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Actors Who Refused To Be In Quentin Tarantino Movies


Love him or hate him, there’s no denying Quentin
Tarantino is one of the most influential directors of all time — so it goes without saying
that many actors would love to be in one of his movies. These, however, are the stars who passed up
that golden opportunity. Michael Madsen and Tarantino first met when
the actor auditioned for the role of Mr. Pink in Reservoir Dogs. According to Madsen, after doing his best
to land the gig, Tarantino responded: “You’re not Mr. Pink. You’re Mr. Blonde — and if you’re not Mr.
Blonde, then you’re not in the movie.” Madsen made the wise decision and forever
scarred moviegoers with his straight razor and can of gasoline. And he evidently impressed Tarantino, since
the auteur wanted Madsen to play Pulp Fiction’s dancing hitman Vincent Vega. “You know what they call a Quarter Pounder
in Paris?” “What do they call it?” “They call it ‘a royale with cheese.'” Unfortunately for Madsen, he’d already signed
on to play Virgil Earp in Wyatt Earp, a western starring Kevin Costner as the titular lawman. According to The Daily Beast, it took a long
time for Tarantino to forgive Madsen for turning down Vincent Vega. Madsen probably regretted his choice as well,
since Pulp Fiction is widely hailed as one of the greatest movies all time. Of course, it was probably for the best. After all, in hindsight, it’s hard to imagine
anyone other than John Travolta playing the smarmy hitman — plus, if we’d seen Michael
Madsen dancing again, we probably would’ve suffered from some pretty traumatizing flashbacks. Warren Beatty is one of the most iconic members
of the Tinseltown elite, and as one of the biggest actors of the ’60s and ’70s, he’s
appeared in some truly memorable films. For example, there’s Bonnie and Clyde, Reds,
and McCabe & Mrs. Miller. But for all the great movies he’s worked on,
Beatty has turned down a shocking number of classics. As you might’ve guessed, Beatty also said
no to Quentin Tarantino. So what role did Tarantino offer Beatty? Well, the director wanted him to play the
titular antagonist in Kill Bill. In fact, he’d written the part with Beatty
in mind. Only instead of creating the character as
a kung fu killer, he’d written a villain who was a bit more suave and sophisticated whom,
according to Tarantino, was, quote, “much more of a James Bond type of character.” Tragically for Tarantino, Beatty wasn’t interested
in shooting scenes in China, preferring to stay in the United States with his kids. However, Beatty does take credit for the casting
of David Carradine, claiming he suggested Tarantino pick the martial arts actor. If so, it was a genius recommendation, and
Tarantino rewrote the script so the character would be a better fit. “You’re not a bad person. You’re a terrific person. You’re my favorite person.” People often forget that Sylvester Stallone
is a great actor. While the Razzies are happy to hurl “awards”
his way, Stallone has more than proved his acting chops in movies like Rocky, First Blood,
Cop Land, and Creed. Has he made missteps along the way? More than a few. But he’s also the guy who reminded Roger Ebert
of a “young Marlon Brando.” In other words, the man has genuine talent
and a spotty track record… which is the perfect type of actor to star in a Tarantino
movie. But life is cruel, and we’ve never gotten
the Stallone-Tarantino pairing we deserve. Of course, we shouldn’t blame the director
for this travesty. In an interview with the Canadian magazine
MacLeans’, Stallone revealed he was offered not one but two roles in separate Tarantino
films. According to Sly, the director first asked
if he wanted to play the part of Louis, the quiet-yet-psychopathic thug in Jackie Brown. Stallone turned him down for undisclosed reasons,
and the part of Gara ended up in Robert De Niro’s more-than-capable hands. Undaunted, Tarantino later offered Stallone
the Death Proof part of stuntman Mike McKay, a serial killer who dispatches of young women
with a specialized stunt car. When Stallone learned about those gory details,
he told Tarantino he wasn’t interested. He explained to MacLean’s: “I have two daughters, and this fellow, his
hobby is putting teenagers in his car and smashing them into a wall. That’s not going to work.” Instead, the part went to Kurt Russell, who
— after coming off movies like Miracle, Sky High, and Dreamer — was probably overjoyed
