It’s easy to sometimes forget that celebrities are people too, with jobs just like the rest of us. Celebrities may be in the public eye and grace our TV screens every week but they still are required to arrive at work on time and take direction and interact positively with fellow co-workers. Just like every other job, celebrities can be fired if they fail to do any of these things or for numerous other reasons. This can be seen on TV when a popular character gets replaced before a new season of the show begins or before a movie sequel. Sometimes celebrities simply choose to leave the show for their own personal reason but the result is the same. Re-cast characters leave fans confused and disappointed when the new character gets introduced. Sometimes the character switch is done so obviously and it can be hard for viewers to wrap their head around the replacement.
Replacing an actor who has quit the show or been fired usually can be a disaster for a TV series and it’s hard to pull them off without changing the vibe of the show. There have been movie franchises or TV series that managed the feat successfully and have gone on to film multiple seasons with the new cast member. This doesn’t include characters who were replaced after the pilot episode was filmed and it doesn’t count for actors whose scenes where redone to include the new cast member. One notable mention, although not an official recast was when Charlie Sheen was fired from Two and a half Men. The show killed the character off in the new season and went on to air successfully with Ashton Kutcher as the sort of replacement.
10. Sydney: Hope and Faith
In 2004, Megan Fox replaced Nicole Paggi after the first season on ABC’s sitcom Hope and Faith, which ran for four seasons. The show was eventually canned to make room for Dancing with the Stars. Nicole Paggi played a 16 year old girl, which was the oldest of three children. When the show returned the next year, Megan Fox took over the role because it was believed Paggi was too old to play the role. The recast was obvious and the only attempt to blend the characters was some blonde highlights in Megan Fox’s hair. Later Megan Fox would be replaced in the third Transformers movie after Steven Spielberg demanded she be fired for making remarks relating the franchises director Michael Bay to Adolf Hitler.
9. Ridge Forrester: The Bold and the Beautiful
The Bold and the Beautiful recast the role of Ridge Forrester on long running soap opera. The character was played for years by actor Ronn Moss from the shows premiere in 1987 to 2012 when he left the show. Actor Thorsten Kaye has a large fan base, but the actors personalities are quite different. Kaye has a bad boy image and is Irish, which clashes with Moss’s, who is a native Californian, with a love of man-scarves. After Kaye’s debut in December, the audience expressed their disapproval over the new actor and even Ridge Forrester’s wife on the show went to social media to express her own concerns.
8. Jimmy Olsen: The New Adventures of Superman
Jimmy Olsen was a key supporting role in the TV series Lois and Clark: The Adventures of Superman. In season one the role was played by actor Michael Landes. He played the character as confident and according to producers looked too much like Dean Cain, the actor playing Kent Clarke. After the first season Justin Whalen stepped in to play the character closer to the original version in the following seasons.
7. Victoria: Twilight
Bryce Dallas Howard, star from Lady in the Water replaced Rachelle Lefevre in her role of Victoria during the third installment of the Twilight saga, Eclipse. Fans were outraged because they didn’t want anything to change in their twilight zone. The official reason Lefevre cited her role in Barney’s Version would keep her from the shooting for ten days. There was speculation the real reason Lefevre got the boot was because they wanted an actor who could better portray Victoria’s wrath. Summit released a statement saying it was the one blindsided when they discovered Victoria would need to miss days of important rehearsal and photography.
6. Col. James Rhodes: Iron man 2
When the news came out to reveal Iron Man 2 was recasting the role of Col. James Rhodes from Terrence Howard to Don Cheadle fans were in an outrage. Most really liked Howard in the movies, and more shocking is the original actor was not even aware he was being replaced until he read the announcement along with everyone else. The re-casts may have come as a surprise to the actor, but the decision stemmed from his behavior on set and like many things came down to money. Howard was the first actor signed for Iron Man and the highest paid; more than Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jr. Added to the fact the producers were unhappy with his performance the decision should not have been a surprise. It’s unclear if Marvel executives ever communicated they had issues with Howard’s conduct and they never commented on the issue.
5. Daario Naharis: Game of Thrones
The cast of Game of Thrones is quite large, characters should wear name tags to distinguish themselves. The series has already recast many roles but most prominently was Daario Naharis who joined the cast at the end of season three and by season four emerged looking entirely different. Dutch Actor Michiel Huisman replaced by British actor Ed Skrein who left the show because the role conflicted with his Transporter franchise reboot. Huisman can also be seen on Treme and Nashville.
4. Tommen Baratheon: Game of Thrones
Everyone was focusing on the recasting of Daario in season four but Prince Tommen Baratheon was also recast. His character change wasn’t as talked about because he was a secondary character viewers rarely noticed but now that King Joffrey is dead, he has claim to the iron throne and stands to be an important character in the future of the show. A much younger Callum Wharry originally played the role as a timid boy who mostly faded into the shadows but now actor Dean-Charles Chapman took over and is visibly older. Most likely so the impending marriage won’t seem so unsavory. So far the new Tommen has given the role more personality than in the past.
3. Rachel Dawes: Batman Begins
Rachel Dawes was played by Katie Holmes in the Batman reboot film Batman Begins. Her role was seen as the weak link in the 2005 film and she dropped out before The Dark Knight was released for a chance to work with one of her idols Diane Keaton in Mad Money. Maggie Gyllenhaal was offered the role and only accepted with Holmes blessing. Speculation claims the recast was more to do with Katie Holmes controversial marriage to Tom Cruise and less to do with acting, although its hard to argue that Gyllenhaal didn’t make a better Rachel.
2. Becky Conner: Roseanne
Becky Connor was originally played by Alicia Goranson on the hit TV sitcom Roseanne. Goranson left during the fifth season of the show to attend college at Vassar. During Season six, actress Sarah Chalke took over the role and the two alternated playing the role depending on when Goranson was available for filming. The gag became a running joke with references to the two Beckies. Chalke later would become a popular character on the TV show Scrubs and Stella, Ted Mosby’s runaway bride on How I Met Your Mother.
1. Albus Dumbledore: Harry Potter
In the first two installments of the Harry Potter movies Richard Harris played the iconic role of Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore. Harris wasn’t going to accept the role originally because of his declining health but his then 11-year old granddaughter threatened to not speak to him again if he didn’t accept. Harris went on to play Dumbledore in both Philosopher’s Stone in 2001 and The Chamber of Secrets in 2002 before he passed away on October 25, 2002. Michael Gambon was recast and played the role throughout the rest of the series and put his own spin on the character, giving him a slight Irish accent.
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