THEY’RE the roles that made them famous, but some actors almost turned them down.
From Bruce Willis to Jennifer Lawrence, here are the stars who were close to saying “Thanks but no thanks” when they were offered the roles that eventually catapulted them to fame:
The actor has starred in some very successful movies, but you’ d have to say he’s best known for playing Batman in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy.
Bale admitted to Details magazine though that he almost bailed on playing Batman because the suit made him claustrophobic.
“I was standing on the back lot where they were creating the suit, and I had a few minutes to myself, staring up close in the mirror, just thinking, ‘This isn’t going to work. I’m claustrophobic, I can’t breathe, I’m getting a headache already, and this is all going to go very badly’.”
Bale eventually convinced himself to overcome his fears, a decision he hasn’t regretted since.
“I just had flashes of what an a**hole I would feel like saying, ‘Well, I wasn’t able to play that character, because I panicked every time I got in the suit’.”
The Aussie actress won an Oscar for her role in The Hours alongside Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore.
But Kidman really didn’t want to star in the 2002 film and had to be talked into it by her agent.
“At the time I was having this weird relationship with my own drive and my own ambition,” Kidman admitted in Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists.
“Part of me just couldn’t be bothered and I know that’s almost blasphemous to say.”
She called her agent and delivered the bad news, saying, “I can’t do it. I’m sort of depressed and I’ve got to just stay here (in Australia).”
But her agent was in no mood for Kidman’s reluctance and replied, “You make that plane, you get over there now and you do this role”.
And that’s exactly what she did.
A number of big name stars passed on the role of John McClane in Die Hard.
Richard Gere, Al Pacino, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone all politely declined to star in the 1988 action flick.
Eventually the role was offered to Bruce Willis, who at the time was starring in the hit TV show Moonlighting with Cybill Shepherd.
At first, even he wasn’t interested.
“They called me a couple times when I was doing Moonlighting, and I said, ‘I can’t do it, fellas’,” Willis explained to talk show host David Letterman.
Willis was too busy with his TV show ... but then he got lucky.
“Thank God, Cybill Shepherd got pregnant and Glenn Caron (the Moonlighting creator) gave us off 11 weeks and I went to go and do Die Hard.”
It’s since been named as the number one teen film of all time by Empire magazine, but Matthew Broderick was pretty apprehensive about starring in 1986s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
“I was just starting out,” Broderick said in Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists.
“I had done two plays on Broadway — these Neil Simon plays where I spoke to the audience and Ferris spoke to the camera, and I had done (the 1985 movie) Ladyhawke, where the character sort of talks to the camera.
“And I thought, ‘I’m always going to be like this comedian who talks to the camera. I have to get a real part,’ or some stupid idea that like that. So I wasn’t sure about Ferris, thought it wasn’t right and I should do something dramatic.”
Luckily for him, Broderick’s agent and manager refused to allow him to pass on the role.
“I’m glad, because they were right,” the actor admitted.
“They were absolutely right. I probably have a few movies that I wish I hadn’t been in, but Ferris was a good one.”
Jennifer Lawrence was recently named as the top earning actress in Hollywood, a title she owes mainly to her role as Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games movies.
But the actress has admitted that she was almost going to pass on the film franchise when the offer first came through.
“Just saying yes to this one thing could completely change my life, and I don’t know if it’s going to be for the better,” Lawrence said about the difficult decision.
It wasn’t until her mum talked some sense into her that the star agreed to the role.
“She was like, ‘You’re being a hypocrite, because you always say you don’t care about the size of the movies.’ Because when I was doing indies, everybody was always like, ‘Why don’t you ever do a studio?’ I’d say, ‘Because I don’t care about the size of the movie. I care about the story.’ And my mum was like, ‘Now you have a story you like, and you’re not going to do it because of the size?’”
In 1986 Val Kilmer played Iceman in Top Gun and the film made him an international star.
But as he revealed to The Independent, Kilmer originally wanted to pass on the Tony Scott directed film.
“I didn’t want to do Top Gun and I turned down a bunch of meetings with Tony,” the actor said.
“My agent was just torturing me, telling me, ‘You’re going to love him, he’s a great guy,’ so I went to meet him to get her off my back. So I meet him, listen to his deal, and then leave.
“As I pushed the button of the lift I heard this swooshing round the corner. The doors opened and Tony jumped in front of the lift and wouldn’t let me leave. He went, ‘It’s going to be great, man. There’ll be jets and whooof! And I know you don’t want to do it but your hair’s going to be great!’”
SARAH JESSICA PARKER
Let’s be honest, when you think of Sarah Jessica Parker, you think of Sex and the City.
For six seasons the actress played Carrie Bradshaw on the hugely popular show which later spawned two feature films.
But when Parker was first told about the role by her agent, she didn’t want a bar of it.
“He called me up and said, ‘Darren Star (SATC creator) reached out to me,” Parker says in a new book called Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists.
“He’s written this pilot and tells me he wrote it with you in mind — you were in his head when he was writing it. I’m going to send it to you. I’ve read it. I think it’s really good. You should meet with him’,” Parker reveals in the excerpt published by The Hollywood Reporter.
“And I said, ‘Really? I feel like I’ve got it all right now. I can do a play, then do a movie, then do a play, then do a movie. There’s a lot of flexibility. What could be better? Do I really want to go back to making a television series when I’m maybe held hostage signing a long-term contract?’”
Parker eventually reluctantly agreed to star in the show, but almost immediately she had buyers remorse.
“She tried various ways to get out of it including telling HBO that she would film three projects for free if they’d release her from her contract,” her former Broadway co-star, Seth Rudetsky, told Playbill.
NICOLAS CAGE AND CHER
The 1987 movie, Moonstruck, was nominated for six Oscars with Cher winning the Best Actress Award for her work in the film.
But neither Cage nor Cher wanted to appear in the box office success.
“I really didn’t want to make that,” Cage said to The Guardian about the movie.
“I wanted to make Vampire’s Kiss, because I was still trying to live my punk rock dreams. I did not want to be in a big splashy romantic comedy with Cher.”
As for Cher, she claims in Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists that she was tricked into starring in the film.
After telling her agent that she didn’t want to star in the film, he replied, “Well, I think you’re making a mistake, but you need to go and sit down with them and tell it to them directly.”
But the meeting didn’t go the way Cher had planned.
“The only thing I can remember is waving goodbye to them in the elevator after the meeting saying, ‘I’m so excited, too! I can’t wait till we start.”