Rainn Wilson -
Rainn Wilson - "The Office"

Originally, Wilson auditioned for the roles of both Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute (a very Dwight move to begin with), but was eventually bested for the role by Steve Carell. That’s probably for the best though, as we can’t imagine anyone else playing a more convincing Dwight.

Heath Ledger -
Heath Ledger - "The Dark Knight"

Arguably the most iconic role of the late actor’s career almost never developed in the way that we all know and love it. Before being cast as the anarchist clown prince of crime, Ledger auditioned for the role of The Dark Knight himself. Surely, he would have performed as an excellent Bruce Wayne, but we feel fortunate that Christopher Nolan and his casting team placed Ledger in the role he was best suited for.

Rachel McAdams -
Rachel McAdams - "Mean Girls"

Now that she mostly plays sweet-girl characters, it’s hard to believe that one of McAdams’s most infamous roles came as the abrasive Regina George in the Tina Fey directed comedy “Mean Girls.” Even though she shined in her role, it makes sense that she initially auditioned for the lead role of Cady Heron before it was given to Lindsay Lohan following the wild success of “Freaky Friday.”

Tom Hiddleston -
Tom Hiddleston - "Thor"

Tom Hiddleston was reportedly all-in while auditioning for the role of Thor. Producer Craig Kyle has mentioned how much physical and mental training went into Hiddleston’s preparation for the role, but unfortunately for him, it just wasn’t the right fit. His consolation prize? The role of Thor’s malicious brother Loki; one in which Hiddleston is much better suited, in our opinion.

Robert De Niro -
Robert De Niro - "The Godfather 2"

We’re not here to argue whether or not James Caan was the right actor for the role of Sonny Corleone (okay, he totally was), but we will say that Robert De Niro’s audition tape for the role was absolutely STELLAR. If anything, the only reason he didn’t get the role is because he was TOO confident, taking away from the unpolished character that Sonny was meant to be. It all worked out though, since De Niro was cast as a young Vito Corleone in the sequel; a performance for which he would later win his first oscar.

Lucy Hale -
Lucy Hale - "Pretty Little Liars"

It’s difficult to imagine the stunning brunette Lucy Hale in any role other than Aria Montgomery in the teen drama “Pretty Little Liars,” but that’s exactly what would have happened if she had her way. Hale originally wanted the part of Hanna Marin, but thankfully the producers thought Ashley Benson was a better fit. We couldn’t agree more on both accounts.

Miley Cyrus -
Miley Cyrus - "Hannah Montana"

Unless you were a stowaway on that shuttle that finally made it to Pluto, chances are you’ve probably heard of Miley Cyrus once or twice by now, and chances are you probably know how her career got started as the teenage pop idol Hannah Montana. It’s bizarre to think that Miley almost didn’t land the role because (get this) she didn’t set her sights high enough. She originally tried out for the secondary role of Lily Truscott, but the producers knew they had found their lead, and promoted her to superstar status almost overnight.

Christopher Mintz-Plasse -
Christopher Mintz-Plasse - "Kick-Ass"

One of the worst things that can happen at the beginning of a young actor’s career is to become typecast as a specific role or personality. That’s exactly what ALMOST happened to Christopher Mintz-Plasse after his unforgettable role as McLovin’ in the smash hit “Superbad.” To avoid this, he originally auditioned as the lead role in the action film “Kick-Ass,” but was painfully rejected. (Spoiler) Luckily, his audition was good enough to land him a job as the villain, Red Mist.

Alexander Ludwig -
Alexander Ludwig - "The Hunger Games"

Ludwig auditioned for "The Hunger Games" originally as the male lead Peeta Mellark, but was beat out by Josh Hutcherson. As if losing the role wasn’t bad enough, he was instead asked to play the last tribute killed off in the games by Peeta (Hutcherson) and Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence). Talk about rubbing salt in the wound.

Cillian Murphy -
Cillian Murphy - "The Dark Knight"

Apparently Batman is the character every actor wants to be because the list of actors who auditioned for the role is well-populated to say the least. While Murphy didn’t quite fit the role as well as Christian Bale did, his audition was notably incredible, and director Christopher Nolan had the good sense to cast him as the villainous Jonathan Crane (aka The Scarecrow), a role that would make appearances in all three of Nolan’s Batman films.

Keegan Allen -
Keegan Allen - "Pretty Little Liars"

When Keegan Allen first auditioned for “Pretty Little Liars,” it wasn’t for the role of Toby Cavanaugh, but rather for that of Wren Kingston, the hot doctor that has a crush on Spencer Hastings. Of course, his character now actually gets to date Spencer instead of simply crushing, so there’s a silver lining to the way things played out for Allen.

James Franco -
James Franco - "Spiderman"

Could you even imagine James Franco as your friendly neighborhood Spiderman? It wasn’t such a farfetched idea when he auditioned for the role in the early 2000s. Something about the guy screams anti-hero though, and the producers justifiably recast him as Peter Parker’s good friend, Harry Osborn.

Isabelle Fuhrman -
Isabelle Fuhrman - "The Hunger Games"

Here is another rejected "Hunger Games" lead actor banished to the confines of District 2. Isabelle wanted to play the role of Katniss Everdeen but was cast as District 2’s Clove Kentwell instead. Can you imagine how different the series would be if Fuhrman and Ludwig would have been cast as Katniss and Peeta respectively?

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