The Roles Eight Major Actors Got Dissed On

It’s hard to believe that some of the most well known and respected actors in Hollywood today struggled just like any other actor before they became famous.  And even after their fame, on occasion they lost out to other actors on roles they wanted to play.

I guess like many other professions, “it’s part of the business.”  It’s just hard to believe that guys of this character got turned down for anything.

However, here are the roles that eight major actors got dissed on….

For a complete list of many more actors you can check out Listal’s List.

Al Pacino


Pacino auditioned for a role in Brother Sun, Sister Moon but was rejected by the director (Franco Zeffirelli), who disliked his acting style.  He also lost out on the lead role in Slapshot because he thought director George Roy Hill was being “facetious” when he asked if he could ice skate.

Robert De Niro


He was actually turned down in the original Godfather.  He read parts for both Sonny and Michael but we all know he was cast in the sequel as Vito.  Rumor also has it the De Niro was going to be in The Shining but Kubrick turned him down after seeing Taxi Driver.

Leonardo DiCaprio


I find this very hard to believe.  He screen tested for the part of Robin in Batman Forever.  That might be the best turn down he’s ever gotten.

Brad Pitt


I also find this very hard to believe.  Apparently Pitt wanted to play Willy Wonka and was turned down?  Thank God he wasn’t in that atrocious piece of crap remake.    Pitt also auditioned for a part in Heathers but lost out to Christian Slater because he was too “sweet” looking.

Johnny Depp


According to an interview with Francis Ford Coppola, Johnny Depp was his first choice for the lead in The Rainmaker but was refused by the studio as he wasn’t a big enough name at the time.  Dude made over $100 million last year.  I guess he’s big enough now.

Christian Bale


He, along with Leonardo DiCaprio was turned down the role of Robin in Batman Forever.  Interesting that now he’s kicking ass as the Dark Knight.  Bale was also refused the role of Will Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean.  Bale also auditioned for Titanic but to no avail.

Edward Norton


I find this funny.  He auditioned for the lead role in Hackers but was turned down.  How is this possible?

Matt Damon


Turns out that Matt Damon auditioned for Ed Norton’s part of Aaron Stampler in Primal Fear and lost out.   Everything else he hasn’t been in?  He’s pretty much turned studios down.


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  1. Steve May 19, 2011
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