IMDb Polls

Poll: My Name Was Not "Neo": Actors That Missed These Roles!

According to a recent Buzz-Feed article on May 21st, 2021, these actors flatly turned down being these famous characters. And have admitted their regret. Who do you think is your number one pick that may have been better overall in the role, rather than the actor that eventually got the part?

After voting, please discuss here.

Make Your Choice

  1. Vote!

    Kathleen Turner and Bob Hoskins in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

    Eddie Murphy as Eddie Valiant. Oh yeah! I can see that......

    He told Jimmy Fallon that he wasn't interested in doing a movie that combined live action with animation!!!!

  2. Vote!

    Keanu Reeves in The Matrix (1999)

    Will Smith as Neo/Mr Anderson.

    He told Fox Chicago, "I would say, ‘A*****e, why didn’t you do The Matrix?'"

    We wonder too! Fishburne and Smith? That would be amazing!

  3. Vote!

    Bill Murray in Groundhog Day (1993)

    Michael Keaton as Phil Connors.

    At the time, he didn't quite "get" the script. He told EW, "This guy sounds like the kind of wry, sardonic, glib young man I've played — and it ended up being so great."

  4. Vote!

    Jack Nicholson in Batman (1989)

    John Lithgow as the Joker.

    A direct quote from Lithgow as told to Vulture Magazine, "I was doing M. Butterfly on Broadway, and it was an exhausting show. It would have meant leaving that show and going right into a movie, and I said, ‘I just don’t think I can. How about that for stupid?"

  5. Vote!

    Sean Connery in Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

    Burt Reynolds as Bond!

    He turned down replacing Sean Connery as James Bond because he didn't think people would accept an American in the role, but he later told USA Today, "I could've done it, and I could've done it well."

  6. Vote!

    Jodie Foster in The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

    Michelle Pfeiffer as Clarice Starling

    She told the New Yorker that she turned down the role because "there was such evil in that film."

  7. Vote!

    Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Titanic (1997)

    Gwyneth Paltrow as Rose

    Commenting about declining Titanic, she told Howard Stern, "I look back at the choices I’ve made and think, ‘Why the hell didn't I say yes to that? .....But instead said no to that?"

  8. Vote!

    Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

    Kevin Costner as Andy Dufresne

    He couldn't accept the role because he was too busy filming Waterworld.

  9. Vote!

    George Clooney in Michael Clayton (2007)

    Denzel Washington as Michael Clayton.

    Washington said he was wrong to be nervous about working with first-time director Tony Gilroy. He told GQ that the script was "the best material I had read in a long time."

  10. Vote!

    Viggo Mortensen in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

    Nicolas Cage as Aragorn

    He told Newsweek, "There were different things going on in my life at the time that precluded me from being able to travel and be away from home for three years."

  11. Vote!

    Harrison Ford in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

    Al Pacino as Han Solo

    He told MTV, "I remember not understanding it when I read it," and jokingly referred to his decision to turn down the role in Star Wars as “another missed opportunity.”

  12. Vote!

    Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

    Marilyn Monroe as Holly Golightly

    In the film, it is alluded to that the character is a “call girl," and Marilyn was advised that playing Holly would tarnish her image.

  13. Vote!

    Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze in Ghost (1990)

    Bruce Willis as Sam Wheat

    Bruce Willis called himself a "knucklehead" for turning down the role as told to the New York Times, "I just didn’t get it. I said, ‘Hey, the guy’s dead. How are you gonna have a romance?’ "Famous last words.”

  14. Vote!

    Sandra Bullock in Speed (1994)

    Halle Berry as Annie Porter

    Berry admitted she "stupidly said no" to the role of Annie Porter in Speed, and told People, "But in my defense, when I read the script, the bus didn’t leave the parking lot. I was like no, no, no, no. Then I see the movie and I’m like, ‘Arrrrghh.’”

  15. Vote!

    Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights (1997)

    Leonardo DiCaprio as Eddie Adams/Dirk Diggler

    He accepted the part of Jack Dawson in Titanic instead. He told GQ, "I think they're both great and wish I could have done them both."

  16. Vote!

    Christian Bale in Batman Begins (2005)

    Josh Hartnett as Bruce Wayne/Batman

    He told the Guardian, "I decided it wasn’t for me. Then director Christopher Nolan didn’t want to put me in 'The Prestige' later on. They not only hired their Batman [Christian Bale] for it, they also hired my girlfriend [Scarlett Johansson] at the time.”

  17. Vote!

    Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde (2001)

    Christina Applegate as Elle Woods

    She told ET Online that she "got scared" of being typecast as a "dumb blonde" after playing Kelly Bundy on Married...with Children.

  18. Vote!

    John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in Grease (1978)

    Henry Winkler ("The Fonz" of Happy Days on TV) as Danny Zuko

    He told Digital Spy, “I decided I didn’t want to be typecast [since he was already playing the Fonz]. But what I didn’t realize was that I already was and would be forever typecast.”

  19. Vote!

    None of the Above (2015)

    Everybody was perfect. The actors that missed the roles were blessed with making the right choice!!

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