20 Memorable TV Roles That Were Almost Played by Other Actors

Friends cast
Friends/Facebook

It’s a situation that many of us have been in: We apply for a dream job, and feel hopeful and confident -- only to see the role ultimately go to someone else. (Fun, right?) Maybe it was a mistake on the company's part. Maybe we just weren't qualified. Maybe another dream job is right around the corner, and this is a blessing in disguise. Whatever the reason (known or unknown), it's safe to say that we're not alone. Even major TV and movie stars have auditioned for parts they wanted to play, only to have someone else land the coveted gig. That has to be tough, at least for a few people. On the flip side, we can't even imagine how some of our favorite shows -- and characters -- would turn out if things went differently than they did.

Advertisement
Of course, actors and actresses aren't shy about speaking out about the jobs they didn't get. And a few will even openly admit that they, themselves, turned down career-making roles. Some end up living with that regret, while others are like us: They simply can't imagine anyone doing a better job than the person who ended up getting the part.

Need an example? Who else could play Scandal's Olivia Pope other than Kerry Washington? Well, according to network executives, a few people, actually.

Yes, even some of the most iconic TV shows could have been totally different. But the question is, would they have been more or less successful with just a single casting switch? It’s impossible to tell, but kind of fun to imagine. Read on for 20 TV roles that almost went to someone else. Just know these are the ones stars have spoken about. We're sure there are many, many more audition secrets out there, just waiting to be revealed.

(We're here for all of it.)

tv