Ok, so we know a LOT of effort goes into making a film. From the director at the top of the pile to the assistants to the assistant cameraperson, there are countless people that go into making a brilliant movie. However, the person that ultimately makes a film is the actor.
With the power to make or break a film, choosing the right person for the part is crucial to a movie’s success. So yep, a casting director has a pretty stressful job on their hands.
Just like any other job ‘interview’, chances are a host of other famous faces also auditioned for the chance to play your most beloved characters – after all, 99% of roles aren’t cast on a first refusal basis unless, you know, you’re a big deal Leonardo DiCaprio or Meryl Streep. Can you imagine what your favourite film would have been like with different actor in the lead role? It’s hard to comprehend, isn’t it?
Here are just some of the parts that now-famous actors narrowly missed out on landing. Just think, if these stars HAD snagged the parts…
Alec Baldwin - Sex And The City
So Mr Big was hardly the most likeable character but can you IMAGINE if Alec Baldwin had played him?! 'I was thinking of Alec Baldwin for Big initially,' SATC creator Darren Star said to Entertainment Weekly, 'but I met with Chris Noth and thought he was perfect. I remember the first table read, how good he was. I'm not saying that Chris was Mr. Big, but he brought a lot of his own persona to the role.'
That's not the only bombshell Star dropped — our beloved Aidan was nearly not played by John Corbett! 'We initially were thinking about Aidan Quinn for Aidan, but I think he wasn't available,' Star said. 'I loved John Corbett in Northern Exposure, and we were like, 'Well, what's John Corbett been up to?' He just had the laconic, dudish vibe. But we kept Aidan because we loved the name.' PHEW. Swings and roundabouts, ey.
Ashley Olsen & Rumer Willis – Gossip Girl
It's hard to imagine Gossip Girl without Blake Lively and Leighton Meester as Serena and Blair, isn't it? Well, that was almost a reality, as Rumer Willis and Ashley Olsen were the original choices for the parts. Yes, REALLY. Apparently Ashley was lined up for the role of Blair and Rumer of Serena but as both stars were already famous, they thought that the lesser-known actresses would capture the essence of the show, rather than command it with their previous work. To be fair, we reckon the TV execs made the right call.
Jennifer Lawrence – Twilight
That’s right, J-Law auditioned for the heavy breathing role of Bella Swan in the now iconic Twilight films, narrowly missing out on the part to Kristen Stewart. Speaking of what could have been, Jen said: ‘I remember when the first movie came out, seeing Kristen Stewart on the red carpet and getting papped wherever she went. I'd had no idea Twilight would be such a big deal. For me, and assuming for her, it was just another audition. Then it turned into this whole other thing.’ Obviously, Jennifer’s career took off regardless of an R-Patz saga…
Scarlett Johansson – Jumanji
Her star may have risen after she landed a part in Lost In Translation, but Scar-Jo already had years of auditioning (and being rejected) under her belt when she made the big time. Her biggest loss? Losing out to the role of Judy in the cinematic classic, Jumanji. We know what we’re watching tonight…
Josh Hutcherson – The Amazing Spider-Man
Fans of the comic book series will be surprised to learn that Josh Hutcherson (of Hunger Games fame) actually auditioned and came really close to nabbing the role of Peter Parker in the Spider-Man reboot. Just think, if he had got the job, Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield’s relationship would cease to exist. Sob.
Christina Applegate – Legally Blonde
Reese Witherspoon shot to fame after starring as the pink-loving, Chihuahua-toting Elle Woods in Legally Blonde (AKA, the most brilliant film ever made). However, funny-woman Christina Applegate also auditioned for the part, just missing out on being cast as the lead to Reese. We reckon it would have been big-screen gold with either actress.
Sarah Michelle Gellar – Clueless
Before she had her turn in Buffy, SMG got down to finale few in the Cher shortlist, alongside Reese Witherspoon. Obviously, Alicia Silverstone got the part, Reese went on to star in Legally Blonde, and Sarah kicked ass as a vampire slayer. All’s well that ends well.
Gravity – Angelina Jolie and Robert Downey Jr
This Oscar-winning film would have had a totally different vibe if this original dynamic duo were cast. Apparently the director Alfonso Cuaron embarked on the project with them in mind, but changed his mind when the style in which the film would be shot began to unfold. Instead, he went with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.
Anne Hathaway – Silver Linings Playbook
The same year that Anne won her first Oscar for her emotional role in Les Misérables was the same year that Jennifer Lawrence won her Best Actress gong for her portrayal of Tiffany in the dark comedy, Silver Linings Playbook. What you don’t know is the part was actually Anne’s, but her commitments on Les Mis meant she had to turn down the part. We’re just glad that both actresses came out on top…