Famous Movie Roles Actors Were Too Afraid To Take

Things normal people are afraid of: zombies,
the dark, spiders, and whether or not the waiter spit in our food. “Take it back! If I wanted something your thumb touched I’d
eat the inside of your ear!” Things celebrities are afraid of? Sketchy acting jobs. Sometimes actors pass up blockbusters because
of the overall creepiness of the movie, a fear of awful writing, or just because they’re
afraid of disappointing their fans. Here are a few famous actors who have turned
down incredible roles for totally legitimate reasons — and some who lived to totally
regret it. Michelle Pfeiffer: Silence of the Lambs Even a legend like Michelle Pfeiffer isn’t
afraid to admit she was too afraid to take on the subject matter of Silence of the Lambs. As Empire revealed in its look at the making
of the movie, she was turned off by overwhelming darkness and violence in the script — a
letdown for director Jonathan Demme, who’d worked with her previously and made Pfeiffer
his first choice for the role of Clarice Starling. He went through a number of other actresses
before hiring Jodie Foster. Honestly, we wouldn’t want to be face-to-face
with Hannibal Lecter even if we were just on a movie set, so it’s easy to sympathize
with Pfeiffer. Meanwhile, another big star passed on a role
in Silence of the Lambs: Jeremy Irons. Apparently, playing a cannibal serial killer
is just a little worse than the creepy dude he played in Lolita. Josh Hartnett: Superman Returns At the ripe age of 22, Josh Hartnett was afraid
of being pigeonholed when he was asked to wear the red cape in the 2006 film Superman
Returns. So he turned down the role, partially because
he valued his free time, but also for fear of damaging his career. Also in Hartnett’s “thanks, but no thanks”
pile: opportunities to play both Batman and Spider-Man. As he later admitted to Playboy, choosing
not to put on the tights is what ultimately hurt his career after all, saying, “I’ve definitely said no to some of the wrong
people. I said no because I was tired and wanted to
spend more time with my friends and family. That’s frowned upon in this industry. People don’t like being told no.” Jude Law: Superman Returns English actor Jude Law grappled with the same
offer as Hartnett. Director Bryan Singer considered going with
the British star, but Law wasn’t sure pinning on the cape was a good idea. He was worried about his nationality, thinking
an Englishman shouldn’t play the guy who stands for the American way — and he also wasn’t
crazy about putting on the tights. Hoping to sway the actor, Singer had the costume
sent over, and Law tried it on for size. “I take the suit into the bathroom and I’m
putting it on…and I look around… and I look in the mirror, and suddenly I’m Superman.” Law even started hearing the original film’s
John Williams theme — but the fantasy didn’t last long. “And then I had this picture of that..of me
in that you know on posters all around the world and I thought… ‘no way’ and I unzipped
it.” Suddenly, there was “no way” he could play
the part, although he did have the satisfaction of pretending to be Superman for a few moments. And as Law put it, “That was enough.” Bette Midler: Sister Act It’s hard to picture anyone but Whoopi Goldberg
as Sister Mary Clarence in Sister Act, but the role was first offered to Bette Midler. As she later told Metro, she turned down the
opportunity because she was afraid of how her fans would react to her portrayal of a
nun, saying, “My fans don’t want to see me in a wimple.” Who wants to break the news to Midler that
the character wasn’t actually a nun? That’s kinda what the “Act” part in the title
meant. Jennifer Hudson: Precious Dreamgirls star Jennifer Hudson was offered
the title role in Precious, but turned it down — a decision she initially attributed
to a reluctance to gain the weight necessary for the character. She later insisted the decision actually had
more to do with what was on the page than what would’ve shown up on the scale, telling
The Huffington Post, “I’m a firm believer that what is meant for
you is meant for you. I did not turn the role down because of the
weight situation. I just felt the character was doing things,
at least in my script that I got, that were places I did not want to go and not where
I needed to go.” Mark Wahlberg: Brokeback Mountain Originally offered the role of Jack Twist
in Brokeback Mountain, Mark Wahlberg declined the part after feeling, quote, “creeped out”
by the script, and letting his fear of the movie’s homosexual themes outweigh the potential
of the role. The National Enquirer doubled down on the
rumors and stated that Wahlberg was simply told ‘no’ by his priest. It’s acting, Mark! “What? No!” Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger signed on,
and Gyllenhaal’s Oscar nomination for the film must have been fun for Wahlberg to read
about. Brad Pitt: 12 Years a Slave As one of the most acclaimed dramas to come
out of the major-studio system in recent years, 12 Years a Slave almost starred Brad Pitt
in the villainous role of Edwin Epps. Pitt told The Mirror that he refused the role
because he was afraid of what his children would think if they saw him as a slavemaster
in the film. He opted for a cameo role — because, as
one of the producers on the movie, you get to do things like that. John Lithgow: The Fly David Cronenberg’s The Fly is pretty much
a perfect horror movie. It’s disgustingly awesome, and Jeff Goldblum
