I had no idea that Paul Giamatti turned down the role of Michael Scott on The office. Some others I didn't know about:
Gillian Anderson turned down the role of Lady Cora on Downton Abbey.
Craig T. Nelson turned down the role of Jay Pritchett on Modern Family.
Dana Delany turned down the role of Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City.
Michael Keaton turned down the role of Jack Shepard on Lost.
Those were the few I hadn't heard about.
My guess is that Gillian Anderson didn't want to play the mother of three grown women. I prefer Elizabeth McGovern in the role.
[quote]Gillian Anderson would have been genius in the Downton Abbey role. I'm guessing she didn't want the commitment of a series.
Maybe she just didn't want to do another British costume drama. She'd just done Great Expectations for the BBC when Downton came along.
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[quote]Michael Keaton turned down the role of Jack Shepard on Lost.
I don't believe that they offered it to him.
Of the entire list it's Dana Delany that made the worst decisions. She gave up two major roles in a tv series. What was she thinking?
Murder She Wrote was created with Jean Stapleton in mind. She turned it down, she says because she had just finished All In The Family a few years earlier, and wasn't eager to get back to the daily grind of a series. She also said the role as written, was bland. It worked with Angela only because she lent her own personality to it. Stapleton doesn't seem to regret the decision, she must've made enough money on All In The Family that she could indulge herself doing only what truly interested her.
Pamela Anderson as Dana Scully? I think I just threw up in my mouth.
[quote]Of the entire list it's Dana Delany that made the worst decisions. She gave up two major roles in a tv series. What was she thinking?
She's probably perfectly happy with her life. If the was she presents herself on Twitter is in any way reflective of how she is in her private life, she's having a great time living life on her own terms.
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[quote]She's probably perfectly happy with her life. If the was she presents herself on Twitter is in any way reflective of how she is in her private life, she's having a great time living life on her own terms.
I have no doubt about that, R8. But those decisions proved to be major mistakes for her professional life.
Thank goodness Thomas Jane turned down Mad Men. Can't imagine what my world would be like without the splendor of knowing Jon Hamm as Don Draper.
Nelson turned down Modern Family because he wanted more money. He makes more now on Parenthood, but it's an hour show, so a tougher work schedule.
Jennifer Jason Leigh turned down a role on Lost (the Libby role, eventually played by Cynthia Watros), and there's a long-running rumor she also turned down a role in Desperate Housewives (the Marcia Cross role - not sure how reliable that rumor is though).
Susan Lucci turned down the roles of Betty Draper, Elaine Benes, and "Darlene's friend No.2 at sleepover" on Roseanne.
Meryl Streep turned down the role of Hurley on "Lost."
Justin Bieber turned down the role of Damien in The Omen.
The role of Ally McBeal was turned down by Bridgette Fonda.
Would someone be kind enough to post the link that is no doubt in the huffington "story."
[quote]Stapleton doesn't seem to regret the decision, she must've made enough money on All In The Family that she could indulge herself doing only what truly interested her.
r7, Jean Stapleton did a one woman show where she played Eleanor Roosevelt. I think she enjoyed doing that because it was the complete opposite of Edith Bunker.
Giamatti would have been good as one of the office support personnel, but he's too passive to play the sociopathic Michael. He has the perfect Dilbert look.
Dana Delany turned down the role of Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City.
You'd have to wonder how SATC would have ended up several seasons in, considering SJP became an executive producer early on. Imagine Dana as Carrie and Sandra Bernhardt as Miranda. Wonder if Dana would have wanted to be an executive producer too after a while, and what direction she would've wanted her character to go in.
Robert Hays turned down MOONLIGHTING. I guess he figured he didn't want another ANGIE.
Nancy McKeon turned down Monica on FRIENDS, only to do a similar show a year later.
Nancy as Monica would have been very different.
[quote] Sarah Jessica Parker still regrets turning down "Mr. Ed"
Jayne Mansfield turned down the Ginger role on Gilligan's Island
IN her one-woman show, Elaine Stritch talks about how she blew/self-sabotaged her audition for "The Golden Girls."
John Travolta turned down the role of James Bond in Casino Royale.
Abe Vigoda turned down the role of NYPD Detective Elliot Stabler on Law and Order SVU.
Glenn turned down the role of Sophia on The Golden Girls.
Aiden Quinn turned down the role of Aidan, which was created for him on S&TC. He was afraid there would be too much nudity.
Elliott Gould rejected the role of Trapper John in the TV MASH. Doesn't matter since his career (as a top star) had already ended in 1971 -- he self destructed with drugs and mental illness and was uninsurable in movies.
Lucy turned down all these roles.
"Doesn't matter since his career (as a top star) had already ended in 1971 -- he self destructed with drugs and mental illness and was uninsurable in movies."
