was tested but Barbara Broccoli thought him ‘soft’. The scene they use to test potential Bonds is the seduction sequence in ‘From Russia With Love’. It is the ‘eliminator’, as insiders call it. Craig nailed it, and they even had him do it a second time. Jackman just didn’t.

    Hugh Jackman would have LOVED to have done Bond. This is press agent revisionism- don’t kid yourselves…

    DON CASE / Reply
  119. Pamela Anderson? Oh please……on what planet does she have any acting ability? at all?

    Jackie Lynn Cobb / Reply
  120. The movies probably would not of been hits if the actors were different. Hollywood’s 1st picks are usually duds like most of their movies.

    TrueReview / Reply
  121. “Downton Abbey”, not “Downtown”.

    Darrell Birkey / Reply
  122. Who, in their right mind, would turn down a James Bond role?

    Gordon Waite / Reply
  123. If you look back at the original photos of Pam Anderson when she was discovered wearing a beer T-shirt, she was a totally cute and wholesome girl. It wasn’t until she started getting plastic surgery that she became a caricature of herself and a media joke. Too bad. Most of the other first choices for roles would have given us totally different movies and we’ll never know if they would have enjoyed the same success. Just on Julia Roberts – they must have to spend hours getting the camera angles just right so she doesn’t look like a big nostril horse face. I think Molly could have pulled that role off just as well.

    wayne wright / Reply
  124. Actually, I’m glad Sandra said no.

    Nola76 / Reply
  125. Um, no, Selleck was FORCED to honor his contract.

    Please, get your information straight.

    Steven Burgas / Reply
  126. Sorry, Pretty Woman would not have been Pretty Woman without Julia Roberts 😉

    kimmyincali / Reply
  127. It’s interesting to think about what could have been, but none of these actors “suffered an error in judgement”. The actors who ultimately got the role did great with them but that doesn’t mean that ANY actor who got them would have been just as good, or become so well known for them.

    Mike / Reply
  128. Matrix sucked so bad, not sure even Will Smith could have saved it

    Raymond / Reply
  129. Obvious problem with this article is they make the flawed assumption that these hit series would still be as good with the actors/actresses in question. Very likely they would not. So maybe turning the roles down were not mistakes at all.

    DFWJC / Reply
  130. Molly R. as “Pretty Woman”??? I almost puked.

    beelp / Reply
  131. Downton Abbey not Downtown

    cj / Reply
    • Must be the urban version we all missed they’re referring to.

      TraceGamble / (in reply to cj) Reply
  132. Cryin’ shame Ms. Delaney refused the role, she’s world’s sexier than SJP!

    stevervative / Reply
  133. “catapulted Julia Roberts to stardom and helped her on her journey to becoming America’s Sweetheart”

    I thought America’s sweetheart was Meg Ryan, wait, Sandra Bullock, er, Reese Witherspoon, um….

    Richard Goodbad / Reply
  134. i thiunk she is one of the best looking females in hollywood

    thetnrebel / Reply
  135. Charleton Heston turned down the role in The Omen that went to Gregory Peck instead. The Omen was one the biggest horror hits in the 70’s.

    shawn duncan / Reply
  136. #15 says Tom Selleck turned down the part of Indiana Jones in the movie “Indiana Jones”. There is no such movie. The title of the movie you’re talking about is “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

    sbunny8 / Reply
  137. The movies may not have been hits with the original choices of actors. Everything from chemistry to public perception to changes made for the specific actor could easily have ruined everything.

    Rock / Reply
  138. What drives me nuts about this, is that actors don’t read a script and take or turn down roles based on whether they imagine (just by reading it) that it will be a huge success. Sure they don’t want to be in flops but look at there reasoning, all but a hand full, said they didn’t see themselves in the role, they didn’t like the tone of the script, they didn’t want to be type cast… this would have affected how successful they would have been playing the roles and therefore how successful the movie would have been. None of them said, it looks like a crappy movie or show. Sandra Bernhard being the notable exception, in that department, and the only one to be disappointed is Selleck, who wanted to to take the part but his show runners wouldn’t let him… all that said, Harrison Ford IS Indiana Jones, and though I can see Selleck in this type of role, I would have it any other way) And most have continued to be successful regardless. And most, to me, seemed like wise choices. Oh and the X-Files folks freaking dodged a bullet by hiring the Anderson with talent!

    Diagonotter / Reply
  139. I think that all those movies and TV shows became the hits they did BECAUSE of the acting job by the actors who landed the rolls. Personally, I can’t see Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones or anyone else as Pretty Woman besides Julia Roberts.

