BySarah Gibson, writer at
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Sarah Gibson

Acting is like any other job for the fact that no matter how good the actors are, they aren't immune to getting fired. In fact, more often than you might think, Hollywood heavyweights are given their walking papers while filming.

From drugs, to unreasonable demands, to appearance, it's not easy being awesome. And here are 7 starlets that were asked to kindly exit stage right...


Christian Bale, American Psycho

Okay, so Christian Bale was the actor who appeared in the big-screen version of Brett Easton-Ellis' psychological black comedy American Psycho, but he was also fired from the role, before being asked back.

The first time he was offered the role of Wall Street yuppie Bateman, Bale was all like:

But then the studio later changed their minds and he was fired in favor of aptly pretty-boy Leonardo DiCaprio, and Bale was all like:

But luckily for Bateman, DiCaprio backed out due to Titanic's whopping success. And after Ewan McGregor also turned down the role of American Psycho antihero, the studio finally rehired Bale for the part.

Ouch. No wonder he was a little bit...antsy.


Ryan Gosling, The Lovely Bones

He may look like THIS now:

But apparently, The Gos was once fired from a role for BEING TOO FAT!

Gosling was selected to play the father in The Lovely Bones, and upon being hired, he gained 60 pounds by drinking melted ice-cream in an attempt to age himself. Unfortunately, though, Emma Stone wasn't there to keep him in tow and he went a little bit too far. He was replaced by Mark Wahlberg because the director thought that he was "too fat" and decided it didn't suit the character...

I wonder if he comfort ate himself outta that one.


Terrence Howard, Iron Man 2

Terrence Howard was, quite noticeably, replaced by Don Cheadle as Rhodey in Iron Man 2, because the diva demanded a massively high paycheck to return.

Howard was the first actor signed to Iron Man and therefore the most expensive. That's right: more than Gwyneth Paltrow. More than Jeff Bridges. More than RDJ himself! And once the project fully came together, it was too late to renegotiate his deal.

It kinda backfired for Terrence, though, because the notoriously thrifty Marvel Studios said "sorry pal, no way" and immediately hired someone else.

I'm secretly pleased about this one. As far as my research tells me, Terrence is a world class slimeball who just cannot stop punching. (And I have a general rule that, if you've been arrested more than once, it's not the world conspiring against you, it's you.)


Megan Fox, Transformers 3

Okay, not so much a "firing" maybe, but Megan Fox was a pretty major player in Transformers 1 and 2, before losing her spot in the third movie when she compared director Michael Bay to German dictator Adolf Hitler.

Keep it classy, Megs.

As Lars von Trier knows, comparing a film director to Hitler - even if it's yourself - is never wise, and Hollywood bigwig Steven Spielberg reportedly called for Fox's immediate dismissal after he heard the comments she had made.

Somehow I doubt brains were a requirement for her Transformers roles but, still, it seems like she was either intentionally trying to get fired, or she's just unbelievably stupid...


James Purefoy, V for Vendetta

Brit actor James was originally cast as V in V for Vendetta, the tale of a masked vigilante in a fascist Britain. But, unfortunately for him, he was fired half way through filming because he wasn't a dynamic enough presence for the filmmakers.

Even though some of his scenes remain in the movie, Hugo Weaving now receives the sole screen credit.

That was way harsh, Tai.

Luckily, James decided not to use vigilante terrorist tactics to ignite a revolution...


Stuart Townsend, Lord of the Rings

As Sean Bean will tell us, "one does not simply walk into Mordor." What one does do, however, is provide a last-minute replacement for one of the most iconic character's in J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy franchise...

Original Aragorn Stuart Townsend suffered a major blow when he was fired from the Lord of the Rings set just one day before shooting started as he was deemed "too young" for the role.

Jackson wanted someone older - and while we're thankful that he gave us Viggo Mortensen, couldn't the hobbits have at least written Townsend a nice goodbye card? How about a fruit basket?

... Meanwhile, the new Aragorn celebrated with a hearty lungfull of pipeweed.



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