It’s pretty obvious that YA movies are taking over the film industry. With so many of our favorite YA books being transformed for the big screen, it makes sense that the main roles would be highly sought after. Going to a ton of auditions before finally landing a part is a necessary evil for an actor and even though it seems cray cray that some of our favorite actresses were flat-out rejected for Hollywood roles, it actually happens a lot (no matter how talented they are).
In fact, several of the leading ladies in the best young adult films to date actually tried out for parts different YA flicks first, but got swift rejections/ Lucky for us, the women didn’t let the word ‘no’ keep ’em down for long, kept auditioning for parts and eventually brought our favorite book characters to life on the big screen.
Divergent and The Hunger Games are often compared, just like their lead actresses Shailene Woodley and Jennifer Lawrence. Turns out, they're more connected than you probably knew!
Before she was cast as Tris Prior, Shai was one of the many actresses who auditioned to play the lead in THG. While she lost to J.Law, there were no hard feelings between the two — In fact, when the Secret Life actress was offered the Divergent gig, it was the 26-year-old who encouraged her to accept.
Photo: Summit Entertainment
Nobody can say that Jennifer isn't versatile. Besides her THG role, she has also played a late-'80s divorcee with an entrepreneurial spirit in Joy, a domineering 1930s wife in Serena and a mentally unstable widow in Silver Linings Playbook. If she had been cast as Bella Swan in Twilight like she originally intended, we're sure she would have killed it. But in the end, Kristen Stewart owned the role and we can't really picture J.Law and Robert Pattinson having the same chemistry that "Robsten" did, anyways.
This dark-haired beauty was one of the many hopefuls who tried out to be the leading lady in The Hunger Games, but didn't get the part. Some thought the rejection had to do with the fact that her only major role was as Effy in the U.K. teen TV series, Skins and Jennifer Lawrence had a lot more movie credz by that point. All's well that ends well: the 24-year-old got to star next to Teen Wolf heartthrob Dylan O'Brien in Maze Runner a couple years later. Jealous!
Photo: Twentieth Century Fox
Despite being the daughter of well-known singer Phil Collins, Lily wasn't offered the role of Bella Swan in Twilight. Instead of joining the vampire movie, the 27-year-old got to be in Sandra Bullock's Oscar-winning film, The Blind Side in 2009 before finally getting her YA lead in 2013's The Mortal Instruments.
Photo: Screen Gems
Chloe Grace Moretz
Yet another young lady who tried out for Katniss Everdeen! Although the teen didn't get to be a part of The Hunger Games, she ended up getting the leading role in If I Stay in 2014 over other well-known young actresses like Dakota Fanning and Emily Browning
Photo: Warner Brothers
Although the High School Musical star tried out for Leah Clearwater in the Twilight sequel, the part ended up going to Julia Jones. Vanessa later made her YA debut in the 2011 film Beastly based on Alex Flinn's novel.
Photo: CBS Films
Saoirse signed on to Stephenie Meyer's second book-to-film franchise after she, like so many others, got passed up for the role of the tribute volunteer in the Suzanne Collins series, The Hunger Games. Although The Host is supposed to become a trilogy, the Twilight author has been dragging her feet writing the sequels because she's unsure about killing off some of her characters. Thus, there's no info on whether the actress will ever return to her role as Melanie or not!
Photo: Universal Pictures