    Wendy Brown / Reply
  140. I like Hugh Jackman’s reasoning for turning down the Bond role and he is doing great without it…

    newsguy15 / Reply
  141. TOM SELLECK — It’s factually incorrect to say that he “turned down” the part of Indiana Jones, and a bit disingenuous to include him in an article about “biggest career mistakes” — in other words, an article spotlighting the most boneheaded decisions ever made by some stars — simply because Selleck did the direct opposite and actually accepted the part of Indiana Jones. Truth be told, he was eager to star in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.

    THE REAL STORY: Having proven himself by doing guest spots on various TV shows, Selleck signed a contract with CBS to star in MAGNUM PI. However, the execs at CBS didn’t like the pilot that was shot and screened for them, so they put the ka-bosh on the idea of taking it to series. Basically, the CBS execs said: “This thing is MEH. The storyline and characters for the show seem goofy… we’re not convinced that Selleck has enough sex appeal and star power to hold an audience… and, worst of all, this thing is set in Hawaii. And the #1 lesson that we learned from HAWAII 5-0 (the original Jack Lord version) is that filming a show there — as well as housing and feeding an entire cast and crew for a whole TV season there — costs a TON of money. So, let’s pass on this thing.”

    As a result, Selleck thought he was a free man because his contract stated that IF the network passed on MAGNUM then technically the contract was over. So, he tested for RAIDERS and instantly became Steven Spielberg and George Lucas’ one and only choice to be Indiana Jones. They both wanted him BIG TIME, and Selleck — contrary to the “turning down” and “biggest career mistake” thrust of this article — accepted the part.

    However… keep in mind we’re talking about Steven Spielberg and George Lucas here. The two guys who had JAWS, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS and STAR WARS to their credit and who had now completely redefined in Hollywood — in terms of making money (KA-CHING) — what a hit could mean. So, when word got out that THEY wanted Selleck really bad, the execs at CBS (yes, the same clueless clods that thought he had no star power) suddenly sat up and said: “Wait a minute. These two guys REALLY know how to make money and how to make hits. So what do THEY know about Selleck that WE don’t know?”

    At that point — in a foreshadowing of the same turn events that NBC would later pull on Pierce Brosnan, where they prevented him from becoming James Bond back when they were making THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS (and thus Timothy Dalton stepped into the role) — CBS called up Selleck and told him that they had reversed their decision. In short, now they DID want to take MAGNUM to series — which meant Selleck’s contract with CBS was instantly reactivated and legally binding.

    Selleck tried to work out a schedule that would allow him to star in RAIDERS and then shift into MAGNUM, but CBS turned him down cold. Basically, they said: “No way. We want to get started on filming the show right away.” As a result, Selleck had to pass on being Indy — at which point the REALLY sad and fateful twist to the story occurred. Because that is when the Actors Guild went on strike, forcing Selleck to sit on his hands while it was resolved. And sure enough, as if he needed any more salt poured in his wounds, just as RAIDERS wrapped shooting that’s when the strike ended and filming on MAGNUM finally began.

    In short: Selleck did NOT “turn down” playing Indiana Jones. In fact, Selleck actually could have done both projects, but because the execs at CBS refused to budge an inch THAT is how the world got Harrison Ford as a last minute replacement on RAIDERS…at which point the rest is movie history.

    Here’s a YouTube clip from The David Letterman Show. It skips a bit because it was edited a bit, but it has Selleck telling the key beats to this story himself…

    LA screenwriter / Reply
    • Very interesting. Thanks for taking the time (and editorial effort– impeccably written story) to share this little known event. Selleck would have created a different type of character instead of the acerbic and ironic Indy that Harrison Ford brought to the part. This is a case of the stars aligning as they should in the natural order.

      SurfinUSA / (in reply to LA screenwriter) Reply
  142. Some of these have zero to do with making a dumb decision. In several of these cases the person in question wanted the part but simply didn’t have time. Also this list presumes that the role in question would have received as much notoriety with these individuals playing them instead. How long would X Files have really lasted with Pamela Anderson as lead? How well would the character of Walter White gone over with Matthew Broderick in the role? The roles became legendary in part BECAUSE of the people who ended up playing them. Walter White is one of the best examples I can think of.

    beane2099 / Reply
  143. The big one here is Molly Ringwald! After being hugely successful in the 1980’s, she basically killed her career in it’s prime.

    kdlhouston / Reply
  144. I guess the Matrix was almost a box office bomb. I can’t even imagine Will Smith in that role.

    Deanna / Reply
  145. Didn’t know Pamela Anderson was an actress?

    Stephen Brooks / Reply
  146. When did Pamela Anderson exchange her head for that of an alien?

    Jonathan Miller / Reply
  147. “Into the Night” showed a Michelle Pfeiffer that was so hot the set would have have to been made of asbestos.

    Jonathan Miller / Reply
  148. Cannot believe they think “Urban Cowboy” was a flop!

    lonnieadamsjr / Reply
  149. Wow, Dana Delaney would have been much better.