and Geena Davis totally kill it as the two leads. It’s hard to imagine anyone else playing their
parts, but shockingly, Goldblum wasn’t the only actor in consideration for this grotesque
manimal. As it turns out, John Lithgow was also up
for a trip through the teleportation pods. Lithgow is no stranger to playing monsters. But despite his penchant for playing scary
characters, Lithgow didn’t have the stomach to morph into a man-sized fly. In an interview with In Magazine, the actor
admitted his agent wanted him to play the doomed scientist Seth Brundle, but Lithgow
thought The Fly was an “icky story,” and he “didn’t want to play something so grotesque.” ” Oh. That’s disgusting.” And if the guy who played the Trinity Killer
thought a movie was too gross, then you should probably be afraid of watching that film. Be very afraid. Will Ferrell: Reagan Even before the film Reagan began filming,
the project was dead in the water due to public outrage. In this alternate history take on Ronald Reagan’s
last four years in office, the 40th commander-in-chief is suffering from Alzheimer’s during his second
term, and one intern’s given the job of tricking Reagan into thinking he’s still an actor,
and is actually playing the president in a film. When word leaked out that Will Ferrell, no
stranger to playing presidents, was considering playing the dementia-stricken Reagan, the
internet went absolutely insane. Most notably, the movie also drew criticism
from the Reagan family, who claimed the film was offensive to people suffering from Alzheimer’s. Things got so intense that director Adam McKay
claimed people were calling the production offices and leaving threatening voicemails. Soon, anger at the project reached such a
fever pitch that Ferrell essentially killed the film by announcing he was no longer interested
in the part. Probably for the best. Toshiro Mifune: Star Wars By now, everybody knows the original Star
Wars was a brilliant mash-up of George Lucas’s favorite stuff. Throw in some Flash Gordon, mix in a bit of
World War II footage, add a dash of The Searchers, and presto, you’ve got A New Hope. But perhaps the biggest influences on the
Star Wars saga were the films of Akira Kurosawa. Of course, you can’t have a Kurosawa film
without Toshiro Mifune, a superstar who appeared in 16 Kurosawa films. He made such an impression on Lucas that the
director wanted him to play Obi-Wan Kenobi. There’s no denying Mifune would’ve made an
excellent Jedi knight, but according to his daughter, Mifune was worried that the film,
quote, “…would cheapen the image of the samurai. At the time, sci-fi movies still looked quite
cheap as the effects were not advanced, and he had a lot of samurai pride.” Mifune waved his hand and told Lucas to move
along, to both the roles of Kenobi and Darth Vader, according to his daughter. If that’s true, his samurai pride cost him
a pretty hefty paycheck. Chris Evans: Captain America It’s pretty hard to imagine anyone other than
Chris Evans playing Captain America. Evans seems to embody Cap’s innate goodness,
nobility, and heroism. It’s really a case of having just the right
actor in just the right role, and that makes it all the more surprising when you realize
Evans initially turned down the Marvel super serum. On Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Evans admitted that
he was afraid of the whole thing. “I was scared because you know at first it
was some nine-picture contract, and there are parts of me that have a little bit of
social anxiety with this industry.” He turned Marvel down…twice. As he explained to The Scotsman, he just enjoyed
doing smaller films and staying under the radar. But eventually, the star-spangled actor realized
he was “saying no out of fear,” and he finally picked up the vibranium shield after realizing
he was turning it down for the wrong reasons. “…whatever you’re scared of, push yourself
into it.” Which sounds just like something Captain America
might say. Chris Pratt: Guardians of the Galaxy We know Chris Pratt eventually took the starring
role of Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy, but before he helped save the universe, he
originally passed on the part. As he told Entertainment Weekly, he thought
he was too fat to play a superhero, and he was ultimately afraid of the same feelings
of rejection he dealt with when he was passed over for Star Trek and Avatar. A huge fan of the action movie genre, Pratt
later faced his fears and won the hearts of Guardians fans everywhere. That right there is a real-life superhero
story. Denzel Washington: Se7en Speaking with GQ, Denzel Washington admitted
he regretted turning down the chance to star in Se7en, the David Fincher classic about
a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as a template for his murders. As he explained, he found the script “too
dark and evil” — although now that we’ve all had a couple of decades to love Brad Pitt
and Morgan Freeman in the movie, he feels a little better about the film. If you ever see Washington, don’t forget to
ask him “what’s in the box.” “What’s in the boooox?”What’s in the boooox?” “Because I envy your normal life, David.” “Put the gun down put the gun down, David” “Seems that envy is my sin.” Ah what’s in the booooox?” “It’s a box of balloons.” “It’s balloons!” “It’s just balloons.” “It’s balloons.” “It’s a box of balloons.” “There must be a hundred balloons in here!” Thanks for watching! Click the Looper icon to subscribe to our
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