Harry Potter wouldn’t be the same without Ron Weasley. I mean, Rupert Grint. And the lovable naif Forrest Gump wouldn’t exist without Tom Hanks.

You see, most exceptionally strong characters become almost inseparable from the actors who played them. Like, Twilight and the official heartthrob of the 2000s, Robert Pattinson, will forever stay as the pale, charming vampire with a slow voice in a movie of otherwise questionable quality.

But it turns out, our all-time favorite roles could have been played by entirely different actors. So Bored Panda has compiled a list of pics of two actors, the original one versus the current one, placed side by side for an uncanny question of “what if?”

Let your imagination run free, and just think how different it would have been if Neo was Will Smith. It’s almost like history would also have to be rewritten, but who knows, maybe it’d have been for the better?

#1

Tim Roth Turned Down The Role Of Severus Snape In "Harry Potter", Eventually Played By Alan Rickman

Tim Roth Turned Down The Role Of Severus Snape In "Harry Potter", Eventually Played By Alan Rickman

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ZombieGirl
Community Member
2 months ago

Absolutely no one else could have played that part!

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#2

Will Smith Turned Down The Role Of Neo In "The Matrix", Eventually Played By Keanu Reeves

Will Smith Turned Down The Role Of Neo In "The Matrix", Eventually Played By Keanu Reeves

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Sum Guy
Community Member
2 months ago

Every few months, someone writes and article telling us about will smith passing up on the matrix

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#3

Thomas Brodie-Sangster Auditioned For The Part Of Ron Weasley In "Harry Potter", Rupert Grint Was Cast

Thomas Brodie-Sangster Auditioned For The Part Of Ron Weasley In "Harry Potter", Rupert Grint Was Cast

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Janine B.
Community Member
2 months ago

Rupert is the perfect Ron. I loved his acting. :)

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There’s something about the strong characters we like that makes us feel deeply attached to them. Like, genuinely attached as we feel their pains and joys just like they were our close friends or relatives.

The topic is no stranger to academic scholars and Howard Sklar, a postdoctoral researcher in the English Philology Unit at the University of Helsinki, has his own theory. Turns out, our bond with fictional characters reflects our bond with people in the real world.

“We’d have no way of processing a character cognitively if we didn’t have experiences with people outside of the fictional world,” he explains. “The experiences with fictional characters resonate with us because of the fact that we’ve had deep experiences with people throughout our lives.”

#4

John Travolta Turned Down The Role Of Forrest Gump, Eventually Played By Tom Hanks

John Travolta Turned Down The Role Of Forrest Gump, Eventually Played By Tom Hanks

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Lxm
Community Member
2 months ago

Good

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#5

Sean Connery Said No To Playing Gandalf In "The Lord Of The Rings", Ian Mckellen Took The Part

Sean Connery Said No To Playing Gandalf In "The Lord Of The Rings", Ian Mckellen Took The Part

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Daria Z
Community Member
2 months ago

Sir Connery would be a great Gandalf too :)

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#6

Ian Mckellen Turned Down The Part Of Albus Dumbledore In "Harry Potter", Michael Gambon Was Cast

Ian Mckellen Turned Down The Part Of Albus Dumbledore In "Harry Potter", Michael Gambon Was Cast

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Daria Z
Community Member
2 months ago

Well, it would be confusing to see Gandalf in Hogwarts :)

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And as we invest our attention, time, and empathy in the characters of a particularly engaging film or novel, we begin to respond to them as though they were real individuals. Even if we cannot truly connect with their circumstances, e.g. we have never been in a war, our ability to feel emotionally for fictional beings can transcend these details and make them unimportant. This is what powerful filmmaking and the art of storytelling do to us.

#7

Tom Cruise Was Considered For The Part Of Iron Man, But Robert Downey, Jr Was Cast

Tom Cruise Was Considered For The Part Of Iron Man, But Robert Downey, Jr Was Cast

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ahmad fauzi md sharif
Community Member
2 months ago

Nahh....Iron Man would have been running everywhere instead of flying.