to wreak a little mayhem. ‘”This car is 100% death proof. Only, to get the benefit of it, honey, you
really need to be sitting in my seat.” Imagine, if you will, a world where Leonardo
DiCaprio played Col. Hans Landa. You can’t, can you? It’s practically impossible to see anyone
other than Christoph Waltz portraying the bingo-loving monster. But according to MTV, Tarantino originally
considered giving DiCaprio the part before choosing to go with someone who could speak
German. Tarantino also thought about giving the role
of Bridget von Hammersmark to Nastassja Kinski, and he considered both Simon Pegg and Tim
Roth as possibilities for the part of Lt. Archie Hicox. However, for one reason or another, those
actors all fell by the wayside, and the roles went to Diane Kruger and Michael Fassbender,
respectively. But here’s the weirdest casting tidbit of
all. Once upon a time, Tarantino wanted Adam Sandler
for the role of Sgt. Donny Donowitz. At first glance, the idea seems ridiculous,
but despite movies like Jack and Jill, Sandler really is a skilled actor who can do good
work if he puts his mind to it. And if you’ve seen Punch-Drunk Love, you know
he can certainly smash a restroom. Hoping Sandler would trade his tire iron for
a baseball bat, Tarantino made the character a Bostonian because, as he explained to Howard
Stern, Sandler does a great Boston accent. But alas, Sandler dashed Tarantino’s dreams
when he signed on to do Funny People. Instead, the part went to Eli Roth, who did
a bang up job. If Adam Sandler can’t beat up Bob Barker,
then he probably isn’t ready for the Third Reich just yet. “I think you’ve had enough.” “No, now you’ve had enough.” You’ve probably heard that Will Smith opted
to stay on the sidelines when the Wachowskis offered him the part of Neo in the Matrix
movies. But you might not have known that, when Tarantino
came calling, he couldn’t convince the actor to say yes, either. Tarantino wanted Smith to play the part of
Django in his spaghetti western Django Unchained. According to a 2015 interview with The Hollywood
Reporter, Smith, quote, “wanted to make that movie so badly,” but he turned it down because,
in his opinion: “it had to be a love story, not a vengeance
story. … Violence begets violence. I just couldn’t connect to violence being
the answer. Love had to be the answer.” That certainly sounds nice, and perhaps Tarantino’s
penchant for bloodshed really did affect Smith’s decision. But if you go back to 2013, you’ll see Smith
gave a very different excuse for why he passed on Django Unchained. According to an interview with Entertainment
Weekly, he turned the role down because it wasn’t big enough. He felt Christoph Waltz’s Dr. King Schultz
was actually the main character, especially since it’s Schultz who shoots the film’s big
bad guy. This didn’t sit well with Smith, who tried
to convince Tarantino to change things up. As Smith put it, quote, “I was like, ‘No,
Quentin, please, I need to kill the bad guy.'” Sounds a little different than “Violence begets
violence,” eh? “I like the way you die, boy.” Will Smith wasn’t the only major star to turn
down Django Unchained. It seems like every actor in Hollywood was
offered a part, only to pass at the last second. For example, Joseph Gordon-Levitt was originally
going to play “a small supporting role” but left to work on his directorial debut, Don
Jon. Similarly, RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan was meant
to play a small part but had to leave to edit his martial arts movie, The Man with the Iron
Fists. According to IndieWire, so many actors were
forced to jump ship because filming on Django Unchained went massively over schedule. In fact, the movie took so long to make that
Tarantino was forced to scrap an entire character. Originally, the film was supposed to feature
a young man named Scotty Harmony, a gambler who takes possession of Broomhilda, Django’s
wife, only to lose her to the villainous Calvin Candie in a card game. The role was originally meant to be played
by Jonah Hill, but just like RZA and Gordon-Levitt, he was forced to drop out due to scheduling
conflicts — only to return in a minor role for one of the funniest scenes in Tarantino’s
whole filmography. “Anybody bring any extra bags?” “No, nobody brought an extra bag.” “I’m just asking.” Ultimately, Tarantino decided to go with Sacha
