10 Iconic Roles You Never Knew Were Meant For Another Actor

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There are some movie roles that we see where the actor who is playing them seems like it was the right choice all along. We cannot picture anyone ever taking on this role, right from the minute we see them. Think of Han Solo or Indiana Jones and ask yourself if anyone other than Harrison Ford would have been a good fit for the role. For that matter, think of Luke Skywalker. Would someone other than Mark Hamill been able to use the force in just the right way? Despite the fact that the movie and television companies landed on the right actor for some of our favorite characters, they weren’t always the first choice. Check out our list of 10 iconic roles you never knew were actually meant for another actor and prepare to be amazed.


Shrek was one of the roles that made Mike Myers’ career one of the biggest in the comedy world during the late 1990’s. It turns out that before he was chosen, the studio tried out Chris Farley. There are even audio tapes that have been recently released of Farley trying on the role of the ogre.

Jack Torrance in The Shining

While Jack Nicholson ended up being the absolute best choice for the murderous father in the film adaptation of Stephen King’s book, it turns out he wasn’t the first choice. The film makers originally wanted to go with Robin Williams, but Williams didn’t feel he was right for the part. It’s a safe bet a slightly goofier Jack Torrance would have been in store for us had the filmmakers gotten their first choice.

The Terminator

Back before OJ Simpson had committed himself to a life of crime, he actually had a burgeoning acting career following a stellar football career. He was originally sought after to be the Terminator in the original movie, but he turned it down. What a weirdly ironic choice it would have been if the producers had landed on their first choice.

Vivian Ward from Pretty Woman

Vivian Ward, everyone’s favorite prostitute from Pretty Woman made Julia Roberts’ career, especially when it came to romantic comedies. We wonder what would have happened to her career if Michelle Pfeiffer, who was first offered the role, would have accepted.

Han Solo

Remember how we said it would be hard to imagine anyone other than Harrison Ford as Han Solo? George Lucas certainly imagined it, and he actually offered the role to Burt Reynolds, as well as other hot shot actors such as Kurt Russell. They all decided not to do it and Ford ended up being the guy.

Oskar Schindler from Schindler’s List

Liam Neeson certainly did a bang up job as the main character in Schindler’s list, but he almost didn’t get the job. Another A-Lister in Harrison Ford almost had yet another iconic role to his credit.

Bella Swan In the Twilight movies

Just as Jennifer Lawrence seems as if she was always supposed to be Katniss Everdeen, Kristen Stewart will forever be thought of as Bella Swan from Twilight. How things could have changed if the Twilight makers had gotten Lawrence to play Bella.

Forrest Gump

Somehow we just can’t picture John Travolta speaking in that interesting twang Tom Hanks brought to the role of Forrest Gump. If the filmmakers had landed their first choice, we would have heard it though. Travolta was offered and turned down the role before Hanks accepted it.

Mace Windu From Star Wars

Samual L. Jackson’s Mace Windu is kind of an extra character in the Star Wars prequels and maybe that’s why the role of the Jedi master was originally aimed at rapper Tupac Shakur. The performer’s untimely death ended that inkling and Jackson was used instead.

Katniss Everdeen From The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games main character might seem like a perfect fit for Jennifer Lawrence but she wasn’t the studio’s first choice. Lyndsy Fonseca and Abigail Breslin were two actresses who were considered for the role before Lawrence.