Skip To Content

    19 Movie Roles That Should Never Be Recast, Because The Original Actors Were So Perfect

    Don't even think about it, Hollywood.

    Look, there are some actors who go beyond just PLAYING a character. Instead, they BECOME the character.

    Marvel Studios

    Well, recently redditor Haggerstonian asked, "Which actor portrayed a character so well, no other actor could ever replace them?" and it really highlighted how incredible some of these performances are! "Irreplaceable," in fact!

    Paramount Pictures

    So with that in mind, here are just a few of the actors whose character portrayals could, 100%, never be topped:

    1. J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson in the Spider-Man trilogy

    Sony Pictures

    "A role so nice, they cast him twice!"

    u/BayCone

    2. Will Smith as Agent J in Men in Black (1999)

    Sony Pictures

    "No one could have played that role as perfectly as he did."

    u/_SUPERKONTIK_

    3. Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

    Warner Bros.

    "She played it so well and we all hated her so much."

    u/grainia99

    4. Tim Curry as Dr. Frankenfurter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

    20th Century Fox

    "Sorry to all those who've tried."

    u/Runbunnierun

    5. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as the Sanderson sisters in Hocus Pocus (1993)

    Buena Vista Pictures

    6. R. Lee Ermey as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket (1987)

    Warner Bros.

    "He was such a perfect fit for the role, he was actually able to snag the role away from another actor."

    u/Rockglen

    7. Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride (1987)

    20th Century Fox

    "Also, Andre the Giant as Fezzik. Also, Cary Elwes as Westley. Also, the whole cast of that movie..."

    u/LordFirebeard

    8. Samuel L. Jackson as Jules in Pulp Fiction (1994)

    Miramax

    9. Kathy Bates as Annie Wilkes in Misery (1990)

    Columbia Pictures

    "Most of her roles are spot on, though."

    u/OnionShanty

    10. Martin Freeman AND Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings trilogy

    Warner Bros.

    "They’re both perfect for that single role, and Freeman looks EXACTLY like a younger Holm."

    u/CurlyQ190

    11. Tom Hiddleston as Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

    Marvel Studios

    "No one on here is admitting that no one could ever live up to that performance!"

    u/thesk8rguitarist

    12. Robert England as Freddy Krueger in the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise

    New Line Cinema

    "He is the only one who can play that character. Sorry to whoever played him in the remake, but you didn't stand a chance."

    u/Golifr4u

    13. Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins (1964)

    Buena Vista Distribution

    "In the recent sequel (Marry Poppins Returns), I just couldn't let go of the fact that it wasn't the same person. While the sequel was still good, Andrews is what made the original amazing. To be fair, though, I also just love Julie Andrews."

    u/Random_Loaf

    14. Danny Glover as Albert in The Color Purple (1985)

    Warner Bros.

    "For YEARS, I hated that man because of how well he played that role. I didn’t give a damn how many fun Lethal Weapons he did after that, to me he was always the sick bastard who abused Celie!"

    u/MarlaSinger36

    15. Robert Shaw as Quint in Jaws (1975)

    Universal Pictures

    "I don't think anyone else could have pulled off that level of unhinged sadness without looking completely over-the-top."

    u/hockeyjoker

    16. Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen (2006)

    Pathé Distribution

    "Mirren played the Queen better than the Queen herself ever could."

    u/Lilmaggot

    17. John Cazale as Fredo in The Godfather trilogy

    Paramount Pictures

    "The obvious answer for some might be Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, but I think this is, perhaps, a better answer. I mean, the guy was in five movies — all of which were nominated for Best Picture. (In case you're wondering: The Godfather 1 and 2, The Deer Hunter, Dog Day Afternoon, and The Conversation.) He was such a talent that we lost too soon to lung cancer."

    u/chales96

    18. Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley in Alien (1979)

    20th Century Fox

    "When you rewatch both Alien and Aliens, you realize how genuinely good and iconic she was!"

    u/softkermit

    19. And finally, Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa in Black Panther (2018)

    Marvel Studios

    "He was so great in every role he played, from Jackie Robinson to James Brown... the list goes on, but it's not nearly long enough. The world lost him way too soon."

    u/alleghenysinger

    Now it's your turn! What's one role that an actor portrayed so perfectly that they could NEVER be replaced? Share yours in the comments below!

    Some responses were edited for length and/or clarity. H/T Reddit.

    TV and Movies

    Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.

    Newsletter signup form