The Famous Roles That Almost Belonged To Other Actors

Ashley Olsen and Rumer Willis Almost Starred In 'Gossip Girl'

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Some of our favourite TV and films could have been totally different if it wasn't for these last-minute casting changes...

1. Ashley Olsen and Rumer Willis almost starred in Gossip Girl

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This changes EVERYTHING about our years of Gossip Girl obsession - Blair and Serena were almost played by fashion darling Ashley Olsen and Bruce Willis' first born Rumer Willis. We'll give that a second to sink in and let you reimagine how the Upper East Side could have been without Blake Lively and Leighton Meester...

We've learned of the shocking casting revelations thanks to an interview from Buzzfeed with CW casting director David Rapaport. He says that the network originally pitched Ashley Olsen for Blair Waldorf, and Rumer Willis for Serena van der Woodsen, but ultimately they decided the lesser-known girls were a better fit. "I love Rumer, she’s grown into quite an amazing actress and person," Rapaport said. "But that, to me, was based on protecting the investment of a television show where creatively, these lesser-known girls really captured the essence of the show and carried it for six years.”

2. Jane Krakowski auditioned For Friends

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While Jen An is now the ONLY actress we can imagine playing Rachel Green on Friends, we found out another actress really wanted the role and auditioned for the part. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and* 30 Rock *star Jane Krakowski revealed on the Emmys red carpet to Giuliana Rancic: "I, like almost every actor in the world, auditioned for Friends...I wish I had gotten that one. I actually auditioned for Rachel and didn't go very far."

She joked that her business manager was "very sad" that she didn't get the part.

Jennifer Aniston herself has also revealed that she was nearly replaced on the show as she was part of another series, Muddling Through, when Friends got picked up. She said "I had phone calls from girlfriends saying, "I'm auditioning for your part in Friends" - and apparently Courteney Cox almost got the role instead of playing Monica.

**3. Jared Leto replaced Ryan Gosling in Dallas Buyers Club **

Ryan was all set to play Dallas Buyers Club’s Rayon, a transgender woman with HIV, before he missed out to Jared Leto in the final audition. Leto lost 30 pounds, shaved his eyebrows and waxed his entire body for the role and went on to win the 2014 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club

4. Angelina Jolie and Robert Downey Jr were originally going to star in*** Gravity**** ***

Sandra Bullock and George Clooney’s roles in Gravity were originally filled by Angelina Jolie and Robert Downey Jr. Jolie had to drop out because of scheduling conflicts and Downey left because the “cramped physical choreography required to shoot the movie would not allow him to improvise.”

Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in Gravity

5. Mr & Mrs Smith were going to be played by Nicole Kidman and Johnny Depp

Now this is one Sliding Doors moment that could have changed Hollywood forever. Imagine if Brad and Ange had never found love on set of Mr & Mrs Smith? Where would be without Brangelina? It just doesn't bear thinking about.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in Mr & Mrs Smith

**6. Scarlett Johansson took over from Emily Blunt in Iron Man 2 **

Emily Blunt famously turned down the role of the Black Widow in Iron Man 2 for a part in Gulliver’s Travels. Scarlett Johannsson took over and has gone on to star in three more films as the character. Emily recently said: “It’s always a difficult thing to talk about, because it’s not fair to the actresses who ended up playing them, you know? It just wasn’t the right time.”

Scarlett Johansson in Iron Man 2

7. Leo DiCaprio was going to play Patrick Bateman in American Psycho

Mary Harron signed on to direct American Psycho but left when the studio hired Leonardo DiCaprio as the male lead, as she wanted Christian Bale to portray maniac Patrick Bateman. After protests from feminist groups, and issues with the script, DiCaprio walked along with new director Oliver Stone. Harron returned, and cast Bale. The rest is history...

Christian Bale in American Psycho

8. Liv Tyler stepped in for Uma Thurman in Lord of the Rings

Uma Thurman was handpicked by* Lord of the Rings* director Peter Jackson to play elf Arwen, but had to resign from the role when she became pregnant, leading Liv Tyler to step in. The other major female elf, Galadriel, was going to be played by Lucy Lawless but she also became pregnant so the role went to Cate Blanchet.

Liv Tyler in The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy

9. Claire Danes replaced Natalie Portman in Romeo & Juliet

Petite Natalie Portman was replaced by Claire Danes after producers felt she looked too young to be getting romantic with 6ft tall Leonardo DiCaprio in* Romeo & Juliet*. Director Baz Luhrmann said: "[Leo]'s 21, but can look 18. Natalie made him look all of 21, and it just became obscene."

Claire Danes in Romeo & Juliet

by Laura Donaldson. Follow Laura on Twitter @lauradonaldson_

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