    Gavin Smith / Reply
  150. Wow, Molly Ringwald missed the boat over and over. Sheesh.

    Gavin Smith / Reply
  151. According to IMDB, Travolta also turned down male lead roles in: American Gigolo, Officer & Gentleman, and Chicago. All of which went to Richard Gere, which made him a sex symbol superstar. Travolta also auditioned for lead in Pretty Woman.

    Huey Oxberger / Reply
  152. There was no movie called “Indiana Jones”. It was called “Raiders of the Lost Ark”.

    Scott Roberts / Reply
  153. Definitely Dana Delany would have been an improvement over SJP.

    No one could be George Costanza except Jason Alexander. Without Alexander, “Seinfeld” would have bombed.

    Jay / Reply
  154. Pam don’t even look pretty anymore. She looks like she has been ridden hard and put away wet. Pretty ragged looking these days.

    beberoni / Reply
  155. Madonna turned down Music of the (or my) Heart, because she didn’t want to learn how to play the violin.

    zaz_cag / Reply
  156. It’s a good thing John Travolta passed on Forrest Gump, no one could have done it better than Tom Hanks

    Courtney Lynn / Reply
    • Yeah I can’t see him in that one. Chevy Chase is even harder to picture. How could Chevy have ever pulled off the young Vietnam or college-era Gump? Hanks’ boyish face was a requirement for that.

  157. This woman cannot act!

    Mr. Sunshine / Reply
  158. The reason for those parts to become so great was due to the actors that took the rolls. Can’t visualize Travolta as Gump. What made Gump was Tom Hanks acting ability and the use of his voice..

    Old Buck / Reply
  159. How the hell do you consider Urban Cowboy a flop? Most of the youngsters here have never heard of it, much less seen it. Except for Pulp Fiction (Which, other than by name, has nearly been forgotten) the rest of what you describe as his successful films were really terrible. Saturday Night Fever and Face Off were so bad I am sure his mother was embarrassed. Battlefied Earth was something that Ed Wood would have made if he had the budget.

    Pamela Anderson in X Files=cancelation after 4 episodes. I am surprised a produce/writer as good as Chris Carter wold have stood to have his work butchered by a bimbo who can’t deliver dialog, much less act.

    Wyatt Earp / Reply
  160. Gillian was very HOT I had her as a screen saver for years. Oh and yes she could act to

    Terry34668 / Reply
    • Gillian Anderson was great in the X-Files. One thing related to Hollywood casting I am very firm about is the idea that female actors (aka actresses) who play women with some intelligence must be so themselves or they will not be credible in the part. Women who are less gifted are entitled to pursue a career too, but it would have been a shame if anyone less had been cast as Agent Scully. The show might have failed entirely.

      An example of a casting decision that failed over this particular was Hilary Swank as Amelia Earhart. Please. If Earhart had been a young woman in our era she would have gotten a degree in engineering or might have gone to Annapolis or Colorado Springs. Swank is an outstanding actress, but like everyone, she has limits. No way was she able to convey Earhart. Not in her metier

      MikeofAges / (in reply to Terry34668) Reply
      • Claire Danes would have been a MUCH better Earhart, I agree. I totally loved her in the title role in “Temple Grandin.” She’s got range and passion, and can play intelligent people.

        loupgarous / (in reply to MikeofAges) Reply
  161. Correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t Hugh Jackman been rather typecast as action hero Wolverine??
    However, he’s so incredibly talented, handsome and charming that he is capable of overcoming typecasting, and so I wonder why a wonderful opportunity to play Bond worried him so.

    The first and best Bond certainly didn’t let the oft-repeated role cramp his acting style. That’s because he is another incredibly talented, handsome and charming actor that typecasting can’t harm.

    Adam West, as just one example, got bit bad by the typecast bug, and for all intents and purposes, was never heard from again. BAM!! Why? Because he was not a great actor IMO. Handsome? Not in the same class as Connery and Jackman to be sure. Charming? Never came across that way to me. But if he had to be remembered for one role, he sure picked a dandy! He could live off of the residuals. He will never be forgotten as the campy Batman, and the old TV show has a huge following to prove it.

    Myles Standish / Reply
    • The first Bond was George Lazenby, no? from “In Her Majesty’s Secret Service”?

      loupgarous / (in reply to Myles Standish) Reply
      • Uh, no. The first James Bond was actually portrayed by an American actor, Barry Nelson. After that, Bond was portrayed by Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Peter Sellers and David Niven in an early version of “Casino Royale,” although most “007” aficionados find it difficult to consider that a true entry in the series, being such an overt campy/comedic bit of nonsense. Then, Roger Moore took on the role, followed by Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. Unfortunately, Lazenby and Dalton were the two least-memorable Bonds and both played the role only once, with good reason. Barry Nelson was ahead of his time and eclipsed by Connery who took on the role when Saltzman & Broccoli started producing the franchise.

