Movies and TV shows wouldn’t be the same if these actors had wound up landing the part. Find out who could have been cast!
Melanie Lynskey in ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’
The New Zealand–born actress was creator Joss Whedon’s top pick to play vampire slayer Buffy’s bestie, Willow, on the 1997 hit supernatural drama. “It was kind of a visa issue,” the 46-year-old recently revealed, then added that her agent was pushing her movie career. “I had a very oldschool agent who was like, ‘TV? That’s for has-beens!’” In the end, Alyson Hannigan wound up getting the role. Definitely no has-been, Melanie went on to score two Emmy nods for her work on Yellowjackets and The Last Of Us.
Rachael Leigh Cook in ‘The X-Men’
The actress almost immediately regretted passing on playing Rogue in 2000’s X-Men. “As soon as I saw the posters for it, I knew I’d made a mistake,” the 43-year-old later said. (The role went to her She’s All That costar Anna Paquin, who appeared in three more X-Men films.) “I really thought what everyone told me was correct when they said, ‘What we need, to do now is make sure you’re taken seriously.’ I definitely did things for the wrong reasons.”
Sarah Hyland in ‘Modern Family’
Who else could play Haley Dunphy? The 32-year-old almost didn’t get the chance. “Originally they didn’t want to see me for Modern Family because I was 18 and Haley’s character was 15. They were like, ‘She’s too old,’” Sarah said of vying for a part on the long-running sitcom. Thanks to the perseverance of her agent’s assistant, she got her shot. “She was like, ‘She doesn’t look 18 years old, I promise you! She looks very, very young!’”
Claire Danes in ‘Titanic’
Her heart wasn’t in it! Claire has said she has “zero regrets” about turning down the role of Rose in the 1997 smash. The 44-year-old told Dax Shepard she was worn out after shooting Romeo + Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio, who would go on to play Jack opposite Kate Winslet’s Rose. “Honestly, I’d just made this romantic epic with Leo in Mexico City, which is where they were going to shoot Titanic,” said Claire, “and I just didn’t have it in me.” Watching Leo’s fame skyrocket after the movie left her shook, she went on. “I couldn’t do [that],” she said. “I didn’t want it.”
Christina Applegate in ‘Legally Blonde’
Wary of taking on another “dumb blonde” role, the
Married…With Children star passed when offered the part of sorority sis Elle Woods. “I got scared of repeating myself,” said the 51-year-old. “What a stupid move that was, right?” But she has no hard feelings toward Reese Witherspoon, who will be reprising the bend-and-snap legal eagle role in the upcoming Legally Blonde 3. “Reese deserved that. She did a much better job than I ever could, and so that’s her life. That’s her path.”