Skip To Content
    Updated on Apr 14, 2020. Posted on Apr 12, 2020

    21 Famous TV Roles That Almost Went To Other Celebrities

    Imagine Modern Family with Matt LeBlanc though.

    1. Courteney Cox was originally offered the role of Rachel on Friends, but she turned it down because she felt like she related to Monica more.

    Kevin Winter / Getty Images, NBC

    Jane Krakowski, Tiffani Thiessen, and Téa Leoni auditioned for Rachel too.

    2. Ellen DeGeneres was offered the role of Phoebe on Friends, but she turned it down and Lisa Kudrow was cast.

    Frazer Harrison / Getty Images, NBC

    Kathy Griffin and Jane Lynch also auditioned for Phoebe.

    3. Katherine Langford auditioned to play Betty Cooper on Riverdale, but the role went to Lili Reinhart instead.

    Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images, The CW

    4. Elle Fanning auditioned to play one of Phoebe's triplets on Friends but didn't end up getting the part.

    Andreas Rentz / Getty Images, NBC

    Years later, Elle's older sister Dakota ended up getting cast in the 10th season of Friends.

    5. Matt LeBlanc was offered the role of Phil Dunphy on Modern Family, but turned it down because he felt like the part was written with someone else in mind.

    Kevin Winter / Getty Images, ABC

    6. Connie Britton was one of the network's choices to play Olivia Pope, but Shonda Rhimes insisted Olivia should be played by a black woman instead.

    Frazer Harrison / Getty Images, ABC

    7. Taraji P. Henson was another famous person who went in to read for the role of Olivia Pope.

    Rich Fury / Getty Images, ABC

    8. Rumer Willis was originally pitched to play Serena Van Der Woodsen, but at the time, the casting director wanted to go with a lesser known actress and cast Blake Lively instead.

    Frazer Harrison / Getty Images, The CW

    Ashley Olsen was also pitched to play Blair Waldorf.

    9. Elizabeth Olsen actually auditioned for Daenerys Targaryen, but Emilia Clarke ended up getting cast.

    Amanda Edwards / Getty Images, HBO

    10. Matthew Broderick was offered the role of Walter White on Breaking Bad, but he turned it down.

    Christopher Polk / Getty Images, AMC

    John Cusack also turned down the role.

    11. Rob Lowe was offered the role of Derek Shepherd on Grey's Anatomy but turned it down to star on CBS's Dr. Vegas.

    Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images, ABC

    12. Octavia Spencer auditioned to play Donna on Parks and Recreation, but the role ended up going to Retta.

    Amy Sussman / Getty Images, NBC

    13. Bob Odenkirk was actually supposed to play Michael Scott on The Office because Steve Carell was already busy with another series.

    Amy Sussman / Getty Images, NBC

    Steve's series got canceled though, which freed him up to play Michael. Bob also made a cameo later on in the series.

    14. Chris Rock was one of the many famous actors who was in talks to play George Costanza on Seinfeld.

    Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images

    Nathan Lane, Steve Buscemi, and Paul Shaffer were also brought in to audition for George. Danny DeVito was offered the role but turned it down.

    15. Iwan Rheon originally auditioned for Jon Snow on Game of Thrones and didn't get the role. He eventually got called in to play Ramsay Bolton in Season 3.

    John Phillips / Getty Images, HBO

    16. Nicholas Gonzalez originally screen tested for the role of Rafael Solano on Jane the Virgin, but he ended up playing Xo's love interest Marco instead.

    Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images, The CW

    17. Lucy Hale actually auditioned for Hannah Montana when she was 15 and still lived in Tennessee, which was years before Miley Cyrus eventually got cast.

    Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images, Disney Channel

    18. Oliver Hudson was in the final running for Jack Pearson on This Is Us, but by the time he was scheduled to screen test with Mandy Moore, Oliver went on an already-planned fishing trip instead.

    Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images, NBC

    19. Keke Palmer screen tested for the role of Iris on The Flash, but didn't end up getting it because she looked "a little too young" compared to Grant Gustin.

    Jemal Countess / Getty Images, The CW

    20. Selma Blair was actually Dawson's Creek creator Kevin Williamson's first choice to play Joey.

    Lisa O'connor / Getty Images, The WB

    21. Finally, Katie Holmes was in talks to plays Piper in Orange Is the New Black, but she ended up being busy with other projects to do the show and Taylor Schilling was cast.

    John Lamparski / Getty Images, Ali Goldstein

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form