10 Actors Who Turned Down Iconic Roles For Stupid Reasons

Not a smart move.

Will Smith I Am Legend Django Unchained
Warner Bros & TWC

There aren't many actors lucky enough to be handed prized movie roles on a silver platter, but sometimes an actor just can't appreciate the gift they've been given and throws the opportunity away.

Now, there certainly are examples where an actor was right to turn down a role that went on to become iconic.

Will Smith still gets plenty of flak for saying no to the part of Neo in The Matrix, for instance, but when you hear his side of the story, it makes absolute sense that he turned the Wachowskis down.

Similarly, John Travolta turned down Forrest Gump to do Pulp Fiction (win win!), and Kirsten Dunst said no to the Mena Suvari role in American Beauty because she didn't want to kiss a 40-year-old Kevin Spacey. You can't really blame the decision making in each case there.

These 10 choices, though? Not so much.

These actors all turned down massively popular, lucrative and iconic roles not because of scheduling conflicts, creative disagreements or a rough pitch meeting, but for reasons that have surely left the actors kicking themselves ever since.

In some cases the actors have actively voiced their regret about saying no, while in others, they've expressed their happiness for the actor who eventually won the role (whether that's honest or not).

Either way, they really dropped the ball passing on these career-making parts, even if everything clearly worked out for the next pick in line...


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.