With all of the glitz and glamor, movies hold a lot of mysteries that are just begging to be solved. And catching even a glimpse behind the scenes at how casting choices are made is enough to whet your tongue and make you beg for more. In reality, the landscape of our favorite films could have been radically different if things were just a tiny bit different. Imagine, if you will, a parallel universe where the iconic role of Harry Potter was played by none other than Tom Felton, aka Draco Malfoy.

Bored Panda has collected this list of examples that show what roles well-known actors auditioned for and which ones they ended up getting, as well as which ones they were offered and refused. As you’re scrolling down, upvote your fave pics, and take a couple of minutes to daydream about whether these actors would have done better in the roles that they originally wanted or were offered.

Hollywood's Ultimate Insider and celebrity expert Mike Sington told Bored Panda that casting directors are looking for a "multitude of qualities" during a casting session. "Raw acting talent is of course important, but also the ability to bring the character to life, fulfilling the vision of the director and writer." Read on for our full interview to learn more.

#1

Tom Felton Could Have Played The Role Of Harry Potter

Tom Felton Could Have Played The Role Of Harry Potter

Warner Bros. Report

Sol Connor
Community Member
2 months ago

Wow, how different would this have been?!

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#2

Heath Ledger Was Offered The Role Of Batman In The Movie "Batman Begins"

Heath Ledger Was Offered The Role Of Batman In The Movie "Batman Begins"

Warner Bros. Report

Olivier Caissy
Community Member
2 months ago

That... would have been different. How tall was he?

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#3

Tom Hiddleston Auditioned For The Role Of Thor In The Films Of The MCU

Tom Hiddleston Auditioned For The Role Of Thor In The Films Of The MCU

Marvel Report

Full of Giggles
Community Member
2 months ago

The two finalists for Thor were Chris and Liam Hemsworth. Chris won the role because Tom didn’t think Liam was funny.

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"It’s also important for an actor to have that indescribable ‘it factor’ that makes them jump off the screen. Also taken into consideration are experience, and chemistry with other actors auditioning for the project. An actor needs to have an overall pleasant personality too, and seem like they would be easy to work with on the set. No matter how good they are, no one wants to hire a ‘difficult’ actor!" celeb expert Mike showed us the pressure that both actors and casting directors are under day-in, day-out.

Life isn't easy for any actor, but newbies have it the toughest. They have to pay their dues and take what's given to them without causing much of a fuss. "Inexperienced actors have very little say or flexibility in negotiating a different role than the one they are being considered for. There are so many actors being considered for any one particular role, if an actor wants to work, it’s best if they are new and don’t have the clout, to just go with what they’re offered gratefully."

#4

Jensen Ackles Auditioned For The Role Of Sam Winchester In Supernatural

Jensen Ackles Auditioned For The Role Of Sam Winchester In Supernatural

Warner Bros. Television Report

Alyssa Gomez
Community Member
2 months ago

WHAT?! THANK CHUCK THAT DIDNT HAPPEN!

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#5

Orlando Bloom Auditioned For The Role Of Faramir (The Lord Of The Rings)

Orlando Bloom Auditioned For The Role Of Faramir (The Lord Of The Rings)

New Line Cinema Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
2 months ago

he was the perfect Legolas.

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#6

Courteney Cox Originally Auditioned For The Role Of Rachel Greene On Friends

Courteney Cox Originally Auditioned For The Role Of Rachel Greene On Friends

NBC Report

Vorknkx
Community Member
2 months ago

She fits the role of Monica soooo much better.

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Mike continued: "If an inexperienced actor feels strongly they’d be more suitable for another role, that’s a conversation to have with your agent, who can then possibly approach the casting director depending upon their relationship." So having an agent who can help you reach your personal acting goals by representing you well is also an important part of an actor's life.

Rejection is an inevitable part of being an actor. It's not going to go away, no matter how popular and capable you might be on-stage. "An actor has to constantly face rejection, but to be successful, you just have to realize that’s part of the process," Mike told Bored Panda. "Shrug it off and move on to the next audition."

#7

Stephanie Beatriz Auditioned For The Role Of Amy Santiago In "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

Stephanie Beatriz Auditioned For The Role Of Amy Santiago In "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

NBC Report

Andy Acceber
Community Member
2 months ago

I hoped they would have this one! When Stephanie heard Melissa Fumero got the role, she was happy/proud for her but sad because she assumed she was out. At the time, it was very unlikely a major network show would cast two Latina actresses. I'm so glad Brooklyn Nine-Nine cast them both! They're both great in their roles.

