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Actors Who Didn’t Have To Audition For Iconic Roles


Stars who’ve already made a name for themselves
in the entertainment business are blessed with plenty of perks one of which is the possibility
of skipping the dreaded audition process altogether. Uma Thurman — Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2 Throughout his lauded career as Hollywood’s
modern grindhouse auteur, Quentin Tarantino’s developed a reputation for reinvigorating
the careers of faded stars and for giving big breaks to up and comers. You can slot Uma Thurman’s name into the latter
category. Though she’d already made a name for herself
in Hollywood prior to appearing in Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, she undoubtedly shot to stardom
in the wake of that film’s surprising success. “Come on, man. Let’s go get a steak.” “You can get a steak here, daddy-o. Don’t be a…” The pair famously bonded while making Pulp
Fiction and reportedly spent some of their time on set kicking around ideas that would
inform Thurman’s best known role: the Bride in Tarantino’s Kill Bill films. Thurman herself even reportedly inspired and
personally conceived of the badass character. Nearly a decade after Pulp Fiction, we finally
got a glimpse at what the pair’s spitballing had spawned, and Kill Bill turned out to be
the kung fu/grindhouse bloodbath that even Tarantino’s most ardent fans didn’t know they
needed. “This is what you get from f——- around
with Yakuzas. Go home to your mother!” Adam Driver — Star Wars: The Force Awakens Adam Driver’s ascent to the A-list over the
past decade has been as surprising as it has been fascinating. The actors’ awkwardly rugged good looks certainly
set him apart from the pack, but it’s his fierce commitment to his craft that garnered
attention from some of the biggest directors in Hollywood. It was Driver’s work on Lena Dunham’s HBO
hit Girls that helped get the attention of J.J. Abrams, who was looking to cast a relative
unknown as the villain in his new movie. That movie was none other Star Wars: The Force
Awakens, and the role was the new trilogy’s central bad guy, Kylo Ren. Abrams decided
that Driver would be his Kylo, and he flew him out to Bad Robot headquarters and straight
up offered him the part. Wary of boarding such a big project, Driver
almost passed on the choice role. Luckily he took the part and became the dynamic,
complex villain the next generation of Stars Wars fans deserved. Alan Rickman — Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s
Stone By now, we’re all familiar with the rigorous
casting search that the producers of the Harry Potter film franchise underwent to find just
the right youngsters to portray the young wizards Harry, Hermione, and Ron. That search saw producers sorting through
thousands of young British faces and organizing dozens of auditions before settling on Daniel
Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint for the coveted roles. And even then, those faces had to be approved
by author J.K. Rowling herself. Overall, Rowling had plenty of sway over who
appeared in the adaptations of her bestselling book series. When it came down to casting the pivotal role
of Severus Snape, Rowling insisted that the great Alan Rickman was the only actor who
could play the part right. “How did that film role come about for you?” “Um… I was asked to do it.” If you’ve seen the films, well, it’s tough
to argue with her choice. It’s impossible to imagine another actor as
Snape, and the franchise is all the more accessible for Rickman’s deeply nuanced performance. Chris Evans — Captain America: The First
Avenger There’s no denying that Marvel Entertainment
has produced some of the biggest and boldest superhero films Hollywood has ever seen. They’ve accomplished that feat by thinking
outside the blockbuster box when choosing directors to guide their properties through
production a habit that started when they tapped Jon Favreau to helm Iron Man. Still, Marvel doesn’t always get enough credit
for making inspired choices in their casting. Lest we forget, they opened the MCU by hedging
bets on Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. Marvel made Downey jump or, rather, fly through
hoops to prove he was right for the job, but Chris Evans had a much easier time landing
the lead in Captain America: The First Avenger. In fact, he didn’t even need to audition to
score the coveted role. Turns out Evans’ absurdly all-American looks
had already caught the eye of director Joe Johnston, who convinced Marvel to cast the
actor without so much as a screen test. While Evans has become one of the most recognizable
stars in the world since landing the role, his casting felt like a metered risk at the
time, one we’re grateful to Marvel for taking. Chadwick Boseman — Captain America: Civil
War Prior to joining the MCU as the future king
of Wakanda, Chadwick Boseman was already well on his way to becoming a star. In the years leading up to his MCU debut,
he steadily worked his way from bit parts on TV shows like Fringe… “You realize just what you did to me? If you had given me some special power, that’d
be one thing — maybe I’d be special.” …to starring in a couple of the better biopics
produced in the past decade. “Don’t let them get to you.” “I won’t. God built me to last.” Those choice roles aside, it still seemed
like not enough people knew who Boseman was. Turns out that while not many audiences knew
Boseman’s work, the right people did including Captain America: Civil War directors Joe and
Anthony Russo. When Marvel Studios decided it was finally
time to bring Black Panther into the mix, they almost instantly and unanimously decided
he was not just right for the part of king T’Challa, but the only actor who was. They had Boseman on the phone the next day,
offering him the role without an audition. “Wakanda forever!” Bill Murray — Lost In Translation By the time Bill Murray agreed to star in
Sofia Coppola’s sophomore film, he already had a dozen or so unforgettable roles to his
credit. Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, the legendary
funnyman was delivering iconic work for practically every film he appeared in. “I’m a god.” “You’re God?” “…I’m A god I’m not THE god… I don’t think.” Seems Coppola was paying attention, and she
was adamant about casting the actor as the lead in her existential drama Lost in Translation. She even wrote the screenplay specifically
with Murray in mind, and claims she wouldn’t have made the film if he’d turned down the
role, so there was no audition process to be had. “For a relaxing time, make it Suntory time.” It actually seems more like Coppola was the
one who auditioned for Murray. As the story goes, Coppola had a mutual friend
pass an early draft of the Lost in Translation script along to Murray, who then set up a
meeting. The pair hit it off, and Murray agreed to
do the film only he never actually signed a contract to that effect. On Murray’s word alone, Coppola took her cast
and crew to Tokyo and started production, unsure of whether he’d even show up. Luckily for her and movie lovers in general
Murray showed. He also delivered an Oscar-nominated performance
that stands among the finest of his career.

