It’s hard to imagine anyone besides Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw in “Sex and the City” or Julia Roberts as Vivian Ward in “Pretty Woman,” but these iconic movie and television roles were almost played by someone else. Yup. If it wasn’t for fate stepping in, some of your favorite on-screen characters could’ve looked a whole of a lot different. (We know. Total game-changer.)
But who are these actors who almost inched out our beloved stars for what would become roles of a lifetime? Well, lucky for you, we got the lowdown on all the explosive casting stories behind your fave shows and films. Learn what could’ve been and click through for 10 iconic characters who were almost played by someone else.
Carrie Bradshaw in "Sex and the City"
Before Sarah Jessica Parker stepped into Carrie Bradshaw's Manolo Blahniks in "Sex and the City," another actress could've played the iconic curly-haired sex columnist. In an interview with "Access Hollywood," Lisa Edelstein, who stars on Bravo's "Girlfriends Guide to Divorce," admitted she was this close to playing the beloved single gal.
"It wasn't a rumor. That actually happened," she said, admitting that her contract was signed and ready to go until HBO went with SJP. (We couldn't help but wonder...what would "Sex and the City" be if Lisa Edelstein played Carrie?)
Serena van der Woodsen in "Gossip Girl"
It's hard to imagine anyone besides Blake Lively as Serena van der Woodsen in "Gossip Girl," but the fashionable New York socialite was almost played by someone else. In an interview with BuzzFeed, The CW show's creator, David Rapaport, admitted that Rumer Willis (aka Bruce Willis's daughter) was pitched by the network to play the Manhattan "It" girl. Well, Rapaport eventually went against the network's wishes and went with Lively, who was more unknown at the time.
“I love Rumer, she’s grown into quite an amazing actress and person,” he said. “But that, to me, was based on protecting the investment of a television show where creatively, these lesser-known girls really captured the essence of the show and carried it for six years.”
Jerry Maguire in "Jerry Maguire"
Believe it or not, but another Tom could've Tom Cruise's iconic role as Jerry Maguire in self-titled film. Who is that other Tom? Well, none other than Hollywood's other big "It" Tom—Tom Hanks. Hanks was originally offered the role, but got too old for the part after production lagged on the script—so says the film's director, Cameron Crowe.
"I took so long doing the script that Hanks was no longer a 35-year-old man. By the time he got [the script] he was almost 40 and had two Academy Awards and wanted to direct,” Crowe told Empire magazine in 1997.
Vivian Ward in "Pretty Woman"
Julia Robert's role as Vivian Ward in "Pretty Woman" is undoubtedly what made her explode onto the Hollywood scene, but the iconic role was almost played by one of the '80s most popular actors: Molly Ringwald. Ringwald spilled the tea on a Reddit Q&A in 2012.
"Julia Roberts is what makes that movie. It was her part," she said. "Every actor hopes for a part that lets them shine like that."
Piper Chapman in "Orange is the New Black"
Prior to Taylor Schilling slipping on her orange jumpsuit as Piper Chapman in "Orange is the New Black," creator Jenji Kohan actually considered Katie Holmes for the role. In an interview with E! News, Kohan admitted that she met with Holmes for the role, but that the brunette eventually turned it down due to her schedule.
"I met with her," Kohan said. "She had other things to do. And also, in the beginning, no one knew what this was."