Actors That Auditioned For One Role And Ended Up Playing Another

When it comes to the entertainment industry, a lot of audience members forget how hard it is for actors to get roles. More often than not, they don’t get the part they wanted, if they even get a part in a project at all! Some, like Eddie Redmayne and Tom Hiddleston, are lucky enough to make a good enough impression, leading to another role on the same project. Here are actors whose role wasn’t their first choice in a television series or film.

Iwan Rheon Played A Very Different Role In Game Of Thrones

Picture of Iwan Rheon
HBO
HBO

There’s no denying that Iwan Rheon’s portrayal of the sadistic and manipulative Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones made him one of the most despised characters in the series. Yet, initially, he wanted to audition for the role of Jon Snow, who is one of the most beloved characters and played by Kit Harrington.

Nonetheless, Rheon made enough of an impression during his audition that he was invited back for the role of Ramsay Bolton. Rheon commented on their decision stating, “I think they made the right choice. It would’ve been a very different Jon Snow if I played him.”

Alexander Ludwig Was Trying To Kill The Character He Wanted To Portray In The Hunger Games

Picture of Cato
Lionsgate Entertainment
Lionsgate Entertainment

Alexander Ludwig did a fantastic job playing the role of Cato, a tribute from District 2 that was bred to compete in the Hunger Games. While Ludwig’s physical prowess and bloodthirsty attitude make him a perfect fit for Cato, he actually surprisingly wanted to play Peeta Mellark.

While he had his hopes set on playing Peeta, looking back, Ludwig commented, “It’s fun playing the bad guy once in a while. I got to really experiment with a side of me that I’ve never seen before.”

Eddie Redmayne Almost Wasn’t The Lovable Magizoologist in Fantastic Beasts

Picture of Eddie Redmayne
Warner Bros. Pictures
Warner Bros. Pictures

While it’s hard to picture anyone else playing the magizoologist Newt Scamander in the Harry Potter universe, he almost entirely took a different direction. Originally, Redmayne actually auditioned to play the role of the teenage Lord Voldemort as Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

In 2016, Redmayne told Empire, “I properly failed and didn’t get a callback,” noting that he also hoped to get a role in the Weasley family. Yet, Redmayne got the last laugh and received a much larger role in the Fantastic Beast series.

James Franco Never Intended To Be A Villain In Spider-Man

Picture of James Franco
Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures

In the Spider-Man trilogy starring Toby McGuire, James Franco plays Harry Osborn, Peter Parker’s best friend, Norman Osborn’s son, and Mary Jane’s boyfriend. However, his character takes a turn for the worse when he takes on his father’s role as the new Green Goblin in Spider-Man 3.

While Franco plays his role well, he actually had his sights set on playing Spider-Man. Supposedly, Franco got far in the audition, although the role went to Tobey McGuire, but director Sam Raimi didn’t overlook his talents and called him in to play Harry.

Tom Hiddleston Wanted To Be The Hero

Picture of Tom Hiddleston
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

Tom Hiddleston plays a major role in the MCU as Loki, but he didn’t always want to be one of the main villains. In fact, he wanted to be Thor. In an episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the footage of Hiddleston’s audition for the role was shown, and he was there to react.

Hiddleston commented, “I think we can all agree, they cast the right actor.” On that note, we also think that audiences can also agree that Hiddleston was the right role for the trickster god as well.

Ashley Greene Never Foresaw The Character She Would Play In Twilight

Picture of Bella and Alice
Summit Entertainment
Summit Entertainment

In the Twilight series, Ashley Greene plays Alice Cullen, a likable vampire who can see the future. Throughout the films, Alice always seems to be on the right side of things, with Greene convincingly playing the character.

However, Greene actually auditioned for Bella’s role, although she was called back to audition for Alice. Still, it was a lengthy audition process, with Greene recalling, I came in probably like five times before I actually got the role — and then I went home for Christmas and literally just had to wait and wait.”

Rainne Wilson Applied For The Job Of Regional Manager

Picture of Dwight and Michael Scott
NBC
NBC

The Office is one of those shows where every actor plays their role so well that audiences just assume that’s actually who they are. While Rainne Wilson’s character of Dwight Schrute is one of the most beloved characters on the show, he auditioned for Michael Scott!