100 Comments

  1. Matador Media Author

    Uhh… perhaps Adam Driver should have auditioned. Literally everyone in my movie theater laughed when he took his helmet off in the movie.

    Reply
  2. donna hazen Author

    Is there an actors who were perfectly cast for their roles video….if so hugh jackman as wolverine has to be number 1….and then ralph finnes as lord voldermort should be 2nd

    Reply
  3. Eldain ss Author

    But, new star wars is bad…And the new "Darth Vader" Kylo Ren, is also bad…. Just a little kid with tantrum, no sith lord feeling about him at all.

    Reply
  4. Ryan H. Turner Author

    Ok…Looper….really…"awkwardly rugged good looks" for Adam Driver. Dude is a troll, and he is barely good enough to act in a middle school play in drama class. Seriously. How he as "ascended" to the A list is miracle. He is primarily one of the main reasons why I can't stand where Star Wars has gone–him and the stupid writers.

    Reply
  5. William Minnaar Author

    Adam Driver, was the WORST decision for playing Kylo Ren in Star Wars – Terrible casting – Not that it matters when the director [Umm, Ryan Johnson] totally does broke the entire franchise!

    Reply
  6. Graham Van Dyke Author

    That's actually hugely ironic (with Chris Evans as Cpt America) since Evans has stated he was deeply conflicted with taking the role. Evans prefers acting in smaller, indie movies because- to paraphrase, "Instead of spending 12 hours to shoot 1 scene you go through most of the movie in that time. You actually feel like you're making a movie". He also knew that taking the role would tie him up for years to come (and therefore limit the amount of films he could appear in). So really, we should be bowing in thanks to Evans for taking the role.

    Reply
  7. Bond Pyant Author

    Alan Rickman should NEVER had to audition for any role after Die Hard. Seriously.
    Rickman STOLE that movie from EVERYONE…The Lead Actor Bruce Willis, The Director John McTiernan, The Writers Steven E. de Souza, Jeb Stuart and ALL of his co-stars. So much so that had Cyber Criminal Mastermind Hans Gruber was not killed off, Rickman could have Hit movie after Hit movie series starring as Gruber. Not unlike Liam Neeson turning his one off into his TAKEN series or Arnold Schwarzenegger turning his (to die at the end) T-800 into the TERMINATOR series.

    Reply
  8. Miss M Author

    thats not star wars, no george lucas fan think so. rogue one wasnt crap but the rest were really baaaaaaaaaaaad fanfiction. Painful and cringy.

    Reply
  9. S S Author

    adam river has rugged good looks…. I personally think he's the most unusually looking 'good-looking' person I have seen and I think he's gross… period

    Reply
  10. Andrew Singleton Author

    'Dynamic Complex Villain star wars fans deserve'

    Seriously? Just… are you trolling there bro? I don't blame the actor not one bit here, it's obvious he has range and skill but the material is rubbish. I'll gladly go see his next project though.

    Reply
  11. Kriegerdammerung Author

    Evan's absurdlly all-American looks? kidding me right? he looks as if his ancestors were European, a younger version of August Schellenberg would have been just the right choice.

    Reply
  12. GenericUsername Author

    "and became the dynamic complex villain the next generation of Star Wars fans deserve" correction: "became the cringy and whiny villain the generation of special snowflakes like"

    Reply
  13. 91cabo15 Author

    Not sure if Adam Driver is at fault, but I don't find Kylo Ren to be a convincing or realistic character at all. Would've liked to see someone else in that role.

