VOICE OVER: Kirsten Ria Squibb
WRITTEN BY: Tal Fox
In a twist, these actors got different movie roles than they auditioned for. Our countdown includes "Cinderella," "Heathers," "Bridesmaids," and more!
Top 10 Actors Who Got Different Movie Roles Than They Auditioned For
Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Actors Who Got Different Movie Roles Than They Auditioned For
For this list, we’ll be looking at actors who thought they were right for one role but ended up landing another in the same movie.
Do you think the casting directors made the right call? Let us know in the comments.
#10: Lily James
This actress got her big movie break playing the titular character in this classic fairytale. However, when James first auditioned for “Cinderella” she had her sights set on the wicked stepsister, Anastasia. During her audition, she was also asked to read for the role of Ella. She joked that it was her blonde hair that helped director, Kenneth Branagh see her as the movie’s protagonist. However, if you ask him, he’d tell you that it was her “ lightness of spirit” that won him over. This Cinderella needed to be compassionate, feisty, and in charge of her own destiny, and Lily James fit the bill perfectly.
#9: Orlando Bloom
“The Lord of the Rings” Franchise (2001-03)
Imagine being a few days shy of college graduation and then landing a role in a major movie franchise. Well, that’s pretty much what happened to this actor. When Bloom first auditioned for the popular fantasy trilogy, he read for the role of Boromir’s brother, Faramir. But it seems like director Peter Jackson saw him as a different character entirely. Still, before he was officially cast as Legolas, rumor had it that a more established actor, Jude Law, would appear in the role. As we now know this wasn’t the case and we couldn’t picture it any other way. Talk about a lucky break!
#8: Ashley Greene
“The Twilight Saga” (2008-12)
As any fan of the movie knows, Ashley Greene and Jackson Rathbone play vampire couple, Jasper Hale and Alice Cullens. But if things had gone a little differently during auditions, they could have played another set of “Twilight” lovebirds instead. Rathbone originally auditioned for Edward while Greene wanted to play Bella. She said that after reading the first book, she fell in love with the story and was gutted when she lost out on the part. Luckily, opportunity came a-knocking once again when she was asked to read for Alice. After several callbacks, she booked the job. So everything worked out in the end.
#7: James Franco
“Spider-Man” Trilogy (2002-07)
Franco was initially up for the role of Peter Parker and had actually made it quite far through the audition process too. Understandably he was disappointed when ultimately he didn’t get the job. Instead, the gig went to Tobey Maguire. However, that wasn’t the end of the Spidey-road for Franco either. Clearly he made an impression on director Sam Raimi, who offered him the part of Harry Osborn, Peter’s best-friend-turned-mortal enemy, after embodying Green Goblin. Sometimes things simply work out exactly how they were meant to be. This was the film that put Franco on the map and helped his career take off.
#6: Shannen Doherty
Several actors turned down any involvement in this cult classic due to its dark content. However, Shannen Doherty was keen to read for the part of Veronica Sawyer, only to learn that Winona Ryder had already been cast. Instead, she was asked to read for Heather Chandler, a Queen B so vicious that she makes Regina George look like an angel. But Doherty was more attracted to the role of Heather Chandler’s devious right-hand woman, Heather Duke. She loved the character’s journey from a meek follower to an iron-fisted dictator. Doherty nailed her audition, cementing her position as one of the cruelest mean girls in movie history.
#5: Liam Hemsworth
“The Hunger Games” Franchise (2012-15)
Before being cast as the sharp-minded Peeta, John Hutcherson was up against two of his future castmates for the role. Alexander Ludwig, who ended up playing antagonist Cato, and Liam Hemsworth, now known for playing Gale, one-third of the central love triangle. In 2011 Hemsworth told MTV that he was instantly drawn to the character as soon as he read the script. Even before he was called for an audition he was pretty certain that he would be reading for the part of Peeta. Obviously, the director Gary Ross felt that his talents were better suited to playing the action man instead.
#4: Tom Felton
“Harry Potter” Franchise (2001-11)
The actor hadn’t even read the books when he decided to audition. Nevertheless, he tried out for both Harry Potter and his best friend, Ron Weasley. In fact, he was very much in the running for the lead character, which of course went to Daniel Radcliffe. Still, the director saw something in the young actor and decided to cast him as Harry’s foe, Draco Malfoy. After catching up on the books and getting to know the character, Felton agreed that this was the right call. We’re sure you’d acknowledge that no one could play the father card quite as convincingly as Felton’s Malfoy.
#3: Rebel Wilson
Can you imagine anyone other than Melissa McCarthy playing quirky sis-in-law-to-be, Megan? Yeah, Neither can we. But did you know that Rebel Wilson was the second choice for the part? In 2021, in an interview with SiriusXM, she revealed that the character of Annie’s zany roommate, Brynn, was written just for her. She impressed so much in her audition that they knew they wanted her on board. The movie’s co-writer and star Kristen Wiig even gave the Aussie actor free rein to improvise. Despite being a late addition, Wilson used her comedic talents to fit seamlessly into her scenes. Not bad for your Hollywood debut, huh?
#2: Tom Hiddleston
Marvel Cinematic Universe (2008-)
The “Marvel Universe” is so huge that you probably won’t be surprised to learn all the castings that could have been. For example, can you picture Bucky Barnes actor, Sebastian Stan as Captain America? How about Tom Hiddleston, now best known for playing the dark and devious Loki, as Thor instead? On “The Tonight Show” he revealed that he never actually auditioned to play Loki but actually read for the hammer-wielding Avenger. They even show never seen before footage of the actor’s audition from ten years earlier. After watching it back though, the actor conceded that the right casting choices had been made.
#1: Lindsay Lohan
“Mean Girls” (2004)
Before being cast as new kid Cady Heron, Lindsay Lohan was super excited to play HBIC, Regina George. She wasn’t the only future cast member interested in the role either. Amanda Seyfriend also came close to landing the gig but producer Lorne Michaels thought she was better suited to Karen. Lohan’s Regina was so powerful that they struggled to find anyone strong enough to go up against her. In the end, director Mark Waters decided to convince her to accept the leading role instead. Incidentally, Rachel McAdams, who plays Regina, actually auditioned to play Cady. We think that the final casting choices were so totally “fetch.”