And he was awful in bed.
[quote] Murder She Wrote was created with Jean Stapleton in mind. She turned it down, she says because she had just finished All In The Family a few years earlier, and wasn't eager to get back to the daily grind of a series.
Jean made her "fuck you" money with All In The Family. The kind of money where you never HAVE to work again.
As for GG, supposedly the part of Dorothy *was* originally created with Bea Arthur in mind, but she turned it down several times because she felt it would be repeating their past roles: Maude with Sue Ann Nivens (Betty) and Vivian (Rue).
After that, Elaine Stritch auditioned (and choked, as she confesses) and so, I think, did Doris Roberts. Bea was finally convinced when she was asked again and was told Rue was taking Blanche (the Sue Ann Nivens-esque role) and that Betty was playing the simple Rose,
R35. Mom, dad was bad in bed? How were you?
Fascinating topic of which actors turned down which roles. I'd like to know about more movie stars turning down roles.
Jean Stapleton also turned down the role of Elaine on Seinfeld.
Well it's not tv, but Michelle Pfeiffer turned down Clarice in Silence of the Lambs.
Stapleton hardly made a mint from AITF. She admitted over two decades ago that all that money is long gone. She signed the rights away for what she said seemed like a tidy sum at the time but it went quickly.
She makes zero from it today.
I believe Jean Stapleton turned down the role of Carrie Bradshaw on 'Sex and the City.'
Too bad Jayne turned down Ginger. She would have been perfect.
Carol Channng turned down "Evita"...which is a pity beause they would have adored her in the regions!
Maybe Gillian didn't want to admit that she was old enough to have three adult daughters.
Jean Stapleton also turned down the role of Webster on "Webster."
[quote]Nancy as Monica would have been very different.
Yeah, she would've been a huge dyke.
I cannot even imagine Sandra Bernhard as Miranda. Thank god that didn't happen.
Oh please r28, Elaine Stritch has dined out on that story for years. It was clear that the show's creator really wanted nothing to do with her.
R37, BS was fucking around the countryside, so she probably didn't even notice how bad (dumb) he was.
The Michael Keaton Lost situation is a little misleading. He was supposed to guest star in the Pilot only. Jack was originally meant to die, once ABC nixed that they cast Matthew Fox.
Supposedly, Matthew Broderick was offered the role of Alex P. Keaton on "Family Ties".
of course, what Elaine Stritch also said about Golden Girls was that she was glad she didn't get the part because then she'd have to see Betty White every day, and she'd rather drink arsenic.
Selma Diamond, Lee Gran and Doris Roberts were all brought in for auditions btw
R42 that's incorrect. That was Charlotte Rae.
Threads like this one can reinforce the myth that actors actually have some POWER in making television, when they have very little.
Case in point: Nancy McKeon was, in fact, almost signed as Monica on FRIENDS, but it was the producers who had a rethink after testing Courtney Cox with some of the other actors. They said they liked her softer interpretation of the character they had envisioned.
Apparently McKeon did a great job, but the job description changed.
Similarly, Lisa Kudrow almost played Roz on FRASIER but was replaced at the last minute by the (less funny) Peri Gilpin. Kudrow, in turn, replaced another actress as Phoebe only after Cox was cast.
Janeane Garofalo was offered the role of Monica but turned it down. I love Janeane, but I can't see her as Monica at all, nor could I see her having any chemistry with the rest of the cast.
[quote] Gillian Anderson turned down the role of Lady Cora on Downton Abbey
I don't think she wants to play a lot of American roles. She's all about the UK and being British these days. When she does play an American role, it's as someone who is hated in the UK (ie, Wallis Warfield Simpson).
Garofalo is a personality, not really an actor. That would have been a complete crash and burn for FRIENDS.
Is it Hollywood courtesy that every actor who reads for a part is allowed to tell the press they "turned it down?" I don't believe for a minute that the SATC producers were serious about signing Sandra Bernhard, for example, but she's been dining out on the "I turned down Miranda!" story for a decade or so.
The producers wanted to go with Craig Bierko instead of Matthew Perry for Chandler.
This is a little off topic but its an oral history of friends that was in Vanity Fair last year, really good, interesting stuff.
[quote]the producers who had a rethink after testing Courtney Cox with some of the other actors. They said they liked her [italic]softer interpretation[/italic] of the character they had envisioned.
Softer interpretation? That character was a Grade A bitch. I can't imagine how McKeon must have been playing it.
Michael Richards turned down the title role in Monk.
[quote]Softer interpretation? That character was a Grade A bitch. I can't imagine how McKeon must have been playing it.
Courtney Cox is more feminine. Nancy McKeon always reads butch lesbian.
The producers wanted Lucy for the lead in Golden Girls, but Gary convinced her to drink, smoke, and play backgammon instead.
