10 Movie Actors Who Really Couldn't Handle Casting Rejections

When rejected actors bite back.

Ryan Reynolds Free Guy
20th Century Studios

Hollywood sure is a tough, unforgiving industry, where having feelings is a fool's game and careers are both made and broken on the simplest of whims.

The most talented actors in the world can struggle to put food on the table, while mediocre performers with the right combination of looks and good timing can become overnight sensations.

Practically any successful actor will be all-too-familiar with rejection earlier in their career, but it's how an actor deals with that rejection which may well define their future in the business.

These 10 actors have all certainly gone on to do terrific and enormously successful things in Hollywood, though not without being spectacularly shot down for roles which they either auditioned for or at least thought themselves in the running for.

No matter the gig, the outcome in each case was an ego-bruising loss of a potential role, which highlighted one undeniable truth - behind even the most recognisable A-list actor resides both a deeply vulnerable human being and a colossal ego...

10. Laurence Fishburne Sued After Losing Samuel L. Jackson's Role In Die Hard With A Vengeance

Ryan Reynolds Free Guy

Though it's tough to imagine the third Die Hard movie as anything other than a ludicrously entertaining two-hander between Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson, the latter's role of Zeus Carver was originally offered to none other than the brilliant Laurence Fishburne.

Fishburne responded by asking for a larger fee, prompting producer Andy Vajna to stall negotiations, hoping that the actor would buckle.

In the meantime, Vajna attended Pulp Fiction's world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival to support his pal Bruce Willis, and after seeing Jackson's eventually Oscar-nominated performance in the film, offered him the part of Zeus instead.

As a result, Fishburne ended up suing Vajna's production company Cinergi for $2 million in damages for breach of contract, claiming that a verbal agreement was reneged upon. The outcome of the lawsuit, however, hasn't ever been stated publicly.

In an added bout of irony, Fishburne was also the first choice to play Jackson's role of Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction, but Fishburne's reps talked him out of it amid concerns he'd be stuck playing supporting roles for the rest of his career. Oof.


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.