Special Report

Actors Who Turned Down Blockbuster Roles

Charles Stockdale

Source: John Phillips / Getty Images

11. Mel Gibson
> Role: Maximus
> Movie: Gladiator (2000)
> Played by: Russell Crowe

Mel Gibson turned down an offer to star in 2000’s “Gladiator” as he thought he was too old for the role. The movie would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture with Russell Crowe in the lead role.

Source: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

12. Tom Hanks
> Role: Jerry Maguire
> Movie: Jerry Maguire (1996)
> Played by: Tom Cruise

Tom Hanks turned down the role of Jerry Maguire — which was written with him in mind — because he was directing “That Thing You Do” at the time. He has since said that Cruise was perfectly cast.

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13. Anne Hathaway
> Movie: Knocked Up (2007)
> Played by: Katherine Heigl

Anne Hathaway revealed in a 2007 interview in Marie Claire magazine that she turned down the role of Alison in Judd Apatow’s comedy “Knocked Up” due to nudity in the script that she found unnecessary. Katherine Heigl, who ended up playing Alison, would later stir controversy by calling the movie “a little sexist,” in a 2018 interview with “Vanity Fair.”

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14. Charlie Hunnam
> Role: Christian Grey
> Movie: Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
> Played by: Jamie Dornan

Charlie Hunnam, perhaps best known for his work on the show “Sons of Anarchy,” called his departure from “Fifty Shades of Grey” — after he was announced to play the part of Christian Grey — “the worst professional experience of [his] life,” in an interview with “V Man.” He also referred to the decision, which he said was due to scheduling issues, as “heartbreaking.”

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15. Hugh Jackman
> Role: James Bond
> Movie: Casino Royale (2006)
> Played by: Daniel Craig

Hugh Jackman was offered the chance to play James Bond after Pierce Brosnan, but the actor thought the series had become too “unbelievable and crazy,” he recounted to “Variety” in 2017. Actor Daniel Craig stepped up to the plate instead, becoming the highest paid Bond actor ever.