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Famous actors auditioning for roles they didn't get

Because not even the greats get chosen every time

Famous actors auditioning for roles they didn't get
18 January 2017

The world is a cruel place and it looks as if Hollywood might be the epicentre of cruelty. Auditioning is a tough process, with or without the knowledge that your failed attempt might one be posted on YouTube for the amusement of the world.

And while we certainly don't wish to linger on the, ahem, missed opportunities of cinema, we also totally do.

As La La Land begins to sweep the board at awards ceremonies, Emma Stone’s Mia has to suffer the pain of failed auditions – so here are 10 real life near-misses, some of which aren't actually that bad...

(Images: YouTube)

Scarlett Johansson - Jumanji

Year: 1995

Who actually got the part: Kirsten Dunst

While she might have first attracted major attention for her role in Lost In Translation, Scarlett Johansson has been acting from a very young age. She played Sean Connery's daughter in Just Cause and a doomed teen in The Man Who Wasn't There. She also lost out on the chance to act alongside Robin Williams in Jumanji. After watching the above video, we can see why...

Marlon Brando - Rebel Without A Cause

Year: 1947

Who actually got the part: James Dean

Now, this is a complicated one. Although Brando is seen apparently testing for the lead in the classic 50s drama, things aren't as they appear. In the late 40s, Warners attempted to get the film off the ground and a partial script was doing the rounds. It was then used during this general screen test to show off Brando's abilities to the studio. It took another eight years for the film to get made.

Chris Klein - Mamma Mia!

Year: 2008

Who actually got the part: Dominic Cooper

This video has developed a somewhat legendary status after surfacing online last year. American Pie star Chris Klein went for one of the key roles in the hit ABBA musical and offered up this stunningly misjudged piece of viral gold. From the bizarre Mandy Moore love-in to the terrifying look in his eyes, it's strange, oddly captivating stuff. Luckily, Klein has a sense of humour about it.

Jessica Alba - Get Smart

Year: 2008

Who actually got the part: Anne Hathaway

After gaining her blockbuster credentials in the Fantastic Four films, Jessica Alba was keen to prove that she also had a knack for comedy. After watching this failed audition for the lead female role in Steve Carell comedy Get Smart, the jury's still out. To add insult to injury, Alba landed a part in cruel humour-free flop The Love Guru instead.

Tom Selleck - Raiders of the Lost Ark

Year: 1980

Who actually got the part: Harrison Ford

A rather tragic tale here for poor Tom Selleck who, after this convincing screen test, was actually offered the role of Indiana Jones but had to turn it down. The reason being that the first episode of Magnum PI was scheduled to shoot in March 1980 which would have clashed with Indy. The real sting to the tale was that due to a writer's strike, Magnum was delayed until December, which would have allowed Selleck to do both.

Kurt Russell - Star Wars

Year: 1976

Who actually got the part: Harrison Ford

Another instance here of Ford ultimately winning out in the end. This video sees a twentysomething Kurt Russell attempt to break out of his Disney persona by bringing the swagger to his Han Solo audition. It's an impressive take and would have made for an interesting direction for the character but Ford's carpentry work at George Lucas's home helped him to snag roles in American Graffiti and then Star Wars.

Josh Hutcherson - The Amazing Spider-Man

Year: 2010

Who actually got the part: Andrew Garfield

As with any major superhero role in Hollywood, a list of young actors is assembled as soon as humanly possible and then forced to fight each other until there is only one winner. Well, sort of. In 2010, Josh Hutcherson was one of a handful of names attached to play Spider-Man. In this rather elaborate screen test, we can see that he made it pretty far in the process. While he might have missed out, a role in The Hunger Games surely sweetened the news somewhat.

Brad Pitt - Backdraft

Year: 1991

Who actually got the part: William Baldwin

While it might now be seen as simply "one of De Niro's less awful films", Backdraft is notable for two things. Firstly, it's the most commercially successful film about firefighters ever (take that, Ladder 49) and secondly, back in pre-production, the lead role was hot property. Robert Downey Jr and Brad Pitt both auditioned but lost out to William Baldwin (last seen in something you didn't watch). Interestingly, Baldwin was supposed to play JD in Thelma & Louise but had to pull out to make this instead. You know the rest...

Robert De Niro - The Godfather

Year: 1971

Who actually got the part: James Caan

Strictly speaking, the virtually unknown De Niro actually auditioned for a number of roles in The Godfather, alongside fellow "failures" Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson and Dustin Hoffman. In this clip, we see him going for the role of Sonny, although he did win the role of Paulie. But Coppola struck up a deal with The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight in order to get Pacino onboard and De Niro ended up winning an Oscar for The Godfather Part II. All's well etc.

Jeremy Sisto - Titanic

Year: 1996

Who actually got the part: Leonardo DiCaprio

While Kate Winslet heavily petitioned for the role of Rose, she also made sure DiCaprio was picked by telling Cameron that he should choose him for the film, even if she wasn't eventually cast. Not as much luck for poor Jeremy Sisto. After starring in Clueless, the young actor gave a fairly decent, more macho take on the part of Jack. He lost the role but went on to star in TV shows Six Feet Under and Suburgatory.