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Sunday, March 23, 2008

20 Actors and Actresses Who Turned Down Important or Popular Roles

For every celebrity winning critical acclaim or an Academy Award there’s another celeb or two who turned down that same meaty role. While we’re sure they had good reasons for their decisions, we’re also wondering how hard they kick themselves after realizing they passed up “The Big One.” Behold celebrities who turned down the roles of a lifetime.

  1. Molly Ringwald - Molly Ringwald turned down the role of Vivian in “Pretty Woman” and the role of Molly in “Ghost” among others. She was also offered a part in Scream which she turned down because she was in her late 20’s and didn’t want a teenage role. Also, she was offered Leah Thompson’s role in “Some Kind of Wonderful” which she turned down severing her relationship with John Hughes. Personally, I can’t see her in any of those roles and never felt she was all that great of an actress anyway. She’s good with whiny roles, however. I’ll give her that.
  2. Mel Gibson - Turned down the lead role in Gladiator. A role which landed Russell Crowe the Academy Award. Mel also turned down the part of Robin Hood in “Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.” Instead, that part went to a not very belieaveable Kevin Costner.
  3. Alec Baldwin - The role of Richard Kimball in “The Fugitive” was originally offered to Alec. After he turned it down, it went to Harrison Ford.
  4. Sigourney Weaver - Turned down the role of Ada in “The Accused,” a part that later went to Kelly McGillis, and the lead role in “A Handmaid’s Tale.”
  5. Keanu Reeves turned down Charlie Sheen’s role in “Platoon.” And really, thank goodness for that. The role should definitely go to someone who can act.
  6. Gillian Anderson - The former X-Files star was originally offered the role of Bethany Sloane in “Dogma.” She said, “no thanks” and the part wen to Linda Fiorentino instead.
  7. Warren Beatty - Turned down the role of Jack Horner in “Boogie Nights.” The part was then offered to a smarmy looking Bert Reynolds. Warren also turned down James Caan’s role in “Misery”, the part of Gordon Gekko in “Wall Street” and Robert Redford’s role in “The Sting.” Granted, Warren’s had some decent roles and he’s a good actor. But we’re thinking he’s not a very good judge of a good script. He accepts “Dick Tracey” and turns down “The Sting?” Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture?
  8. Melanie Griffith - Melanie Griffith turned down the role of “Thelma” in “Thelma and Louise.” Incidentally, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jodie Foster were originally cast as Thelma and Louise but had to drop out as pre-production dragged on.
  9. Sarah Michelle Gellar - Scheduling conflicts prevented her from accepting the role as Cher in “Clueless.”
  10. Richard Grieco - The “21 Jump Street” star turned down the lead role in “Speed” because he thought the script sucked. I guess he’s still turning down sucky scripts because it’s not like we’ve seen him in anything but the plastic surgeon’s office since the early 90’s.
  11. Madonna - I guess we should be thankful but Madonna turned down Michelle Pfeiffer’s role in “The Fabulous Baker Boys.”
  12. Denzel Washington - Turned down the role of Curtis in “Dreamgirls”, the lead in “I Robot”, and it’s rumored he turned down the role of “Ray Charles” in Ray.
  13. Will Smith - Turned down the role that eventually went to Keanu Reeve in “The Matrix”, and the role of Stu in “Phone Booth.”
  14. Julia Roberts - Turned down Sharon Stone’s leg crossing role in “Basic Instinct,” the role of Mary Corleone in “Godfather III” the role of Annie in “Sleepless in Seattle,” the lead role of “Shakespeare in Love” and the role of Lucy in “While You Were Sleeping.”
  15. Leonardo DiCaprio - Offered the part of Dirk Diggler in “Boogie Nights” before it was given to Mark Wahlberg and the lead role in “The Matrix”.
  16. Mark Wahlberg - Turned down the role of Linus in “Ocean’s 11″.
  17. Tom Cruise - Before Johnny Depp made the role his own, Tom Cruise signed on to play Donnie Brasco in the film of the same name. Tom was also to play the lead role in “Footloose” and ended up turning that down as well.
  18. Jennifer Jason Leigh - Jennifer Jason Leigh is another of the actresses who landed the role of Vivian in “Pretty Woman” and later turned it down.
  19. John Travolata - Turned down the role of Forrest Gump.
  20. Tom Hanks - Turned down the role of Ray Kinsella in “Field of Dreams,” Andy Dufresne in “The Shawshank Redemption” and the lead role in “Jerry Maguire.”

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