6 actors who turned down good movies for roles that were less successful

Although all of them have achieved great careers in Hollywood, they were not always correct in their decisions. Some regret it, others don’t, but all have gone through the same bad ordeal.


A leading role in a project without relevant figures or a secondary role in the film of a reputed director? Do I risk a story rarely seen or do I opt for a drama with a whiff of Oscar? Am I still accepting roles in the profile that best suits me or change of registration? The career of an actor or actress is full of dilemmas that can mark their future. It is not easy to decide which role will be next, since no one has a formula for success.

Hollywood history is full of examples of performers who have said no to a movie that has become an industry classic. Sometimes in favor of a somewhat mediocre production that promised more than it finally was. They tend to remain as anecdotes, but at the moment it must sting. As minimum.

After recalling how Brad Pitt said no to a supporting role in Life imprisonment to become the Louise of Interview with the vampire, here we review other examples of similar cases. Did you know that Will Smith was going to be Neo in Matrix? And that now we could meet Emily Blunt as Marvel’s Black Widow?

Christina Applegate rejected ‘A Very Legal Blonde’ and chained a streak of ‘forgettable’ movies


Is not that A very legal blonde is one of the best films of all time, but the reality is that the film was the subject of great success in the year of its premiere, 2001, and also of recognition, since it was even nominated for Best Film by the Golden Globes. It also grossed nearly $ 150 million – nearly 10 times its budget – spawned two sequels and a musical and became one of actress Reese Witherspoon’s best-known roles.

However, although it is now unthinkable that someone other than Witherspoon would play Elle Woods, the one chosen for the role could have been another candidate, who, after evaluating the script, skipped the topic: Christina Applegate, then quite famous for her role as eldest daughter in the well-known series Marriage with children.

Although for years the rumor has been that Applegate had rejected the main role in a successful film, the actress explained in 2020 that hers was not a ‘no’ on a firm proposal, but rather the script simply came to him and he was not interested because it was very similar to what he had done in the ‘sitcom’. What is certain is that, after going from A very legal blonde, He chained a whole streak of quite weak films from which he has never been completely unmarked with another great project.

Will Smith didn’t understand the Matrix and instead opted for ‘Wild Wild West’


Matrix turned Keanu Reeves into Neo for the rest of his life. The actor has starred in other movies and sagas since then – special mention to John Wick– but will always be remembered for the sci-fi adventure of the Wachowski sisters. Reeves was already known when he came to the role, but it served to definitively catapult him to fame. What if we told you that the one who had been chosen to lead the cast was Will Smith?

In a YouTube video titled ‘Why I Turned Down The Matrix’, Smith recounts how he was the first choice for the production, but He decided to say no because he was not very convinced of the meeting in which the film was presented to him. He did not understand very well what the Wachowskis wanted to do, so he left the project.

Instead he did Wild Wild West, whose success and good reception cannot be compared with the classic ‘sci-fi’. Smith acknowledges that he is not proud of his decision and it is easy to imagine why. Despite this slip-up, his acting career hasn’t been bad at all.

Tom Cruise missed out on starring in ‘Footlose’ for ‘The Key to Success’


Tom Cruise still wasn’t a big Hollywood star when he got the chance to star Footlose, the famous and rhythmic movie starring Kevin Bacon in 1984. But he was famous and had already shown that he had a promising career ahead of him, after roles in hit films such as Endless Love O Risky Business.

However, when he was offered the role of Ren McCormack, one of the roles that would launch Bacon to stardom, Cruise had already committed to another film: The key to success. As a result of the scheduling conflicts between the two productions, Tom Cruise had to decline the leading role in Footlose, which would end up becoming a great phenomenon.

However, while the music tape swept, The Key to Success was not unanimously received, but the reactions were quite mixed. Tom Cruise would end up being the star he was destined to be, but that certainly wasn’t the best decision of his career.

Emma Watson couldn’t make ‘La La Land’ due to scheduling conflicts with ‘Beauty and the Beast’


Emma Watson and Emma Stone have surely competed for the same role on more than one occasion. Not only do they share a name, they are also of the same generation, with a similar physique and two of the most valued and popular young women in the Hollywood industry, so they often fit into the same roles. This is what happened when the team La La Land he was building his cast. They wanted Watson to play the protagonist, but she decided to withdraw due to schedule incompatibilities.

As the actress herself stated, the casting process for the film was very long. At first, she was involved with the production, but time passed and she signed on for the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast -which is not bad-. When they told her that filming was going to begin on the Damien Chazelle film, she was no longer available.

He had learned to ride a horse, to dance, he had gone through three months of singing rehearsals … Everything was ready for her to become Bella and she just couldn’t put aside all the work she had done.. Emma Stone ended up accepting the role and winning an Oscar for it. Interestingly, some time later, Watson would take over the role of Meg March in Little women, which was meant for Stone. Hollywood is a handkerchief.

Emily Blunt said no to Black Widow because she was tied to ‘Gulliver’s Travels’


We love Emily Blunt. And for a long time, too. We fell in love with her in The Devil Wears Prada in 2006 and then we did it again several more times, with roles like The return of Mary Poppins, A peaceful place or, more recently, Jungle Cruise, among other. However, although the British actress is one of those charismatic actresses that you would accompany to the end of the world, her career could have developed in a very different way if she had agreed to be Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

It is also true that now it is impossible to think of another Natasha Romanoff than Scarlett Johansson, but in her day the role was offered to Blunt, who he had to reject it due to scheduling conflicts with another film he had committed to: Gulliver’s Travels, a film that not only did not change his life, but also went largely unnoticed.

And at the professional decision level it is a category hit, because, after the debut of Black Widow in Iron Man 2, Johansson played the character in seven films plus the MCU and later his own solo, Black widow, in theaters and on Disney +.

Leonardo DiCaprio turned down ‘American Psycho’ to star in ‘The Beach’


The choice of the leading actor of American Psycho it is, in itself, quite an adventure. Director Mary Harron originally wanted Christian Bale to lead the cast, but the studio disagreed. Years of struggles, negotiations, proposals and dismissals went by – with their subsequent reinstatements – so that in the end Bale would star in the film, as had been said from the beginning. In between, Leonardo DiCaprio was very close to achieving it, but said no in favor of The beach, by Danny Boyle.

The chaotic struggle to be the protagonist of ‘American Psycho’: Leonardo DiCaprio vs. Christian bale

When American Psycho was on the march, DiCaprio triumphed with Titanic and Romeo and Juliet and Bale was simply the boy of The Sun’s empire. Lionsgate wanted someone they knew and they even offered DiCaprio $ 20 million to take the role. This one said yes, but shortly after the director who was in charge at the time –Oliver Stone– left the project and the fashion actor left with him. The film returned to the starting box, again with Mary Herron as director and Christian Bale as the protagonist. And what happened? That it was a success that we still remember today. The beach is not, of course, DiCaprio’s best film, but after that feature film he has managed to build one of the best Hollywood filmographies.

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