18 Iconic Roles That Almost Went to Different Stars

Can you imagine how different things might have turned out if Gwen Stefani had accepted the role of Jane Smith in Mr. and Mrs Smith, the movie that led to Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's romance? She says she turned down the part so she could focus on music. Here are 10 other iconic roles that almost went to different stars (check out BuzzFeed's full list at the link):


    1. Britney Spears could have played Allie Hamilton in The Notebook. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams are iconic in The Notebook, but it could have been a very different movie had the casting directors gone with Spears for the lead role. And they almost did—Gosling confirmed that the pop star was one of the actors who screen-tested with him and she did a "great job," but ultimately the role went to McAdams.
    2. Emma Watson could have played Mia Dolan in La La Land. Watson was the frontrunner during early casting conversations for La La Land. However, scheduling conflicts meant that she had to decide between that role or the part of Belle in Beauty and the Beast. She ultimately chose the latter. 
    3. Ellen DeGeneres could have played Phoebe Buffay in Friends. Ellen was reportedly offered the role of Phoebe Buffay before anyone else auditioned for the part, but she ultimately turned it down. Jane Lynch and Kathy Griffin were also considered before the part went to Lisa Kudrow. 
    4. Matt LeBlanc could have played Phil Dunphy in Modern Family. LeBlanc was offered the part of Phil Dunphy in 2009 following the cancellation of his Friendsspin-off show, Joey. However, he ultimately turned it down because he didn't feel it was right for him. Of course, the role ended up going to Ty Burrell who's won several Emmys for his portrayal of Phil. 
    5. Matthew McConaughey could have played Jack in Titanic. "It was one of those auditions where I left and thought I had it," he's said in the past. "I really enjoyed it, Kate Winslet really enjoyed it. That was a huge opportunity. But [James] Cameron liked Leonardo DiCaprio better." 
    6. Gwyneth Paltrow could have played Rose in Titanic. Gwyneth Paltrow was one of the final two contenders for the role, but actually turned it down. However, she doesn't regret the decision, saying: "I look back at the choices I’ve made and think, ‘Why the hell did I say yes to that? And no to that?’ And you know, you look at the big picture and think: There’s a universal lesson here. What good is it to hold onto roles?” 
    7. Connie Britain could have played Olivia Pope in Scandal. If ABC had had their way, Olivia would have been played by Connie Britton. Shonda Rhimes recently recalled a phone call she had with the network shortly after the show was picked up, in which they told her: “This would be the perfect show for Connie Britton." Rhimes responded, It would be, except Olivia Pope is black.”
    8. Anne Hathaway could have played Tiffany Maxwell in Silver Linings Playbook.Hathaway was the first choice to play the role of Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbookand was actually cast as the lead. However, she ended up dropping out of the production due to "creative differences" with the director David O. Russell. The role ultimately went to Jennifer Lawrence who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Tiffany. 
    9. Tom Selleck could have played Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones. Steven Spielburg and George Lucas were both desperate for Selleck to play the part of Indiana Jones, and even invited him to do a screen test for the role. Sleeck would've been down to play the role too, however he'd already signed up for a CBS detective show called Magnum P.I and so couldn't commit. 
    10. John Travolta could have played Forrest Gump in Forrest Gump. It's hard to imagine anyone else aside from Tom Hanks playing the role of Forrest Gump, but it turns out the role was actually offered to John Travolta first. However, he turned it down to star in Pulp Fiction instead.    18 Iconic Roles That Almost Went To Different Actors
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