Baron Cohen as Harmony, which obviously meant the character needed a bit of a rewrite. Originally, Harmony was supposed to be, quote,
“sexually inexperienced” and naive, and Baron Cohen doesn’t exactly fit that bill. But scheduling conflicts struck yet again
when the actor had to leave to promote his upcoming film, The Dictator. Forced with setback after setback, Tarantino
cut Harmony out of the film completely… and unfortunately, that wasn’t the only character
who didn’t make the final draft. In the original screenplay for Django Unchained,
Ace Woody worked directly under Calvin Candie as the guy who taught slaves how to fight
to the death. If Woody had made it to the silver screen,
there’s no doubt we would’ve witnessed some brutal acts of violence, as the screenplay
has him torture Django. But just like Scotty Harmony, the part of
Ace Woody wasn’t meant to be — all because Tarantino couldn’t keep an actor around long
enough to play the part. At first, Woody was supposed to be played
by Kevin Costner. While he’s been in a handful of westerns — Dances
with Wolves, Silverado, Open Range — it’s not all that often Costner plays a villain. Too bad he never got a chance to go toe-to-toe
with Jamie Foxx because scheduling got in the way again, possibly due to projects like
Hatfields & McCoys. As a result, the part of Woody was given to
Kurt Russell, but the star evidently got sick of how long it was taking for Tarantino to
get anything done. Allegedly, Russell left the project in frustration. Once again, Tarantino was forced to erase
one of his characters, but since he had a lot of good dialogue lying around, he decided
to give those extra lines to Billy Crash, the villain played by Walton Goggins. And while Costner and Russell would’ve been
great as Ace Woody, we really can’t complain. The more Goggins, the better. While Viggo Mortensen has committed his fair
share of onscreen bloodshed, be it against orcs in Lord of the Rings or mobsters in Eastern
Promises, somehow the actor and Tarantino have never gotten together — though it’s
not for lack of trying. In an interview with Grantland, Mortensen
revealed he actually auditioned for two parts in Reservoir Dogs, and while he doesn’t remember
which roles he tried out for, he did try to play one as Hispanic. Tarantino decided to pass on the actor, but
a few years later, the situation was reversed. This time, the director was interested in
having Mortensen play, quote, “a ruthless gang leader” in The Hateful Eight. As there’s only one gang leader in the film,
it’s safe to assume Tarantino wanted Mortensen to play the ruthless Jody Domergue. Unfortunately, Mortensen had to skip on the
French lessons as he was busy promoting two smaller films he’d recently made: Jauja and
Far from Men. Mortensen told Grantland: “I knew as a producer and an actor that I
needed to do that for those movies to have a chance to be seen. [Tarantino] wanted to start shooting at the
end of the year and do rehearsal before that, and I just couldn’t do that schedule-wise.” The role eventually went to Channing Tatum,
and the actor pulled it off with psychotic charm to spare. “If you… was a cat, what just happened
here would count as one of your nine lives.” When writing the screenplay for The Hateful
Eight, Tarantino had an actor in mind for every single character except two. He wasn’t sure who would play Bob, though
the role went to Demian Bichir — and he didn’t know who was going to play the female
lead, Daisy Domergue. While pondering his predicament, Tarantino
considered Jennifer Lawrence for the part, and he even met with the actress to discuss
the possibility of her squaring off against Samuel L. Jackson. However, as Tarantino explained, Lawrence
was working on Joy and promoting The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2. In other words, she was swamped and couldn’t
spare any time. While he was probably disappointed at first,
Tarantino eventually decided Lawrence probably wasn’t right for the part. He told Entertainment Weekly: “I’m glad I didn’t cast somebody that young. I think I absolutely positively made the right
choice, as far as the ages of the characters.” Instead, the director went with an older actress,
53-year-old Jennifer Jason Leigh, who earned an Oscar nod for her sinister performance
as the calculating outlaw. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
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100 Comments

