Major Roles Rejected by Famous Actors

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In some Hollywood movies, the actor seamlessly embodies their character, making it impossible to envision anyone else taking on the role with such impactful delivery. However, casting can be a challenging and unpredictable process. There are instances where an actor simply isn’t the best fit, while other times the studio may strongly advocate for an actor who ultimately declines due to various factors, such as conflicting schedules or concerns about being typecast.

How many famous actors turned down or couldn’t take on career-defining roles? Could you imagine Leonardo DiCaprio playing American Psycho? Or how about Johnny Depp playing Ferris Bueller? Or even Michelle Pfeiffer facing Hannibal Lecter? In most cases, we’re glad these actors who turned down huge roles decided to say “no” because the finished movie ended up pretty close to perfection without them.

Mel Gibson – ‘Gladiator’

Mel Gibson - 'Gladiator'

Playing the unhinged Detective Riggs in Lethal Weapon, we should have seen the potential for a public meltdown that awaited us when Mel Gibson was ostracized from Hollywood after antisemitic and racist rants were made public. But before all that happened, Gibson was a top-billing Hollywood star, which is why we aren’t surprised he was offered the lead in Ridley Scott’s Oscar-winning drama Gladiator. Gibson was just in his early 40s at the time, but reportedly turned it down thinking he was too old for the battle sequences. The film won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor. Would Gibson have won?

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