Despite Their Best Efforts, These Actors Lost Out On Some Iconic Roles

The old saying “If you don’t succeed, try, try again” has never been more true than in the world of Hollywood and the entertainment industry. Actors have to fight tooth and nail for parts they want, sometimes going above and beyond to gain the attention of the director… only to be turned down in the end.

Actresses such as Sean Young went so far as to show up on the Warner Bros. lot in a full-on Catwoman costume, only to be turned away. And Eddie Redmayne couldn’t bring anything new to the table when he tried to join the Star Wars franchise. Of course, these two aren’t alone!

Noooo One Sings Like Gaston (At Least Idris Elba Doesn’t)

Nooo Oonnneee Sings Like Gaston (At Least Idris Elba Doesn't)
Jeff Spicer/Getty Images
Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Before Luke Evans was cast as the villainous Gaston, actor Idris Elba decided to do something a bit drastic for the part. According to an interview with People, Elba actually called the director, told him he “wanted in,” and sang into the phone!

Elba said, “I honestly love musicals. I auditioned for Beauty and the Beast. I really did, for Gaston. I called and said, ‘Listen, I want in!’ So somewhere they have a tape of me singing.” If that’s not a commitment to a character, then we don’t know what is!

Tiffani Thiessen Was Too Young To Be A Friend

Tiffani Thiessen Was Too Young To Be A Friend
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Jennifer Aniston playing Rachel Green in the hit sitcom Friends. However, Saved by the Bell graduate Tiffani Thiessen almost landed herself the role. Thiessen went so far in the casting process that she even read lines with the rest of the “friends.”

Just coming off six years of a high school sitcom, Thiessen tried every trick in an attempt to land the role, but to no avail. During an interview, the access recalled why she didn’t land the part of Rachel, saying, “I was a little too young to the pairing of the rest of them.” Well, she certainly had the ’90s “Rachel hair!”

Mindy Kaling Practiced A Lot For A Role In Bridesmaids

US actress Mindy Kaling arrives for Apples
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Due to her very niche acting style, Mindy Kaling rarely gets called upon for auditions. But there was one role that she worked hard to land, Lillian in the comedy Bridesmaids. According to the actress, she really wanted to win the role, which eventually went to Maya Rudolph.

During an interview with Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live Sunday, she said, “I practiced it so much and was so into it, and I loved that whole cast. That was one that was a heartbreaker.” Can you imagine Kaling yelling at Kristen Wiig that she’s not allowed to have a puppy? It could have worked out!

Robert Pattinson Pretended He Wasn’t From England

Robert Pattinson speaks at The Film Society of Lincoln Center
Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images
Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

After he was the sparkling vampire Edward in Twilight, Robert Pattinson decided to go another, more action-based route. According to Pattinson, he was very interested in playing Shia LaBeouf’s sidekick in the second Transformers film. The only issue was that he took a very strange approach to his audition, almost losing his agent in the process!

During an interview, Pattinson said, “I was saying I was from somewhere in America because I always kept thinking that if you say you’re [from England], then they judge your accent. They knew I was [from England], and they’re like, ‘What is this guy on?'” After Twilight, everyone knew where you were from, Rob!

Bradley Cooper Went Full-On Batman For Green Lantern

Bradley Cooper speaks onstage during The National Board of Review Annual Awards Gala
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for National Board of Review
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for National Board of Review

Before Ryan Reynolds was regretting getting the role of Hal Jordan in Green Lantern, Bradley Cooper was trying his hardest to land the character. Unfortunately, he went a little too superhero with his audition, channeling a full-on deep Christian-Bale-as-Batman accent that didn’t exactly fit.

During an interview with Conan O’Brien, Cooper said, “I put a mask on, and the director was like, ‘Okay Bradley, be regular and talk.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, got it… [in a deep, gravelly Batman voice] listen, Sally, we’re going to have to take your family away if you don’t listen to me!'” Apparently, the reel looked more like an SNL sketch.

Ron Perlman Tried To Brag His Way Into The Deadpool 2 Cast

Ron Perlman Tried To Brag His Way Into The Deadpool 2 Cast
Rich Polk/Getty Images for Politicon
Rich Polk/Getty Images for Politicon

During casting for the highly-anticipated Deadpool 2 film, there was a fan favorite to play Cable, Ron Perlman. Fans were actually lobbying pretty hard for Perlman’s involvement in the film, and the actor was all for it, pretty keen on the role that he looked like so much.

Because of the actor and comic book character’s uncanny resemblance to one another, Perlman even boasted on Twitter that Cable should want to play him! His Tweet said, Actually, now that I think about it, #Cable should be wanting to play ME!” Alas, the bragging did not land him the part.