        Sabel Saer / (in reply to loupgarous) Reply
        • NO NO NO…. Dalton was in two Bonds, The Living Daylights and License to Kill. Lazenby was in ON Her Majestys Secret Service- one of the best films of the 1960’s and THE best Bond film of the 60’s. RESEARCH PEOPLE!

          revengeofzodlovesmaude / (in reply to Sabel Saer) Reply
      • Hahah. NO Sean Connery. Look it up.

        revengeofzodlovesmaude / (in reply to loupgarous) Reply
  162. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I have heard that Sean Connery turned down Gandalf in LOTR because he didn’t understand the script, and also did so for another big part in a big movie that escapes me. And then he didn’t understand the script for League of Extraordinary Gentleman, but accepted that role because he didn’t want to miss the boat a third time for the same reason, only to watch that movie utterly suck.

    Dan / Reply
    • I thought The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen didn’t suck. It wasn’t all-time, and it bogged down toward the end, but it didn’t suck. The dynamics between the actors were excellent and Connery was a fantastic Allan Quartermain (not a demanding cast for him, I realized – all he had to do was be old, distinguished-looking, British and reasonably fit.)

      loupgarous / (in reply to Dan) Reply
  163. Oh and here’s one that probably trumps all the others on the list: Patrick McGoohan (Longshanks from “Braveheart,” and the judge from “A Time to Kill”) turned down, I believe, the James Bond role that ultimately went to Sean Connery. McGoohan had a solid overall career, but never achieved anything close to the enduring international star power of Connery.

    Dan / Reply
    • McGoohan would have been wasted on Bond films. “The Prisoner” is and always will be the quintessential spy show. I never get tired of watching it.

      loupgarous / (in reply to Dan) Reply
    • Nope, He was never considered.

      revengeofzodlovesmaude / (in reply to Dan) Reply
  164. Or all of these actors aren’t interchangeable and the movies wouldn’t have been the same with a different cast. Really, a different George Castanza would have completely changed Seinfeld. Maybe for the better, maybe for the worse. Considering the popularity of the mentioned roles, I would guess for the worse in most cases.

    Dragonslav / Reply
  165. Pamela Anderson????? Who in the h*** dreamed that would ever work? Pam Anderson is absolutely the only actress who doesn’t have to get into character to be a ditsy blonde.

    Gillian Anderson was not only perfect for the role, but her chemistry with Duchovny made the X-Files the most popular show of its time.

    jcottle / Reply
  166. Broderick is another one who probably couldn’t have made Breaking Bad work the way Cranston did.

    It was Cranston’s ability to make a man so far on the right side of society go to the far extreme on the other end that made it such a hit. Broderick just can’t escape the good boy image the way Cranston did.

    jcottle / Reply
  167. Sandra Bernhard: Miranda Hobbes u got to be kidding me she has a face for radio only

    Sam Felts / Reply
  168. They did the right thing by not taking the roles. They would all have sucked in the parts!

    garfield72076 / Reply
  169. You are making an assumption that these movies/series would still have been hits if these actors had taken the rolls, that could be far from the truth. There is an old saying about assuming(assume) it may very well apply here.

    derfelcadarn / Reply
  170. Selleck “decided to honour his original commitment to the TV show”? Uh, no, he didn’t want to get sued, that’s what happened. Lucas wanted Selleck, Selleck wanted to do the movie…CBS wouldn’t let him out of his contract. Do your research.

    Richard / Reply
  171. Hard to say these were bad choices by those who turned down the roles. In many cases, it’s the actor or actress that played the role that made the show so good. Another actor would give the role a different flavor, maybe not for the better. We’ll never know.

    mrmulletman / Reply
  172. Gervais’ character was so much better than Carells’, and I liked Carells’ character. Gervais was just a so much more believable person, which to me made him much more effective. Carell was like a caricature.

    mrmulletman / Reply
  173. Sandra Bernhard as Miranda in Sex and the City? That would have doomed the entire show from the beginning no matter how great the other three were!

    taylorbradley / Reply
  174. “Downtown” Abbey?

    Sir Wince-Alot / Reply
  175. Actually, Tom wanted to get out of his contract, but the producers told him to finish his contract or else. Just like Pierce Brosnan and Remington Steele when they were trying to find a replacement for James Bond after Roger Moore retired in the mid-80s. It would’ve taken more money in legal fees than it would’ve to play Indiana Jones. And, there is even test footage of Tom as Indiana available. As for the new James Bond, an American-James Brolin-even auditioned for the part.

    gman992 / Reply
  176. Gillian Anderson denies, vehemently, that she was ever offered the role on Downton Abbey.

    buffalo'66 / Reply
  177. Frankly I have a lot more respect for Dana Delany for turning down that role.