When discussing his audition tape, Wilson said that he’s embarrassed by it, and that “I just basically did my Ricky Gervais impression because I didn’t really know what to do with the character.” Luckily for us, he felt a calling to Dwight, and he nailed it.

Mean Girls Was Almost Polar Opposite Of What It Turned Out To Be

Picture of actresses
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

Regina George is the perfect representation of the popular high school girl. She’s attractive, the leader of a clique, and people want to be like her. Although Rachel McAdams pulls off Regina George’s role with seeming ease, director Mark Waters revealed that McAdams originally auditioned for Cady and Lohan for George.

Although Waters claims that both girls fit the part they initially wanted, he felt it was best that they actually switch roles for the film. Clearly, the director knew best in this case.

Norman Reedus Never Intended To Carry A Crossbow In The Walking Dead

Picture of Norman Reedus
AMC
AMC

After reading the pilot script for The Walking Dead in 2010, Norman Reedus had his heart set on being a part of the project. When he auditioned, however, it was for the role of Merle Dixon, and while the role went to Michael Rooker, Reedus was so impressive during his audition that the character of Daryl was created specifically for him.

This meant that Reedus was given a lot of creative control over the character, and it’s safe to say not many people were disappointed.

Lee Pace Has His Eyes On Starlord

Picture of Lee Pace
Marvel Entertainment
Marvel Entertainment

Back in 2012, Lee Pace admitted that he was auditioning for Star-Lord’s role in Guardians of the Galaxy and that he was very eager about it. However, the part ended up going to Chris Pratt instead, although Pace wasn’t completely booted from the project.

He was offered the part of the villain Ronan the Accuser. This worked out in the end, mostly because Chris Pratt is the best Star-Lord that fans could have hoped for.

Cordelia Chase And Buffy Summers Almost Were Much Different

Picture of Buffy actresses
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

Charisma Carpenter is known for playing Cordelia Chase on the hit series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. However, in a turn of events, Carpenter actually wanted the role of Buffy while Sarah Michelle Gellar wanted to play Cordelia Chase.

While both of their auditions supposedly went well, creator Josh Whedon felt that Gellar would make a better Buffy. We wonder if the show would have been as much of a hit if they never switched roles.

John Krasinski Almost Wore The Mustard Shirts In The Office

Picture of the Office cast
NBC
NBC

John Krasinski got his big break playing the lazy and in-love Jim Halpert in The Office, and his career took off afterward. However, when auditioning for the show, his initial interest was in the character Dwight Schrute.

Yet, during the audition process, Krasinksi convinced the casting directors to allow him to read for Jim because he felt natural chemistry with Jenna Fisher. This worked out because we all know how important their relationship is to the show. We don’t think Krasinski would have been able to pull off Dwight’s outfit quite as Rainne Wilson did either.

Could You Imagine Game Of Thrones Without Carice Van Houten As Melisandre?

Picture of Houton
HBO
HBO

In the epic series Game of Thrones, Carice Van Houten plays Melisandre, otherwise known as the Red Woman, a priestess that can see visions in flames. Nevertheless, she was actually asked to first audition for Cersei Lannister’s role but was unable to do it due to a timing conflict.

This worked out for Lena Heady, who played Cersei, as her performance is considered the best of her career. Houten would later go on to admit that “Lena couldn’t be a better Cersei.”

Tom Felton Isn’t A Bad Guy At Heart

Picture of Tom Felton
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

Tom Felton is best-know for playing the role of the arrogant and sometimes cruel wizard Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series. Yet, incredibly, he auditioned for two other major characters before landing his part.

Unbelievably, he tried out for both Harry Potter and Ron Weasley! Draco Malfoy’s arch-nemesis’ while attending Hogwarts. Although he was initially disappointed, he was happy that both roles went to Daniel Radcliff and Rupert Grint because he didn’t think anyone could play them better.

Roles Were Almost Switched In The Dark Knight

Picture of Heath Ledger
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

The Dark Knight is considered one of the greatest superhero movies ever made, with many people commending its acting, especially Christian Bale and Heath Ledger. Although it’s been argued that nobody can ever come close to Ledger’s rendition of the Joker, he originally wanted to be Batman!

