1. Brenda Song
The Suite Life actor confessed in an interview with Teen Vogue that a lot of people don’t know this, but she never got to read Crazy Rich Asians, ever. In a nutshell, their explanation was that her appearance was not Asian enough.
Not Asian enough
Song's claim was refuted by Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu on Twitter in response to Entertainment Weekly. That she thinks this is the cause horrifies him.
“The truth is that I admire and admire Brenda Song. I didn’t need her to audition because I was already familiar with her!”
2. Tom Holland: Finn in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. Verdict: Botched audition.
Holland revealed in an interview with Backstage:
"I’d had four or five auditions… I remember shooting this sequence with this lady, bless her heart, and she was nothing more than a drone. So I was doing all of this, thinking to myself, ‘We have to get back to the ship!’
Bleep, bloop bloop, bleep bloop
"‘Bleep, bloop bloop, bleep bloop, bleep bloop, bleep bloop, bleep bloop, bleep I couldn’t help but chuckle. It was hilarious to me. And I felt terrible for her because she was attempting to be a convincing robot or drone or whatever they’re called. Obviously, I didn’t get the part. That was hardly my finest hour.”
The role ultimately went to John Boyega.
3. Andrew Garfield
Garfield revealed in an interview with Entertainment Tonight:
“I remember feeling desperate. I tried out for the role of Prince Caspian in The Chronicles of Narnia and thought, This could be it; this might be it. I recall being obsessed.”
When the Spider-Man actor was denied the part, he went to his agency to find out why, and was informed he wasn’t “handsome enough.”
Ben Barnes was eventually cast in the role.
4. Freddie Prinze Jr.
He revealed in an episode of his podcast Prinze and the Wolf:
“I had a meeting with Sam [Raimi] and was both delighted and frightened. We sat down — he was only talking to maybe three people — and I sat down, and he said, ‘So, tell me, tell me why you love Spider-Man?'”
“I go into this entire like world of what my favorite aspects of Spider-Man were,” the actor said, “and I mistakenly bring up the alien symbiote, which is Venom, right?” “I honestly drove home irritated and outraged because you simply spoke about Venom instead of Spider-Man for 25 minutes, you stupid a—hole.”
Tobey Maguire, of course, won the job in the end.
5. Harry Styles
In Fitzy & Wippa's podcast interview, Elvis director Baz Luhrmann explained:
“The main problem with Harry is that he’s Harry Styles. He’s already a celebrity. Harry and I arrived at a point where he was anxious to put on the suit and go exploring.”Luhrmann, on the other hand, described Styles as “very gifted” and a “wonderful spirit.”
Austin Butler was eventually cast in the role.
6. Robert Redford
Director Mike Nichols remembered in an interview with Vanity Fair:
“‘You can’t play [Benjamin],’ I said. ‘You should never play a loser.’ ‘What do you mean?’ said Redford. Sure, I can play a loser.’ And I asked, ‘OK, have you ever struck out with a girl?’ He replied, ‘What do you mean?’ He wasn’t kidding either.”
Dustin Hoffman was eventually cast in the role.
7. Robin Williams
Casting director Janet Hirshenson explains why director Christopher Columbus passed down Williams for the role of Hagrid in an interview with the Huffington Post.
“[Williams] genuinely wanted to be in the movie,” she explained, “but it was a British-only decree.” “And once [Columbus] said no to Robin, he was never going to say yes to anyone else.”
An extremely painful thing
In an interview with Total Film, Columbus stated that telling Williams that he couldn’t play Lupin was “extremely painful.” Columbus went on to say in another interview with Insider, “Robin would have been fantastic as Lupin. It may have been interpreted differently.”
Robbie Coltrane was cast in the role of Hagrid, and David Thewlis was cast in the role of Lupin.
8. Sean Young
She was cast as Vicki Vale in Batman, but after breaking her arm, she was let go and replaced by Kim Basinger. Young famously turned up to the Warner Bros. studio lot dressed as Catwoman to attempt to convince director Tim Burton that she was suitable for the job — which did not impress him.
Mark Canton, a Warner Bros. executive, described the incident in the behind-the-scenes documentary Shadow of the Bat:
“My office door flew open, indicating how different security is these days, and Michael Keaton and I witnessed Sean Young dressed as Catwoman leap over my sofa and declare, ‘I am Catwoman!’ We both stared at each other and said, ‘Whoa.'”
Young confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter that Burton was not there on the studio property to see her prank.
In another effort to earn the role, Young appeared on The Joan Rivers Show costumed as Catwoman, as seen above. Michelle Pfeiffer was eventually cast as Catwoman.
9. Zoë Kravitz
In an interview with the Observer, the Batman star explained:
“I’m not sure if it came straight from [director] Christopher Nolan. I believe it was either a casting director or a casting director’s assistant. Being a woman of color and an actor at the time, being told that I couldn’t read because of the color of my skin, and having the word ‘urban’ tossed around like that, was what was so difficult about that period.”
Kravitz subsequently shared the following on her Instagram story:
“I did not bring this up to point fingers or make anybody appear, racist, including Chris Nolan, the film’s producers, or anyone on the casting crew since I genuinely think no one intended any harm. I was merely describing what it was like to be a woman of color in this industry at the time.” She also stated that she was looking for a “minor role” in The Dark Knight, not the role of Catwoman.
10. Eddie Redmayne
He recounted his audition in an interview with Uproxx:
“They offered me something out of a Star Trek episode – or something out of Pride and Prejudice. That was one of those movies. They don’t give you the real lines in top-secret flicks. So they show you a Pride and Prejudice scenario, but then they tell you you’re auditioning for the evil guy. If you’re like me, you’ll put on some ludicrous voice.”
“[Nina Gold] was just sitting there, and I was trying different variations of my kind of ‘koohh paaaaah’ [Darth Vader breathing sound] voice,” Redmayne said. “And after about ten rounds, she asks, ‘Do you have anything else?’ ‘No,’ I said.”
Adam Driver was eventually taken for the role
11. Chris Klein
The American Pie star stated in an interview with Huffington Post:
“So an audition I did for Mamma Mia! years ago ended up on the internet. And it’s a dreadful audition. And I took a chance despite the fact that I can’t sing! I’m not sure why I was in there. But I took a risk! It’s a musical, so let’s see if I can pull it off. And, you know, the way they throw it out there, it gets taken out of context and everything. It was a very horrible audition. Man, talk about a reason I didn’t get a part!"
Numerous factors could have been considered while choosing an actor for a role. Finding the ideal cast for a movie is difficult.
However, what sets these names on this list apart from your typical big screen rejections is the fact that the justifications provided by the director for rejecting the chance to work with them on a cinematic project range from a little strange to downright madness—and everything in-between, of course.