The editing suite is a cold, harsh place. The goal is to create an entertaining, coherent film so egos and feelings are way down the list in terms of importance.
It means that talented, well-known actors often find themselves turning up to the premiere of their new movie and leaving rather perplexed. Here are seven occasions of actors being cut from their films. Brutal.
(Images: All Star, Rex Features)
Chris Cooper - The Ring
In the original cut of Gore Verbinski's acclaimed horror remake, Oscar-winning actor Chris Cooper cropped up in the first and last scene. He played a serial rapist and murderer who tried to convince Naomi Watts' journalist that he'd changed his ways and found God. She didn't believe him and at the end of the film, we see her giving him the cursed videotape in prison. While a strong idea, it didn't go down well with test audiences. The limited use of such a known actor was distracting and Cooper's performance was so chilling that people wanted more of him. What they got in the end was less, as in nothing at all.
Shailene Woodley - The Amazing Spider-Man 2
A smart tactical move here to make an already busy film feel a bit less busy. Now, there's a SPOILER ahead for anyone who hasn't seen the recent sequel so look away if you want to remain clueless. Okay, so during the climax of the film, Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy dies, leaving Peter Parker understandably heartbroken. In the initial script, his next love interest Mary Jane (who we met via Kirsten Dunst in the original trilogy) was introduced in a few scenes, played by Divergent's Shailene Woodley. But director Marc Webb decided to cut her role, as he wanted to remain focused on Parker and Stacy. The character will be in the next film, but it's unconfirmed as to whether Woodley will play her.
Paul Rudd - Bridesmaids
In Kristen Wiig's Oscar-nominated breakout hit, her character Annie gets a rough ride when it comes to the opposite sex. From her heartless friend with benefits, played horribly well by Jon Hamm, to her best friend's engagement party, seemingly designed just to remind her just how single she is, it's an endless parade of embarrassment. Which might be one of the reasons that Paul Rudd's scene was cut. In the sequence, an ice skating date between the two goes awry after his slight anger issue rises to the surface. And when we say slight, we mean screaming at two different children...
Uma Thurman - Savages
In many ways, Oliver Stone's recent crime saga was a return to form. A star-studded cast, a familiar genre and an acclaimed source novel, grouped with some stylistic flourishes and decent performances, it was Stone's most entertaining film for years. At an already long 131 minutes, it's hard to believe that a great deal was snipped but an entire performance by Uma Thurman was left on the cutting room floor. She played Blake Lively's wayward mother, whose behaviour helped to explain why her daughter was so rebellious. Knowing Stone's fondness of alternative cuts, don't be surprised to see her crop up in a future version of the film.
Harrison Ford - ET
In 1981, Harrison Ford had just made Raiders of the Lost Ark with Steven Spielberg and was in a relationship with screenwriter Melissa Mathison, both of whom were about to work on a film together called ET. It was a no-brainer that Ford nabbed himself a small cameo role as the school principal. But his one scene, where he disciplines Elliot for acting up in science class, was cut after too much attention was paid to Ford rather than what was actually happening. You can see a poor quality version of it here.
Sarah Jessica Parker - Lovelace
A rather cursed role here which originally saw Demi Moore cast to play feminist activist Gloria Steinem in the porn biopic. She had to pull out after seeking treatment for "exhaustion" so Sarah Jessica Parker filled in last minute. But after filming her role, the filmmakers decided to cut her from the final release. The reason was timing. They had originally planned to end the film in 1984, when Steinem befriended Linda Lovelace, but they ended up choosing to wrap up in 1980 instead.
Everyone - The Thin Red Line
Terrence Malick is rather notorious for two things: filming trees and cutting big name actors out of his films. Most recently, Rachel Weisz, Amanda Peet and Jessica Chastain were chopped from To The Wonder while Sean Penn's role was edited heavily in The Tree of Life but his most notable example of removing stars from his movies was in 1998's Oscar-nominated war drama The Thin Red Line. As well as Gary Oldman being cut out at script stage, Mickey Rourke, Lukas Haas, Bill Pullman and Billy Bob Thornton all saw themselves chopped from the finished film. Haas and Pullman had small roles while Thornton recorded a whopping 3-hour narration. Rourke's performance was also entirely cut, which understandably narked him, although you can see a scene here.