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13 Strange Reasons Actors Agreed To Take On Famous Roles

July 30, 2021 2.1k votes 399 voters 123.9k views13 items

List RulesVote up the strangest reasons actors said, 'Yes.'

Most actors take on movie roles because of the money, the fame, a great script, or the opportunity to work with an acclaimed actor or director. Then, there are these strange reasons actors agreed to take on famous roles.

Which grandfather only signed on to Harry Potter because his granddaughter threatened to never speak with him again? Which muscled actor got totally duped and starred in a goofball comedy because he thought his Hollywood rival wanted the part? Which Hollywood legend only returned to the franchise that made him famous so that he could retire his character?

Make your voice heard. Vote up the strangest reasons actors said, "Yes."

  • It's easy to miss Brad Pitt's surprise - quick - cameo as the invisible mutant Vanisher in Deadpool 2. Yet, the hunky actor's brief seconds of screen-time is a hilarious highlight in the R-rated superhero sequel.

    Why would one of the biggest movie stars on the planet agree to appear in a role where he is only briefly seen because his character gets electrocuted? The film's producer and screenwriter Rhett Reese explained:

    We shot in about a half an hour. It was quite a production. It was like a full crew for a half an hour, and Brad agreed to do it for scale, plus a cup of coffee. And then he was really specific about the coffee - said, "I want this exact coffee from Starbucks, and, Ryan, I want you to deliver it to me."

    Ryan Reynolds, who is also a producer on the movie, did not have a problem with Pitt's easy-to-please demand. He handed Pitt his cup of coffee as requested, and the cast and crew had a good laugh and a memorable cameo. 

    Unexpected reasoning?
  • Photo: NBC

    A lot of A-list actors made guest stints on Friends. However, Bruce Willis did not appear on the hit sitcom because he actually wanted to.

    Willis starred alongside Matthew Perry in 2000s big-screen crime comedy, The Whole Nine Yards. Despite Perry being at the height of his Chandler Bing fame and Willis as one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood, Willis did not have the same faith as Perry in regards to their movie's bottom line. 

    Turns out Willis only appeared on Friends because he lost a wager to Perry, who bet the action star that their movie would open No. 1 at the box office. If he won, Perry wanted Willis to guest-star on Friends for free. Willis accepted the wager. Then, The Whole Nine Yards topped the box office charts in its opening weekend.

    Willis honored his bet. The former television heartthrob guest-starred on Friends for three episodes during Season 6. He played Ross's young coed girlfriend's father, who doesn't totally freak out on their huge age difference because he's interested in dating Rachel (Jennifer Aniston).

    Willis won an Emmy for Best Guest Actor in a Comedy for his three-episode arc. The actor reportedly donated his Friends salary to several different charities. 

    Unexpected reasoning?
  • Photo: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Harry Potter filmmakers really wanted Irish thespian Richard Harris for the role of Hogwarts School headmaster, Albus Dumbledore. "All I knew is that they kept offering me the part and raising the salary every time they called. I kept turning it down," said Harris.

    In fact, Harris turned them down three times. He had absolutely no interest in appearing in sequel after sequel during his golden years. However, his 11-year-old granddaughter Ella had something those Harry Potter filmmakers completely lacked - the strings to Harris's heart. 

    The little girl knew how to bargain. "She said, 'Papa, I hear you're not going to be in the Harry Potter movie,' and she said, 'If you don't play Dumbledore, then I will never speak to you again,'" revealed Harris.

    The Unforgiven actor went on to appear in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (his final movie before passing in 2002).

    Unexpected reasoning?
  • Photo: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Academy Award-winning actor Gary Oldman has an impressive resume filled with memorable roles - including Dracula, and even a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. At first glance, the Shakespearean-trained thespian may have seemed like an odd fit for the role of Harry Potter's wizard godfather, Sirius Black.

    However, even millionaire international movie stars just want to look cool to their kids. Oldman admitted he took the role of Black in order to impress his two sons and their friends.

    "And of course I've got kids of my own now, and they love me being in the Harry Potter films," revealed Oldman. "I'm now part of a phenomenon. You become incredibly cool to your kids, and you get a young fanbase. So you became the cool dad at school. You're suddenly hip."

    Unexpected reasoning?