Tommy Wiseau Sent In A Tape For The Joker

Tommy Wiseau Sent In A Tape For The Joker
Lester Cohen/Getty Images for American Airlines
Lester Cohen/Getty Images for American Airlines

Before Tommy Wiseau found unintentional fame with his dark and bizarre film The Room, he auditioned for the role that landed Heath Ledger an Oscar, The Joker in The Dark Knight. And while Wiseau’s audition wasn’t as crazy as some of the others on this list, (he sent in a tape), a short film that he appeared in was a different story entirely.

Wiseau agreed to be part of a short film made by The Nerdist. Alongside The Room co-star Greg Sestero, the two recreated the famous interrogation scene between Ledger’s Joker and Christian Bale’s Batman. Let’s just say that the four-minute clip explains why he didn’t get the part.

Jake Gyllenhaal Was A Low-Budget Spider-Man 3 Replacement

Jake Gyllenhaal Was A Low-Budget Spider-Man 3 Replacement
Arun Nevader/WireImage
Arun Nevader/WireImage

When negotiations for Spider-Man 3 were happening, there was serious talk about replacing the main guy himself, Toby Maguire. According to one of his representatives, he was demanding more money due to injuries he sustained during the first two films. There was serious doubt that he was going to return.

Little did Maguire know, but the studio had already lined up his replacement for a lower price than he was asking, a fairly unknown actor by the name of Jake Gyllenhaal. The actor was more than willing to take the price cut for the opportunity! Obviously, agreements were made, and we got to see emo-Spidey in all his glory.

Millie Bobby Brown Felt Like An Actor Trying To Act For Logan

 Millie Bobby Brown speaks onstage
Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Netflix
Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Netflix

Once upon a time, Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown auditioned for the role of Laura Kinney, aka X-23, in Logan, opposite Hugh Jackman. According to the actress, she fully immersed herself in the source material, learning everything she could about the part.

But when it came time to show director James Mangold what she was made of, Brown felt like an actor, and not in a good way. During an interview with Variety, she said, “I was like, ‘It’s going to be amazing; I’m going to really prepare.’ I felt [like] an actor, in the audition room, hitting Hugh Jackman, and James Mangold sitting right in front of me.”

Scarlett Johansson Dreamed A Dream To Play Fantine

Scarlett Johansson Dreamed A Dream To Play Fantine
Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Considering Anne Hathaway won an Oscar for her role as Fantine in Les Mis, it’s hard to imagine Black Widow taking on the role and the song “I Dream a Dream.” Alas, Scarlett Johansson went all-out, wanting to land the character in a bad way. Unfortunately, she got sick.

During an interview with Broadway.com, Johansson said, “I sang my little heart out and ultimately got a serious bout of laryngitis. Looking at the film now, there’s no possible way I ever could have topped that performance.” That’s what we like to see, women supporting women and the amazing feats they accomplish during their careers!

Ephraim Benton Started A Social Media Campaign

Ephraim Benton Started A Social Media Campaign
Marc Stamas/Getty Images
Marc Stamas/Getty Images

Actor Ephraim Benton went through extraordinary lengths to land the role of Easy E in the N.W.A. biopic Straight Out of Compton. When director F. Gary Gray announced an open casting call for the lead roles, Benton decided to do something else entirely.

According to Indiewire, he called news outlets, saying he was starting multiple social media campaigns to help him land the role of Eazy E. Benton said, “I thought I would better my chances if those responsible for the movie saw the effort, passion, and sincerity I put forth as an actor.” Obviously, it didn’t exactly work out as he planned.

Josh Hutcherson Made Quite The Spidey Audition Tape

Actor Josh Hutcherson attends H&M Loves Coachella Tent
Rich Fury/Getty Images for H&M
Rich Fury/Getty Images for H&M

Once it was announced that Toby Maguire was stepping down from his role of Spiderman, none other than a pre-Hunger Games Josh Hutcherson stepped in, auditioning for the famous character. He was a serious player for the role, sending in a tape that had him performing some very Spidey-type action moves.

It was designed to turn heads at Sony but, instead, it turned the heads of many Youtube users. Hutcherson didn’t get the role he was looking for, but his demo reel sure went viral! Even after Andrew Garfield departed from the role, Hutcherson threw his hat back in the ring. He was denied again.

Sean Young Turned Up In A Catwoman Costume

Sean Young Turned Up In A Catwoman Costume
Orion Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images
Orion Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

Actress Sean Young was actually cast as Vicki Vale in Tim Burton’s 1989 film Batman. Unfortunately, she broke her arm during filming and was replaced by Kim Basinger. Being replaced didn’t stop Young, though, and she lobbied to be Catwoman in Tim Burton’s next Batman film, Batman Returns.

She even went so far as to show up on the Warner Bros. set dressed as Catwoman, hoping to prove her worth to Burton. According to Young, her plan didn’t go as expected. During an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, she said, “He wasn’t there. I guess he was hiding in the bathroom. Who knows?” The role ultimately went to Michelle Pfeiffer.