    Reply
  14. Reaper Author

    Just remember that JK Rowling signed off and approved the actors of Harry potter movies, so when she said that “Hermione was never confirmed to be white in the books” she sure as shit didn’t go out of her way to cast a black girl in the movie, but instead played identify politics to push the Harry Potter stage play that had a black, bald and gender fluid actress play Hermione to sell tickets, the same way she will not make Dumbledore and Grindlewalds gay relationship canonical for the Crimes of Grindlewald movie because it’s just a gimmick to sell tickets.
    Regardless what she says, JK Rowling uses black people like me and the LBGT as nothing more as a way of making easy money and a shield to deflect criticism for her terrible writing by claiming her work is “progressive” and people criticising her are “racist”, “homophobic” or “Trump supporting nazi’s”.

    Reply
  15. Watto Author

    Samuel Jackson got the role for Mace Windu, didn’t audition and didn’t even know for what role he just asked George Lucas to keep him in mind if there’s another mutherfuckin Star Wars movie and that he would do it

    Reply
  16. Kvamus Author

    Chris Evans was a horrible choice and it made me hate Captain America because of it. He looks like the kind of guy who would literally cry for mommy if you smacked him the face.

    Reply
  17. Robert Glass Author

    I doubt, very highly, that Bill Murray had to audition for most of those iconic roles.

    I also highly doubt that "Lost in Translation" was the first role written with him in mind.

    I'm just sain'… I think that's obvious.

    Reply
  18. Uncertain Subscriber Author

    James McAvoy did not have to audition for some of his roles. Also Robin Williams did not have to for some of his either.

    Reply
  19. Elizabeth Athineu Author

    Harrison Ford didn't audition to play Han Solo; he read lines with actors as a stand-in and ended up being able to explain the story and motivations so well that Lucas asked him to keep on it and then offered him the part which he initially didn't really want.

    Reply
  20. SiVlog Author

    Francis Matthews, who is known in Gerry Anderson circles as the voice of the original Captain Scarlet, didn't have to audition for the role. Instead, it was a chance encounter on Eric and Ernie where he (Francis Matthews) was doing an impression of Cary Grant. Gerry Anderson happened to see this, then phoned Francis Matthews and asked him if he was available to voice Captain Scarlet using his impression of Cary Grant

    Reply
  21. Næp Sæck Author

    The expression “all American looks” doesn’t make sense to me. The USA is so ethnically diverse, I feel like it could apply to almost anyone attractive.

    Reply
  22. Add E Author

    It wasn't just Alan Rickman, none of the adults in Harry Potter auditioned. They went grocery shopping among the British who's who. As a side note, Rickman was WAY to old for the part: Snape was in his 30s. It would have been awesome if they'd had Rickman mentor someone like Adam Driver in the role.

    Reply
  23. pierce bullhorn Author

    Well if u talk bout an all american look, i think Paul Walker at that time would have been the better choice as Captain america, R.I.P. to the man though. Chris Evans was just way too pretty.

    Reply
  24. Richti Filmpalast Author

    I still can't decide if it was Driver that was completely miscast as Kylo Ren or it was just the character that sucked so bad

    Reply
  25. DOA Author

    Adam driver was so shit in star wars he should be blacklisted mind you everyone involved should be lined up n fkn wiped, how fkn dare you say he was what ppl deserved as if anything he did was gd in that shit movie you sir are a idiot

    Reply
  26. ImBalucas Author

    Doesn't matter if Chris Evans was offered the role without an audition or even Chadwick! We are continuously praising Robert Downey Jr. as if he's Tupac or Biggie.

    Reply
  27. symbian Author

    Hmm, Chris Evans was crossed off early on for the role of Captain America by Kevin Feige, but came back to him in "a state of desperation" as he puts it. So not sure about that claim about Chris Evans, although we certainly feel he's the right one for the role. Maybe he should be in the "Actors who were initially rejected for iconic roles but went on to get the part". Include the other two Chris in the MCU, Chris Pratt (who James Gunn initially rejected) and Chris Hemsworth (who was rejected because he was sick during his first audition).

    Reply
  28. Scott G. Jarnagin Author

    2:16 – Ummmmm…… You're 150% wrong!!! Alan Rickman wasn't their first choice for Snape; Tim Roth was…… but Roth was committed to Planet of the Apes, so he passed and it was offered to Rickman….. their second choice for the part.

    Reply
  29. Marty Karr Author

    "Had Robert Downy Junior jump or fly through hoops". ARE YOU KIDDING??? How hard was it to cast an actor who was notorious for being rich and intoxicated stunts as a billionaire playboy who is was a notorious rich and drunkard?

    Reply

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