Everybody has regrets in life, and for actors who were rejected, they have to watch their regrets projected onto screens around the world. Even major stars have movie roles that got away for one reason or another. It could be anything from a scheduling conflict to bad advice from an agent or even just a horrible audition.
No matter the success they may find afterwards, actors who were turned down for big roles can carry that with them for years. From Tom Hiddleston missing out on Thor to Eddie Murphy being unable to star in Ghostbusters, here are some huge stars who remember the part that got away.
Chris Evans is recognized all over the world and across the internet as one of the "Hollywood Chrises" now, but he had to fight with other up-and-coming actors for parts before Captain America came along. In the years leading up to his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut, Evans had to struggle to get parts just like everybody else in Hollywood. Going head-to-head with other rising stars inevitably left someone empty-handed.
When Evans missed out on a starring role opposite Anthony Hopkins in the 2007 thriller Fracture, it was all thanks to another fresh-faced budding star, Ryan Gosling. Evans recounted the experience while talking to The Hollywood Reporter, describing the chance to work with a master like Hopkins as "one of those moments where I might be able to turn a corner." He went on to say, "And to lose that one... obviously, Ryan, if you’re going to lose to someone, lose to Ryan. But it was just one of those things where you think, 'Man, this is tough.'"
- Age: 39
- Birthplace: Sudbury, Massachusetts, United States of America
Timothée Chalamet quickly became one of the hottest young stars in Hollywood thanks to his appearances in films like Call Me By Your Name, Beautiful Boy, and Little Women. But before all the award nominations and magazine covers, Chalamet thought he was finally going to make a name for himself when he read for a little superhero known as Spider-Man.
During the casting search that would end up with Tom Holland cast as Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War, Chalamet had the opportunity to read for Spidey not once, but twice. The audition apparently did not go well for Chalamet. "I read twice and I left sweating in a total panic," he told The Hollywood Reporter, and his agent had to talk him out of going back in to try and re-audition again. Chalamet avoided that embarrassment and had plenty of success in the years since, so all's well that ends well.
- Age: 25
- Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, NY
Jennifer Lawrence is a major star who has headlined numerous big-budget blockbusters since hitting it big in the early 2010s. But there is one billion-dollar grossing film that slipped through her fingers that still gives the actor nightmares from time to time.
Formally kicking off Disney's obsession with making live-action versions of their animated classics, 2010's Alice in Wonderland was a huge hit for the Mouse House, and it almost served as Lawrence's big break. "The only time I've ever been truly devastated by losing an audition - 'cause most of the time you're like, 'Ah, wasn't meant to be, move on, what can you do?' - was Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland," she told W Magazine. "That one devastated me."
- Age: 30
- Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America
Across his storied acting career, John Lithgow has seemingly done it all, from headlining a hit sitcom to earning Tony, Emmy, and Academy Award nominations for a wide veriety of roles. Still, there was one great role that the actor let slip through his fingers, and it was none other than Batman's most noteworthy nemesis, the Clown Prince of Crime.
To hear the actor tell it, he actually had to convince director Tim Burton not to pick him for the part. "I have never told anyone this story, but I tried to persuade him I was not right for the part, and I succeeded," he told Vulture. "I didn’t realize it was such a big deal. About a week later I heard they were going after Robin Williams and Jack Nicholson."
- Age: 74
- Birthplace: USA, New York, Rochester