25 Actors Who Passed Up On Iconic Roles

The history of film is cluttered with stories about stars who were an inch away from playing roles that got embedded into the hearts and minds of movie audiences.
When actors look back into some of their career mishaps, the ones they’ll probably notice the most are the glaring errors they made in passing up on important roles. Are you curious to see which memorable characters were almost played by different actors? Check out these 25 Actors Who Passed Up On Iconic Roles.

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Michelle Pfeiffer


The Role: Clarice Sterling

Michelle Pfeiffer was offered the role of Clarice Sterling in Jonathan Demme’s adaptation of The Silence Of The Lambs. She turned it down because she found the movie to be too violent and disturbing. Jodi Foster won the role, and it gave her a second Academy Award for Best Actress.


Al Pacino

al pacino

The Role: Han Solo

Al Pacino was offered the role of Han Solo in Star Wars. He said he wasn’t interested in playing the role. Harrison Ford took over, and the movie franchise went on to become one of the most successful film series in history, establishing Ford’s superstar status.


Kim Basinger

kim basinger

The Role: Catherine Tramell

Kim Basinger passed up on playing Catherine Tramell in Paul Verhoeven’s thriller Basic Instinct. The role was subsequently handed to Sharon Stone. The film became one of the highest grossing films of 1992, earning $352 million at box office. The role is highly regarded as the one responsible for giving Sharon Stone her much needed break.


Jeremy Irons


The Role: Hannibal Lecter

Jeremy Irons was initially appraoched to play Hannibal Lecter in Jonathan Demme’s adaptation of The Silence Of The Lambs. Just like Michelle Pfeiffer when approached to play clarice Sterling, Irons cited the film’s violent content as his reason for turning down the role. Anthony Hopkins took over the role, and it became one of the most defining moments of the actor’s career.


Tom Selleck


The Role: Indiana Jones

Tom Selleck didn’t exactly turn down the role. He was very interested in playing the role. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas both picked Selleck for the role, but a deal couldn’t be reached with Universal Studios, whom Selleck was set to do another film with. As we all know, the role eventually went to Harrison Ford (whom George Lucas was initially reluctant to cast).

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