Actors Who Had TV Parts Written For Them and celebs who auditioned countless times

Acting may be a hit-or-miss career or many wannabes!

While some actors are fortunate enough to have roles handed to them, others must work hard to secure the roles they desire (despite already being super famous). Let’s take a took at some iconic TV roles and how the stars won their parts!

Leonardo DiCaprio, Even the great Leonardo DiCaprio has been turned down by Hollywood filmmakers and has lost roles to stars including Jake Gyllenhaal, Christian Slater and Matt Damon.

However he did turn down the role though of Neo in the Matrix, because he didn’t want to do another movie with heavy special effects.

Bill Murray, Sofia Coppola not only wrote the role of Lost in Translation leading man Bob Harris for Bill Murray, but she’s also maintained that she wouldn’t have bothered making the film without him.

“I spent about a year trying to track him down and was asking random people who knew him through golf,” she said. “I was on a mission.”

Jennifer Lawrence, Producers thought Jennifer Lawrence was too pretty to play Ree Dolly in Winter’s Bone, so she showed up to the casting call on no sleep, unshowered, and without makeup. Ultimately she changed their minds and won an Oscar for her troubles.

Matthew Gray Gubler had to audition for Criminal Minds wunderkind Spencer Reid about five times, each time playing the character as weird and “gregarious,” even though he was written to be “stoic, like Data from Star Trek.”

He was even told he was “so wrong” for the part, but he eventually won them over, and his version of Spencer is (thankfully) the one we ended up with.

Gillian Anderson, Believe it or not, this legendary TV actress almost didn’t play Dana Scully on The X-Files. She kept getting callbacks, and while Chris Carter was on board, the network wasn’t.

Anderson said that “he fought tooth and nail to get [her] rather than what used to be the version of women [on] television back then, which was very different.”

David Schwimmer, One of those castmates was David Schwimmer, who Friends executive producer Kevin S. Bright had worked with before. He said the character of Ross Geller was written specifically with Schwimmer in mind, and he ended up being the first person cast in the show.

Courteney Cox, After becoming well-known for playing goody-two-shoes Monica Geller, Kudrow and Schwimmer’s costar Courteney Cox had trouble being taken seriously in her quest to become not-so-nice TV journalist Gale Weathers in Scream.

Cox revealed that she wrote a letter to director Wes Craven, assuring him she “can really be a bitch.”

Henry Cavill, an avid gamer, was a big fan of the video game version of The Witcher, and when Netflix announced it was planning on a limited series adaptation of the books the game was based on, he immediately started campaigning to play Geralt of Rivia.

“He was really annoying,” Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, who’d been hired to produce and write the show, revealed. “I finally said, ‘I will meet with you. The show is not green-lit. There is nothing.’ I said, ‘Thank you. Now I have to go write the show.’”

Despite Cavill’s obvious interest, Hissrich and the other producers still auditioned over 200 actors for the role of Geralt, but ultimately she knew he was the right choice for the actor.

Lisa Kudrow, Though it’s hard to imagine now, there was a time when the producers of Friends weren’t chomping at the bit to have Lisa Kudrow play Phoebe Buffay on Friends. In the HBO Max reunion special, she revealed that, unlike some of her castmates, she had to go back for multiple auditions.

STARS: Bill Murray, Jennifer Lawrence, Matthew Gray Gubler, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Henry Cavill, Lisa Kudrow, Gillian Anderson


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Dan Dunn
Dan Dunn
Executive Managing editor

Editor and Admin at MarkMeets since Nov 2012. Columnist, reviewer and entertainment writer and oversees all of the section's news, features and interviews. During his career, he has written for numerous magazines.

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