    Sargonarhes / Reply
  178. The Tale of Two Andersons. Thank God they chose the right one.

    Brandy McNamee / Reply
  179. I don’t think Tom Selleck’s career has suffered….and he was true to his word…plus he has a great part in Blue Bloods and he’s aged gracefully and still looks hot, where Harrison Ford looks old and sad.

    Cromaxgal / Reply
  180. Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones – never heard this one before. I think he would have been great – Indy was a good guy from stem to stern.

    jclittlep / Reply
  181. This headline is false. Gillian didn’t get the part because Pamela Anderson turned it down. Fox executives wanted someone LIKE Pamela, but they never offered her the role. Besides, Chris Carter did NOT want someone like PA and was very demanding that Gillian take the role.

    thaty / Reply
  182. This is a slap in the face to the AMAZING actors who brought these characters to life. Just because the character was pulled off by one actor doesn’t mean another would do the same. Leave it alone!!! 😛

    David Stott / Reply
  183. This article assumes the actor who turned down the role would have been as good as the actor who took the role. I am sorry, but I don’t believe that would have been true. Take Forest Gump for example. Tom Hanks played this role straight – he did not play him for comedy, so the humor was real and full of pathos, as well. I just cannot believe it would have been the same character if interpreted by John Travolta. He plays a bit tongue-in-cheek, and I don’t think that would have been correct for Forest. In otherwords, these roles may have been mediocre if played by the actors who turned them down, rather than the successes they were.

    barblibrarian / Reply
  184. Truth be told most of these actors knew exactly what they were doing as 2 of three of them would have probably caused the movie or show to fail(not Dena Delaney)

    Neutralperson55 / Reply
  185. Let me get this straight … Jackman was concerned about being typecast as Bond in what would by now have been three films… and instead has played Wolverine in SEVEN films and counting… okay…

    balashi / Reply
  186. Tom hanks is similar to John Travolta in terms of acting. I would probably like forest gump had he played the role(I like Tom hanks but he seems smart while John seems more goofy). I bet he would have been good in splash too. I don’t know about Apollo though.

    Britney Robinson / Reply
  187. I also find it weird that Matthew Broderick was supposed to be the lead in breaking bad and was also lead in Godzilla remake and then Bryan Cranston is also lead in Godzilla remake.

    Britney Robinson / Reply
  188. Paul Shaffer: I’ve met him twice about 5 years apart, very rude person.

    Juliardgrad / Reply
  189. Hannah Hannah bow Bannana… is a nobody now and lives a non-celebrity life. Her ideology beliefs screwed her up for life. Got to remember that this is just a fictional character in a Movie. Not real !!

    Sandy / Reply
  190. An even bigger career mistake – casting Sandra Bernhard in anything.

    Amasa Delano / Reply
  191. Re: Bernhard

    I would say that her face looks like it was hit by a truck, but no self-respecting truck would TOUCH it.

    TEEBONICUS / Reply
  192. Re: Will Smith

    Fortunate that he turned that down. Reeves was The One. [grin]

    Fishburne + Smith = Two Blacks

    That formula wouldn’t have cut it. The aesthetic interaction was a subtle but key ingredient.

    Nothing against Will Smith. He’s superb.

    Just not in The Matrix.

    TEEBONICUS / Reply
  193. Again, fortunate that Tom turned that down.

    As a huge Selleck fan, I can still say that the metaphysical magic in that film was Ford.

    TEEBONICUS / Reply
  194. Only one or two of the actors listed would have done an equal or better job than the ones that took the parts. There is no proof that the movies would have been successful with these actors, so their decisions might not have been career mistakes after all. Hindsight is not always 20-20.

    Mike Golden / Reply
  195. they all should get royalties for not taking the parts.

    $52404048 / Reply
  196. Everyone of these is a big fat SO WHAT?

    Mayor of Flavortown / Reply
  197. A few of them are just ridiculous (Pam Anderson in X-Files), but how many of these movies or shows would have had the same success if had they not had their iconic leading performances? Ford made Indiana Jones the character he is, for example. Selleck might have turned in a good or even great performance, but it would have been an entirely different one from Ford’s, and we can’t know how much the success of the franchise depended on Ford’s version of Dr. Jones. The Bond movies illustrate this nicely. Several actors have been successful as Bond, but the Roger Moore Bond is a much different character from the Daniel Craig Bond.

    RegularJoe62 / Reply
  198. Bernhard is the ugliest person ever to be on TV. Mark of Cain, if it werent for the jews that run hollywood she’d never see the light of day on the set.

    LiberalsRCommies / Reply
  199. I love the Cora that we have! I don’t know how she would have done it, but this Cora definitely has class!

