10 HUGE Movie Roles Actors Were Too Scared To Take On

Some parts just aren't worth the work...

leonardo dicaprio american psycho

For a lot of stars, nothing could be more appealing than the chance to take on a challenging role. The Daniel Day-Lewises of the world put their competitors to shame with their peerless (if slightly crazy) levels of commitment to method acting, immersing themselves in every role for the entire length of film shoots.

Other actors take a more laid-back approach to embodying their latest character, but nonetheless jump at the chance to star in risky projects. Take Jason Statham, who has not only risked life and limb in pursuit of some incredible stunts while filming his part in the blockbuster Fast and Furious franchise, but also allayed his success into making bizarre, risky films like Neveldine/Taylor’s demented Crank movies.

However, some actors prefer to play it safe, and given the net worth a lot of them are working with, it’s understandable. Nonetheless, it’s a shame not every star chooses to jeopardise their good fortune in search of artistic fulfilment. After all, the decision can often come back to bite them, as seen in these cases. Here are the roles actors turned down, whether for fear of fan reaction or the effort they required—and why they lived to regret refusing the call.

10. Patrick Bateman (American Psycho) - Leonardo DiCaprio

leonardo dicaprio american psycho

It may seem hard to believe for contemporary fans of Leo DiCaprio who are used to seeing him inhabit darker roles like the vicious Calvin Candy in Tarantino’s Django Unchained, but there was a time when the thespian was too scared to take on any villainous parts.

A young heartthrob famous for his starring roles in Romeo + Juliet and Titanic, in the late nineties DiCaprio had a sizeable teenage fan base to consider when it came time to decide which roles to take on and which to ditch.

This made things awkward when, way back in 1999, he was rumoured to be in talks to play the title role in an adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho. DiCaprio was offered a tidy sum for the role of a Patrick Bateman, the talkative sociopath of the title, but turned down the role for fear of alienating his younger fan base.

The now-classic novel caused considerable controversy upon its initial release and the Mary Harron-helmed film was bound to do the same, despite the director’s artful approach to the book’s riskier scenes. So it was that the role went to Christian Bale, propelling him to stardom rivalling his former competitor.


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