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15 Major Roles That Almost Went to Another Actor

26 February 2013 | Features, Other Lists | by David Zou

missed major role

Sometimes when an actor plays a role so well that it’s always easy to take it granted that he/she is born to do it. Some roles become so legendary that when you think of the actor, the role will come to your mind first before any other characters the actor has famously played. Tom Hanks will always be Forrest Gump and Christian Bale comes to us in our dreams as Bruce Wayne.

In fact, actors from some of our favorite movies are only known for a film because another great actor turned down the role first with or without regret. How will these major roles look like if they were played by another actor, we never know. For us, it makes little difference but for the actors, the decision might be a turning point of two.

Let’s take a look at which major roles in movies that could have been worked out differently.


1. Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption

shawshank andy

The Part Almost Went to…


Tome Hanks was first offered the role but turned it down because the film conflicted with Forrest Gump. These two films became rivals in that year’s Oscar, Gump swept the awards including the Best Actor.


2. Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring


The Part Almost Went to…


Russell Crowe was considered for the part but decided to turn it down. Because he thought the entire trilogy was too big a project. Instead, he chose A Beautiful Mind directed by Ron Howard, that film won the Oscar Best Picture that year and Crowe was nominated for Best Actor.


3. Detective David Mills in Se7en

David Mills

The Part Almost Went to…


Denzel Washington was director David Fincher’s first choice as the young detective, but Washington thought the film was “too dark” and turned it down.

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