    Sruss745 / Reply
  200. I’m glad Paul Giamatti turned down that role in “The Office”. He’s better than that, by far.

    TR Young / Reply
  201. Most of these are ludicrous and not only never happened, but would have proven disastrous had anyone even considered the possibility

    AmToo / Reply
  202. oh Lord Hugh Jackman would have been so wonderful as James Bond. Instead of the one Bond I just can not stomachl, that Daniel Craig is not bond by any stretch of imagination

    Josie Gimhaegim / Reply
  203. I can see Darryl Hannah as well as Julia Roberts in that “Pretty Woman” movie because prostitutes only have to be tolerable not actually pretty and neither of them have pretty faces

    Josie Gimhaegim / Reply
  204. I still regret turning down the role of Maximus in “Gladiator”.

    Roger Dowd / Reply
  205. Sandra Bernhard, the ugliest cro-magnon, non-feminine looking, over-rated, non-funny actress in the history of performers? THAT Sandra Bernhard?

    James McLarey / Reply
  206. None of these I would consider a mistake for the actor to turn the role down, however had most of these actors accepted these roles, this article would have been “The 15 biggest casting mistakes in Hollywood.” The only one I could possible fathom is Gillian Anderson in “Downton Abby,” but she would have been a little darker than Elizabeth McGovern. I can see perfectly why Delany turned down “Sex and the City” after the disaster that was “Exit to Eden.”

    thedude1500 / Reply
  207. thank God Bernhard didn’t take the role. Hope she doesn’t take any roles. We don’t deserve to be subjected to her.

    RC / Reply
  208. Actually, the concept of Pamela Anderson as agent Scully could have worked. With the title changed to “The DD Files” it could have had an impressive run on late-night pay cable.

    The REAL Howard S / Reply
  209. Forrest Gump would never won the best picture award with John Travolta in the title role. While few actors can play “stupid” as well as Travolta does, the part requires that Gump be a sympathetic individual, and that is where Travolta’s talent is thinnest. Travolta was nominated for an Oscar for “Pulp Fiction” in the same year that Hanks won for “Gump.” Travolta would not have been nominated for his performance in Gump.

    The REAL Howard S / Reply
  210. Wow I’m glad they didn’t hire that ugly ugly foul mouth ignorant Sandra Bernhard for anything. She sucks.

    maskedcommenter / Reply
  211. I could see Will Smith in the role of Neo. Although he could have made the character a little too smooth and suave, since Will Smith can pull that off well.

    Eddie Kingston / Reply
  212. It’s the business, nobody should be surprised!

    dbonedig / Reply
  213. Robert’s made the script. The script did not make her. Nothing written on Earth, can create a Human being. It’s just not possible!

    dbonedig / Reply
  214. This is the best of these little novelty lists I’ve ever seen. I knew some of them of course, but others were a surprise. The impact of the whole list actually changes my thinking about the careers of movie stars.
    Most of the actresses who turned down the big role soon faded into obscurity. I think many if not most of the actors who refused the role would probably have been better than the one who was second choice. Matthew Broderick or John Travolta I think would have been just fine. Selleck would have better than Ford.
    Apparently the life of a movie actress is even more precarious than I imagined. A ‘Big Break’ isn’t enough. She must continue to have Big Breaks over and over again or the public forgets you.
    IMHO almost anyone would have been preferable to Julia Roberts in ‘Pretty Woman’ and anyone preferable to Sarah Jessica Parker in ‘Sec and the City’.

    Pat Boyle / Reply
    • All on-camera talent have precarious careers. That’s why they tend to be big time liberals. I sympathize. It’s not an easy vocation.

      kyrifles / (in reply to Pat Boyle) Reply
  215. When Tom Selleck first appeared on friends, my heart almost stopped, he was so good looking. Always loved him in whatever role he’s in.

    Betty Caron / Reply
  216. Dana chose wisely.

    Uncle Nutsy / Reply
  217. Perhaps the biggest goof in Hollywood history is George Raft (I know…”George WHO???”). He was offered the leading roles for “High Sierra,” “The Maltese Falcon,” and reportedly “Casablanca.” All three roles eventually went to Humphrey Bogart, and they made him a HUGE star. George’s acting career when south just as Bogart’s rose to stratospheric heights. Eventually, Raft turned to being a nightclub greeter, who performed occasional cameos in movies. Bogart became one of the biggest names in Hollywood history.

    John Beam / Reply
  218. Gillian would be best choice in most anything.

    NavyBlue1962 / Reply
  219. They weren’t turning down anything, really…

    If these people had been cast (with the exception of possibly Giamatti), these shows would have sucked.

    Green Lama / Reply
  220. If you ask me, and why would you care, but if you ask me if an actor is working and making a good living, they didn’t make a mistake. These people are not robots, maybe they want to spend time with family or chose their roles.

