10+ Actors Who Had To Fight To Get The Role They Wanted

Being an actor in Hollywood is an extremely competitive gig. Even Hollywood A-listers more often than not are forced to go above and beyond the call of duty, just to prove their worth.

To get a better idea of what I'm talking about, here are 10+ actors who had to fight to get the role they wanted. They're living proof that nothing comes easy — especially not in Hollywood.

1. Jennifer Lawrence was told that she was too pretty to star in *Winter's Bone*.

I suppose that's not the worst way to be rejected for a job, wouldn't you agree?

In order to prove producers wrong, J-Law hopped on a red-eye flight to New York and showed up to the casting call without having slept and without wearing any makeup.

2. The studio was completely opposed to casting Marlon Brando in *The Godfather*.

Whoever the head of the studio was at that time, I sincerely hope they were fired.

Francis Ford Coppolla had to beg Paramount just to let Brando screentest. When the actor walked into the room, he immediately slicked his hair back with shoe polish and stuffed Kleenex in his mouth.

3. Hank Azaria fought tooth and nail to be on *Friends*.

Hank knew that Friends was going to be a hit long before the first episode aired.

He originally went in to read for the part of Joey and was rejected.

Unwillingly to take no for an answer, Hank returned to the audition room and demanded another chance.


The producers obliged him and just as quickly confirmed their initial response: it was a no.

But it wasn't all for nothing. In the end, Hank wound up being cast as Phoebe's estranged lover, David.

4. Constance Wu pleaded with the director of *Crazy Rich Asians* to accommodate her schedule.

At the time that filming was set to commence, Constance was previously committed to Fresh off the Boat.

She e-mailed John Chu, who was so touched by her words that he decided to rearrange his schedule in order to fit with Constance's.

5. Taylor Lautner was nearly replaced in *Twilight: New Moon*.

In the first Twilight film, Taylor Lautner is a baby-faced beanpole with a pretty smile — the perfect choice to play Jacob. But in the second film, the character had to be much bigger.

In order to convince producers he was up to the task, Taylor started bulking-up.

6. Lady Gaga was not the studio's first choice for *A Star Is Born*.

Warner Bros. was incredibly reluctant to cast a pop singer with absolutely zero acting experience as the lead in their next movie.

Gaga blew them all away and wound up receiving an Academy Award nomination for her role.

7. It took Ryan Reynolds 11 years to get *Deadpool* made.

Even though he was previously cast as the character in the X-Men Origins: Wolverine film, studios were incredibly hesitant to give Ryan another crack at the bat.

Despite the mounting odds, Ryan never gave up, and in the end, the R-rated Deadpool wound up breaking the box office opening weekend record!

8. Dev Patel felt typecast by the producers of *Lion*.

Dev admitted that at first, everyone only saw him as the kid from Slumdog Millionaire.

He had to work extremely hard in order to convince the powers that be that he was indeed the right man for the job.

9. Whoopi Goldberg was also battling image issues for her role in *Ghost*.

Even with her Oscar-worthy performance in The Color Purple, in the early '90s, Whoopi was still largely regarded as a comedian.

She, along with Patrick Swayze, eventually convinced director Jerry Zucker otherwise.

10. Nobody wanted Aaron Paul for the role of Jesse Pinkman in *Breaking Bad*.

No one except for creator Vince Gilligan. Right away, he saw something in Aaron and knew that he absolutely had to play Jesse.

In the end, Vince ended up giving the studio an ultimatum: either Aaron got the part, or Vince would walk.

11. Winona was prepared to take absolutely any role in *Heathers*.

The Stranger Things star explained in an interview with Variety that:

"I didn’t know what the story was — the dialogue was so much fun to read that I basically said, ‘give me any part in this movie.’ I just wanted to be any part of it.”

12. Lisa Kudrow was the only cast member on *Friends* that producers were unsure of.


They were so unsure that Lisa was asked to audition multiple times.

Clearly, the right decision was made as Lisa quickly became a fan favorite as Phoebe Buffay. Over the course of the series, she received a total of six Emmy nominations.

13. Mahershala Ali's role in *True Detective* was originally written for a white man.


Ali was first offered a supporting role but campaigned hard to be considered for the lead. The esteemed actor sent producer Nic Pizzolato photographs of his grandfather, who also happened to be a State Trooper.

In the end, Ali convinced Pizzolato that the story would be better served from the perspective of a Black character.

14. Producers were incredibly hesitant about casting Patrick Swayze as Sam Wheat in *Ghost*.

This was because, at the time, Patrick's career had largely been defined by the rough-and-tumble action flick, Road House.

Producers had a difficult time picturing him in such a sensitive role at first, but he eventually won them over.