Actors and Actresses Who Rejected Legendary Roles That Would Have Changed Their Careers

There are some characters that stay with us long after the credits have rolled. Although writers and producers create these characters, it’s the actors that bring them to life. Over the course of history, there have been some roles that are so iconic that the actor really does become the character, so much so that they come to be known by the name of their character more than their actual one.

And then there are some actors who crazily turned down legendary roles that would have changed the course of their lives and careers. Of course, they didn’t know it at the time, but it’s too late to cry now!

Read on to find out who some of these actors are…

Dana Delany – Sex and the City/Desperate Housewives

If you haven’t watched it, you’ve at least heard about it. Dana Delany was show creator, Darren Star’s first choice to play Carrie Bradshaw. But she turned him down saying the show didn’t suit the direction she wanted to take her career in. What’s more, Delany then also turned down the role of Bree van de Kamp on “Desperate Housewives”.

John Travolta – Forrest Gump

The 1994 film Forrest Gump is another movie that literally everyone has watched, and Tom Hanks even went on to win an Oscar for his remarkable portrayal of the title character. But did you know that the studio sought out John Travolta to play the role of Forrest at first? He might have missed out on the role of his lifetime by turning it down, but we’re kind of glad he did!

Will Smith – The Matrix

To think that we could have had another Neo seems almost impossible to imagine, but we almost did because Will Smith was the first person to be offered the role. But needless to say, he turned down the role; and the rest, as they say, is history.

Jim Carrey – The Pirates of the Caribbean

The Pirates of the Caribbean is a wildly successful movie franchise, and the character of Jack Sparrow is nothing short of iconic. Although it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Johnny Depp playing the eccentric pirate, Jim Carrey was the one the Director initially solicited. But Carrey turned it down because he was already filming Bruce Almighty. Although Bruce Almighty was a pretty good movie, I think we can all agree that Pirates of the Caribbean was just a little more successful.

Gwyneth Paltrow – Titanic

Titanic is probably “THE” most iconic Hollywood movies of all time. Not only does it portray the terrible real life sinking of a ship, it tells a beautiful and tragic love story as well. Leonardo di Caprio and Kate Winslet were the perfect Jack and Rose, but Gwyneth Paltrow was the one who was offered the role of Rose at first.

Tom Selleck – Indiana Jones

We could have had another Indiana Jones if Tom Selleck hadn’t turned it down in favor of pursuing the TV show Magnum PI. Unfortunately for Selleck, he couldn’t get his career off the ground past a couple TV shows. But luckily, it turned out pretty well for Harrison Ford (and us)!

Matthew Broderick/John Cusack – Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad is one of the TV shows that defined the TV industry of the 21st century. Bryan Cranston ultimately turned out to be the perfect actor to play Walter White, the main character of teacher-turned-drug-dealer, but it was Matthew Broderick who was originally offered the role, followed by John Cusack. But, obviously, they both turned down this life-changing role.

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