All the Actors Who Actually Turned Down a Role in Guardians of the Galaxy

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Actors just knew Guardians of the Galaxy was going to be a hit way before the movie premiered in August 2014. In fact, 27 actors and actresses auditioned for roles in the film, which ended up being one of Marvel’s most successful of all time. But while tons of stars tried out to play the iconic Star Lord, Chris Pratt knew it was his role to lose.

“I went in and met the director, James Gunn, and something happened in that room,” the 37-year-old actor told MTV. “He gave me a sense of what he wanted. I, of course, wasn’t able to read a script until essentially after signing up to do the movie. I could tell from what he wanted that it was something I close to what I could give. It started just becoming real. Then it did. I had a screen test for it. Even during the screen test, I was like, ‘Oh, I got this. This is mine. This is mine now.’ I knew going in.”

Even though CP knew he was the perfect person to play the superhero, he had some doubts upon being cast. Like, the doubts were so bad that he actually turned down the freakin’ role at first! Read below to get the details on how he eventually joined the project and find out which other celebs turned down roles in GotG.

1. Chris Pratt, Peter Quill/Star Lord — We know what you’re thinking; ‘Chris Pratt DID play Star Lord!! Are you guys dumb?’ Yes, this is true, but he initially turned the role down. The 37-year-old actor explained to EW, “I was probably scared, and thought I was too fat to play a superhero.” Chris’ fear inspired him to get healthy and he shed about 50 pounds in six months in order to be great physical shape for the filming process.

2. Matthew McConaughey, Villain — This Oscar-winning actor was offered the chance to play the villain in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, but decided to pass on the opportunity, even though he was a fan of the film.

Matthew explained, “I like Guardians of the Galaxy, but what I saw was…it’s successful, and now we’ve got room to make a colorful part for another big-name actor. I’d feel like an amendment.”

He instead decided to commit to a role in The Dark Tower, which is set to premiere in August.

3. Olivia Wilde, Gamora — We know that the 33-year-old actress was offered the role of Gamora and that she turned it down, leading to Zoe Saldana casting, but we’re not sure why. Olivia has never discussed her decision to walk away from the film franchise, so perhaps we’ll never know for sure.

4. Jason Momoa, Drax the Destroyer — This Game of Thrones star decided not to take the role in Guardians of the Galaxy because he didn’t want to continue to play the same character over and over again. Here’s what he said about his choice:

“Dave [Bautista] is perfect for that role, for Drax. It didn’t really fit in my time because I’ve done so many things where I don’t say much and I’m colored up and I have my shirt off again. I made a conscious choice to turn down some movies that were action-based to direct Road to Paloma so people could see that side…It’s not that it’s not a good role, it just wasn’t the right thing. I was on Stargate: Atlantis for four years playing a similar character called Ronon, who was an alien who didn’t say much and grunted. I’ve been there and done that, whether people have seen it or not. You want to stretch.”

Fair enough!

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These actors, along with Chris Pratt, all initially wanted to turn down their superhero movie role:


Chris Evans

Prior to the release of Captain America: Civil War, Chris admitted that his career-defining role as Steve Rogers/Captain America almost never happened.

He revealed on Jimmy Kimmel Live, "I was scared because at first it was a nine-picture contract, and there are parts of me that have a little bit of social anxiety with this industry. Doing movies one at a time, if all of a sudden you decide you don't want to do them anymore, you're afforded the opportunity to take a step back and recalibrate. When you have a giant contract, if all of a sudden you're not responding well, too bad, you gotta suit up again. That was scary."

Photo: Disney

Guy Pearce

Chris Evans isn't the only Marvel man who wasn't always interested in his part — Guy Pearce, who played villain Aldrich Killian in Iron Man 3, almost opted out, too.

He told Total Film, "I did end up saying to my agent, 'I'm not going to do this movie until they show me the script.' And my agent went [sharp intake of breath], 'They really don't want to show you the script.' So I said I wasn't going to do it. [But] they sent me the script via link. You have two hours to read it before your computer blows up! And it was fine — it was exactly what we'd talked about."

Photo: Disney

Chris Pratt

Chris is the perfect Star-Lord, but he actually didn't always see himself as the character. He told Esquire, "When Guardians of the Galaxy was pitched to me, I said, 'I don't think so.' I just didn't picture myself getting the role. I didn't want to go and embarrass myself like I did when I auditioned for G.I. Joe a couple of years previously. I went in there, and halfway through I saw the director's eyes just glaze over. It made sense — I was a little heavy and out of shape. I was not gonna play someone from G.I. Joe. I did not look like a G.I. Joe action figure come to life."

