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Dublin: 4 °C Wednesday 23 January, 2019

Evan Rachel Wood turned down Mean Girls, and here are 8 other stars who also rejected iconic roles

How different things might have been.

WOULD SHE HAVE been a member of The Plastics?  Or perhaps she was all set to play Damian’s BFF, Janis Ian? Lord, she could have been lined up for the Cady Herron role!


Well, given how coy Evan Rachel Wood was being about the whole issue when she appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon this week, we may never know.

What we do know, however, is that the Westworld actress turned down a role in Mean Girls, and now we can’t help but wonder how the iconic teen movie might have panned out if she had taken the gig.


Listen, there’s a reason! It’s a good reason. The only reason is because I was already supposed to do a film called Pretty Persuasion that was set in a high school that was very Heathers-esque, and it was very similar! So, I was already doing that, so I was like, ‘I can’t!’

Hmmm, we’ll let that one slide.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at the other stars who turned down some of the most iconic roles in recent history.

1. Christina Applegate

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Christina Applegate declined the role of Elle Woods in Legally Blonde – a role which eventually went to the glorious Reese Witherspoon.

2. Anne Hathaway

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The role subsequently secured Jennifer Lawrence an Oscar, but Anne Hathaway was originally approached to play Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook.

3. Jim Carrey

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Given the fact it took Elf ten years to make it to production, Jim Carrey decided to pass on the project he had been approached with back in 1993, and Will Ferrell became the Elf we all know and love.

4. Bette Midler


Much and all as we adore Bette, the idea that anyone other than Whoopi Goldberg playing Sister Mary Clarence in Sister Act is not something we can get on board with. Props to Bette for stepping aside.

5. Gwyneth Paltrow

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Sorry, but the only woman who could do Rose DeWitt Bukater justice in Titanic is Kate Winslet. But if Gwynnie hadn’t declined the role, we may never have known.

6. Emma Watson

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If Emma Watson hadn’t been starring in Beauty and the Beast, she may well have playing Emma Stone’s part in La La Land.

7. John Travolta

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This could easily have changed the course of cinematic history, people. If it hadn’t been for Pulp Fiction, John Travolta could have been playing – wait for it – Forrest Gump.

8. Will Smith

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Will Smith was approached to play the part of Neo in The Matrix, but turned it down because he couldn’t get his head around the pitch. He has since said he has made the right decision because he felt he would have ‘messed up’ the role that eventually went to Keanu Reeves.

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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