  1. Stigglitz Author

    I can understand the Adam Sandler casting for Inglorious Basterds, but I can’t possibly explain the fury of seeing his name in the credits of such a movie.

    Reply
  2. Stigglitz Author

    ON ANOTHER NOTE, HOW AND WHY THE FUCK WOULD SO MANY PEOPLE SAY NO TO QUENTIN TARANTINO. I WOULD HAVE STABBED MYSELF IN THE ARM IF IT MEANT BEING ABLE TO HAVE A SCENE IN ANY OF HIS MOVIES

    Reply
  3. Nathan Forester Author

    While not specifically a Rodriguez movie….the role of Seth Gecko in From Dusk Till Dawn was originally going to go to either John Travolta, Steve Buscemi or Christopher Walken. Neither of them were available.

    Reply
  4. Abhishek Biswas Author

    Now I believe the quote "Whatever happens is for the good" any of these original choices would have diluted the effects on screen Especially the below

    1)Madsen playing Vincent Vega
    2)Ace wood and the other guy in Django if they weren't cut out…

    Reply
  5. CJDR. Author

    First of all; let's get the facts straight. Madsen actually DID work with Q.T. in a few films, so he's off this list. The only one who actually refused to do a movie w/Q.T. was Stallone due to the subject matter. All the others had scheduling conflicts, so they were unable/unavailable, that's totally different than "REFUSING" TO WORK WITH Q.T. BTW, his casting alternates were actually more genius than his original choices. In the end, his films ended up being better.

    Reply
  6. Ally Walka Author

    Once upon a time was quite possibly the worst film I’ve ever seen in the cinema perhaps after Ang Lees Hulk that total recall remake and Star Wars the last jedi

    Reply
  7. chomedy Author

    I'm not even disappointed about all these actors and actresses that didn't end up starring, I think I'd be more disappointed if they had been cast.

    Reply
  8. Grant Chow Author

    Carradine is referred to as a martial arts actor ? He knew nothing about martial arts. He played the lead in Kung Fu, which Bruce Lee was rejected for originally because he was too "Asian". This was and is Hollywood still.

    Reply
  9. SolidSnakeSix Author

    Will Smith let his ego get in the way. The BS excuse of the violence being an issue is a blatant lie and both Smith and Tarantino said it is due to Smith wanting changes in the script and less screentime for Christoph Waltz.
    Dickhead, no wonder his son is such a pretentious dipshit

    Reply
  10. Rick wallace Author

    It's hard to imagine anyone else playing the roles mentioned in this vid,but then again who could have imagined Travoltas amazing performance for the now iconic Vincent Vega.

    Reply
  11. Rick wallace Author

    The genius of QT is he gets extra special performances out of his actors.he finds something in them that's never been tapped into before.

    Reply
  12. Rick wallace Author

    I would love to see what he could do with
    Matthew Mcconaughey
    Ryan Gosling
    Benicia Del Toro
    Gary Oldman
    Natalie Portman
    Christian Bale
    Noomi Rapace.

    Reply
  13. Layla Reeves Author

    He always wanted John Travolta as Vincent. Where you getting this? He offered him 125k because his career was in the toilet and he took it and then made 20 million a pic after. I can’t take anything else after this serious.

    Reply
  14. UberLummox Author

    Seriously don't see the attraction for Stalone or Will Smith in a Tarentino flick.
    They are way too mainstream. Not right for cult classic status, as all QT films fit that category.

    Reply
  15. ChromeWheelz1977 Author

    Just out of curiosity, who exactly is "Vigil Earp"? Lol. If you're going to do a show about movies and celebrities, you really should know the celebrities names.

    Reply
  16. Enuff Said Author

    So basically none of these fuckin actors or actresses refuse to work in a Quentin Tarantino movie!?!? Typical garbage coming from the Looper Channel!!!!

    Reply
  17. Trevor Singh Author

    Note Well: David Carradine is not a martial arts actor. He only got the part in the television series Kung Fu, playing Kwai Chang Caine due to nepotism over Bruce Lee.

    Reply
  18. Smug Author

    I know kurt cobain isnt an actor, but he was offered a role in pulp fiction, most likely the heroin dealer for vincent that was played by eric stultz

    Reply
  19. Jack White Author

    You use the title “Actors who almost played roles in Tarantino movies”.
    And the literal first person on the list list is Michael Madsen

    For fuck sake😂

    Reply
  20. obvi•US Author

    Pulp Fiction is one the best 500,000 pictures of all time. I'll give you that. And Quentin Tarantino is one of the 890 most influential directors, yes.

