I’ve Made a Huge Mistake: 16 Actors Who Turned Down Roles That Ended Up Being Huge

9. Henry Winkler

Henry Winkler British Academy Children's Awards November 24 2013 London England UK

(Photo: Lia Toby/WENN)

The Role: Danny Zuko in Grease

Who Took It: John Travolta

D’aww Henry! Maybe if you had tossed your fears of being typecast as a permanent Fonz and taken this role, we wouldn’t keep forgetting your name!

10. Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon March of Dimes Celebration of Babies Beverly Hills California December 6 2013

(Photo: FayesVision/WENN)

The Role: Sidney Prescott in Scream

Who Took It: Neve Campbell

Reese didn’t care for this script, which is a shame because this movie was legendary. Like, a little dumb, but still legendary.

11. Michelle Pfeiffer 

Michelle Pfeiffer The Family Premiere Berlin Germany October 15 2013

(Photo: Patrick Hoffman/WENN)

The Role: Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs

Who Took It: Jodie Foster

Ohhh boy, I’ll bet Michelle deeply regrets passing on this movie that gave my father eternal quoting material. If she didn’t choose it for any other reason, that should have been the one. But, alas, she didn’t care. Sorry Dad!

12. Chevy Chase

Chevy Chase 12 Annual Michael Jordan Invitational Gala Las Vegas Nevada April 5 2013

(Photo: DJDM/WENN)

The Role: Lester Burnham in American Beauty

Who Took It: Kevin Spacey

It must suck to have Kevin Spacey swing right in and so flawlessly act out the role you just turned down. But Chevy Chase knows exactly how hot that burn feels, because that’s what happened with American Beauty. 

13. Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar TrevorLive Los Angeles California December 8 2013

(Photo: WENN)

The Role: Cher Horowitz in Clueless

Who Took It: Alicia Silverstone

Alright, let’s just get this out of our system now. SMG as Cher H? As if! But, while I’m pretty glad that she let this one go and let the much-better-fit Alicia take it over, she shouldn’t be. After all, she totally missed the opportunity to have a virtual closet.

14. Emily Blunt

Emily Blunt Harper's Bazaar Women of the Year October 31 2012 London England UK

(Photo: WENN)

The Role: Black Widow in Iron Man 2

Who Took It: Scarlett Johansson

I think that one hard and fast rule that actors can depend on to be true is that you shouldn’t turn down a big role in an even larger movie franchise. You can do all of your artistic mumbo jumbo, too, but the role of the Black Widow only comes around once before ScarJo comes and swoops in.

15. Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts August Osage County Premiere December 17 2013 Los Angeles California

 (Photo: Apega/WENN)

The Role: Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side

Who Took It: Sandra Bullock

Sandra actually went on to win an Oscar and Julia’s choice starred Ashton Kutcher, sooo… that’s all I’m going to say about that.

16. Leonardo DiCaprio 

Leonardo DiCaprio US Premiere of Wolf of Wall Street December 18 2013 Manhattan NY

(Photo: Ivan Nikolov/WENN)

The Role: Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights

Who Took It: Mark Wahlberg

Leo’s actually expressed regret over passing on this role because he ended up enjoying the movie. But sorry, Leo, the ancient proverb very clearly states that when you snooze, you lose.

You can reach this post's author, Olivia Wilson, on twitter.
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    • Lindsey Sweet

      Emily Browning would have been much better as Bella I think!

      • Olivia Wilson

        Yeah, there might’ve been at least a little emotion in the Twilight movies instead of the blank stares that it ended up being full of.

    • Guest

      How can you call Mark Wahlberg close-minded for being uncomfortable? There were several homosexual scenes and kissing…. Would you say a women was being close-minded for not wanting to do sex scenes?

      • Olivia Wilson

        I would, if the woman said that what caused her to feel “weirded out” by the scenes was the fact that they dealt with homosexuality. I don’t think it was the fact that there were sex scenes, since I’m pretty sure he’s done those. So that choice of words to refer to gay sex scenes seems closed-minded to me.

    • Demona

      Sandra and Leonardo can afford to turn down these things but some of the rest of these “once kinda decent” actors/actresses really should have reconsidered

      • Olivia Wilson

        I agree and I’m willing to bet they do too!

    • Stacey Judith

      OMG! That picture of John Travolta is sooo creepy.

      • Olivia Wilson

        Aren’t they all?

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