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15 Iconic Movies Where The Actors Were Not The First Choice For The Role

By Andrew Alpin, 24 November 2017

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You’ve seen the movies and even loved them, But!!What if Johnny Depp wasn’t Jack Sparrow? Or what if someone else played the role of Michael Corleone in the Godfather? Could you imagine these roles any other way? As iconic as the portrayal of these roles were by the actors who played them, the incredible fact is that they were not exactly the director’s first choice for the role. It was someone else.

Hypothetically speaking, if you could imagine the face of the first choice of these characters, would that seem in place? Even the thought of another actor playing such roles, would that feel right??? Just think about it while taking a look at these 12 movies with actors, not the first choice. They would not have turned out the way they did with someone else playing the leading role.

1The Godfather: Jack Nicholson as Michael Corleone

The mannerism and portrayal of the character Michael Corleone was suited to Al Pacino as he did absolute justice to the role. But!! What if Jack Nicholson played the part? Yes! He was the first choice for the character as he revealed in an interview in 2004. Jack mentioned that there was a reason for turning down the role. According to him, it was made for an Italian actor. "Back then I believed that Indians should play Indians and Italians should play Italians,” He went on to say that "There were a lot of actors who could have played Michael, myself included, but Al Pacino was Michael Corleone, said the actor who stood out in the movie “the Shining”. “I can’t think of a better compliment to pay him.” 

Jack Nicholson as Michael Corleone

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2 Die Hard: Arnold Schwarzenegger as John McLane

Would you have liked seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger as John McLane in the Die Hard franchise? The role was actually offered first to Schwarzenegger having been proposed as a continuation to Commando (1985). Arnold went on to refuse the role for his own reasons and Bruce Willis was chosen instead. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger as John McLane

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3 The Blind Side: Julia Roberts as Leigh Anne Tuohy

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Would Julia Roberts have won an Oscar for the role of Leigh Ann Tuohy?? As fate would have it, Roberts had already agreed to star in Valentine’s Day. Movie producers had no option but to turn to Sandra Bullock to act in the movie which she excelled in inspite of a pay cut. Bullock even went straight on to win an Academy award. 

Julia Roberts as Leigh Anne Tuohy

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4 Pretty Woman: Molly Ringwald as Vivian Ward

This was the movie of the 80’s that gave Julia Roberts a huge break in Hollywood. However, she wasn’t the first choice for the movie and the role was offered to Molly Ringwald. Ringwald was handed the script titled “$ 3000”. Later it was retiled as “Pretty Woman”. Ringwald says she doesn’t remember turning it down but praised Roberts work by saying “"The script was okay but I gotta say, Julia Roberts is what makes that movie. It was her part. Every actor hopes for a part that lets them shine like that.” 

Molly Ringwald as Vivian Ward

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5 Million Dollar Baby: Sandra Bullock as Maggie Fitzgerald

Contrary to popular reports, Bullock being the first choice for the role of Maggie Fitzgerald, never really turned down the role. She said that the film never really got off and she just couldn’t get it made. By the time filming had started, she was already shooting for Miss Congeniality 2. Bullock said "When things like that happen, that's the way they are supposed to be." 

Sandra Bullock as Maggie Fitzgerald

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