A successful movie that stirs the hearts-strings of the audience is often a concoction of an impeccable script and powerful character portrayal by the artists. The actors are shouldered with the burden of navigating a nascent and immature character of the film into a life-like version to which the masses could easily connect. And repeatedly in this chase, the actors often miss out on the opportunity of career-defining roles. Here is a rundown of actors who passed up the most iconic roles of the entertainment industry.
Watch: 10 Actors Who Quit Major Film Roles (And Why)
The Lord of the Rings
Starred: Ian McKellen as Gandalf
Turned Down: Sean Connery
After the commercial success of the iconic trilogy of Lord of the Rings, producers revealed their initial plan of casting Sean as Gandalf. Reportedly, they were ready to offer a pay-out of $10 million a film and 15% of box office earnings. Sadly, Connery turned down the role stating he didn’t understand the scripts.
The Dark Knight
Starred: Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent
Turned down: Matt Damon
Matt Damon has to heavy-heartedly pass up this compelling grey role in Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece. The actor stated he had a scheduling conflict with another simultaneous project of his at that time. Although he holds no harsh feeling because he believes once in a lifetime, one has to decline these opportunities for the greater good.
Starred: Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman
Turned down: Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo was originally cast for the film as he expressed his immense interest in this project. Lionsgate even released the press statement for the same. However, the actor exited from the movie due to creative differences with the director Oliver Stone. Although, another set of rumours mentioned DiCaprio’s exit due to Gloria Steinem’s crusade against the film.
Starred: Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones
Turned down: Tom Selleck
Initially, the iconic role of Jones was offered to Tom but the actor revealed due to contractual conflicts he decided to opt out of the film. At that time, he was working on the Magnum P.I. project and the shooting clashes gave the remaining nudge.
La La Land
Starred: Emma Stones as Mia
Turned down: Emma Watson
When the offer of the Oscar-nominated La La Land was offered to Watson, she had already taken the plunge and charted her commitment to the movie Beauty and the Beast. In an interview with SiriusXM Town Hall, she recalls, that she had tons of practice sessions lined up on horse-riding, singing, dancing, and much more for the preparation of the role of Belle. And due to a paucity of time, she refused the role in LLL.
Starred: Michael Gambon as Dumbledore (Part3-8)
Turned down: Ian McKellen
After Richard Harris’s demise, Ian was approached to play the character from part 3 onwards but he refused. According to him, in his BBC 2017 interview, he stated that he could not take over the part of which the original actor would have never approved of. Reportedly, Harris once quoted Ian as “Technically brilliant, but passionless”
Starred: Harrison Ford as Han Solo
Turned Down: Al Pacino
In 2014, Al Pacino revealed to MTV that after the box office success of The Godfather, he was offered plenty of roles. More importantly, many a time the roles offered were not right for him. And one such role was of Han Solo in the Star Wars saga. Stating this reason, the actor decided to turn away from the role.
Let us know how do you feel about these swaps. And have you connected with the character the same way had the things panned out for the intended cast?