Special Report

Actors Who Turned Down Iconic Roles

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Christina Applegate
> Role: Elle Woods
> Movie: “Legally Blonde” (2001)
> Portrayed by: Reese Witherspoon

Christina Applegate was afraid of repeating the role of a loopy blonde in the film “Legally Blonde” after playing what she thought was a similar role on the television series “Married … With Children.” She regrets her decision but believed Reese Witherspoon was better than she would have been in the role.

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Dana Delaney
> Role: Carrie Bradshaw
> TV series and movies: “Sex and the City” (1998-2004, plus two movies and a follow-up series)
> Portrayed by: Sarah Jessica Parker

Dana Delaney turned down the role of fashionista Carrie Bradshaw on “Sex and the City” because the timing was wrong. She had just starred in a comedy titled “Exit to Eden” in a provocative role and felt appearing in “Sex and the City” would damage her image. She did not regret her decision, complimenting the way Sarah Jessica Parker embraced the role of the fashion icon.

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Dustin Hoffman
> Role: Roy Neary
> Movie: “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977)
> Portrayed by: Richard Dreyfuss

Director Steven Spielberg asked Dustin Hoffman to take the part of the perplexed Roy Neary but the actor turned him down. Richard Dreyfuss, who eventually took the part, had played a small uncredited role in “The Graduate,” which made Hoffman a star.

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Emily Browning
> Role: Bella
> Movie: “Twilight” (2008)
> Portrayed by: Kristen Stewart

Emily Browning turned down the role of Bella in “Twilight” and never regretted it. She told the Huffington Post in 2014 that the fanfare that came with the film might have forced her to quit acting altogether.

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Emma Watson
> Role: Mia Dolan
> Movie: “La La Land” (2016)
> Portrayed by: Emma Stone

Emma Watson, who starred in all eight Harry Potter films as Hermione Granger, passed on the role of Mia Dolan in “La La Land” because she was preparing to perform in the live version of “Beauty and the Beast.” Emma Stone took the part and won an Academy Award for Best Actress.

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