Although the role went to Bale, Ledger’s performance as Joker is deemed one of the best of all time, and he won a posthumous Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance.

Sebastian Stan Was Almost Captain America But Was His Best Friend Instead

Picture of Sebastian Stan
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

Sebastian Stan initially wanted the title role of Captain America, yet was beaten out by Chris Evans during the casting process. Instead, he played Bucky Barnes, a sergeant in the United States Army and Captain America’s best friend.

To prepare for the role, Stan claimed that he watched a lot of documentaries and films about World War II, also admitting that he didn’t know much about comic books at the start. He also made sure to try and really capture the relationship between Barnes and Captain America.

Stephanie Beatriz Was Asked To Come Back And Read Another Part For Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Picture of Stephanie Beatriz
Fox
Fox

When auditioning for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Stephanie Beatriz came in to read the role of Amy Santiago. Yet, by the end of her audition, she was told to come back and read for the character of Rosa instead.

Although she was nervous about coming back and auditioning after she had been turned down, when she got the part of Rosa, she was convinced that the role of Amy was supposed to go to Melissa Fumero anyway.

Amanda Seyfried Auditioned For Regina George In Mean Girls

Picture of Amanda Seyfried
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

When auditioning for a spot in Mean Girls, Amanda Seyfried had her heart set on playing the infamous Regina George. Of course, we know that the role went to Rachel McAdams, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t come close.

According to director Mark Waters, Seyfried was excellent during her audition and that “She played it in a much more ethereal, but still kind of scary way. She was more frightening, but oddly, less intimidating.” So, she was hired to play Karen Smith instead.

Isaiah Washington Was Almost McDreamy In Grey’s Anatomy

Picture of Isaiah Washington
ABC
ABC

Before the start of the series, Isaiah Washington auditioned for the role of Derek Shepherd. Unfortunately for Washington, he didn’t end up getting the role, as it went to Patrick Dempsey instead.

Nevertheless, Shonda Rhimes claimed that she enjoyed his audition so much that she made sure to cast him as Preston Burke when the original actor dropped out. Unfortunately, he was later written off from the show after having on-set incidents with T.R. Knight and Patrick Dempsey.

Jeremy Strong Was Close To Getting The Part Of Kendall Roy In Succession

Jeremy Strong in Succession
HBO
HBO

Jeremy Strong is a great actor in his own right, so when he auditioned for the role of Roman Roy in Succession, it wasn’t out of the question that he would get it. However, Jesse Armstrong, one of the creators of the show, noted that Strong would have made a great Roman, but Kieren Culkin was just better for the role.

In fact, Armstrong described Culkin as being a “slam dunk” and that he “is the character” of Roman, so Strong was offered to play Kendall Roy.

Colin Donnell Had A Character Written For Him In The Affair

Picture of Colin Donnell
Showtime
Showtime

When auditioning for The Affair, Colin Donnell was interested in playing Cole Lockhart. Nevertheless, the part went to Joshua Jackson, although Donnell got close. He auditioned for Cole on a few different occasions, yet the series co-creator Sarah Treem admitted that “he wasn’t quite right.”

Luckily for Donnell, Treem liked him enough that she wrote the character of Scotty Lockhart just for him. So, he may not have been able to play Collin, but he did get to play his brother!

Laura Prepon Tried Out For Piper In Orange Is The New Black

Picture of Laura Prepon
Netflix
Netflix

In Orange Is the New Black, Laura Prepon plays Alex Vause, Piper Chapman’s ex-girlfriend and a woman that has her fair share of problems. While it’s difficult to picture anyone else wearing Alex’s iconic glasses, Prepon ironically auditioned for the role of Piper.

Nevertheless, showrunner Jeni Kohan didn’t think Prepon would best be used playing the innocent Piper. So, Alex’s character was shaped by Prepon’s natural personality, and the unique character of Alex was born.

