You’ve watched your favorite movies and TV shows so many times you’ve probably memorized the lines. In fact, it’s probably hard to picture anyone other than the actual cast members filling the roles that you love and identify with, right? But did you know that these iconic roles were almost portrayed by other actors? Check it out:
Shoshanna on Girls
On her site Lenny Letter, Lena Dunham explains that neurotic, unintentionally hilarious Shoshanna Shapiro was almost portrayed by Amy Schumer. While we love Amy Schumer in a big way, it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Zosia Mamet filling these high-strung shoes.
Serena on Gossip Girl
Though you immediately think of Blake Lively when you hear about the part now, Jennifer Lawrence auditioned for the role of Serena on Gossip Girl, and was really hoping to get the part.
Jenna in 13 Going on 30
Though Jennifer Garner made this movie one we watch over and over again, she almost didn’t land the lead role. Renee Zellweger was up for the part, and apparently so were Hilary Swank and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Jane Smith in Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Can you imagine how the course of history might have changed if Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie hadn’t starred together in this film? Turns out it almost didn’t happen! In an interview, Gwen Stefani revealed that she was once considered for the role. BRB, going to contemplate what might have happened to Brad and Jen if Gwen had landed this part instead.
Marissa Cooper in The O.C.
The show probably shaped your teenage years, but it turns out that your viewing experience could have been very different. Olivia Wilde was almost cast to play Marissa Cooper, but “lacked the upfront vulnerability” that execs believe Cooper needed to exude.
Mr. Big on Sex and the City
The endless Carrie-Big drama could have looked different had producer Darren Starr gone with his original choice for the role of Big. He says he wanted Alec Baldwin to play the part, but when Chris Noth read for the role, he realized he was perfect.
Can you imagine what it would have been like had the producers opted for someone else?
Lauren Levine is a freelance writer who has contributed to publications and websites including The Charlotte Observer, U.S. News & World Report, American Way magazine, The Huffington Post, Hello Giggles, Bustle, Thrillist, Thought Catalog, and others.