    Clearanceman2 . / Reply
  221. The information in this article though frequently wrong is at its worse when discussing Tom Selleck and the Indiana Jones movie. Magnum was not even on the air yet when Jones was cast. But Selleck was under contract to CBS to film a second Magnum pilot having turned down the first one for series. Harrison Ford was initially not considered for the role because Lucas didn’t want to put his Star Wars breakout star in a second potential franchise. In the end, when Selleck who did indeed want to play the role proved unavailable Harrison Ford was given the part.

    Dick Whitman / Reply
  222. I guess she couldn’t avoid Batman Returns

    skyy38 / Reply
  223. I wouldn’t call “Urban Cowboy” a flop … maybe you enjoy rap more, but UC had a great soundtrack, though the plot may have been a little thin … I watched it the first time at Gilley’s where it ran non-stop and put Gilley’s on the map …

    Rhykor / Reply
  224. This is all a crock, the whole premise assumes that any actor would be as successful as any other actor in a given role. There’s a few that looked like mistakes, but most of them probably would not have helped the actor’s career the way they did for the one who took the role.

    Matt McDonald / Reply
  225. The supereme flaw in your logic is assuming that the actors who turned down a part would have succeeded like the ones we know who made those roles “huge.” When an actor turns down a role, it’s usually because they don’t have a sense how to play it or feel it wouldn’t be a good fit for them. That’s not going to make for a successful performance. Duh!

    There is no reason to believe Molly Ringwald’s Vivian would have been the success Julia Roberts was. It probably would have made the same small profit as all those low budget Touchstone flicks at the time. The only one I’ll give you is Sex and the City. Without SJP it likely would have succeeded as the ensemble piece it was envisioned as and not wound up a vehicle for SJP’s ego.

    Isingdale / Reply
  226. Gillian Anderson was perfect and Pamela Anderson would have sunk the series in the first season. Good thing she turned it down as we would never have seen some of the great shows that series produced.

    Ram6 / Reply
  227. The thing about these lists is that it assumes the film/TV series would have been as good and/or popular with the original choice of casting. They might have flopped terribly. Sometimes the second, third, whatever choice turns out to be the best one. I can’t see the Office becoming the touchstone show it was without Steve Carell, for example.

    UVM '93 / Reply
  228. Jackman would have been good as Bond, but I’m glad he’s Wolverine.

    Memphis Viking / Reply
  229. “Travolta has enjoyed a successful movie career, he has never received the same amount of critical acclaim for his work as Hanks.”

    Well, DUH! He is clearly not as good as Hanks.

    fdisq / Reply
  230. Let’s talk about real actors, not “fluff stuff:” The late, great Oskar Werner turned down the role of Baron Von Trapp in “The Sound Of Music.” He refused the role because there was an inaccuracy in the script of this eventual blockbuster regarding the history of this family’s exit from Austria.

    NJ Lady / Reply
  231. And Mollie Ringwald in “Pretty Woman”??? Not even on the same continent as Julia Roberts!!!

    BigFED / Reply
  232. The main actor can make or break a movie. Who’s to say that a movie like Forrest Gump would have done as well with Travolta or Murray as Forrest.

    jackp_7788 / Reply
  233. Sandra Bernhard…??? OMG! There are not beer goggles thick enough to watch that hag do anything.

    chuck_in_st_paul / Reply
  234. Most of these movies/shows are/were so successful because of the performances by the actors selected, not the other way around. For example Forest Gump would not have turned into such a classic without the excellent performance by Tom Hanks.

    There is one exception of course. Kristen Stewarts performance in The Twilight was absolutely horendus but because of the popularity of Twilight books & latter on movies among teens, she is now somehow a star.

    Flojd / Reply
  235. Sandra Bernhard said she would have taken the role if she would have known that the show was going to be so successful. That’s the thing: if SHE would have been in the show, it would NOT have been successful, and Sarah Jessica Parker probably wouldn’t have been so keen on working with her, either.

    Hanhnibal / Reply
  236. Yeah I wouldn’t consider Urban Cowboy a “flop” considering it spawned the whole country bar/mechanical bull phase we suffered through for a few years in the 80’s!

    bvsfan / Reply
  237. These really do’t amount to much honestly. Roles like Walter White and Agent Scully become great and more than what they are because of the actors themselves. Bryan Cranston made that role what it was. If it had been someone else, It could have easily been a pretty run of the mill role based on the performance. It isn’t like some roles just win oscar’s and emmy’s and some don’t. The actor wins the award, not the role.

