8 Actors Who Seriously Regret Turning Down Iconic Movie Roles

7. Dustin Hoffman - Travis Bickle (Taxi Driver)

It's hard to picture anyone other than Robert De Niro in the role of disillusioned Vietnam vet turned cabbie Travis Bickle, but Martin Scorsese shopped around before he chose an actor for the iconic part. One of the people that Scorsese went to during the early development stages of Taxi Driver - read as: no script - was the legendary Dustin Hoffman.

Hoffman never ended up starring in the movie, obviously, though you can somewhat imagine him in the part, though playing it a tad differently. The actor once recounted the time that he and Scorsese had a little chat about Taxi Driver, and his regrets in turning it down:

"I remember meeting Martin Scorsese. He had no script and I didn't even know who he was. I hadn't seen any of his films and he talked a mile a minute telling me what the movie would be about. I was thinking, 'What is he talking about?' I thought the guy was crazy! The film was Taxi Driver. I made so many dumb mistakes (turning down hit movies). The list is endless."

What other movies has Dustin Hoffman had the displeasure of turning down, then? Given that he was one of the most sought after actors of the '70s, probably all of them. Ever.


Sam Hill is an ardent cinephile and has been writing about film professionally since 2008. He harbours a particular fondness for western and sci-fi movies.