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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Henny Hana
Community Member
4 months ago

Oh man i like both of them

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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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Cathal
Community Member
4 months ago

Nicolas Cage auditioned for this and every other film on this entire list :P

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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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MyPrecious
Community Member
4 months ago

no way Rupert way too good to be rejected he is the one and only ron for the job

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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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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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Verena
Community Member
4 months ago

Only British actors were cast.

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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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Lxm
Community Member
4 months ago

Jc would not have brought the wonderful whimsy that jd did to the role. Would have been just another joke.

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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
4 months ago

Good casting.

Ozacoter
Community Member
4 months ago

Agree. Mortensen is perfect for the role

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KatHat
Community Member
4 months ago

"Eventually" is right; this role was given to Stuart Townsend and they actually filmed for a few weeks before deciding he didn't have the gravitas for it. Mortensen was a late addition and only said yes because his son loved the books and talked him into it.

kjorn
Community Member
4 months ago

good. Viggo was loved by all the cast and the crew

lara
Community Member
4 months ago

Mortensen is one of the most incredible actors working today. Aragorn was created for Mortensen. I cannot see anyone else in that role.

Marlowe Fitzpatrik
Community Member
4 months ago

Honestly, as a fan of the books, I could have seen many different people in that role. Viggo did great, no problem with him at all, but someone a bit taller would have made sense, too 😉

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MyPrecious
Community Member
4 months ago

yeah, nah. viggo is perfect for the role of the handsome...the brave...the amazing... ARAGORN

tuzdayschild
Community Member
4 months ago

Good

Binxyminxem
Community Member
4 months ago

Definitely a better casting with Viggo! Speaking of which I wonder whether bored panda Aragorn II Elessar has seen this one? 🙂

Oogiebogieaugiedaddy
Community Member
4 months ago

Viggo so hot and sexy!

Linda Williams
Community Member
4 months ago

Viggo Mortensen looks so sexy in his role as Aragorn.

WithoutSorrow
Community Member
4 months ago

No one can Aragorn like Viggo

Barbara Cass
Community Member
4 months ago

Viggo all the way!

CincyReds
Community Member
4 months ago

Russell Crowe is an ass hat

Fixin'Ta
Community Member
4 months ago

Thank God.

Bardhi's Dad
Community Member
4 months ago

I am big fan of Russell Crow, I think he is one of the greatest! But Mortensen is the best choice for Aragorn role. Definitely!

Sasha Kuleshov
Community Member
4 months ago

The accent would've been a hindrance :I

Susan Widomski
Community Member
2 months ago

Crowe would have been fabulous. He is a wonderful actor. Vigo did a great job.

Just another bot
Community Member
4 months ago

Um, that would've been a mistake in my view

Caroline Driver
Community Member
4 months ago

I always wanted Daniel Day Lewis as Aragorn, I could completely believe him as a Ranger and a King

Azure Adams
Community Member
4 months ago

Good! he would have been awful!

Lou Hetzer
Community Member
4 months ago

But if I were Russell and had a freaking time machine. F*** what Peter Jackson wants and doesn’t want. I’d take that 100 million paycheck Russell Crowe would’ve gotten.

Lou Hetzer
Community Member
4 months ago

Yeah Peter Jackson didn’t have Russell in mind for the role and I guess made it known. At least to Russell Crowe

Lily Mae Kitty
Community Member
4 months ago

hahaha! Viggo rules.

Giga Sosebashvili
Community Member
4 months ago

as I know Daniel day lewis was originally for Aragorn

Freya Fluharty
Community Member
4 months ago

Thank heavens!

Sue Hazlewood
Community Member
4 months ago

Thank goodness

Lisa Shelton
Community Member
4 months ago

Thank God

Abbie Brown
Community Member
4 months ago

Good

Ivy Ruonakoski
Community Member
4 months ago

Good.

Becca Gizmo the Squirrel
Community Member
4 months ago

Crowe was a perfect Jim Morrison

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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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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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tuzdayschild
Community Member
4 months ago

HURRAY!

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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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Vic
Community Member
4 months ago

I've read she's been offered Marvel roles multiple times, but couldn't take them up coz of date clashes. Scarlett Johansson is awesome, but Emily Blunt would have made an excellent Black Widow too..

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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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Wendillon
Community Member
4 months ago

Hugh probably would have made a pretty good Lockhart too

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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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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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Rose the Cook
Community Member
4 months ago

That could have been interesting.

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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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Katy F
Community Member
4 months ago

Good decision, I don't see Henry as an Edward Cullen lol

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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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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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