Shailene Woodley has finally broken her silence about being unceremoniously cast out of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and her response gives us a glimpse at how heartbroken she was to lose her role as Mary Jane.
In an interview with Vanity Fair magazine, the 22-year-old actress explained - with brutal honesty - the gut wrenching moment when she was fired from the project. She told interviewers that;
For a few hours it was literally like, ‘Oh, my God, was I awful? Why did they cut me? What are people going to think?’ I woke up the next morning and I was like, ‘O.K., it makes total sense.’ I'm a pretty spiritual person, so I can just sit back and trust that everything happens for a reason, even if my ego doesn't like it
You've got to admire Woodley for putting a brave face on over the whole affair - it has to be devastating for all of your hard work to end up on the cutting room floor after you've started filming scenes.
Shailene Woodley isn't alone though. This story got me thinking about other actors and actresses who have been axed from famous movies and TV shows after the cameras started rolling.
Check out my list of ousted actors and actresses below. Believe me, Shailene is in good company!
Acting All That Could Have Beens
5. James Purefoy as Guy Fawkes in V for Vendetta
James Purefoy was filming for a staggering six weeks before he was given the sack from his role as Guy Fawkes. There are a few rumors swirling around about his disappearance from the project.
One camp is adamant that Purefoy himself quit because he was too vain to star in a movie where his face is covered with a mask the entire time. The other camp says Purefoy's voice was to blame.
Whatever happened, Hugo Weaving was drafted in to take his place. To add insult to injury, there are still scenes featuring Purefoy in the movie, but Weaving's voice has been dubbed over. Ouch.
4. Janet Hubert-Whitten as Aunt Viv in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
The original (and, in my opinion, best) Aunty Viv was unceremoniously sacked from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid after shooting 3 whole seasons.
She kept her lips sealed about her firing until 2011 when she totally let rip to TMZ. Her reason? Two words, Will Smith. In the interview Hubert-Whitten branded the actor as a immature ego maniac and stated that she was booted off the show because "she wouldn't kiss his butt". Escandelo!
3. Stewart Townsend as Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings
Stewart Townsend was sent packing from his role as Aragorn just one day before filming began. Despite the actor not making it to the set, Townsend had already invested 2 months hard training learning to sword fight.
The reason for his dismissal? Apparently he simply looked too young. Maybe Peter Jackson should have put on his spectacles before choosing an actor...
When Viggo Mortensen was drafted in to replace him, Townsend was not compensated for his time training or the roles he turned down to play the part. Bad form.
2. Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly in Back to the Future
Eric Stoltz was ousted from Back to the Future 5 long weeks into filming. Director Robert Zemeckis stated that although Stolz's performance was "admirable", it lacked the precise comic timing he was looking for.
After Stolz's departure, Michael J. Fox was drafted in to fill Marty McFly's grotesquely '80s trainers, and the rest is history.
1. Shailene Woodley as Mary Jane in [The Amazing Spider-Man 2](movie:508593)
When fans were worried that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a bit overstuffed thanks to 2 love interests and multiple villains, Shailene Woodley's part as Mary Jane was the sacrificial offering.
Shortly after being sacked from Spidey, Woodley stated that;
Of course I’m bummed. But I am a firm believer in everything happening for a specific reason…Based on the proposed plot, I completely understand the need for holding off on introducing Mary Jane until the next film.
Heal and grow Shailene, heal and grow!
Whose last minute firing shocked you the most?