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#8

Carice Van Houton Auditioned For The Role Of Cersei Lannister In "Game Of Thrones"

Carice Van Houton Auditioned For The Role Of Cersei Lannister In "Game Of Thrones"

HBO Report

Maria Schneider
Community Member
2 months ago

Her name is van Houten

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#9

Iwan Rheon Could Have Played Jon Snow In Game Of Thrones

Iwan Rheon Could Have Played Jon Snow In Game Of Thrones

HBO Report

Evgeniya Khon
Community Member
2 months ago

Noooooo...

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Hollywood's Ultimate Insider said: "I always tell actors, much of the audition process is out of your control, and you may never even know why you didn’t get the part. Maybe the casting director passed because you remind them of their cousin they can’t stand. Or the director stepped in and said ‘no’ because they want to work with someone they’re familiar with. It may have absolutely nothing to do with the actor’s talent at all."

#10

Liam Hemsworth Auditioned For The Role Of Peeta Mellark In "The Hunger Games"

Liam Hemsworth Auditioned For The Role Of Peeta Mellark In "The Hunger Games"

Lionsgate Films Report

BorPand8
Community Member
2 months ago

I read that the author chose those names so people couldn't create a portmanteau for the ship -- their choices would be Peeniss, Katpee/Peekat or Katta.

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#11

Amanda Seyfried Auditioned For The Role Of Regina George In "Mean Girls"

Amanda Seyfried Auditioned For The Role Of Regina George In "Mean Girls"

Paramount Pictures Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
2 months ago

This comment has been deleted.

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#12

Rainn Wilson Auditioned For The Role Of Michael Scott In "The Office"

Rainn Wilson Auditioned For The Role Of Michael Scott In "The Office"

BBC Report

Cip IESAN
Community Member
2 months ago

The Naked Drummer again!

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Felton auditioned to play Potter [here pronounced in the most Malfoy’ish way you can], but Daniel Radcliffe wowed director Christopher Columbus who thought the lad was ‘perfect’ to play the Boy Who Lived.

Can you imagine living in a world where Felton is the Quidditch prodigy and Boy Wonder Harry Potter? It’s intriguing, scary, and confusing all at once. I think I’d allow that. On one condition, though: if Radcliffe would’ve played Malfoy. Now that’s the kind of ‘Twilight Zone’/’Black Mirror’ switcheroo I’d love to see. (And, let’s face it, so would you.)

#13

Cillian Murphy Auditioned For The Role Of Batman In "Batman Begins"

Cillian Murphy Auditioned For The Role Of Batman In "Batman Begins"

Warner Bros. Report

MagicalUnicorn
Community Member
2 months ago

i am not into batman stuff, but cillian is damn near perfect in anything he's in <3

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#14

James Franco Auditioned For The Role Of Spider-Man

James Franco Auditioned For The Role Of Spider-Man

Columbia Pictures Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
2 months ago

I cannot imagine someone besides Tobey...he is still the best spiderman

#15

Sebastian Stan Auditioned For The Role Of Captain America In The MCU Films

Sebastian Stan Auditioned For The Role Of Captain America In The MCU Films

Marvel Report

로희
Community Member
2 months ago

John Krasinski, Joe Jonas, Alexander Skarsgard, Dane Cook, and Wilson Bethel were auditioned for the role, too~

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Meanwhile, all of you hardcore ‘Friends’ fans might know that Courtney Cox was offered to play the role of spoiled fashionista Rachel Greene. However, Cox turned the role down and ended up embodying Greene’s roommate and high school bestie, food-expert and neat-freak, Monica Geller.

“For some reason, I thought I related more to Monica, which maybe it’s because I do. I’m very similar to her. I’m not as clean as Monica, but I am neat. And I’m not as competitive, even though some people would say I am,” Cox explained during an episode of the ‘Off Camera with Sam Jones’ podcast.

#16

Arnold Schwarzenegger Could Have Played The Role Of Kyle Reese In The Movie "Terminator"

Arnold Schwarzenegger Could Have Played The Role Of Kyle Reese In The Movie "Terminator"

Orion pictures Report

Sol Connor
Community Member
2 months ago

Wait... what?!

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#17

Betty White Auditioned For The Role Of Blanche Devereaux In "Golden Girls"

Betty White Auditioned For The Role Of Blanche Devereaux In "Golden Girls"

NBC Report

Andy Acceber
Community Member
2 months ago

Rue McClanahan was the perfect Blanche. She was once quoted, "Am I Blanche? She was an oversexed, man-crazy, vain Southern Belle from Atlanta -- I'm not from Atlanta!" It's hard to imagine Betty White in that role.

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#18

Lee Pace Auditioned For The Role Of Star-Lord In "Guardians Of The Galaxy"

Lee Pace Auditioned For The Role Of Star-Lord In "Guardians Of The Galaxy"

Disney Report

Full of Giggles
Community Member
2 months ago

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I think Lee is a little too old for the role.

