10 Actors That Gambled Their Careers By NOT Taking Huge Movie Roles

9. Sarah Polley - Penny Lane In Almost Famous

Pulp Fiction/Forest Gump
Columbia Pictures

It's hard to imagine anyone but Kate Hudson playing the enigmatic and elusive character of Penny Lane. Yet, for quite a while during the beginning of production, another actress was attached to the project.

Originally, Sarah Polley was set to play the iconic groupie. If you're scratching your head, wondering who the hell Sarah Polley is, you're not the only one. After a quick search of her name, a picture of the actress became vaguely familiar and with a little bit of investigation, my suspicions were confirmed. Sarah Polley played Ana Clark in the Dawn Of The Dead remake.

But other than that, not much of Polley's repertoire managed to reach mainstream success. Of course, this all could have been different had the actress stuck to her commitment instead of letting her friends talk her out of it. Alas, the actress exited the project before filming even began, and a door was subsequently opened for a young, no-named actress: Kate Hudson.

Hudson was already involved in Almost Famous, having won the role of Anita Miller, but when rumours spread of the availability of the role, Hudson persistently and passionately campaigned for it. Which, as we all now know, must have worked on the movie's director, writer and producer Cameron Crowe.

But maybe the gamble did pay off for Polley, as stepping down from the role led her in down different direction for her career, in directing. If she had garnered the fame that Hudson had for playing Penny Lane, maybe she would never have fallen into her true filmmaking passion.


Lily thought it was about time she wrote Top Ten lists for people other than herself. She also owes her dog a lot of money so she thought it was about time to pay her dues. There is no tv show she likes that she hasn't seen at least twice.