When you're trying to become a legend in Hollywood, and sometimes when you already are one, you're still one terrible movie away from irrelevance. You can fall off quicker than Ja Rule in the music game if you aren't careful. Sometimes the role of a lifetime comes around and springs you into the upper echelon of Hollywood's elite. Other times, roles that ruin all of your creative credibility can end your career.
In this case, these stars tried to make the right decision by passing on a role. Little did they know, the role they passed on would become iconic. No matter the excuse, there really is no reason why these 7 Hollywood stars passed on these hugely successful projects.
Check out this list of regretful decisions by some of the most famous actors in the industry.
1. John Travolta could have been Forrest in Forrest Gump
Ouch. To think that Tom Hanks could have never had the role of Forrest Gump is really quite disturbing. I guess Travolta could've pulled it off as well, but he passed on it around the time of Pulp Fiction, when he was at the top of his game. His next project was White Man's Burden with Harry Belafonte, a pretty poorly-received film.
2. Emily Browning could have been Bella in the Twilight movies... ouch
This one stings a bit. Emily Browning came under fire when she compared paparazzi hounding her to being "raped." She also passed on The Twilight Saga and was eventually replaced by Kristen Stewart. As you know, the rest is history, as they say. She got out of this mistake somewhat okay career-wise, but think about how much richer and more famous she could have been... that's gotta hurt.
3. Paul Giamatti was damn near Michael Scott from The Office
Yet another painful one. Steve Carell's career absolute took off with this role, and Paul Giamatti is doing just fine, most recently playing Jerry Heller in Straight Outta Compton. However, we could've seen his comedy chops in the remake of the British classic, The Office. Nowadays, in the golden era of television, landing a spot on a long-running TV show is not only a cash cow - it's huge for any career.
4. Saying no to meth is good, but Matthew Broderick probably shouldn't have passed on Walter White in Breaking Bad
Would the blue meth that Matthew Broderick's Walter White cooked up have been as potent as Bryan Cranston's? Who knows? What I do know is that this was a fairly obvious mistake in hindsight. Although, to be fair to Broderick, this wasn't a sure thing by any means when he was offered it back in 2007. AMC was the only lowly network that would pick this up, and at the time it wasn't the powerhouse it is now with The Walking Dead still carrying the torch.
5. Michelle Pfeiffer could have been Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs
Pfeiffer was put off by the amount of gore in the movie and its heavy subject matter, so Jodie Foster eventually landed the role. This is yet another example of an actress who was probably fine for missing out on this role, but Silence of the Lambs was iconic and she did miss out on being involved with a legendary project.
6. Will Smith could've been Neo from The Matrix instead of Keanu Reeves
Will Smith said he "didn't understand" the movie and what it was trying to accomplish. He felt he wouldn't do the role of Neo justice due to this lack of understanding. He would later double down and say that Keanu Reeves was the right Neo. He still maintained that he probably wouldn't have been able to do a very good job.
7. Tom Selleck could've been Indiana Jones
Tom Selleck was on Magnum, P.I. at the time, and the show wasn't ready to let him take on a big movie role like Indiana Jones was at the time. He was forced to choose between the two, and chose Magnum, P.I. The most brutal part is that a writer’s strike delayed the production of Magnum, P.I. for over six months which would have been enough time to complete filming Indiana Jones. Selleck admits he is "haunted" by this decision often, but his career turned out okay as well.
Check out this Indiana Jones screen test Tom Selleck did... oh what could have been!
Who made the biggest mistake?