You always hear about stars that were up for a certain role, but they never got it. We know about Matthew McConaughey almost being offered the role in Titanic, John Travolta passing on Forrest Gump or Tom Cruise nearly landing the role in Footloose, but it's always so difficult to imagine other actors in big roles. Well, what if we didn't have to use our imaginations? What if we had the audition tapes from these attempts? Here's a secret. We do have them. Well, we have some of them. For most of the members on this list, their auditions can be found online. In the ones that can't be found, the stars themselves have given us a little walk down memory lane.
So why didn't these superstars get these massive roles? Some of them just failed, and, if you watch the videos, you'll see which ones bombed. Others were amazing, but were simply out-acted by the actors who eventually would land the roles. Sure, there's politics involved, no doubt. But we're not about to sit here and guess who bribed who or who was owed a favor.
Again, every single name on this list is the name of a superstar. While they may have some "what ifs" lingering in the air, they all did alright in their careers without the roles in question. For many, not landing these roles opened them up for other opportunities. In fact, some of the "failed" auditions were so loved by the people watching that would use them for other roles in the film or TV show or in other projects. So, let's have a gander. Here's a first hand look at 15 superstars who auditioned for iconic roles but were rejected.
15 Robert De Niro – The Godfather
14 Scarlett Johansson – Judy Shepherd in Jumanji
13 Mindy Kaling – Lillian in Bridesmaids
12 Brad Pitt – Brian McCaffrey in Backdraft
11 Marlon Brando – Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause
10 Bob Odenkirk – Michael Scott from The Office
9 Leonardo DiCaprio – Ponyboy in The Outsiders
8 Jake Gyllenhaal – Frodo from The Lord of the Rings
7 Jennifer Lawrence – Bella Swan in Twilight
6 Seth Rogen – Dwight in The Office
5 Helen Hunt (and Gwyneth Paltrow) – Dr. Ellie Sattler in Jurassic Park
4 Tom Hiddleston – Thor in Thor
3 Josh Hutcherson – Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man
2 Tom Selleck – Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark
1 Kurt Russell – Han Solo in Star Wars
There was a time when Kurt Russell was the epitome of cool, kind of like Harrison Ford, come to think of it. His audition for the role of Han Solo in the Star Wars trilogy was great. He was chill, alpha and felt like Han Solo. The only problem he had is that he had to compete with Ford and that usually didn't go well for other actors during this time. There's been some talk about Russell turning down the iconic role, but that's not the whole truth. Russell auditioned for both Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, but he had also been offered the lead in the Western TV series, The Quest. Russell had to decide quickly, so he decided to take himself out of the running for both Star Wars roles and take the guaranteed job in The Quest.
Sources: Mentalfloss; IMDB
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