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Had Cox agreed to play Rachel, ‘Friends’ would have had a different dynamic. I think the atmosphere would still be very similar, but the characters themselves would have different dimensions to them. Who knows, our alternate reality selves might be fully enjoying watching a rerun of Matthew Perry as Joey Tribbiani, Matt LeBlanc as Ross Geller, and David Schwimmer as Chandler Muriel Bing, too. In that interesting scenario, I like to imagine that the only constant would be Lisa Kudrow’s Phoebe Buffay (and maybe James Michael Tyler’s Gunther from ‘Central Perk’).

#19

John Krasinski Could Have Played The Role Of Dwight Schrute In The TV Series "The Office"

John Krasinski Could Have Played The Role Of Dwight Schrute In The TV Series "The Office"

BBC Report

Cip IESAN
Community Member
2 months ago

Geee! The Naked Drummer!

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#20

Jon Favreau (Pete Becker, The "Ultimate Fighting Champion Guy") Auditioned For The Role Of Chandler Bing In "Friends"

Jon Favreau (Pete Becker, The "Ultimate Fighting Champion Guy") Auditioned For The Role Of Chandler Bing In "Friends"

NBC Report

Gareth Graham
Community Member
2 months ago

I think it worked out ok for Jon

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#21

Matt Damon And Heath Ledger Were Supposed To Play Opposite Roles In The Brothers Grimm

Matt Damon And Heath Ledger Were Supposed To Play Opposite Roles In The Brothers Grimm

Dimension Films Report

Olivier Caissy
Community Member
2 months ago

I don’t think it would have help.

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We also spoke about auditions, casting, and finding the ‘perfect’ actor to play the part in a movie with Mike for a previous article. Celebrity expert Mike explained to Bored Panda during an earlier interview that the pool of actors is incredibly large to cast from, even for child or teen actors, so finding the person that the director envisioned for a certain role isn’t too difficult.

“The talent pool is worldwide now. Hollywood is more than willing to look beyond its own borders to find the perfect candidate," he said.

#22

Ashley Greene Auditioned For The Role Of Bella Swan In "Twilight"

Ashley Greene Auditioned For The Role Of Bella Swan In "Twilight"

Summit Entertainment Report

Allan Breum
Community Member
2 months ago

Ashely dodged a bullet there...

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#23

Hank Azaria (David, The "Science Guy") Auditioned For The Role Of Joey Tribbiani In "Friends"

Hank Azaria (David, The "Science Guy") Auditioned For The Role Of Joey Tribbiani In "Friends"

NBC Report

Sol Connor
Community Member
2 months ago

😂😂😂

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#24

Sandra Oh Auditioned For The Role Of Miranda Bailey In "Grey’s Anatomy"

Sandra Oh Auditioned For The Role Of Miranda Bailey In "Grey’s Anatomy"

ABC Report

Rissie
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

Oh, I can see that. They are actually pretty similar roles. Higj potentials fighting with the idea of being and becoming an authority and being a minority mostly as females and still smart as huck and funny. I like both actors and both parts they played.

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That means that even in instances where a casting director has to find someone to play a believable young counterpart to an older character, it’s not as hard to find the right candidate as we might think. “I know of no instances where a production had any big problem finding a young actor to play an older counterpart.”

When looking for young versions of older characters, casting directors start off with the ‘look’ they want first. “The look has to be right for the audience to believe that this is the younger version of the character. Once you have that 'buy-in,' you’re mostly there. The young actor’s talent then becomes important for complete believability," Mike explained.

#25

Miley Cyrus Auditioned For The Role Of Lilly Truscott In "Hannah Montana"

Miley Cyrus Auditioned For The Role Of Lilly Truscott In "Hannah Montana"

Disney Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
2 months ago

the series or film?

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#26

Marina Sirtis Was Originally Cast As Tasha Yar, And Denise Crosby Was Their First Choise For Deanna Troi In Star Trek: The Next Generation

Marina Sirtis Was Originally Cast As Tasha Yar, And Denise Crosby Was Their First Choise For Deanna Troi In Star Trek: The Next Generation

CBS Report

Easily Excitable Panda
Community Member
2 months ago

It's why Denise Crosby quit, actually. She said she didn't want to play "some butch little tank."

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#27

Charisma Carpenter Auditioned For The Role Of Buffy In "Buffy The Vampire Slayer"

Charisma Carpenter Auditioned For The Role Of Buffy In "Buffy The Vampire Slayer"

20th Century Fox Television Report

BorPand8
Community Member
2 months ago

Cordelia really came into her own on Angel -- until they did her so so wrong. That's when I stopped watching.

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Hollywood almost exclusively focuses on finding people who already have acting experience. Whether it’s grownups or child actors, they almost always opt for someone who’s had experience in the field. It all comes down to time, energy, and (most importantly) money.

