10 Actors Who Must Regret Turning Down Major Movie Roles

Jim Carrey and a bottle of rum.

Will Smith Neo Matrix

Hollywood is no doubt an incredibly fickle business, where the most benign of factors can determine a movie's success or failure. What doesn't work on the page can miraculously come together with a talented cast and crew, while often an actor's intuition to turn down a role is ultimately well-founded.

Well, not for these 10 actors, who turned down iconic roles that broke the box office, won Oscars, and otherwise launched their eventual stars into the veritable Hollywood A-list.

It's an incredibly difficult call for an actor to make, especially earlier on in their career, to take a risk on a project when their gut (and possibly their agent) tells them it's no good, but the history books are full of risk-taking entertainers who gambled their reputations and boldly won out.

There's no doubt this collection of actors is collectively kicking themselves for missing out on all that franchise money, those little gold statues, and the sheer prestige of appearing in some of the most iconic movies of all time.

10. Emily Browning - Bella Swan (Twilight)

Michelle Pfeiffer The Silence Of The Lambs
Summit Entertainment

Sucker Punch star Emily Browning was author Stephenie Meyer's first choice to play lead Bella Swan in the Twilight movie franchise, but Browning turned the part down as she didn't feel she could commit to a series at the time.

Though Browning claimed several years ago that it was ultimately a good move for her as she wouldn't have been able to deal with the stress of the Twilight fandom and press tour, considering that she's starred in very few critically and commercially successful films since the franchise began, she may really be wishing she'd taken the gigantic payday instead.

After all, Kristen Stewart is worth an estimated $70 million today, while Browning is worth "only" $5 million.

Would It Have Worked?: Definitely. The role doesn't require a lot of acting finesse so Browning would've been above the role just as Stewart was, but she's got the looks and timid quality that Bella needs.


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.