Chris Klein Name-Dropped And Sang Off-Key For A Musical

Chris Klein
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

American Pie alum Chris Klein did one too many things wrong for his Mama Mia audition. Going for the role of Sky Rymand, Klein was, at first, a very serious contender, until he walked into the audition room. There, he took the auditioning handbook and threw it out the window.

As all good things do, his audion tape eventually leaked on Youtube, becoming viral gold. It showed a very nervous-looking Klein attempting to win over the director. He name-drops working with Mandy Moore, for reasons unknown, and then starts horribly singing! During an interview with EOnline, he said, “I can’t sing! I don’t know why I was in there.”

Riz Ahmed Got In The Slumdog Millionaire Director’s Face

Riz Ahmed Got In The Slumdog Millionaire Director's Face
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

For actor Riz Ahmed, we’re not sure if he ever learned the phrase “less is more.” Please, let us explain. For his Slumdog Millionaire audition, Ahmed was keen on landing the role of Jamal Malik. Unfortunately, he didn’t get it, but director Danny Boyle asked him to read for the tough older brother, Salim.

That’s where things get messy. During an interview with Variety, Ahmed said, “He goes, ‘action!,’ and before you know it, I’ve got Danny Boyle up against the wall, I’m, like, screaming in his face, spitting in his face, and I’ve ripped his shirt.” See, less is more, in this case! He didn’t get that part either.

January Jones Couldn’t Get Down Like A True Coyote

January
Jerod Harris/Getty Images
Jerod Harris/Getty Images

In her second-ever audition, January Jones tried for the “classic” film Coyote Ugly. And while she was supposed to be this super cool and confident woman, Jones’ audition was more on the lines of ugly. She’s even called the audition “one of the worst moments in my entire life,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

It all had to do with her dancing. During the interview, Jones said, “Jerry Bruckheimer wanted me to come in and dance on top of the table. They said, ‘You’re going to pole dance, but there is no pole.’ And I just turned beet red.” At least she went for it!

Robin Williams Would’ve Played Anyone To Be In A Batman Flick

Robin Williams Would've Played Anyone To Be In A Batman Flick
Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Three times, comedian Robin Williams was turned down for a role in a Batman movie. First, The Joker in Batman, then the Riddler in Batman Returns, a role he had until Tim Burton was replaced by Joel Schumacher, and, lastly, the Joker in The Dark Knight.

Williams was dead set on being part of the Batman franchise, so he went so far as to call up Christopher Nolan, saying he’d be willing to play pretty much anyone in his final film. Williams left a voicemail, saying, “Chris, call me, I’ll do anything. I could be a great character — or some weird little man in the background in Arkham Asylum.”

Nicole Scherzinger Worked Out Every Day For Baywatch

Nicole Scherzinger Worked Out Everyday For Baywatch
FOX Image Collection via Getty Images
FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

Pussycat Dolls frontwoman Nicole Scherzinger went through great lengths to ensure a spot in the Baywatch cast alongside Zac Efron and The Rock. But instead of cramming as much source material into her head, Scherzinger went with a different approach to the role: working out.

During an interview with Glamour, she said, “I started this year working out every day, motivated to get … in shape because I was determined I was gonna be the new Baywatch girl. I was devastated [when I didn’t get the part]. What is my year, what is my life, if I’m not in Baywatch?!”

Tom Hiddleston Was Convinced The Director Would Give Him The Part Of Thor

Hiddleston
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Having just moved to Hollywood, Tom Hiddleston was a bit desperate to find work. So, when it came out that director Kenneth Branagh was looking for the title character for Thor, Hiddleston thought he was a shoo-in. Hiddleston had worked with Branagh before and thought he could convince the director to give him the role.

During an interview with The Huffington Post, Hiddleston said, “I thought, ‘At least there’s someone in Hollywood who I don’t have to prove something to because he knows I can act.’ It was just a matter of trying to prove it to the studio, so I had to audition.” He landed the role of Loki instead.

Adrien Brody Actively Pursued The Role Of Nolan’s Joker

Brody
GEORG HOCHMUTH/AFP via Getty Images
GEORG HOCHMUTH/AFP via Getty Images

Academy Award-winning actor Adrien Brody was very keen on winning over Christopher Nolan and land the role of the Joker in The Dark Knight. Honestly, it seems like a bit of a trend with a few of the actors on this list. Anyway, Brody obviously lost out on the role to Heath Ledger. But that didn’t stop him from trying to persuade the director.

Reports claim that Brody met with Nolan in an attempt to win him over and land the role of the Joker. And, considering what Brody does for other parts, we imagine he went all-out for this “meeting.”