10 Actors Who Didn't Know They'd Been Cut

Sean Bean had no idea he got the chop from The Two Towers.

The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers Sean Bean
New Line Cinema

Filmmaking sure is hard, and the decisions that go into creating a final released movie are basically innumerable.

A director has to balance so many interests when finishing their edit, as often results in some actors' contributions being left on the cutting room floor.

Virtually every actor who has ever made it big in Hollywood has suffered through the indignity of being cut out of a movie at least once, especially earlier in their career.

The reasons are myriad - perhaps the part affected the pacing, the acting chemistry wasn't on-point, or the director simply changed their mind about the necessity of the role.

It can be tough for actors to hear that they won't ever get to see their work, but directors and producers can help smooth over any disappointment by letting the actor know beforehand - it's a basic courtesy in the business.

And so these 10 actors couldn't really be blamed for being baffled, flummoxed, upset, and even outraged that their role in these 10 huge movies was cut without their knowledge.

In extreme cases they even ended up attending the movie's premiere expecting to see themselves, only to see first-hand that most if not all of their work was relegated to the cinematic ether...

10. Adrien Brody - The Thin Red Line

The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers Sean Bean
20th Century Studios

In what's surely one of the most infamous instances of an actor having their role "revised" in post-production, Adrien Brody was hired to play protagonist Cpl. Geoffrey Fife in Terrence Malick's war epic The Thin Red Line.

Brody does indeed appear in the final film, though his part is better described as an extended cameo, amounting to little more than a few lines of dialogue.

This is despite Brody spending roughly six months filming a lead actor's role, which Malick ultimately decided to cut the overwhelming majority of during the film's laboured editing process.

But Malick's worst sin? He never told Brody, and so when the actor attended the film's premiere, he finally discovered the truth, that he was only a small fixture due to Malick shifting the focus to the larger ensemble. Brody said of the experience:

"I was so focused and professional, I gave everything to it, and then to not receive everything… in terms of witnessing my own work. It was extremely unpleasant because I'd already begun the press for a film that I wasn't really in. Terry obviously changed the entire concept of the film. I had never experienced anything like that... You know the expression 'Don't believe the hype?' Well, you shouldn't."

Brody clearly resents the experience, and who can blame him? He thought this would be his big Hollywood break, and he instead had to wait another four years until The Pianist made him the youngest Best Actor Oscar winner in history.

Malick has repeated this fast-and-loose treatment of his cast members ever since, but at least nowadays actors are well aware what they're signing up for on a Malick shoot - you might make the cut, you might not.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.