Actors Who Accidentally Turned Down Huge Roles

by : Tom Percival on : 21 Nov 2016 09:23
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I imagine one of the most difficult hings about being an A-list actor is picking your next project. 


Mainly because for every Argo you could potentially star in there’s at least seven Daredevil, Pearl Harbour and Gigli’s around the corner waiting to ruin your career – sorry to pick on you Ben Affleck but I hate Gigli a lot. 

Every now and again though a star will make  a mistake and miss out on the opportunity to be in something truly magnificent.

Jack Nicholson was nearly Michael Corleone in The Godfather…


Despite Al Pacino earning two Oscar nominations for his portrayal of conflicted mob boss Michael Corleone in The Godfather series, he wasn’t the first choice to play the gangster.

Apparently Jack Nicholson was offered the part first but he decided no to take the part because in his words ‘back then I believed that Indians should play Indians and Italians should play Italians’.

Will Smith didn’t want to play Django in Django Unchained…


Will’s been unlucky when it comes to choosing roles in the past, he passed up on The Matrix to star in Wild, Wild West and he made a similar odd decision to not work with Tarantino on Django.

According to Smith the two spent hours talking about the film but he didn’t accept the role because of creative differences.

He told The Hollywood Reporter:

To me, it’s as perfect a story as you could ever want: a guy that learns how to kill to retrieve his wife that has been taken as a slave. That idea is perfect. And it was just that Quentin and I couldn’t see eye-to-eye.

We can’t look at what happens in Paris [the terrorist attacks] and want to f— somebody up for that. Violence begets violence. I just couldn’t connect to violence being the answer. Love had to be the answer.


John Travolta decided not to play Forrest Gump…


Life’s like a box of chocolates, and sometimes you just don’t want a chocolate just like John Travolta didn’t want to play Forrest Gump.

Interestingly this wasn’t the first time the actor turned down a project that Tom Hanks was later cast in, namely Splash and Apollo 13.

Despite Hanks winning his second Oscar for Gump Travolta doesn’t regret turning down any of the movies.

He said: 

If I didn’t do something Tom Hanks did, then I did something else that was equally interesting or fun.

Or if I didn’t do something Richard Gere did, I did something equally well. But I feel good about some I gave up because other careers were created.

Nicolas Cage was nearly Aragorn in Lord of the Rings…


After seeing Viggo Mortenson inhabit the role of Aragorn  really can’t wrap our heads round the idea of the Nicolas Cage leading the Fellowship of the Ring.

But in an interview with Newsweek, Cage revealed he apparently turned down the role of Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings series because of the commitment involved.


He explained:

There were different things going on in my life at the time that precluded me from being able to travel and be away from home for three years.

Nic’s not too bothered about missing out on Lord of the Ring’s though as he said he gets to enjoy the film as a fan.

Tom Percival

More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism. Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV. He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.

Topics: Film and TV


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    27 actors who turned down huge movie roles