Buzzfeed has an interesting list:
Actors who had to FIGHT for a role, and now it’s so iconic that you can’t imagine anyone else handling it.
They have 17. Here they are:
- Lady Gaga in “A Star Is Born”. Bradley Cooper wanted Gaga the whole time, but the studio didn’t. She ended up getting an Oscar nomination.
- Aaron Paul on “Breaking Bad”. The show’s creator Vince Gilligan wanted Aaron, but no one else liked him at first. He ended up winning three Emmys.
- Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter’s Bone”. The producers were worried Jennifer was “too pretty” for the role, but they relented because, well, Hollywood. She scored an Oscar nomination for the role.
- Constance Wu in “Crazy Rich Asians”. Constance struggled to get the role because her schedule was tied up by “Fresh Off the Boat”.
- Patrick Swayze in “Ghost”. The director wanted Harrison Ford, but Patrick fought for it because he loved the script.
- Whoopi Goldberg in “Ghost”. The director wanted Tina Turner, but Patrick fought for Whoopi, and she ended up winning an Oscar.
- Winona Ryder in “Heathers”. The people behind the show thought Winona wasn’t attractive enough, but she LOVED the script, and reportedly called it, quote, “The greatest piece of literature since ‘Catcher in the Rye’.”
- Marlon Brando in “The Godfather”. Francis Ford Coppola had to beg the studio to give Marlon a screen test. And during it, he took a phone call, in character, and that apparently helped catapult him into the role.
- Dev Patel in “Lion”. Dev said they didn’t want to cast him because he was typecast as the “Slumdog Millionaire”-guy. He was later nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe.
- Kate Winslet in “Titanic”. Kate called James Cameron and said he’d be “mad” not to cast her. He said she’d be mad to not make room for Jack on the door. Just kidding, but that would’ve been funny. Kate was nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe.
- Dave Bautista in “Guardians of the Galaxy”. Director James Gunn had to fight for Dave because his audition was a “nightmare,” and the studio didn’t want a pro wrestler.
- Lisa Kudrow on “Friends”. She said she had to fight to play Phoebe. And proved herself right by being nominated for an Emmy six times and winning one.
- Taylor Lautner in “Twilight: New Moon”. Taylor was scrawny in the first movie, and they were going to replace him. But he spent months bulking up and eventually convinced the director that he could play a muscular character.
- Ryan Reynolds in “Deadpool”. He fought for 11 years to get a solo “Deadpool” movie made.
- Reese Witherspoon in “Legally Blonde”. Reese was told she needed to be sexier to get the part. Apparently, the studio head had seen her in “Election” and thought she was a “shrew.”
- Lili Reinhart on “Riverdale”. Lili had to audition multiple times virtually and couldn’t get it right. But she finally nailed an in-person audition.
- Mahershala Ali on “True Detective”. The role was originally intended for a white man. Mahershala was offered a supporting role but fought to be cast as the main guy.