14 Actors Who Passed On a Leading Role

14 Famous Actors Who Passed On A Big Leading Role (Do You Think They Have Regrets?)


For some actors, being given the chance to star in a film is the dream of a lifetime, though some actors have had the opportunity to play a lead role in a movie and declined the offer. Here are 14 actors who were offered a lead role but said “no thanks!”

Denzel Washington

Photo: Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.com

Denzel Washington had the opportunity to play Curtis Taylor Jr. in Dreamgirls but declined because he said he can’t sing, so the part went to Jaime Foxx.

Mel Gibson

Photo: Brian To/WENN.com

Mel Gibson was given the chance to play Bruce Wayne in the 1989 adaption of Batman, but declined the offer and supposedly thought that the film wouldn’t do well at the box office.

Mark Wahlberg

Photo: Anneke Ruys/WENN.com

Mark Wahlberg turned down the role of Linus in Ocean’s 11 and instead the part was played by Matt Damon.

John Travolta

Photo: WENN.com

John Travolta could have played the lead role in Forrest Gump but the part went to Tom Hanks, who perfected it.

Tom Cruise

Photo: Patricia Schlein/WENN.com

Tom Cruise said no to the role of Donnie Brasco in the movie Donnie Brasco which was played by Johnny Depp.

Will Smith

Photo: Gennadi Avramenko/Epsilon/Getty Images

Will Smith could have played Neo in the movie The Matrix but he said the role just wasn’t for him. Will himself said that Keanu Reeves aced the role.

Kevin Costner

Photo: FayesVision/WENN.com

Kevin Costner had the chance to play the role of Bill in the movie Kill Bill, a part that was taken by David Carradine.

Eddie Murphy

Photo: Brian To/WENN.com

Eddie Murphy turned down the chance to play the role of Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit and openly admitted to regretting his decision later on.

Matt Damon

Photo: Dan Jackman/WENN.com

Matt Damon wasn’t able to find time to play the lead role in the movie Avatar since he was already filming The Green Zone and The Bourne Ultimatum.

Morgan Freeman

Photo: Brian To/WENN.com

Morgan Freeman was offered the lead role in the movie Million Dollar Baby but instead played the secondary role of Eddie Dupris.

Tom Hanks

Photo: Brian To/WENN.com

Tom Hanks turned down the role of Ray Kinsella in the movie Field of Dreams. Kevin Costner took on the project gracefully.

Samuel L. Jackson

Photo: Bridow/WENN.com

Samuel L. Jackson was offered to play the lead role of Paul Rusesabagina in Hotel Rwanda but Don Cheadle took on the part.

Bruce Willis

Photo: WENN.com

Bruce Willis could have starred as Sam Wheat in the movie Ghost but passed up on the opportunity, even though he could have co-starred with his then-wife, Demi Moore.

Leonardo DiCaprio

Photo: Apega/WENN.com

Leonardo DiCaprio had the lead role in the movie American Psycho but had to drop out due to scheduling problems.

StyleBlazer is a fashion and beauty website dedicated to edgy, progressive, chic and globally-minded women. Topics covered on StyleBlazer include street style, trends, expert beauty advice, and industry news.