"It’s a rare situation to cast an inexperienced actor and work with them during production. That would slow down the production, and of course 'time is money' which is especially true in Hollywood,” the celebrity expert explained to Bored Panda.

#28

Lindsay Lohan And Rachel Mcadams Auditioned To Play Opposite Roles In "Mean Girls"

Lindsay Lohan And Rachel Mcadams Auditioned To Play Opposite Roles In "Mean Girls"

Paramount Pictures Report

Holly Stevens
Community Member
2 months ago

Still can't believe that wig cost $10,000

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#29

Chris Colfer Auditioned For The Role Of Artie Abrams In "Glee"

Chris Colfer Auditioned For The Role Of Artie Abrams In "Glee"

FOX Report

JP Doyle
Community Member
2 months ago

They loved his audition so much that they created the role of Kurt specifically for Colfer.

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#30

Alexander Ludwig Auditioned For The Role Of Peeta Mellark In "The Hunger Games"

Alexander Ludwig Auditioned For The Role Of Peeta Mellark In "The Hunger Games"

Lionsgate films Report

Full of Giggles
Community Member
2 months ago

But, if Alexander had won the role, he would never have been able to play Bjorn Ironside.

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"Most productions are working under tight budget and time constraints, and there is an unwillingness to work with new talent. An exception would be an actor that is so 'special,' the production would be willing to put in the extra time and effort to make it work. That would be a rare exception, however,” Mike said.

After going through this list, do you think the casting directors made the right choices, dear Readers? Would you have enjoyed these actors in the roles that they wanted or were offered? Drop us a line in the comment section and let us know.

#31

Sonequa Martin-Green Auditioned For The Role Of Michonne On "The Walking Dead"

Sonequa Martin-Green Auditioned For The Role Of Michonne On "The Walking Dead"

AMC Report

Rissie
Community Member
2 months ago

Michael! Sorry. I love Star Trek. I will retreat back to my corner.

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#32

Natasha Lyonne Auditioned For The Role Of Lorna In "Orange Is The New Black"

Natasha Lyonne Auditioned For The Role Of Lorna In "Orange Is The New Black"

Netflix Report

Andy Acceber
Community Member
2 months ago

That would've worked. She's a talented actor. I liked her as Nichols though.

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#33

Darren Criss Auditioned For The Role Of Finn Hudson In "Glee"

Darren Criss Auditioned For The Role Of Finn Hudson In "Glee"

FOX Report

Rissie
Community Member
2 months ago

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Yeah. Both hardly actors that really make an impact. Sorry, not sorry.

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#34

Liza Weil Auditioned For The Role Of Rory Gilmore On "Gilmore Girls"

Liza Weil Auditioned For The Role Of Rory Gilmore On "Gilmore Girls"

Warner Bros. Television Report

MERCI LANGSTON
Community Member
2 months ago

I loved her in the role of Paris.

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#35

Madelaine Petsch Auditioned For The Role Of Betty Cooper In "Riverdale"

Madelaine Petsch Auditioned For The Role Of Betty Cooper In "Riverdale"

Netflix Report

Rissie
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

Who did for what now? I feel old and disconnected to society here. Riverdale rings a very distant bell... Must be reaching 40+. Like Lee Pace. Old. Almost forgotten. The horror!

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#36

Christopher Mintz-Plasse Auditioned For The Role Of Dave Lizewski In "Kick-Ass"

Christopher Mintz-Plasse Auditioned For The Role Of Dave Lizewski In "Kick-Ass"

Lionsgate Report

Dana
Community Member
2 months ago

This movie is so underrated, I love it

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#37

Norman Reedus Auditioned For The Role Of Merle Dixon In "The Walking Dead"

Norman Reedus Auditioned For The Role Of Merle Dixon In "The Walking Dead"

AMC Report

Wendillon
Community Member
2 months ago

And instead they created Daryl and a fanbase was born.

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#38

Jason Dohring Auditioned For The Role Of Duncan Kane On "Veronica Mars"

Jason Dohring Auditioned For The Role Of Duncan Kane On "Veronica Mars"

Warner Bros. Television Distribution Report

Helen Haley
Community Member
2 months ago

Thank goodness casting got this one right.

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#39

Jessica Capshaw Auditioned For The Role Of Dr. Sadie Harris In "Grey’s Anatomy "

Jessica Capshaw Auditioned For The Role Of Dr. Sadie Harris In "Grey’s Anatomy "

ABC Report

Audrey Bob-The-Builder
Community Member
2 months ago

She is so much better as Arizona!

#40

Isaiah Washingt Auditioned For The Role Of Derek Shepherd In "Grey's Anatomy"

Isaiah Washingt Auditioned For The Role Of Derek Shepherd In "Grey's Anatomy"

ABC Report

Helen Haley
Community Member
2 months ago

He couldn't have pulled off likeable.

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Note: this post originally had 58 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.