'I wanted that role so much.' 12 actors who missed out on major TV and movie gigs.

It's no secret the acting industry is incredibly competitive. 

Even the most famous stars, from Chris Hemsworth to Jennifer Lawrence, have been rejected after auditioning for some roles. And sometimes those roles end up being part of some pretty successful films.

Margot Robbie the latest celeb to have missed out on a role early in her career, and while the Barbie star certainly didn't need that part to cement her current status as a Hollywood leading lady, it never feels good to be knocked back for a job, right?!

Watch: The auditions that scored actors their leading roles. Post continues below. 

Video via Mamamia.

We decided to go ahead and round up all of your favourite celebrities who have missed out on major TV and movie roles. 

From Elle and Scarlett in some big-name blockbusters, to Reese Witherspoon in Clueless and Jessica Biel in The Notebook, here are 12 actors who didn't land the part.

Margot Robbie as a character in American Horror Story.


Before Margot Robbie got her big break in The Wolf of Wall Street, she auditioned for season two of American Horror Story: Asylum

According to the show's casting director Eric Dawson, Robbie auditioned in 2011 before she blew up in Hollywood. 

“Margot has a lot of ‘it’ factors,” he told Backstage. “Margot is probably one of my favourite auditions of all time, and it was right before she broke out. She was such a star. It was crazy, her star appeal when she walked in the room.”

Despite her star power, Robbie didn't get the part. 

“Even though she didn’t get that role, that was one of those things as a casting director where you go: This is a star, what do we do with her? Immediately, though, she was out of our realm of possibility of hiring. But that’s really the fun part of casting, is seeing the people whose careers are just rising.”


Scarlett Johansson as Ryan Stone in Gravity.

The actor is perhaps best known for her role as Russian assassin Natasha Romanoff – aka Black Widow – in Marvel's movie franchise. But she very nearly didn't get the part, she told Variety magazine

"I got turned down for two roles," she shared. 


"The first was Iron Man 2 and then the other one was Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity. I had wanted that role so much."

While Sandra Bullock ultimately scored the part of Dr Ryan Stone in the 2013 hit Gravity, a twist of fate saw Johansson get a second shot at her Marvel role. While Emily Blunt was cast as Black Widow, she had to pull out due to a scheduling conflict with another film she was working on, Gulliver's Travels, leaving the door open for Johansson to tap back in. 

These aren't the first parts the actor's failed to score, though. Johansson was just nine years old when she auditioned for the role of Judy Shepard in Jumanji. In fact, you can check out her audition tape here.

Unfortunately, no matter how well the young actress did in her audition, the role ended up going to Kirsten Dunst.

Elle Fanning as the face of a franchise.


While she hasn't named any names, Elle Fanning has revealed that she was kicked out of the running for a major franchise role because – wait for it – she didn't have enough Instagram followers. 

(FYI, she has 6.2 million of them these days. Just, you know, in case you were wondering.)

“I did try out for…I’m not going to say what it was, but I didn’t get a part once for something big because – it might not have just been this reason, but this was the feedback that I heard – was because I didn’t have enough Instagram followers at the time,” Fanning shared on the podcast Happy Sad Confused

"It was for a bigger thing, a franchise thing,” she added. 

Jessica Biel as Allie in The Notebook.

Image: New Line Cinema/Getty. 


The Notebook is one of the most iconic rom-coms of all time. But it turns out Rachel McAdams wasn't the only one considered for the lead role.

In 2011, Jessica Biel told Elle that she auditioned for the role of Allie but was eventually beaten out. 

"That's one that I wanted so badly," she told the publication.

"I was in the middle of shooting Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and I auditioned with Ryan Gosling in my trailer - covered in blood. [The director] Nick Cassavetes put me through the wringer in an interesting, excitingly creative way. But there's a million that get away. We're gluttons for punishment. It's just rejection."

Nicole Kidman as Anna Scott in Notting Hill.

Image: Spinel Entertainment/Getty. Speaking of of rom-coms, Aussie actor Nicole Kidman really wanted to appear in hit films Love Actually and Notting Hill. And we would have loved to see it. 


"I think there was something where I think I really wanted a role... maybe I was gonna do a small role in Love Actually at one point," Kidman told Hugh Grant during an interview for Marie Claire. 

"Were you? Which part?" asked Grant.

