10 Movie Stars Who Were Nearly Fired from Their Films

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As movie fans, we don’t often think about what happens behind the scenes of our favorite films. But, the truth of the matter is, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. Movie sets can be full of conflict among writers, producers and directors, and sometimes it can get really messy when an actor or actress arrives on set with a long list of unreasonable, diva-like demands.

Even though your favorite movie stars can do no wrong in your eyes, you would be surprised to know that many of them have actually stirred up a crazy amount of drama on the set of some of their biggest films. Many of these actors have even gotten to the point of almost getting fired from their roles for all of the crazy shenanigans they’ve pulled. In hindsight, all we can say is that we’re so glad that wasn’t the case. Like, who knows who we would’ve wound up with if they had to recast iconic characters like Edward Cullen in Twilight and the incomparable Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean?!

We know… you’re shuddering at the thought of a world in which your favorite stars never got to play their most iconic roles. Us too! But for now, sit back, relax and check out our list of ten movie stars who almost got the axe:


Robert Pattinson

It's completely inconceivable that anyone else on this planet would be able to take on the role of Twilight teen heartthrob Edward Cullen besides Robert Pattinson... but it was almost a reality!

While rumors swirled that it was Twilight's creator, Stephenie Meyer, that Rob didn't get along with, the real problem was actually his "method acting."

RPattz told Daily Mail, "I was so determined to make it serious... I was fighting with everybody in control all the time to the point where I almost got fired."

Earlier this week, he spoke with the New York Times and admitted that it had gotten so bad that his agents had to fly out to set him straight. Thank goodness that seemed to have worked because we're still gushing over Rob all these years later. *swoon*

Photo: Summit

Taylor Lautner

Taylor Lautner is yet another Twilight heartthrob that we truly don't believe could've been replaced very easily if they tried, so we're SO glad he wasn't fired from playing the role of Jacob Black. However, it did come pretty close.

When a new director came on for the second film, New Moon, there were whispers that the character of Jacob needed to be recast because Taylor wasn't muscly enough.

BUT, instead of getting down on himself, Taylor hit the gym even harder, determined to gain enough muscle by the time filming began. And guess what? He did it!

Photo: Summit

Rachel McAdams

Interestingly enough, through no fault of her own, Rachel McAdams could've possibly been fired from playing Allie in the crazy successful film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' novel, The Notebook. In fact, it was none other than her on-screen love interest, Ryan Gosling, who begged to have Rachel replaced because the two were just not hitting it off!

In an interview with VH1, the film's director, Nick Cassavetes, divulged all the details of the on-set drama. According to Nick, Ryan pulled him aside during a scene and said, "Would you take her out and bring in another actress to read off camera with me? I can't. I can't do it with her. I'm just not getting anything from this." OUCH.

Luckily, Rachel was never fired and, ironically, the two later dated off screen and made the cutest couple possibly ever.

Photo: New Line Cinema

Johnny Depp

Even with such an impressive résumé to back him up, it's pretty much universally agreed upon that Johnny Depp is most well known for his iconic role as Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean. And while Jack was definitely received well by viewers, Disney was just about ready to fire him because they just didn't understand the way he was portraying the character.

Johnny said at a movie panel, "They wanted to fire me. I was fully expecting to be fired, and I got a call from the upper echelon at Disney who were courageous enough to ask me, 'What the f*ck are you doing?" Turns out they were wrong, though, and Captain Jack Sparrow remains one of the most beloved Disney characters! (Johnny himself, though... not so much.)

Photo: Disney

Christian Bale

Unlike everyone else on our list, Christian Bale was actually hired, fired and then rehired from his role.

It was the 2000 film American Psycho. While working hard preparing for his role, Christian discovered that the director of the film passed the role on to Leonardo DiCaprio. Even though the part was technically no longer his, Christian kept working hard toward fitting the bill for the character by relentlessly hitting the gym. Turns out his perseverance and unwillingness to accept defeat actually paid off because the role did, indeed, come back to him.

Photo: Lionsgate

Robert Downey Jr.

If you're looking for the strangest way a movie star ever almost got fired from a role, Robert Downey Jr. definitely takes the cake.

While on set of the 1985 film Weird Science, Robert took a leisurely stroll to co-star Renee Props' trailer. What'd he do there? He went inside and took a poop!

While it's pretty funny in hindsight, we can pretty much bet that Renee wasn't laughing at the time, and the gross stunt actually almost got RDJ canned!

Photo: Universal Pictures

Al Pacino

Just about everyone is familiar with The Godfather, but when shooting began back in the early '70s, the higher-ups at Paramount were confused as to why Al Pacino was chosen for the lead role. They were so unimpressed by Al that Al said they "tried to fire [him] three times."

In the studio's defense, not even AP knew why he was cast in the role. He said, "There was a movement not to have me in the part. I didn't want me in the part." Nothing like a little self-confidence, Al!

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage is another actor who almost crossed the line too far into unemployment territory.

Back while filming the 1986 time travel comedy Peggy Sue Got Married, Nick insisted — and we mean insisted — on giving his character an annoying, squeaky, high-pitched voice. The voice annoyed the crew so much that they were on the brink of firing Nick, but ultimately decided to move forward, which may have been because his uncle, Francis Ford Coppola, was the director of the film (and The Godfather, FYI). Go figure!

Photo: TriStar Pictures

Judd Nelson

While filming the 1985 hit blockbuster The Breakfast Club, Judd Nelson got a little too into character by being rebellious off screen as well. What almost got Judd fired? He became a big bully and wouldn't stop picking on his co-star, Molly Ringwald! The other members of the cast had to urge Judd to lay off the attitude. Together, they saved Judd's job. Phew.

Photo: Universal Pictures

Ellen Barkin

The 2003 film Into The West featured Ellen Barkin, who, according to director Harvey Weinstein, was "so difficult to deal with."

Apparently, EB had some major diva tendencies on set, making Harvey wonder if they should replace her with Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Funny enough, Ellen returned to set the next day with what seemed to be a huge attitude adjustment, even going so far as cooking for the crew and, therefore, she was able to keep her role. Good save, Ellen!

Photo: TNT

8 Actors You Didn’t Know Were Fired from Movies

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