What would Big have looked like with Dennis Quaid instead of Tom Hanks? Or how about Dawson’s Creek with Adam Brody and Scott Speedman? While it’s the roles they nab that fans know their favorite actors for, the parts they miss out on can also have a big impact. ET talked to nine stars of film and television about the most memorable parts they missed out on.
Before he became the adorably geeky Seth Cohen on The O.C., Brody went for a role on another memorable teen drama — Dawson’s Creek! The 38-year-old actor says the series was one of his earliest auditions. “Some very early [auditions were] Power Rangers, maybe, [and] definitely Dawson’s Creek. I read with Scott Speedman and I didn’t get it,” Brody told ET. “That was like my first, like, ‘Whoa this is a real TV show.’”
Brody also confessed he was gutted to miss out on being “the dude” Steve on Blue’s Clues!
Almost 17 years since Legally Blonde hit theaters, Reese Witherspoon is still synonymous with her epic role as pup-loving lawyer Elle Woods. But another actress eyed up the script first. “The script came along my way and it was right after I had finished Married … [with Children] and it was a blonde who, in that first script, didn’t win it but ends up going to Yale or Harvard,” Applegate recalled to ET. “I got scared of kind of repeating myself. What a stupid move that was, right? Reese deserved that. She did a much better job than I ever could, and so that’s her life. That’s her path.”
Quaid could have stepped into Tom Hanks’ shoes in Big, but says he turned down the gig. “That was for me,” he said referring to Hank’s part as Josh in the 1988 hit, which follows a young boy who gets his wish of growing up. However, Quaid says the role that got away was a part in Urban Cowboy. “Urban Cowboy was written for me, but went the other way,” he explained. That was one I wished I’d gotten.”
Peters auditioned for the role of Peeta in The Hunger Games franchise; however, Josh Hutcherson won the role, elevating his teen heartthrob status. “One [role] that would have been great was Hunger Games,” dished the actor, who has since become known for American Horror Story. “I didn’t get it. The movie’s great and Josh is great, so whatever … you just deal with it. You can’t always take it personally. I mean, you do a little bit, but you’re also like, ‘I guess it wasn’t meant to be and there will be something else.”
Ben Barnes watch out — Andrew Garfield is gonna “get ya!” The Spider-Man hunk missed out on a role he had his heart set on during his early days in the industry, and the reason why is a shocker. “I really wanted to play — this is so silly — there was a [Chronicles of] Narnia movie,” Garfield shared. “I think I auditioned for the Prince Caspian film and Ben Barnes ultimately got it. Ben Barnes, I’ll get ya! I really just wanted that part.”
So what did Barnes have that Garfield was apparently lacking? “I think the feedback was, ‘He’s not handsome enough.’ What can you do? Hey, I’m not handsome enough for Prince Caspian.”
Before Buffy the Vampire Slayer and How I Met Your Mother, Hannigan was vying for the role of Blossom Russo in Blossom, eventually made famous by Mayim Bialik, who’s now on The Big Bang Theory. “You can’t be an actress without going, ‘Eh, I wish I had gotten that one,’” Hannigan previously told ET. “But you also just know it was obviously not meant to be. But I remember being devastated as a kid, not getting Blossom. That one hurt. I would have rocked that hat.”
Got to love Oliver Hudson’s dedication! We’re still blown away by the fact that the Nashville hottie skipped an audition for Jack Pearson on This Is Us – because he was going fishing! “I was supposed to have a chemistry read, and who knows if I would have gotten the show, but I was scheduled to attend a fishing trip and I love to fish and I loved the script, but I love to fish and I chose fishing,” he explained. “I caught a 271-pound tuna — my biggest fish I’ve ever caught, so there is an upside, you know. And I love Milo [Ventimiglia, who landed the role]. I know him and he’s amazing and that’s just the role he should be doing.”
While Hudson made it onto Nashville, one star who missed out on the drama — more than once — was The Bold Type’s Katie Stevens. “I’ve auditioned for Nashville a million times,” she recently revealed to ET. “I’m always like, ‘Ahh, I love Nashville, that would have been so great.’ But it wasn’t right for me at that time because when I didn’t get Nashville the first time, I got Faking It. And, when I didn’t get Nashville the second time, I got this [The Bold Type], so I feel like everything happens for a reason.”
While word is that Matt LeBlanc was a contender for Ty Burrell’s role as Phil Dunphy on Modern Family, Popular alum Leslie Grossman was in the running to play his onscreen wife, Claire — a part that went to Julie Bowen. “I tested for Modern Family and I did not get it and that was tough,” Grossman said. “That was a show where I read the script and I was like, ‘This is so good and so funny and so unique. This is it. This is it.’ I went through the whole casting process, and I made it to the final audition and it just didn’t work out for me. That was one of those times where I may have gotten in bed and pulled the covers over my head for just a few minutes. And then I rallied and moved on with my life.”
Grossman was eventually brought onto the ABC series as a guest star and she only had praise for Bowen. “Once you see who gets it, you go, ‘That makes perfect sense.’ She’s phenomenal and fantastic.”