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: Emma Duval 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.

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2 of 30
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Iwan Rheon

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

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3 of 30
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Jessica Capshaw

The role: Nurse Rose and Dr. Sadie Harris 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.

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4 of 30
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Heath Ledger

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

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5 of 30
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Rachel McAdams

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

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6 of 30
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Liam Hemsworth

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

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7 of 30
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Alexander Ludwig

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

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8 of 30
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Sandra Oh

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

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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

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10 of 30
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Rainn Wilson

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

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11 of 30
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Samm Levine

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

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12 of 30
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Courteney Cox

The role: Rachel Green 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.

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13 of 30
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Eddie Redmayne

The role: Tom Riddle 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)

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14 of 30
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Bethany Joy Lentz

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

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15 of 30
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Ed Westwick

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

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16 of 30
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Sara Paxton

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

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17 of 30
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Hank Azaria

The role: Joey Tribbiani 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

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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 MTV 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."

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19 of 30
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Jon Favreau

The role: Chandler Bing 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

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20 of 30
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Miley Cyrus

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

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21 of 30
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Natalie Dormer

The role: Unknown 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.

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22 of 30
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Ashley Tisdale

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

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23 of 30
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Norman Reedus

The role: Merle Dixon 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.

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24 of 30
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Paul Wesley

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

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25 of 30
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Lucy Hale

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

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26 of 30
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James Franco

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

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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

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28 of 30
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Tom Hiddleston

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

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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 an interview.

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30 of 30
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Shia LaBeouf

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

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