"I can't remember. It was not a big role. And I really wanted the role that Julia Roberts played in Notting Hill," she said. "But I wasn't well known enough, and I wasn't talented enough."


Umm... we find that hard to believe. 

Chris Hemsworth as Conrad S. Hauser in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Image: Spyglass Entertainment/Getty. 

Before he played Thor, Chris Hemsworth auditioned for two other action movies, including the 2009 film G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. 

"I had seven or eight call backs and I thought one of those was going to land," the Aussie actor told GQ Australia.

Alas, the role ended up going to Hollywood heartthrob Channing Tatum. 


"All of a sudden I thought: this is it, I've missed it again. But then Thor came along. If I had got one of those previous roles I wouldn’t have got Thor."

And we are certainly grateful he did. 

Mindy Kaling in Bridesmaids.

Image: Universal Pictures/Getty. 

Actress and comedian Mindy Kaling was let down when she didn't land the role of Lillian in the 2011 hit film Bridesmaids.

"It was for Maya Rudolph's part. I practiced it so much, I was so in to it, and I love that whole cast,"  Kaling told Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live! in 2014.


"That was one that was a heartbreaker."

Lindsay Lohan as Jade in The Hangover.

Image: Warner Bros./Getty. 

Back in 2013, rumours were going around that Lindsay Lohan turned down the role of Jade in The Hangover, which eventually went to Heather Graham.  

But according to director Todd Phillips, the real reason Lohan didn't get the part was because she was too young. 


"People love to attack her for everything, like: 'Ha, she didn't see how great The Hangover was going to be. She turned it down,'" he told The Hollywood Reporter. 

"She didn't turn it down. She loved the script, actually. It really was an age thing."

Reese Witherspoon as Cher in Clueless.

Image: Paramount Pictures/Getty. 

Yep, Legally Blonde's very own Reese Witherspoon once auditioned for a role in Clueless.


"One thing that is public and it came out last year, I auditioned so hard for Clueless and I didn’t get it," Witherspoon told Buzzfeed in a video interview last year.

"Really?" asked her Little Fires Everywhere co-star Kerry Washington. "I did too!"

With the actors didn't name what roles they were auditioning for, the film's director, Amy Heckerling, told Vanity Fair that Witherspoon was beat out by Alicia Silverstone for the role of Cher.

"I met with Reese because everyone said, 'This girl’s amazing. She’s going to be huge,'" said Heckerling.

"I saw some movie where she had a southern accent. Maybe it was on TV, a movie of the week. But I did see some scenes of hers and went: Wow. She’s amazing. But Alicia is Cher."

Matthew McConaughey as Jack in Titanic.

Image: 20th Century Studios/Getty. 


We can't imagine the Titanic without Leonardo DiCaprio. But Matthew McConaughey was also interested in the role. 

"I wanted that," he told The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast.

"I auditioned with Kate Winslet. Had a good audition. Walked away from there pretty confident that I had it. I didn't get it. I never got offered that."

Funnily enough, the two actors ended up working together years later on The Wolf of Wall Street.

John Hamm as Sandy Cohen on The O.C. 

Image: Fox Broadcasting Company/Getty. 


John Hamm was around 32 years old when he auditioned for the role Sandy Cohen on The O.C.

Speaking on the Too Long; Didn’t Watch podcast, Hamm explained that he went for the role alongside Harry Hamlin and Peter Gallagher, who were 15-20 years older than him. 

"I remember walking in and being like, ‘Is that Peter Gallagher? Why am I here?’ I love Peter Gallagher, but I was just like, "Dang!'" he said. 

Alas, the role ended up going to Gallagher. 

Jennifer Lawrence as Bella Swan in Twilight.

Image: Summit Entertainment/Getty. 


Before she was Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, Jennifer Lawrence auditioned for the role of Bella Swan in Twilight.

Speaking to Howard Stern in 2018, Lawrence explained that when she auditioned for the film she "didn’t really know what it was". 

"You just get like five pages [at the audition] and they’re like, 'Act monkey.' And when it came out I was like, 'Hot damn. Whoa'."

While she said she was "not jealous" when she missed out on the role, Lawrence explained she was disappointed when she didn't land Alice in Wonderland. 

"The only time I've ever been truly devastated by losing an audition was at Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland."

Feature Image: Getty; Warner Bros; FX. 

This article was originally published in January 2021 and has since been updated with new information. 

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