    Larry / Reply
  238. These are decisions along the lines we all make. We need to live with our decisions with the attitude that our lives would be different, possibly worse, but no better if we had made a different decision. Some times I feel that I made relationship mistakes in my youth, but after looking at the girls life since me, I feel that I escaped a life of misery had I picked them instead of my wife of 27 years.

    pete0097 / Reply
  239. I hope she doesn’t regret turning down the role. It wasn’t a good movie to offer up. So I congratulate Ms. Ringwald on what I see as a good decision. There is much more at stake here than whether money should motivate someone who is participating in any project which will give impressionable minds a negative role model.

    Shane013a / Reply
  240. I believe Paul made the right ‘non’ decision. While popular indeed, Seinfeld tells it like it is at the end and I for one couldn’t stand the miserable characters depicted on the show.

    Shane013a / Reply
  241. So Jackman preferred to be typecast as a wolverine? I don’t get it?

    eyelostmyname / Reply
  242. Selleck has a habit of choosing bad roles.

    eyelostmyname / Reply
    • Have you seen him as Robert B. Parker’s “Jesse Stone?” Selleck is so good, one forgets one is watching an actor play a part.

      intheivy / (in reply to eyelostmyname) Reply
  243. Sad to sayt, but Sandra Bernhard is more homely than I remember. She would have killed the showl

    Steven Turi / Reply
  244. Selleck, was under contract to make the move “High Road to China” that is the real reason he did not do Jones. He made several good movies during that time … no one remembers…

    Ellis Baxter / Reply
  245. Sandra Bernhard…… YIKES!

    Markie Mark / Reply
  246. In my opinion, the inclusion of John Travolta is really dumb. Tom Hanks IS Forrest Gump, just like John Travolta IS Vincent Vega. They made the right choices and Travolta’s career would have been D.O.A. a lot sooner if he played Gump.

    Oh, and can we say, bullet dodged when it comes to The X Files. Talk about a saving grace. Pamela Anderson <<<<<<<<<<< Gillian Anderson.

    Sundial83 / Reply
  247. as a ‘hot little bimbo’, Pamela Anderson played the role of a hot little bimbo in everything she has ever done very well. I always wondered why so many men thought she was so hot, cause I never thought her that attractive. there was just something about her. she could never pull off playing the part of an intelligent woman. with her, the X Files would have been just another failed series

    James Cranford / Reply
  248. Sandra Bernhard in Sex and the City? With that snarly demeanor? I can’t imagine John Travolta as Forrest Gump either.

    Lunacyn / Reply
  249. Sandra Bernhard as “Miranda Hobbes” in “Sex and the City?” No, her recollection is way off – she was offered the part of “Mangy Hyena” in “Sex in the Serengeti.”

    RexMurphy / Reply
  250. John Travolta as Forrest Gump..puke. He would have sucked !!!

    Craig Chambers / Reply
  251. Mark Wahberg turned down Brokeback because he said it creeped him out and he was afraid of what people would think. I’m so glad he did because HL and JG gave amazing performances and they’re, you know, actors.

    Diane Champion Brocker / Reply
  252. Wow, Sandra Burnhard is one FUGLY beotch!!!!

    Austinniceguy / Reply
  253. This airhead would have been the death of The X-Files in the first season.,

    Hatterasman / Reply
  254. None of these actors would have better in the roles.

    Thomas Hall / Reply
  255. John Revolting as Gump? Good thing they picked Hanks.

    Islams Dirty Little Secrets / Reply
  256. The thing is, who knows if the movies would still have been as big with the different actor or actress?

    CatoYounger / Reply
  257. If the movies and TV shows became HITS that means the right actor was in the right place. I can’t imagine anyone playing in the aforementioned roles except the actor/actresses chosen.

    Alleged Comment / Reply
  258. There all nuts, Just because they are good looking, that still does not make them any more intelligent than the guy across from your street.They make bad choices.

    SnickellFritzz / Reply
  259. Molly Ringwald in Pretty Woman or Ghost….. nope, wouldn’t work.

    Bird / Reply
  260. i can’t imagine anyone playing those parts other than the people who did.

    Jane Goodwin / Reply
  261. The thing is, if a different actor played any of these roles, it may or may not have been the success it was – sometimes it is the actor that makes the role, not the role that makes the actor.

    Pilgrim22 / Reply
  262. What a Joke. The original actor is what made these movies successful. You cannot say with any certainty that another actor would have the same success.

    Joe / Reply
  263. Hey, Travolta, as mama always says, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

    marecek21 / Reply
  264. Tom Selleck: a success at whatever picture he makes.

    bjr1 / Reply
  265. I don’t think John Travolta could have pulled it off. Tom was the perfect for the part.

    Maryann Hearn Bowman / Reply
  266. I am so glad that they did..
    Seems the right person for the job was there every time.

    Laura Law / Reply
  267. Broderick in Breaking Bad would have meant cancellation within one season.

    Studio are idiots.

    Topo Gigio / Reply

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