It would seem that a cult role is the dream of any actor because it always brings popularity and big earnings. Can you imagine Pirates of the Caribbean without Johnny Depp, Harry Potter without Daniel Radcliffe, Titanic without DiCaprio, and The Matrix without Keanu Reeves?
Captain Jack Sparrow
Now it is difficult to imagine anyone other than Johnny Depp in the role of the ironic Jack Sparrow, the captain without a ship. However, the role was originally offered to Hugh Jackman, Jim Carrey and Matthew McConaughey. The directors themselves refused Jackman’s candidacy, Carrey chose to star in Bruce Almighty, and McConaughey did not like the role. As a result, Jack was masterfully performed by Johnny Depp. The actor himself came up with the image and mannerisms of the hero.
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The 10-year-old American actor Liam Aiken could play the lead role of the wizard boy. Despite his age, Liam already had a decent experience in film and television by that time, he successfully passed the audition. But the author of the Harry Potter books, JK Rowling, insisted that all the actors in the film be British. As a result, the role of Harry went to Daniel Radcliffe.
Titanic director James Cameron originally envisioned actress Gwyneth Paltrow as Rose. However, Paltrow decided to star in the melodrama Caution! The doors are closing,” and we will always remember Rose as Kate Winslet.
Imagining someone other than Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson is as difficult as imagining anyone other than Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, but things could have turned out differently. Cameron saw Matthew McConaughey in this role, but the actor didn’t like the script and turned it down. Moreover, Cameron asked McConaughey to come to the audition, but the actor was adamant and simply turned off the phone. What happened next, we all know.
Jack Nicholson auditioned for the role of Vito Corleone’s son in Francis Ford Coppola’s famous gangster drama. The actor was one of the casting favourites along with such stars as Dustin Hoffman. The latter himself did not want to play a mafia, but Nicholson felt that the role of the leader of the Italian mafia should be played by an Italian, and gave it up to a very young Al Pacino.
The Wachowski sisters offered the role of Neo in The Matrix to Will Smith, remembered by the audience for Men in Black and Independence Day. Smith said that he does not see himself in this image, and besides, he is busy filming another film. Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Cruise were called to the casting, but they also refused. As we know, the role of Neo went to Keanu Reeves and made him famous.
Jake Gyllenhaal auditioned for the role of the hobbit Frodo in the Lord of the Rings trilogy but failed. The actor got too excited and was unable to perform a simple scene – for which he received a scathing comment about his abilities from director Peter Jackson. The role of Frodo was given to Elijah Wood, to whom she brought success, popularity and victory in leading American film awards.