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9 Times Actors Almost Missed Out On Their Iconic Roles

Behind every great character, there’s an actor who got picked up specifically for that role. The chosen actor must be able to get inside the character’s “mind” and bring it to life onscreen to make it memorable. But this process can have a lot of ups and downs, and the right choice might not always be obvious.

At Bright Side, we’ll be checking some moments where things could have gone wrong for these actors, and some great characters could have never existed.

1. Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter

Daniel Radcliffe’s parents nearly prevented him from playing Harry Potter. When Daniel’s parents met with the film’s crew, it was revealed that there were several projects that they didn’t want him to engage in. His parents were opposed to him signing a deal that required him to commit to 6 films, all of which would be filmed in Los Angeles, because they felt it would cause too much disruption in his life. However, the deal changed, and the film location was much closer to them, so they agreed to let him audition.

2. Courteney Cox as Monica Geller

Courteney Cox was offered the role of “Rachel” in the television series Friends, and the directors were clear that they wanted Courteney to play the character. The director said, “We met with Courteney Cox, and she explained to us why she didn’t think she was a Rachel, and that she herself was more of a Monica. And she was right.”

3. Keanu Reeves as Neo

The Matrix had Keanu Reeves as the main character “Neo,” but Keanu was not the first choice for the role. It was later discovered that Will Smith was. Will revealed that when he was introduced, the people behind the film explained everything to him, but he was confused and thought it was weird, so he chose another film.

4. Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller

Matthew Broderick was not the first actor chosen for the role of Ferris Bueller in the 1980s high school comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. This iconic film has other celebrities in line to play the role, however, prior to the casting, it was reported that Johnny Depp confirmed that he would take the role, but he had to pass on the opportunity because he ended up being unavailable.

5. Anne Hathaway as Andrea Sachs

Anne Hathaway played a major role in the film The Devil Wears Prada. The film’s director claimed in an interview that they offered Rachel McAdams the role 3 times and that the entire studio was desperate for her to be in the film. On the other hand, Anne patiently waited for her role and after a while she got the part, saying, “I patiently waited until it was my turn, and I got the call. It was the easiest yes in the world. I remember the moment I found out I got the part, I just ran screaming through my apartment.”

6. Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso

Ralph Macchio was not the first choice for the role he ended up playing in The Karate Kid. He was involved in the early stages of production, but nothing was finalized. He said, “I remember walking by and seeing Charlie Sheen hanging out outside Jerry Weintraub’s bungalow and thought, what’s Charlie doing here?’” He also mentioned Nicholas Cage and Robert Downey Jr. were also up for the role.

7. Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange

Helena Bonham Carter was only the second option for the role of Bellatrix Lestrange in the film Harry Potter, behind Helen McCrory. It was revealed that the original actress cast in the role was expecting a child. Helena said, “So they came to me, and I loved it. I love magic, I love witches, I love the whole Harry Potter world. I was all too happy to play a witch.”

8. Hugh Jackman as Wolverine

Hugh Jackman has played “Wolverine” in the X-Men films for the past 17 years, but the iconic part was offered to other actors as well. The director wanted Russell Crowe to play the character, but Crowe suggested Hugh play it instead. The studio still didn’t want Hugh and passed it on to Dougray Scott, but his schedule was too packed, so they finally gave it to Hugh in the end.

9. Chris Hemsworth as Thor

Chris Hemsworth’s younger brother, Liam Hemsworth, also auditioned for the role of “Thor” but unlike his brother, Chris was never called back by the executives after his first audition. Then one day, Chris’s manager called the film’s producers back, and they made him re-do the entire audition — this time, he got the part.

Chris said, “I guess, motivation and maybe frustration that my little brother had gotten further than me. It’s a little family, sibling rivalry sort of kicked up in me. Then it moved pretty quickly from there. It was cool.”

Which of these stories surprised you the most? Which one is your favorite character and role? Tell us in the comments.

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