    Reply
  21. 80sCats&GunsAddict Author

    None of these actors moreso Cohen and Sandler aren't Tarantino kinda film stars. It takes a special kinda actor or actress to excel at Tarantino movies. His movies typically revolve around dark satires that tend to lead to violence…extreme violence. For any of these actors to star in his movies wouldn't do the movie justice and the sales wouldn't be as high as they are now for Tarantino. Cohen and Sandler would be two of many actors that just don't fit his kinda movie storyline. Thad be like asking Arnold Schwarzenegger to be in a Superbad 3 or a Anna Faris to be in the next Expendables movie. Totally opposite end of the spectrum.

    Reply
  22. Ryan Tahlilkar Author

    Will smith as django would have been epic but jamie foxx did an amazing role and did a magnificent job. Maybe will playing it would have made the movie different and wouldn’t made it so spectacular

    Reply
  23. tracy rogers Author

    I can't believe a grown woman doesn't know how to pronounce the name "ViRgil" . It's not "Vigil" Erp. There's an "R" in there. Where do they find these narrators? Shouldn't they make sure they can read??

    Reply
  24. tracy rogers Author

    Sylvester would have RUINED a Tarantino movie! And I'm glad Sandler wasn't cast as well! I also can't imagine Smith being Django!! He is too whimpy!

    Reply
  25. J. A. Author

    What kind of bullshit commentary is this? It is as if a mindless millennial is summing up many great actors whole career in one blunt contrived barb after the next, a sound byte, my God um Rocky – yes Stallone is a great actor and that was a great movie, regardless of whatever social media bubble think tank has rounded people down to, it just shows how vacuous and trivial people are nowadays, like they were even alive when Rocky was a movie.

    Reply
  26. Fernando Lino Author

    If you think Stallone is a great actor… You certainly don't know anything about movies. Stallone could be one of the most mediocre actors in the world.

    Reply
  27. trevor brown Author

    I'm a little surprised a great actor like Gary Oldman hasn't been in a Tarantino film (i'm not including True Romance because QT didn't direct it). And I agree with the earlier poster, Nic Cage could prove to be an inspired choice as Tarantino seems very good at dragging iconic actors out of career mediocrity and giving them great roles that make them shine. Eddie Murphy for one could do with something like that happening to him but he seems more interested in money than prestige. Or how about Pierce Brosnan who would be a perfect fit for Tarantino.

    Reply
  28. Edward Mahoney Author

    Quentin Tarantino makes crap. Anyone who likes his movies reveals they have substandard taste in movies. Quentin Tarantino himself is a piece of crap.

    Reply
  29. Edward Mahoney Author

    Quentin Tarantino makes crap. Anyone who likes his movies reveals they have substandard taste in movies. Quentin Tarantino himself is a piece of crap.

    Reply
  30. Edward Mahoney Author

    Quentin Tarantino makes crap. Anyone who likes his movies reveals they have substandard taste in movies. Quentin Tarantino himself is a piece of crap.

    Reply
  31. Lori Hanks Author

    Going a little off topic here but the last name Mortenson is the same name that Marilyn Monroe was born under. Although Mr. Mortenson wasn't her real father, her mother was married to a one Edward Mortenson and kept the name after they divorced. Marilyn was baptized as Norma Jeane Baker but her birth certificate says Mortenson. Wonder if it's the same family mentioned here.

    Reply
  32. Johnny Guitar Author

    i dont think actors can refuse,,,, they are mannequins,,, used as will,,, i saw it on an episode of Serling's Twilight Zone,,, they live in the 3, 6 and 9th floor of every brick building,,, they call us normal people "THE OUTSIDERS"

    Reply
  33. PICK JCGS4313 Author

    Pulp Fiction one of the greatest films of all time? Lol, 😆🤣🤪Oh yuck, you must be kidding me? That broke records in one of the All Time Most F Bomb Filled Films Ever…

    Reply
  34. Tanner MacLeod Author

    Sly and Quentin are both too brilliant to be on the same project! It would be truly amazing together, unless again , too much brilliance together. 🤔😀

    Reply

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