14 Iconic Roles That Actors Had Stolen Right From Under Their Noses
Even experienced and renowned actors don’t always get their dream roles, and newcomers even more so. And while some movie stars calmly accept rejection, others look back on those missed opportunities with disappointment. We, as viewers, can only wonder how the movie might have turned out if its makers had chosen different actors.
Jake Sully — Chris Pratt
Jake Sully in Avatar, and its sequel, was played by Sam Worthington, but many other actors auditioned for the role. Among them was Chris Pratt. Despite the setback, Pratt was able to build a successful career and played the main character in another huge franchise, Guardians of the Galaxy.
Birdie Jay — Kaley Cuoco
Kaley Cuoco was sure she would get the part in Glass Onion and had even packed her bags in preparation to go on set. But the role was suddenly given to Kate Hudson. At first, Cuoco was very upset and spent all night crying, but then she realised that the rejection gave her the opportunity to try out other projects.
Rhaenyra Targaryen — Olivia Cooke
During her audition for House of the Dragon, Olivia Cooke was asked to read lines for two different characters: Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower. Cooke did well in both, but the show’s creators decided she was more suited for the role of Alicent, and Emma D’Arcy was cast as Rhaenyra.
Charlie — James Corden
The Whale could have been a very different film, as it was going to be directed by Tom Ford and the main role was going to be played by James Corden. However, Darren Aronofsky ended up directing, and Brendan Fraser took the lead role.
Joel — Jensen Ackles
The role of Joel in the adaptation of The Last of Us is played by Pedro Pascal. Jensen Ackles admitted that he dreamed of getting this role, which he tried very hard for, but it wasn’t enough. The actor feels he wasn’t even considered for the job.
Alice Kingsleigh — Emma Stone
Emma Stone and Jennifer Lawrence both auditioned for the lead role in Alice in Wonderland. Mia Wasikowska got the job, leaving her colleagues upset over the missed opportunity. Stone said not getting the role in Tim Burton’s film was “really devastating.”
Gaston — Idris Elba
Idris Elba loves musicals and wanted to play Gaston in Beauty and the Beast. He even recorded himself singing. He didn’t get the role; in the end, it went to Luke Evans. When asked if he felt hurt by losing the opportunity to his colleague, Elba jokingly replied, “No, only a little bit. No! I love you Luke, you know that.”
Robin Buckley — Nicola Coughlan
Nicola Coughlan was up for the role of Robin on Stranger Things, but it went to Maya Hawke. Nicola admits that Maya fully deserved it: “She was far better than I ever would have been.” Nicola herself went on to star in another Netflix show, Bridgerton.
Peter Parker — Dylan Minnette
Before Tom Holland got the lead role in the MCU Spider-Man, many young actors competed for it. Dylan Minnette was among them. He stated that he just didn’t put enough effort into the audition because he wasn’t ready for such a role at that point in his life.
Cosette — Emma Watson
Many actresses dreamed of playing Cosette in the musical Les Misérables, and Emma Watson was one of them. Amanda Seyfried ended up in the role of Cosette, but Watson also got her chance to sing on screen when she played Belle in Beauty and the Beast years later.
Diana Prince — Elodie Yung
Several actresses were considered for the role of the superhero Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and its sequels, but Gal Gadot was the one to get it. Among the contenders was Elodie Yung, who later starred in another superhero project, the series Daredevil, as Elektra Natchios.
Thor — Alexander Skarsgård
Alexander came close to playing Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film of the same name and its sequels. He made it so far in the selection process that he even got to try on a costume and hold the hammer in one of his auditions, but in the end, the role went to Chris Hemsworth.
Rachel Patton — Meghann Fahy
In the first season of The White Lotus, Alexandra Daddario played the role of Rachel, but another actress, Meghann Fahy, also auditioned for this role. Meghann managed to get on the show later and played Daphne in Season Two.
Elvis Presley — Miles Teller
A number of talented actors auditioned for the role of the legendary musician in the film Elvis. Fans hoped that it would go to Miles Teller, largely because of his resemblance to the icon. But the director of the film decided that this wasn’t enough to bring his vision to the screen, and gave the role to Austin Butler instead.
Which of these actors, do you think, could have done a better job in the role they missed out on?