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8 Actors Who Almost Played Famous Roles

Actors who turned down famous roles
Hulton Archive, Getty Images/Warner Bros. Pictures/New Line Cinema/Lucasfilm/Warner Bros. Pictures

For the most part, iconic movie characters become indistinguishable from the actors who played them on the big screen. But what if the actors who were originally approached to play the roles had said “yes” instead of “no?” With Jennifer Hudson’s revelation in her new book that she turned down the title role in ‘Precious’ that put Gabourey Sidibe on the map, it’s a good time to take a look at some other actors who changed the faces of movie icons.

Sean Connery, ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Matrix’

Sean Connery and Sir Ian McKellan as Gandalf
Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images/New Line Cinema

Connery declined to play the wizard Gandalf in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ Trilogy. Apparently he decided 18 months of filming was a bit much for him. Connery also famously turned down the role of Morpheus in ‘The Matrix,’ claiming he didn’t understand the script. (And yet he was fine with ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’?) His loss is Laurence Fishburne’s gain.


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