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The Role: Gandalf
Citing that he “didn’t get fantasy,” Sean Connery passed up on playing Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord Of The Rings. The role that was eventually given to Ian McKellen earned the actor an award (Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture) and an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
The Role: Carrie Bradshaw
Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, is one of the most popular female TV and movie characters of all time, at least in the “chick flick” genre. The role was originally offered to Dana Delany. She later claimed not to regret her decision to turn it down.
The Role: Vivian Ward
Molly Ringwald was one of the most sought-after actresses in Hollywood in the 80’s, thanks to the movies she started in like Pretty In Pink and The Breakfast Club. However, the actress has been plagued with obscurity ever since the 90’s. Her fate might have turned out differently had she accepted the role of Vivian Ward in Pretty Woman. The movie was a massive commercial success, earning over $463 million at the box office. Julia Roberts, who eventually played the character, received an Oscar nomination for the role and became regarded as one of the biggest movie stars in the world.
The Role: Neo
Will Smith was initially offered the role of Neo in The Matrix. He turned it down on account of the concept being too complicated, and he didn’t see the film performing well at the box office. Well, we all know how the movie fared.
The Role: Danny Zunko
Henry Winkler was approached to play Danny Zunko in the musical film Grease. When he turned it down, John Travolta took on the role. Grease earned $694 million at the box office. The American Film Institute listed Grease at #97 in its 100 Years…100 Passions, which lists the 100 greatest love stories in American cinema.