13 Actors Who Almost Quit Their Iconic Onscreen Gigs, but Thankfully Stayed
Sometimes actors refuse to be in the sequels of famous movies. It also happens that they might want to quit right in the middle of the film production. There can be many reasons for this: contradictions with the film director, personal problems, or overlapping schedules. The stars mentioned in this article were very close to leaving the projects they worked on, but thankfully they stayed and finished them.
Dwayne Johnson, Rampage
The actor had already agreed to star in the movie Rampage and was studying the screenplay when he was shocked to find out that his character was supposed to die in the end. So, Dwayne was adamant in saying that he would leave the movie if screenwriters didn’t change the ending. Eventually, the moviemakers had to agree to Johnson’s demands and change the story to have a happy ending.
Macaulay Culkin, Home Alone
Macaulay refused to be in the third film of the franchise because he’d grown tired of the role, and felt that there was nothing else he could’ve done with it. But very few people know that there was a chance Culkin may not have been in the second movie either. The fact is that his father practically held the studio ransom by threatening to take his son out of the franchise unless they gave him the leading role in another movie that was planned for production.
Daisy Ridley, Star Wars
The actress who played Rey in the Star Wars sequel trilogy almost quit on the first day of the shooting. It happened because the film director criticized her performance. His words offended Daisy so much that she suffered a panic attack right on set, and was sincerely considering leaving the project.
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock
The co-creator and writer of the series revealed that it was really hard to persuade Benedict Cumberbatch to do the fourth season of the show. Both Benedict and Martin Freeman had become so famous by that time that their schedules were packed, so they really didn’t need the show anymore.
Al Pacino, The Godfather
Originally, the studio bosses didn’t want to hire the then-unknown actor, Al Pacino, to play the role of Michael Corleone. Even after the shooting started, they still doubted their choice. Al Pacino even wanted to quit because he “didn’t want to be where he was not wanted.” But eventually director Francis Ford Coppola convinced him to stay.
Liam Hemsworth, The Hunger Games
Liam Hemsworth and his co-star Josh Hutcherson threatened to leave the franchise if the studio didn’t raise their fees in the sequels. They were unhappy about the fact that Jennifer Lawrence got a pay increase, and they didn’t. Eventually, the producers didn’t let money get in the way of the franchise’s success.
Lisa Kudrow, Friends
In an interview, the actress revealed that she wanted to leave the show after the third season because she got tired of her character. But Matt LeBlanc who played Joey convinced her to stay. He told her not to take the role too seriously and relax.
Brad Pitt, Interview with the Vampire
Pitt felt really miserable during the shooting of Interview with the Vampire. “I spent 6 months in the dark, wearing contact lenses and makeup.” Eventually, Brad plucked up the courage and called the producer to say that he wanted to leave the project.
“I called David Geffen, who was the producer, and said, ’David, I can’t do this anymore. I can’t do it. How much will it take to get me out?’ And he goes, very calmly, ’Forty million dollars.’” So, Pitt decided to stay.
Emmy Rossum, Shameless
Ahead of production for the show’s eighth season, the media reported contractual issues amongst the cast of Shameless. Rossum, who played one of the main characters, demanded a pay increase otherwise, she threatened to leave the show. It turned out that her co-star, William H. Macy, made more money than her, despite both contractually receiving equal billing. The studio had to agree to her demands.
Zoë Saldana, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Zoë had a small part in the first film of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. The actress revealed that she wanted to not only quit the project, but actually quit the business in general. She said that the reason was not the great cast but the attitude of the moviemakers toward supporting actors and extras. “It was very elitist,” she said.
Russell Crowe, Robin Hood
Russell Crowe almost quit the movie because of the script issues. He thought that the original script wasn’t interesting enough. He demanded that it be rewritten and continued to work only after that had been done.
Alan Rickman, Harry Potter
Alan Rickman considered quitting the franchise before The Prisoner of Azkaban. He was disappointed in the producers, film directors, and the Harry Potter storyline in general. In his memoirs, he revealed that he really wanted to kick the moviemakers’ butts. “I get the character development and the spiffing effects (dazzling), but where is the story?” he wrote.
Sarah Jessica Parker, Sex and the City
It turns out that the iconic series almost lost their main character. Sarah Jessica Parker didn’t want to forsake her movie career to do television, so she planned to quit the show right after the pilot episode. Luckily, she changed her mind.
Bright Side/Films/13 Actors Who Almost Quit Their Iconic Onscreen Gigs, but Thankfully Stayed