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#8

Robin Williams Wanted To Play Rubeus Hagrid In "Harry Potter" But Was Rejected, Robbie Coltrane Got The Part

Robin Williams Wanted To Play Rubeus Hagrid In "Harry Potter" But Was Rejected, Robbie Coltrane Got The Part

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Tapio Magnussen
Community Member
2 months ago

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I wonder if facts like this one affected him on his condition...

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#9

Jim Carrey Was Considered To Play Edward Scissorhands, Johnny Depp Got The Part

Jim Carrey Was Considered To Play Edward Scissorhands, Johnny Depp Got The Part

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Kisses4Katie
Community Member
2 months ago

And thus started a love story as old as time..

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#10

Russell Crowe Turned Down The Role Of Aragorn In "The Lord Of The Rings", Eventually Played By Viggo Mortensen

Russell Crowe Turned Down The Role Of Aragorn In "The Lord Of The Rings", Eventually Played By Viggo Mortensen

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Kisses4Katie
Community Member
2 months ago

Good casting.

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#11

Bette Midler Turned Down The Part Of Sister Mary Clarence In "Sister Act", Eventually Played By Whoopi Goldberg

Bette Midler Turned Down The Part Of Sister Mary Clarence In "Sister Act", Eventually Played By Whoopi Goldberg

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MyPrecious
Community Member
2 months ago

hey whoopis Goldberg is in another movie called corrina corrina it is an amazing movie

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#12

Eddie Redmayne Auditioned For The Part Of Star-Lord In "Guardians Of The Galaxy", But Chris Pratt Was Cast

Eddie Redmayne Auditioned For The Part Of Star-Lord In "Guardians Of The Galaxy", But Chris Pratt Was Cast

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Kisses4Katie
Community Member
2 months ago

Oh thank everything

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#13

Al Pacino Turned Down The Part Of Han Solo In "Star Wars", Eventually Played By Harrison Ford

Al Pacino Turned Down The Part Of Han Solo In "Star Wars", Eventually Played By Harrison Ford

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Daria Z
Community Member
2 months ago

Why are these two pictures from different time periods?

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#14

Matthew Mcconaughey Auditioned For The Role Of Jack Dawson In "Titanic", Eventually Played By Leonardo Dicaprio

Matthew Mcconaughey Auditioned For The Role Of Jack Dawson In "Titanic", Eventually Played By Leonardo Dicaprio

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Kisses4Katie
Community Member
2 months ago

Alright alright alRose

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#15

Christina Applegate Was Considered For The Role Of Elle Woods In "Legally Blonde", Eventually Played By Reese Witherspoon

Christina Applegate Was Considered For The Role Of Elle Woods In "Legally Blonde", Eventually Played By Reese Witherspoon

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Jonathan
Community Member
2 months ago

Both played Rachels sisters in Friends!

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#16

Ryan Gosling Was Considered For The Role Of Doctor Strange, Eventually Played By Benedict Cumberbatch

Ryan Gosling Was Considered For The Role Of Doctor Strange, Eventually Played By Benedict Cumberbatch

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Janine B.
Community Member
2 months ago

There's only one Doctor.

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#17

Paul Giamatt Declined The Role Of Michael Scott In "The Office", Steve Carell Got The Part

Paul Giamatt Declined The Role Of Michael Scott In "The Office", Steve Carell Got The Part

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Dancing Lanie
Community Member
2 months ago

Good.

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#18

Emily Blunt Was The First Choice To Play Black Widow, But Scarlett Johansson Got The Part

Emily Blunt Was The First Choice To Play Black Widow, But Scarlett Johansson Got The Part

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JuJu
Community Member
2 months ago

Thank god

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#19

Hugh Grant Was Considered For The Part Of Gilderoy Lockhart In "Harry Potter", But Kenneth Branagh Was Cast

Hugh Grant Was Considered For The Part Of Gilderoy Lockhart In "Harry Potter", But Kenneth Branagh Was Cast

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Konpat
Community Member
2 months ago

Kenneth Branagh is an amazing actor, a true chameleon!

