As we all know, celebrities can chose to turn down roles for a number of reasons; whether it be because of scheduling conflicts, salary issues or simply due to creative differences. However, sometimes they turn down roles because they're too afraid to take them on. This fear is different for each star - a fear of letting down fans, a fear of failing, a fear of a film flop, a fear of how they'll be portrayed and even a fear of how scary the script is. Sometimes the fear gets the best of some great Hollywood celebs and as a result they miss out on some pretty iconic roles, like these twelve celebrities that were too afraid to take on a role.
Lionsgate reportedly offered Leonardo DiCaprio $20 million to play serial killer Patrick Bateman in the 2000 film American Psycho. After DiCaprio expressed interest, the studio went so far as to issue a press release saying he would star in the film. However, not long after, he decided to back out on account of his Titanic fanbase. He feared that they would not respond well to him going from sweetheart Jack Dawson to a psycho that slices up prostitutes with a chainsaw.
The Sons of Anarchy star was originally cast in the lead for the highly anticipated adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. He later dropped out, telling Moviefone that he had a "nervous breakdown" about the role. "I just said, 'I can't, I can't,'" Hunnam said. "Fifty’s going to be massive, it’s going to be huge. I really didn’t want to fail on such a grand scale and I just couldn’t transition from Jax Teller to Christian Grey in 48 hours. I bit off more than I could chew and it was painful. I loved the character and I wanted to do it … It was one of those damned if you do, damned if you don’t situations.”
Before Anthony Hopkins took on the iconic role of Dr. Hannibal Lector, one of the creepiest characters in cinematic history - it was originally offered to another actor, Jeremy Irons. Irons turned it down out of his fear of the dark plot and violence in the film. He had just done a villainous role and also feared being pigeonholed. As we know, Hopkins played the role formidably and went on to win an Oscar for the role.
According to The New York Post, Brad Pitt turned down one of the lead roles in 12 Years a Slave and opted to play a much smaller role. He was originally offered the role of Edwin Epps, the mean slave owner. Pitt told the Post that he had turned down the role because he feared having his kids see him in a role like that. The role went to Michael Fassbender who in turn received an Oscar nomination for his performance.