These Successful Actors Didn't Get What They Bargained For
Hollywood is a competitive industry where actors are constantly vying for roles in films and TV shows. Sometimes, even the most successful ones don’t land the roles they initially audition for. Thankfully, the end result usually turns out great for both the actors and the audience. Here is a list of actors who got a different role than they auditioned for and why it worked out for them in the end.
10. Tom Hiddleston Auditioned for Thor
One of the most well-known examples of an actor getting a different role than they auditioned for is Tom Hiddleston. The British actor originally auditioned for the role of Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but was ultimately cast as Loki, Thor’s mischievous brother. In a 2010 interview with Collider, Hiddleston recalls his audition for the God of Thunder stating how he had half a day to prepare for the role by throwing on a blonde wig and facial hair. Though it’s pretty hard to imagine anyone else besides Chris Hemsworth wielding Mjölnir, the image of Hiddleston in a blonde wig and tank-top makes us wonder “What if?”
9. Chadwick Boseman as Drax the Destroyer
Speaking of actors in the MCU, another iconic actor who ended up landing a different superhero role than they auditioned for was the late Chadwick Boseman. Boseman originally auditioned for the role of Drax the Destroyer in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy before he made his iconic appearance as Prince T’Challa in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War and again in 2018’s Black Panther. Boseman has stated that when he auditioned for the role of Drax, he didn’t think he was going to get the part, as he didn’t understand what the tone and feeling for the film was at the time.
Dave Bautista eventually landed the role, which in retrospect was the better choice, given the character’s build and demeanor. Boseman thanked Marvel’s casting director, Sarah Finn, for seeing his potential and giving him the opportunity to play a more prominent role as T’Challa in the MCU.
8. Sonequa Martin-Green for the Role of Michonne
The Walking Dead is known to stray from the comics by adding original characters throughout the series. For instance, the character Daryl Dixon was created for actor Norman Reedus after he auditioned for the role of Darly’s brother Merle. But another noteworthy example of TWD utilizing talented actors is that of Sonequa Martin-Green who played Sasha Williams on the series. Originally up for the role of Michonne, the katana-wielding zombie killer, the role was eventually given to actress Danai Gurira. But Martin-Green’s audition left such a great impression on the show’s producers that they decided to create a character specifically to fit the actress’s talent.
So in TWD’s third season, Martin-Green was introduced as Sasha along with her brother Tyreese, a well-known character in the comics played by Chad Coleman. Sasha eventually outlasted her brother on the series but met her untimely fate in the show’s seventh season. It’s safe to say if Martin-Green had landed the role of Michonne, things would have probably turned out differently for the character.
7. Eddie Redmayne as Young Voldemort
Before he landed the lead as Newt Scamander in the ill-fated Fantastic Beasts series, Eddie Redmayne threw his hat in the ring for another Harry Potter character. Redmayne auditioned for the role of Tom Riddle, the teenage version of Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It’s not a far stretch to see Redmayne in the role. The actor does have the qualities to play a creepy villain, but according to Redmayne, the audition didn’t go well.
“I properly failed and didn’t get a call back,” Redmayne told Empire in 2016. “Over the years, I always hoped I might be cast as a member of the Weasley family, but unfortunately not.”
6. Cillian Murphy Could Have Been Batman
When Christoper Nolan was looking for a new actor to suit up as Batman for 2005’s Batman Begins, he had a list of actors considered for the role. Everyone from Ashton Kutcher to Josh Hartnett and even Henry Cavill were approached to be the next Dark Knight. Ultimately, the role was given to Christian Bale, and the rest is history. But Nolan originally considered Cillian Murphy for the role, so much that the actor even did a screen test in the costume. Nolan and the studio felt Bale was a better fit, and instead casted Murphy as the villain Scarecrow. The character would eventually be seen popping up throughout Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy.
5. Carice van Houten Passed on Cersei Lannister
Carice van Houten was originally asked to audition for the role of Cersei Lannister in HBO’s Game of Thrones but turned it down due to scheduling conflicts. The actress ended up joining the cast in the show’s second season as Melisandre, the Red Priestess, whose character became integral throughout the series. Though she expressed how great playing the Queen would have been, van Houten praised Lena Headey on being the better choice.
4. Amanda Seyfried as The Queen Bee (Regina George)
Amanda Seyfried initially went out for the role of Regina George in the 2004 hit comedy, Mean Girls, before she was offered the role of Karen. Seyfried had auditioned opposite Lindsay Lohan and Blake Lively – who at the time was the studio’s top choice for Karen. Director Mark Waters said that Seyfried’s audition was brilliant as she brought a more frightening take to the character. However, the studio decided to go with Rachel McAdams for the role and instead offered the role of Karen to Seyfried.
3. Sarah Michelle Gellar and Charisma Carpenter Switched Roles
For seven seasons, Sarah Michelle Gellar fought vampires, demons, and teenage angst in Joss Whedon’s cult hit, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Gellar defined the character and solidified herself in pop culture as a bonafide Scream Queen. However, the role of Buffy Summers was not Gellar’s first choice. Gellar had originally auditioned for the role of Cordelia Chase, the self-centered cheerleader who would later become a member of the “Scooby Gang.” Coincidentally, actress Charisma Carpenter who landed the role of Cordelia, was originally up for the role of Buffy. Whedon felt both actresses were a better fit for the other’s role, a decision that worked out perfectly.
2. Jon Favreau Turned Down the Role of Chandler Bing
It seems Jon Favreau was destined to play Monica Geller’s love interest at some point on Friends. The actor-turned-director had originally auditioned and landed the role of Chandler Bing on the hit series prior to its debut in 1994. However, Favreau turned down the role because he wanted to work on other projects at the time. He would eventually guest star on the series in a recurring role as Pete Becker, Monica’s rich boyfriend in the show’s third season.
1. Rainn Wilson Could Have Been Michael Scott
It’s pretty hard to imagine anyone else besides Steve Carell taking on the role of Michael Scott in NBC’s The Office. However, the beloved sitcom could have looked a lot different. When the creators started searching for their cast, the first person to audition for Dunder-Mifflin’s Regional Manager was none other than Rainn Wilson. Wilson was just one of several up-and-coming actors vying for the pivotal role. Other actors included Alan Tudyk, Bob Odenkirk, and Ben Falcone. Fortunately, NBC saw Wilson’s true potential as an assistant to the Regional Manager and offered him the role of Dwight instead — a decision fans have been happy with ever since.
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|Matt Keyser is a recent graduate of Cal State Fullerton University with a bachelor's in Communications-Journalism. He is a freelance entertainment reporter with a focus on film and television. As a former senior programming coordinator for the Newport Beach Film Festival, Matt's experience with critiquing narratives and documentaries has helped showcase his passion for television and cinema through his writing.|