We all should know (on this site) the story that Betty and Rue ere originally considered for "Golden Girls" playing what were essentialy extensions of their best-known characters from previous shows (Betty as Blanche aka Sue Ann and Rue as Rose and that Maude character she had played) before they flipped and played the opposite. So, since the producers obviously lacked any imagination--it was allegedly Rue and Betty who came up with the switch--and since Rose was viewed as a bit of a dingbat (though less so in season one than in later seasons), was Jean Stapleton ever offered--and perhaps also turned down--the role given how loved her Edith was?
Thomas Jane was supposed to be in "The Walking Dead", but he took the HBO "Hung" gig instead.
It makes a lot of sense that he was originally attached to "The Walking Dead" since the cast of the movie "The Mist" make up much of the cast of "The Walking Dead".
Didn't they have someone else cast as Will and Grace? Two fairly recognizable names.
I can't remember who, though. (Guess they aren't THAT memorable...)
Grace was MArin Hinkle(Judith on Two and a half men)
Downton Abbey is overhyped, superficial, hugely stereotypical and cliched. It's perfectly possible that Gillian Anderson didn't see the role of Cora as interesting or challenging enough, which it isn't. Can you actually see her playing Cora? She wouldn't have been able to do anything with the role and she would have ended up being a cardboard cutout.
Mary-Louise Parker was offered Susan on "Desperate
Housewives." The "Weeds" offer came about at the same time.
Suzanne Pleshette was slated to play Laura Petrie in the original Dick Van Dyke show but was not able to take the part because of contractual conflicts.
She was also the producers first choice to play Catwoman on the original Batman TV series but negotiations eventually broke down probably due to money.
[quote] Mary-Louise Parker was offered Susan on "Desperate Housewives."
God, that woulda been so much better.
Dana Delany was offered Bree.
Suzanne would've made a delicious Catwoman!
[quote]She was also the producers first choice to play Catwoman on the original Batman TV series but negotiations eventually broke down probably due to money.
That would have been fun to watch.
Craig Bierko was also offered the role of Will Truman but turned it down - he was uncomfortable playing a gay man. They hired some little known Canadian actor named Eric McCormack instead.
After doing the original Star Trek pilot, Jeffrey Hunter was asked to continue as Captain Pike in the series when it went into production. His wife/manager made him turn it down because she didn't want to be a TV star's wife/manager. She wanted to be a movie star's wife/manager.
Then he died.
[quote]They hired some little known Canadian actor named Eric McCormack instead.
Who hasn't had a good role since. If you play gay, you better bank the pay, cause you won't work again as a straight guy.
He also said he turned down the offer to play Chandler on Friends.
Most of these people, if not all, never were really offered the role. They just were thought of or auditioned for it.
Like both Shirley Temple and Deanna Durbin were first choices to play Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, but they were never offered the role, so never turned it down.
"Suzanne Pleshette was slated to play Laura Petrie in the original Dick Van Dyke show but was not able to take the part because of contractual conflicts."
That would have been a very different show.
Lindsay Wagner and Linda Hamilton were both considered to play Captain Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager.
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I would have loved Lindsay Wagner as Janeway.
R76 - Eric McCormack works all the time since Will & Grace. He's had TWO series on TNT (the advertising one that lasted one season, and now the "Monk" clone that returns a year after it last appeared) and has done Broadway and several independent and Canadian films....
Don't be dissin' Peri Gilpin
"Justin Bieber turned down the role of Damien in The Omen. "
Because that would have made it a biopic.
More Star Trek...Famke Janssen was offered the role that became Jadzia Dax on Star Trek DS9. Famke turned it down to focus on her film career and the role went to Terry Farrel.
Famke also turned down Anna (the queen Visitor) on ABC's remake of V and the role went to Morena Baccarin. The visibility helped Baccarin get cast in Homeland. Famke presumably turned the role down because she was in the process of writing and directing her first feature-length film.
[quote]Lindsay Wagner and Linda Hamilton were both considered to play Captain Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager.
Those would have been good choices. I disliked Republican-looking Kate Mulgrew and thought she ruined the series.
Rob Lowe turned down the McDreamy part in GREY'S ANATOMY, which eventually went to Patrick Dempsey and revitalized his career. Lowe meanwhile had two flop series in succession, THE LION'S DEN and DR. VEGAS.
Not TV, but Claire Danes turned down Rose in TITANIC because she said she'd already done a romantic movie (ROMEO + JULIET) with Leo DiCaprio. Winslet was cast instead and when the film became a phenomenon, it skyrocketed her to the top of the A-list. Meanwhile, Danes remained on the C-list for a good decade, and while she has found TV stardom in the past two years, movie fame still eludes her.