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#20

Gwyneth Paltrow Turned Down The Role Of Rose Dewitt Bukater In "Titanic", Kate Winslet Got The Part

Gwyneth Paltrow Turned Down The Role Of Rose Dewitt Bukater In "Titanic", Kate Winslet Got The Part

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TTourist
Community Member
2 months ago

Good decision.

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#21

Emilia Clarke Turned Down The Role Of Anastasia Steele In "Fifty Shades Of Grey", Eventually Played By Dakota Johnson

Emilia Clarke Turned Down The Role Of Anastasia Steele In "Fifty Shades Of Grey", Eventually Played By Dakota Johnson

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Kisses4Katie
Community Member
2 months ago

Yeah poor girl didn't want to be associated with sex roles for everything.

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#22

Liam Aiken Was Offered The Role Of Harry Potter, But Daniel Radcliffe Got The Part

Liam Aiken Was Offered The Role Of Harry Potter, But Daniel Radcliffe Got The Part

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Janine B.
Community Member
2 months ago

Just considering his looks, he would have been a good choice, too.

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#23

Joanne Rowling Was Asked To Play Lily Potter In "Harry Potter", But She Declined, Geraldine Somerville Got The Part

Joanne Rowling Was Asked To Play Lily Potter In "Harry Potter", But She Declined, Geraldine Somerville Got The Part

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Daria Z
Community Member
2 months ago

Oh but that would be neat as she's actually the one who created him.

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#24

Hugh Jackman Turned Down The Role Of James Bond, Eventually Played By Daniel Craig

Hugh Jackman Turned Down The Role Of James Bond, Eventually Played By Daniel Craig

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KitKatss
Community Member
2 months ago

He would have made a good one, but nothing beats Daniel Craig

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#25

Henry Cavill Was The First Pick To Play Edward Cullen In "Twilight", Robert Pattinson Was Cast For The Role

Henry Cavill Was The First Pick To Play Edward Cullen In "Twilight", Robert Pattinson Was Cast For The Role

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JuJu
Community Member
2 months ago

Uuuh...that would have made the movie a LOT more interesting

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#26

David Thewlis Was Considered For The Role Of Quirinus Quirrell In "Harry Potter", Eventually Played By Ian Hart

David Thewlis Was Considered For The Role Of Quirinus Quirrell In "Harry Potter", Eventually Played By Ian Hart

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MyPrecious
Community Member
2 months ago

but he got remus lupin, that's a better part and he is amazing

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#27

Britney Spears Auditioned For The Part Of Allie In "The Notebook", Eventually Played By Rachel Mcadams

Britney Spears Auditioned For The Part Of Allie In "The Notebook", Eventually Played By Rachel Mcadams

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Bole Perishon
Community Member
2 months ago

In spite of her attempts, Britney Spears can not be categorised as "actress".

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#28

Jennifer Lawrence Auditioned For The Role Of Bella Swan In "Twilight", But Kristen Stewart Was Cast Instead

Jennifer Lawrence Auditioned For The Role Of Bella Swan In "Twilight", But Kristen Stewart Was Cast Instead

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Jonathan
Community Member
2 months ago

Kristen Stewart is an awful actor 😂

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#29

Emma Watson Turned Down The Part Of Mia In "La La Land", Emma Stone Was Cast

Emma Watson Turned Down The Part Of Mia In "La La Land", Emma Stone Was Cast

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로희
Community Member
2 months ago

I love both Emmas but I think Stone was the better choice.

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#30

Jack Nicholson Passed On The Role Of Michael Corleone In "The Godfather", Eventually Played By Al Pacino

Jack Nicholson Passed On The Role Of Michael Corleone In "The Godfather", Eventually Played By Al Pacino

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birdie asf
Community Member
2 months ago

Nope. the vibe would have been SUPER different and the movie wouldn't be the same without Al Pacino.

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Note: this post originally had 65 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.

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