Can you picture Matthew Broderick or John Cusack playing the role of Walter White in Breaking Bad? No? Neither can the Huffington Post, but execs did offer the role to each of them (they both turned it down) before ultimately giving the part to Bryan Cranston. Here are 22 more actors who turned down big roles:
- Eric Stoltz: Turned down the role of Vic Mackey on The Shield; it went to Michael Chiklis.
- Ray Liotta: Turned down the role of Tony Soprano on The Sopranos; it went to James Gandolfini.
- Bridget Fonda: Turned down the role of Ally McBeal; it went to Calista Flockhart.
- Gillian Anderson: Turned down the role of Lady Cora on Downton Abbey; it went to Elizabeth McGovern.
- Whitney Houston: Turned down the role of Sondra Huxtable on The Cosby Show; it went to Sabrina LeBeauf.
- Tom Selleck: Turned down the role of Mitch Buchannon on Baywatch; it went to David Hasselhoff.
- Thomas Jane: Turned down the role of Don Draper on Mad Men; it went to Jon Hamm.
- Michael Keaton: Turned down the role of Jack Shepard on Lost; it went to Matthew Fox.
- Pamela Anderson: Turned down the role of Dana Scully on The X-Files; it went to Gillian Anderson.
- Katie Holmes: Turned down the role of Buffy Summers on Buffy the Vampire Slayer; it went to Sarah Michelle Gellar.
See the complete list for even more surprising names
—and the reasons they turned the roles down.