Sandra Oh Was Almost Miranda Baily On Grey’s Anatomy

Picture of Sarah Oh
ABC
ABC

There’s no denying that Sandra Oh does an excellent job as the stern doctor Christina Yang in Grey’s Anatomy. Yet, she almost didn’t get that role in the beginning. At first, Oh was invited to read the part for Baily, but Oh made the decision to audition for Christina Yang instead.

Shonda Rhimes, the showrunner, commented on the situation saying, “She brought this energy that felt very fresh. From the beginning, I’ve been shaping Christina around Sandra a little bit.” Chandra Wilson then filled the role of Miranda Bailey.

Hank Azaria Missed Out On Being Joey Tribbiani In Friends

Picture of Hank Azaria
NBC
NBC

There’s no denying that Matt LeBlanc’s impression of Joey on Friends took both the character and the show to the next level. While audiences couldn’t picture the character being played by anyone else, Hank Azaria was incredibly interested in the role.

After auditioning for the part, he was denied but instead cast as scientist David, who was a love interest for Phoebe. Although Azaria may not have landed a lead part, his character did make several appearances throughout the show.

Switching Brothers On Supernatural

Picture of actors
The CW
The CW

Brothers Sam and Dean Winchester have been winning audiences’ hearts and killing monsters on Supernatural since 2005. If you watch the show, you know that Dean is the big brother and sam the younger.

Interestingly, Jensen Eckles, who plays Dean, actually read the script for Sam’s part at first, although he was more interested in the character Dean. So, after Jared Padalecki was cast as Sam Winchester, the producers invited Eckles back to try his hand at Dean, and everything worked out beautifully.

Paul Wesley Had To Accept The Fact That He Was Going To Play Stefan In The Vampire Diaries

Actors in the Vampire Diaries
CBS
CBS

The Vampire Diaries is another example of two actors switching their roles as brothers during casting. At first, Paul Wesley auditioned to play Damon, but when Ian Somerhalder received the part over him, Paul Wesley wasn’t ready to give up.

Instead, he re-auditioned for the role of Stefan, and the rest is history. Surprisingly, Wesley was fitter to play Stefan than he thought, and today, nobody could imagine what it would be like if this switch had not happened.

Jon Favreau Took A Stab At Being Chandler In Friends

Picture of John Favreau

Chandler is one of the main characters of the sitcom Friends, although the character could have looked much different. A man of many talents, Jon Favreau, auditioned for the part before Matthew Perry, although producers thought that Perry was the better choice.

However, they still wanted to include Favreau in the project. So, they asked him to appear as Pete Becker, one of Monica’s love interests who is involved in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Fortunately for Favreau, he didn’t need to be Chandler to be successful later in his life.

Ashley Tisdale Didn’t Make The Cut To Be London Tipton In The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody

Actors in the suite life
Disney Channel
Disney Channel

The Disney Channel series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody was a hit with young audiences and helped rocket the careers of actors such as Cole and Dylan Sprouse, Ashley Tisdale, and Brenda Song into fame.

While Ashley Tisdale made a name for herself as Maddie Fitzpatrick on the show, the character she was initially going for was London Tipton. Brenda Song may have ended up with the role, but Tisdale still got her moment in the spotlight as a drama queen in High School Musical.

Liza Weil Really Wanted To Play Rory In Gilmore Girls

Actors in Gilmore Girls
The CW
The CW

In Gilmore Girls, Liza Weil plays Paris Geller, who starts out as an enemy of Rory Gilmore, only for them to eventually become friends, as expected. However, Weil initially wanted to play Rory, but showrunners felt that Alexis Bledel was already too perfect for the part.

Show creator Amy Sherman-Palladino actually felt bad about turning down Weil, so she wrote the part of Paris Geller for her as part of a three-episode arc. Yet, the character was so well-liked by audiences that Geller’s role was extended.

Chadwick Boseman Had His Eyes Set On A Much Different MCU Character

Picture of Chadwick Boseman
Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures

Out of all the Marvel heroes, Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa is the star of Black Panther, a king, and is quite a presence on the screen. Boseman may seem perfect for the role, but he initially wanted to play a more comedic role as the character of Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy.

Clearly, he didn’t get the part, and for a good reason, yet Boseman credits director Sarah Finn for keeping him in mind when they were casting for Black Panther.