Contrary to popular opinion, it is not all glitz and glamour in Hollywood.
A huge part of the success by actors and actresses is hard work, which includes picking just the right projects and the best roles that suit them. There are movie roles so iconic and they basically made the careers of Hollywood personalities who have otherwise faded in the background. Below are seven famous roles that almost went to other actors, and how each one eventually defined the acting career of those who landed them.
1. Bella Swan
This role defined the very young but flourishing career of Kristen Stewart. Not a lot of people know that Jennifer Lawrence (Silverlinings Playbook, Hunger Games, X-Men) also auditioned for the role of Swan, but did not get the part. In a few interviews, Lawrence admits she was relieved not to have landed the role as she does not envy the kind of media attention Kristen Stewart received for her role in the Twilight series.
2. Peter Parker/Spiderman
Tobey Maguire would not have made it big in Hollywood, if Freddie Prinze Jr snatched the role of Peter Parker in the Spiderman movies. However, Prinze Jr himself said in an interview with Howard Stern, that Director Sam Raimi preferred Maguire as Peter Parker, so the latter landed the acting gig instead. Tobey has been well received as Peter Parker, and fans as well as movie critics now give him due credit for making the character his own on the big screen.
3. Bruce Wayne/Batman
Ever thought of Batman without thinking of Christian Bale? The wildly talented, albeit temperamental actor did have stiff competition when he auditioned for the role of Bruce Wayne in the Batman movie series. David Boreanaz (Angel, Bones) was also up for the role, but lost to the British actor. Other famous actors also auditioned for the role, including Joshua Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Billy Crudup, and Henry Cavill.
4. Hannibal Lecter
Sir Anthony Hopkins is a Hollywood icon, and it is largely due to his role as the quintessential villain Dr. Hannibal Lecter. The Welsh actor, however, almost lost this plum gig to English actor Jeremy Irons (The Lion King, Borgias). Hopkins went on to win an Oscar for his role as Lecter in the movie Silence of the Lambs despite having appeared on camera for only about 16 minutes.
5. Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs
Jodie Foster, who won the Best Actress award for the movie Silence of the Lambs almost lost out to Michelle Pfeiffer for the role of Clarice M. Starling. Director Jonathan Demme was reportedly not convinced that Foster would be able to handle such challenging role. In fact, 300 other actresses were considered for the role, but Jodie eventually got the part and made it her own. Pfeiffer told reporters at the time that she turned down the role due to the violent nature of the movie.
Despite having “owned” the role of Starling, however, Jodie Foster chose not to reprise her part in the movie Hannibal.
6. Jack Sparrow
Jim Carey and flamboyance are almost synonymous, but this fact did not stop Johnny Depp from snatching the role from the veteran comedian and actor. In the first installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series, Jim Carey was seriously considered for the role before the producers eventually offered the job to Depp. In hindsight, it was a brilliant move, considering the commercial success of the entire movie franchise.
When asked about losing the role of Sparrow to Johnny Depp, the comedian candidly says that he does not regret it too much. After all, Hollywood keeps him busy as an actor, director, and even producer.
7. Ren McCormack (Footloose)
The priceless image of Kevin Bacon in skinny acid wash jeans almost did not grace the big screen.Tom Cruise was originally considered for the role. Playing Ren McCormack in the iconic Footloose movie opened a lot of doors for Kevin Bacon in Hollywood. Some would say that it is his definitive role, and that he would not have landed other great projects if it wasn’t for his role in the Footloose movie.