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    14 Times Actors Left A Show Or Movie Franchise, And The Studio Tried To Get Away With Casting Someone Who Looked Completely Different

    In the first three Halloweentown movies, Kimberly J. Brown starred as Marnie Piper. Though Disney talked to her about doing a fourth movie, they ultimately decided to replace her with Sara Paxton — without letting her know why.

    Sometimes, when a TV show or movie franchise has to replace an actor, they do a pretty good job of finding someone who looks similar to the original performer, thereby making the transition easier.

    For example, William Hartnell played the First Doctor on Doctor Who from 1963–1967. He died in 1975, so when the long-running show decided to bring back his character for guest appearances in 2017 and 2022, they cast David Bradley, who previously played William Hartnell in the 2013 biopic An Adventure in Space and Time.

    However, sometimes, they do a not-so-great job at recasting and replace the actor with someone who looks completely different. Here are 14 TV shows and movies that replaced an actor with someone who looked literally nothing like them:

    1. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Lavender Brown was a minor, non-speaking role played by Jennifer Smith.

    Closeup of Lavender Brown

    However, when she became a larger role and a love interest for Ron Weasley in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, she was recast with Jessie Cave, who stayed in the role for the rest of the series.

    Closeup of Jessie Cave

    Here they are side-by-side.

    2. On The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Janet Hubert played Vivian Banks for Seasons 1–3. However, when they offered her a new contract, she followed her agent's advice and turned it down in hopes the studio would renegotiate it with her. However, they never did.

    Closeup of Janet Hubert

    Daphne Maxwell Reid then played Aunt Viv for Seasons 4–6.

    Daphne Maxwell Reid

    Here they are side-by-side.

    3. In the first three Halloweentown movies, Kimberly J. Brown starred as Marnie Piper.

    Kimberly J. Brown

    However, in Return to Halloweentown, she was replaced by Sara Paxton. Disney had spoken to Kimberly about the possibility of returning for the fourth movie, but, for reasons unknown to her, they decided to go in a different direction.

    Sara Paxton

    Here they are side-by-side.

    4. On The Fosters, Jesus Adams Foster was played by Jake T. Austin for Seasons 1–2. However, he decided to leave the show after learning his role was going to be reduced going forward. He didn't want to be held back.

    Closeup of Jake T. Austin

    So, he was replaced by Noah Centineo for Seasons 3–5. In the show, Jesus's new appearance was the result of surgeries he had to undergo after a car accident.

    Closeup of Noah Centineo

    Here they are side-by-side.

    5. In The O.C. Season 1, Kaitlin Cooper was portrayed by Shailene Woodley. However, she was recast because she looked too young for the vision the showrunners had for the character in future seasons.

    Closeup of Shailene Woodley

    Willa Holland took over the role for Seasons 3 and 4. She's about a year older than Shailene.

    Closeup of Willa Holland

    Here they are side-by-side.

    6. On Game of Thrones, Ed Skrein played Daario Naharis in Season 3. He left the show because of "politics."

    Ed Skrein

    So, Michiel Huisman took over the role in Season 4.

    Michiel Huisman

    Here they are side-by-side.

    7. In Iron Man, Terrence Howard played James Rhodes/War Machine. However, he reportedly declined to reprise the role following a pay dispute.

    Terrence Howard

    Don Cheadle took over the role in Iron Man 2 and all subsequent Marvel Cinematic Universe projects.

    Don Cheadle

    Here they are side-by-side.

    8. In Avengers: Endgame, Emma Fuhrmann had a brief appearance as an aged-up version of Cassie Lang.

    Emma Fuhrmann

    However, she was replaced by Kathryn Newton in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Emma didn't know about the recasting until it was announced at Disney's Investor Day in 2020.

    Kathryn Newton

    Here they are side-by-side.

    9. On Last Man Standing, Alexandra Krosney played eldest daughter Kristin Baxter in Season 1.

    Alexandra Krosney

    In Season 2, the character was aged up three years, so she was replaced by Amanda Fuller, who's four years older than Alexandra.

    Amanda Fuller

    Here they are side-by-side.

    10. Similarly, Molly Ephraim played Kristin's younger sister, Mandy, for Seasons 1–6. She left and found new opportunities because the show was canceled by ABC.

    Molly Ephraim

    However, the show was picked up by Fox, so Molly McCook took over the role for Seasons 7–9.

    Molly McCook

    Here they are side-by-side.

    11. On a single episode of That '70s Show Season 1, Pam Burkhart, Jackie's mom, was played by Eve Plumb.

    Eve Plumb

    When the character returned in Season 6, she was played by Brooke Shields.

    Brooke Shields

    Here they are side-by-side.

    12. When True Blood introduced James Kent in Season 6, he was played by Luke Grimes. He allegedly walked away from the show because James was going to become a love interest for Lafayette Reynolds, and he didn't want to play a gay character.

    Luke Grimes

    Nathan Parsons took over the role for Season 7.

    Nathan Parsons

    Here they are side-by-side.

    13. On Riverdale, Reggie Mantle was portrayed by Ross Butler in Seasons 1–2. However, he left because he had a scheduling conflict with 13 Reasons Why, which he felt was a better fit for him as an actor.

    Ross Butler

    From Seasons 3–7, Reggie was played by Charles Melton.

    Charles Melton

    Here they are side-by-side.

    14. And finally, on Boy Meets World, Lily Nicksay played Morgan Matthews for the first two seasons. Series creator Michael Jacobs reportedly decided to recast her because she seemingly no longer enjoyed acting.

    Lily Nicksay

    She was replaced by Lindsay Ridgeway, who's three years older, for the remaining five seasons. When she made her first appearance on Episode 14, Cory referenced the character's disappearance, saying, "Morgan, long time, no see!"

    Lindsay Ridgeway

    Here they are side-by-side.

    On the series finale of Girl Meets World, both actors reprised the role of Morgan.

    Closeup of Lily and Lindsay

    Which TV shows and movies do you think actually did a good job of replacing an actor? Share your answers in the comments!