Gal Gadot was originally offered a starring role in Greta Gerwig’s hiiiiighly anticipated movie Barbie, but said no to the role due to scheduling conflicts.
Margot Robbie told Vogue, “Gal Gadot is Barbie energy. Because Gal Gadot is so impossibly beautiful, but you don’t hate her for being that beautiful, because she’s so genuinely sincere, and she’s so enthusiastically kind, that it’s almost dorky. It’s like right before being a dork.”
Amy Schumer was also tied to Barbie at one point, but left the movie due to “creative differences.”
“The studio definitely didn’t want to do it the way I wanted to do it. The only way I was interested in doing it,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “The idea that that’s just what every woman must want, right there, I should have gone, ‘You’ve got the wrong gal.’”
Jackie Chan turned down the starring role in Everything Everywhere All At Once. The film’s directing duo, The Daniels, even traveled to China to get him to sign onto the movie but he passed.
They ended up rewriting the role for Michelle Yeoh, who won an Academy Award for her performance in the movie, and she jokes that Jackie still teases her about him being offered the role first. “Jackie actually texted me,” she said. “And he says: ‘Wow, I hear amazing things about your movie. Did you know that the boys came to see me in China?’ And I said: ‘Yes, your loss, my bro!’”
Kate McKinnon was originally offered the role of Elizabeth Holmes in The Dropout, but she ended up leaving the series after being cast as Carole Baskin in the Peacock limited series Joe vs. Carole.
Amanda Seyfried went on to play Elizabeth Holmes and scored an Emmy Award for her performance in the limited series.
Matt Damon was originally tapped to star in Avatar and James Cameron offered him 10% of the movie’s profits, which would’ve been about $250 million.
He said no to the movie and now over a decade later he admitted it was “the dumbest thing an actor ever did in the history of acting.”
Henry Winkler was originally offered the role of Danny Zuko in Grease, but he turned it down in fear of being typecast after playing a similar role as the Fonz on Happy Days.
“I am a damn fool,” he told CNN’s Chris Wallace. “I only realized years afterwards. I thought, I’ve played the Fonz, I don’t want to do it again.”
Denzel Washington was offered the starring role in the movie Se7en, but turned it down because he was weary of working with, at the time, first-time director Michael Clayton.
He’d even said that the script was the “best material [he’d] read in the long time.” He told GQ, “I was nervous about a first-time director, and I was wrong. It happens.”
Michael Keaton was tapped to star in Groundhog Day but he turned down the movie because he “didn’t get it.”
Bill Murray went on to star and even Michael agreed that no one could’ve played the role better. He told EW, “This guy sounds like the kind of wry, sardonic, glib young man I’ve played — and it ended up being so great. But you can’t do it better than Bill Murray did it.”
Cate Blanchett was originally supposed to star as Lucille Ball in Being the Ricardos, but she dropped out of the project and Nicole Kidman played the role instead.
“It became the movie it needed to be,” Cate said. “Those things happen in the right way, at the right time. In the best possible way, you don’t always envisage the same thing; and then it goes on to become a different entity.”
Halle Berry was originally offered Sandra Bullock’s role in the movie Speed, which ended up boosting Sandra into stardom.
Halle told ET, “I stupidly said no. But in my defence, when I read the script the bus didn’t leave the parking lot. I was like no, no, no, no.”
Madonna shared that she was offered a role in The Matrix but turned it down and a part of her still “regrets” the decision.
“Can you believe that? That’s like one of the best movies ever made,” she told Jimmy Fallon. “A teeny-tiny part of me regrets just that one moment in my life.”
Jessica Simpson was cast to star in The Notebook but she said no to the role because she didn’t want to film a sex scene with Ryan Gosling.
“I knew exactly what the movie was about because I had read the script,” she wrote in her book, adding that when she asked to cut the sex scene the studio execs “wouldn’t budge.”
Jennifer Hudson was offered the starring role in the film Precious, but she turned it down not wanting to take another role that focused on her weight.
In her book she wrote, “I had done that with Effie [in Dreamgirls]… and as much as I was moved by this film, I wanted to try a role that had nothing whatsoever to do with my weight.”
Matthew Modine was originally offered the role of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun before the role ultimately went to Tom Cruise, and launched his career.
As to why he turned down the role Matthew explained that he didn’t want to endorse militarism and he doesn’t regret passing on the movie.
Christina Applegate was tapped to star in Legally Blonde but she said no to the movie out of fear of being typecast or “repeating” herself.
“The script came along my way and it was right after I had just finished, Married […with Children], and it was a blonde who in that first script didn’t win it but ends up going to Yale, or Harvard, I don’t remember,” she told ET. “I got scared of kind of repeating myself. What a stupid move that was, right?”
Emma Watson was rumored to have been cast in the movie La La Land, alongside Miles Teller, but Emma Stone ended up starring in the movie with Ryan Gosling.
Emma confirmed that she was supposed to be in La La Land, but had already committed to Beauty and the Beast. [It] wasn’t a movie I could just sort of step into,” she said. “I knew I had horse training, I knew I had dancing, I knew I had three months of singing ahead of me and I knew I had to be in London to really do that. This wasn’t a movie I could just kind of parachute into. I knew I had to do the work, and I had to be where I had to be. So, you know, scheduling conflict-wise, it just didn’t work out.”
Will Smith was offered Jamie Foxx’s role in Django Unchained, but he turned it down because of creative differences with the movie’s director Quentin Tarantino.
He told Vanity Fair, “It was about the creative direction of the story. To me, it’s as perfect a story as you could ever want: a guy that learns how to kill to retrieve his wife that has been taken as a slave. That idea is perfect. And it was just that Quentin and I couldn’t see [eye to eye]. I wanted to make the greatest love story that African-Americans had ever seen…”
Finally, Julia Roberts passed on Sleepless in Seattle because of scheduling conflicts and Meg Ryan went on to play the role.