Photo: Disney

Zoe Saldana

Post-Avatar, Zoe was NOT in the mood to get back into the makeup chair as the green-covered Gamora. "That was kind of the canker sore of the whole experience of wanting to do Guardians and that almost made me say no," she revealed to Access Hollywood. "It was gonna be a little grueling and I'm a very impatient person — I can't sit still, so I was gonna drive everybody crazy!" Fortunately, she sucked it up.

Photo: Disney

Emma Stone

Believe it or not, it was Andrew Garfield who convinced Emma to play Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man. "I heard about Spider-Man and I didn't think it was something I would want to be a part of," she shared. "I just thought that probably isn't right for me."

*in walks her future love*

"I (auditioned with Andrew) and realized that this was a really interesting, fantastic relationship between two people and that I was being really closed-minded. (I) started learning more about Gwen Stacy and her history and just fell in love with the character and with the fans, too," she continued, "I started reading forums and getting involved more in the comic book universe and it just became something I really wanted to be a part of, just because of all those elements."

Photo: Columbia Pictures

Ben Affleck

The Oscar winner's casting as Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was one of the most controversial comic-book movie decisions in recent history; probably the most highly debated since Heath Ledger's casting as The Joker in The Dark Knight. Even Ben's first reaction was to say no.

"I told them I didn't see myself in the role and I was going to have to beg off," Ben claimed. But when he saw what writer-director Zack Snyder planned on doing, Ben was in. It was "‘incredible," he exclaimed. "It was a unique take on Batman that was still consistent with the mythology. It made me excited."

If only he knew Sad Affleck was in his future...

Photo: Warner Bros.

Kevin Costner

Just because the actor portrayed Clark Kent's dad, Jonathan Kent, in Man of Steel doesn't mean he's any sort of Superman fan. In fact, it was because of his detachment from Supes that he didn't OG want to sign on for the project.

"I don't fall into that circle of people who like these kinds of movies," he said on Live! With Kelly and Michael. "I know it's, like, sacrilegious or whatever, but when I was a kid, I didn't believe in him flying. I kinda knew he didn't because I tried, I went off the couch and I went off the roof and it didn't happen. I knew the bullets didn't bounce off (his body)."

"I didn't believe in the superheroes," he continued. "But I got a chance to be in this movie with, I think, a real visionary director, Zack. He made a really big movie, probably the biggest movie that I will ever be a part of, and... for those that he made this movie for specifically, I think they're going to be really satisfied because he did not leave anything to chance."

Photo: Warner Bros.

Olivia Munn

Before being cast in X-Men: Apocalypse, Olivia was offered a role in Ryan Reynolds' acclaimed Deadpool film. But she turned down the opportunity because she didn't want to play the part of ~the girlfriend~ — no no, girl wanted to kick butt on her own.

So, during her early meetings with the creators of the latest X-Men installment, she said, "Is there a fight scene?"

The beauty continued to tell American Way magazine, "I thought Psylocke was always one of the most lethal characters, and I said, 'Yes, as long as you're not using her to be the eye candy. She has really powerful abilities.' And they said, 'Yes, that's an important part.'"

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

January Jones

JJ is best known for Mad Men. So when she found out that X-Men: First Class was set in the same time period, she almost did an about-face.

She told Los Angeles Times, "When I heard that this installment of X-Men was going to take place in the '60s, I was like, 'Oh my God, you must be kidding me!' But I read the script and familiarized myself with the character of Emma Frost. She's so, so far from Betty and from Mad Men, and it takes place in that time, but it doesn't feel like a period movie."

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

Tao Okamoto

You can thank Hugh Jackman for Tao's portrayal of Mariko Yashida in The Wolverine. Otherwise, she didn't even plan to audition for the part!

She recalled, "I remember when I saw X-Men the first time — I was living in England as an exchange student and my first boyfriend, who's an Englishman, made me watch the movie… He was very jealous that I liked Hugh Jackman so much."

Once she found out she'd get to hook up with Hugh in the film, she was ready for action... literally.

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

Joel Kinnaman

Despite never truly having a starring role before, it took some convincing for Joel to portray titular character Alex Murphy in the RoboCop remake.

"I was actually a little hesitant and I told them I don't think that's a good fit for me." But, upon learning of director José Padilha's involvement in the project, Joel jumped at the chance. "I considered him one of the most interesting filmmakers in the world," he explained. The rest is history.

Photo: Columbia Pictures

Judith Hoag

24 years before Megan Fox played April O'Neil in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Judith Hoag did the same thing. But not without some hesitance on her part.

"When I first heard of it, I thought it was a horror film," she recalled. "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is such a strange name. I wasn't into the comic books at all."

Since she was filming Cadillac Man, with Robin Williams, at the same time, there were also some scheduling conflicts. Fortunately, producers found a way to make it work, flying the actress in on the weekends.

Photo: New Line Cinema

Quiz: Which Chris Pratt Character is Your Leading Man?

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