30 Stars Who Landed Different Roles Than They Originally Auditioned For

Things could have been very, VERY different.

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Actors don't always get the roles they audition for. Rejection, after all, is just a part of show business. But, there's a lucky handful—Liam Hemsworth, Rachel McAdams, and Shia LaBeouf, to name a few—that have impressed the powers that be and got another role out of the deal. Ahead, 30 actors who landed roles they didn't originally audition for.

1 of 30
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Bella Thorne

The role: in Scream: The TV Series (2015-present)
Who *actually* played it: Willa Fitzgerald
The role they played instead: Nina Fitzgerald

Thorne turned down the main role because she thought the character, Nina, was more "iconic," adding that she's never died on screen before.

2 of 30
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Iwan Rheon

The role: in Game of Thrones (2011-present)
Who *actually* played it: Kit Harington
The role they played instead: Ramsay Bolton/Ramsay Snow

3 of 30
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Jessica Capshaw

The role: in Grey’s Anatomy (2005-present)
Who *actually* played it: Lauren Stamile (as Nurse Rose), Melissa George (as Sadie Harris)
The role they played instead: Dr. Arizona Robbins

Capshaw auditioned for multiple roles in Shonda Rhimes’ hit TV series Grey’s Anatomy, before finally landing the role as Dr. Arizona Robbins.

4 of 30
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Heath Ledger

The role: in The Dark Knight (2008)
Who *actually* played it: Christian Bale
The role they played instead: The Joker

5 of 30
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Rachel McAdams

The role: in Mean Girls (2004)
Who *actually* played it: Lindsay Lohan
The role they played instead: Regina George

6 of 30
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Liam Hemsworth

The role: in The Hunger Games (2012)
Who *actually* played it: Josh Hutcherson
The role they played instead: Gale Hawthorne

7 of 30
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Alexander Ludwig

The role: in The Hunger Games (2012)
Who *actually* played it: Josh Hutcherson
The role they played instead: Cato, a tribute

8 of 30
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Sandra Oh

The role: in Grey’s Anatomy (2005-present)
Who *actually* played it: Chandra Wilson
The role they played instead: Christina Yan

9 of 30
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Isaiah Washington

The role: Derek Shepherd in Grey’s Anatomy (2005-present)
Who *actually* played it: Patrick Dempsey
The role they played instead: Preston Burke

10 of 30
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Rainn Wilson

The role: in The Office (2005-2013)
Who *actually* played it: Steve Carrell
The role they played instead: Dwight Schrute

11 of 30
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Samm Levine

The role: in Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000)
Who *actually* played it: John Francis Daley
The role they played instead: Neal Schweiber

12 of 30
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Courteney Cox

The role: in Friends (1994-2004)
Who *actually* played it: Jennifer Aniston
The role they played instead: Monica Geller

Producers wanted Cox to play Rachel, but Cox said she wanted to play Monica.

13 of 30
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Eddie Redmayne

The role: in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
Who *actually* played it: Christian Coulson
The role they played instead: Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

14 of 30
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Bethany Joy Lentz

The role: in One Tree Hill (2003-2012)
Who *actually* played it: Sophia Bush
The role they played instead: Haley James Scott

15 of 30
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Ed Westwick

The role: in Gossip Girl (2007-2012)
Who *actually* played it: Chace Crawford
The role they played instead: Chuck Bass

16 of 30
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Sara Paxton

The role: in Lizzie McGuire (2001-2004)
Who *actually* played it: Hilary Duff
The role they played instead: Holly, former class president in a guest appearance

17 of 30
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Hank Azaria

The role: in Friends (1994-2004)
Who *actually* played it: Matt LeBlanc
The role they played instead: David, the “science guy" and one of Phoebe’s love interests

18 of 30
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Ashley Greene

The role: Bella Swan in Twilight (2008)
Who *actually* played it: Kristen Stewart
The role they played instead: Alice Cullen

“I originally auditioned for Bella, and so I read the first book and kind of fell in love with it," she told in an interview. "I went in and auditioned and actually they called me back in and said, ‘No, you’re not right for Bella,’ so I was bummed, and then they brought me back for Alice."

19 of 30
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Jon Favreau

The role: in Friends (1994-2004)
Who *actually* played it: Matthew Perry
The role they played instead: Pete Becker, the “ultimate fighting champion guy" and one of Monica’s love interests

20 of 30
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Miley Cyrus

The role: in Hannah Montana (2006-2011)
Who *actually* played it: Emily Osborne
The role they played instead: Hannah Montana/Miley Stewart

21 of 30
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Natalie Dormer

The role: in Game of Thrones (2011-present)
Who *actually* played it: TBD
The role they played instead: Margaery Tyrell

Dormer revealed that she auditioned for a different female role in Game of Thrones, but will not tell who until the show is complete. She was initially hesitant to accept her current role as Margaery because the character was so similar to one she previously played in The Tudors.

22 of 30
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Ashley Tisdale

The role: in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody (2005-2008)
Who *actually* played it: Brenda Song
The role they played instead: Maddie Fitzpatrick

23 of 30
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Norman Reedus

The role: in The Walking Dead (2010-present)
Who *actually* played it: Michael Rooker
The role they played instead: Daryl Dixon

The character, Daryl Dixon, didn’t exist until Reedus auditioned. Producers were so impressed with him that they created the now-beloved character specifically for him.

24 of 30
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Paul Wesley

The role: in The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017)
Who *actually* played it: Ian Somerhalder
The role they played instead: Stefan Salvatore

25 of 30
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Lucy Hale

The role: in Pretty Little Liars (2010-present)
Who *actually* played it: Ashley Benson
The role they played instead: Aria Montgomery

26 of 30
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James Franco

The role: , AKA Spider-Man in Spider-Man (2002)
Who *actually* played it: Tobey Maguire
The role they played instead: Harry Osborn

27 of 30
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Jensen Ackles

The role: Sam Winchester in Supernatural (2005-present)
Who *actually* played it: Jared Padalecki
The role they played instead: Dean Winchester

28 of 30
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Tom Hiddleston

The role: in Thor (2008)
Who *actually* played it: Chris Hemsworth
The role they played instead: Loki

29 of 30
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Sasha Pieterse

The role: Hanna Marin in Pretty Little Liars (2010-present)
Who *actually played it: Ashley Benson
The role they played instead: Alison DiLaurentis

“I never really auditioned for Alison. It was just, 'We really like you for this instead.' I’m so happy I ended up being Alison," Sasha said in .

30 of 30
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Shia LaBeouf

The role: in Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000)
Who *actually* played it: Samm Levine
The role they played instead: Herbert

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