7 Actors Who Rejected Movies For Being Too Evil (And Regretted It)

These actors weren't ready for these roles - but still regretted them.

John Lithgow Joker

We've all heard the stories about actors turning down roles which end up being star-making smash hits for those who eventually accepted them, but considering how so many great movies are simply tough sells before cameras start rolling, it's tough to blame them too much.

Plus, sometimes there's a moral element, that an actor just can't bring themselves to take part in a production that's bathed in negative vibes and even downright evil.

After all, spending two or three months shooting a bleak work of cinema will take an undeniable toll on any actor's psyche. It's certainly not for everyone, and so it's easy to appreciate why these seven actors opted to turn these juicy parts down.

That said, once each movie was released to critical and/or commercial success, they quickly changed their tune, and in later interviews even openly expressed regret that they didn't take the part initially offered to them on a silver platter.

Such is the nature of the industry, though - hindsight is 20:20, and if your gut says to pass on a project, then it's probably for the best...

7. Michelle Pfeiffer - The Silence Of The Lambs

John Lithgow Joker
Orion Pictures

By her own admission, Michelle Pfeiffer is an extremely picky performer and has turned down numerous high-profile hits, from Thelma and Louise to Basic Instinct, Pretty Woman, Sleepless in Seattle, and most shockingly, The Silence of the Lambs.

After working with director Jonathan Demme on his 1988 movie Married to the Mob - which was a major breakout for Pfeiffer - he offered her the lead role of FBI trainee Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs, but she turned it down due to the "evil" in the script. She recently told IndieWire:

"With Silence of the Lambs, I was trepidatious... There was such evil in that film... It was that evil won in the end, that at the end of that film evil ruled out. I was uncomfortable with that ending. I didn't want to put that out into the world."

And so, Pfeiffer passed on a role that instead went to Jodie Foster, who ended up winning the Best Actress Oscar for her sublime performance in the film.

In the same interview, Pfeiffer admitted regret over turning the part down, though it wasn't so much due to missing out on a juicy role that had a strong chance of winning her an Oscar, but because she never got another opportunity to work with Demme, who sadly passed away in 2017:

"The thing I most regret is missing the opportunity to do another film with Jonathan."

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.