10 Actors Who Must Regret Turning Down Major Film Roles
10. Liam Neeson - Abraham Lincoln (Lincoln)
Liam Neeson was primed for the legendary role of America's most famous president, Abraham Lincoln, over a decade ago, as Steven Spielberg set about his early plans for the biopic. The Irishman claimed to have done four years worth of research for the role, which would arguably have defined his career had he nailed the part. He suddenly had second thoughts on the matter during the first read-through of the script, however, with Neeson claiming in an interview with GQ magazine:
"We started reading this, and there was an intro, and then I see 'Lincoln': where I have to start speaking, and I just ... a thunderbolt moment. I thought, 'I'm not supposed to be here. This is gone. I've passed my sell-by date. I don't want to play this Lincoln. I can't be him. "I said, 'Steven, this is not for me. I can't explain it. It's gone. It's not ...' And he got it. He said, 'OK.' And that was it."
Having passed up the chance to play Lincoln, the role eventually went to Sir Daniel Day-Lewis, one of the all-time great actors, and his performance in the 2012 hit was sensational. It earned him critical acclaim from all corners, and saw him become the first actor in history to win three Best Actor Oscars. In fairness, Neeson seems comfortable with his decision, but there must be a part of him that regrets not attempting to play such an iconic figure in history.