10 Actors Who Almost Quit Their Famous Roles

Being an actor seems like the ultimate dream job, but it might not be as easy as it seems. Here’s a list of actors who were so miserable with their jobs that they almost quit. Make sure you check #8, # 5 and #3!

#10. Jim Carrey

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Carrey’s makeup on The Grinch took eight and a half hours to apply. The elaborate costume consisted of itchy green yak hair, extensive facial prosthetics, and huge yellow contacts which the actor said felt like “knives in the eye“. After the first day on the set, Carrey kicked a hole in the wall of his trailer and told director Ron Howard he couldn’t do it. Only when an instructor who’d assisted CIA operatives to withstand torture was brought in was Carrey persuaded to continue doing the movie. The instructor was there to teach him how to deal with the daily three-hour process of getting into costume and taught him important lessons about pain deferment. The actor later described the experience as a horrifying torture that taught him a valuable lesson about what a human can endure. The hard time paid off and the movie earned $345 million! Slide next to read about an iconic 80s movie!

#9. Mike Myers

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Wayne’s World is the only movie inspired by a Saturday Night Live sketch that grossed over $100,000,000. Mike Myers first conceived the character of Wayne on his preteen years and later perfected it on SNL with cast member Dana Carvey. The scene where Wayne and his friends sing Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody in an AMC Pacer was written by Myers as a nostalgic homage to his teenage years. However, Penelope Spheeris thought that the scene would work better with a different tune. When Myers was offered the alternative Guns N’ Roses scene he put his foot down. He threatened to quit unless the epic Bohemian Rhapsody scene was back on track. Luckily, he won in the end and the scene became iconic. Party on, Wayne! Slide to find out which actress from Harry Potter almost quit!

#8. Emma Watson

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At age nine, Emma Watson got the role of Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. She became the fans’ favorite character in the franchise for her amazing portrayal. But as the fifth installment of the series was in the making and Watson’s contract came up for renewal, there were rumors that she was going to quit. The problem was that the films weren’t going to leave time for a college education, the original schedule wouldn’t have even left time to sit for her A-levels exams. Luckily, the shooting schedule was  reworked to accommodate Watson’s education. She was able to continue to play the beloved character and got her degree in English literature in the end! (Which we all know would make Hermione proud.) Slide to read about another actor who almost quit his most famous role!

#7. Al Pacino

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Coppola’s The Godfather is regarded as one of the greatest films of all time and is ranked #25 for all-time box office grosses, but this mob drama almost losses one of his stars. Pacino has said that if it wasn’t because of the famed director’s support he would have just quit the part. Al Pacino was Director Francis Ford Coppola’s first pick to play Michael Corleone, but Paramount would’ve preferred anyone else (Ryan O’Neal or Robert Redford, just to mention some.) The studio tried to fire Pacino three times. It seems they didn’t understand his performance and even thought he was too short! (What?!) Coppola had to put up a fight to keep Pacino on the set but in the end it was all worth it. Maybe Coppola made the studio an offer they just couldn’t refuse… Next one is one of our favorites, it’s about a handsome American actor.

#6. Brad Pitt

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Brad Pitt signed on to play Louis de Pointe du Lac after reading the Anne Rice novel Interview with the Vampire. The character’s journey of self-discovery captivated the charming actor. Unfortunately, movie adaptations don’t always do justice to the book. The script was centered around Lestat and his only job was to sit back and let Tom Cruise be the star. Pitt even tried to get out of it, but after finding out that it’d cost him $40 million, he stayed to play the part. Six months after filming was done he stated in an interview that he was still feeling miserable about it, and no one can blame him, the character is best remembered for giving the then 12-year-old Kirsten Dunst her first kiss, which she deemed disgusting. Slide to find out which actor didn’t turn his back on family!

#5. Michelle Rodriguez

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Michelle Rodriguez threatened to quit when the studio didn’t comply with her demands to change the character’s story arc in The Fast and Furious. It seems Rodriguez signed on the part thinking that she could later make any changes she wanted, because her only other film job before worked that way. But when producers refused to hear her demands, Rodriguez cried, almost quit and tried to get out of the part without being sued. It seems that the love triangle the character was involved in was a deal breaker for her. Luckily, Vin Diesel supported her on the changes to the unrealistic part, and the franchise will keep coming out with sequels. Slide to read about a comedy classic!

#4. Lily Tomlin

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Lily Tomlin’s part in 9 to 5 started with the left foot. It took Jane Fonda almost a year to convince her to play Violet in the American comedy film. She had doubts about getting into a cheap comedy because her mind was set on more serious roles. It didn’t help that one of the first scenes included some cartoon birds, and when she saw the footage of herself without the birds added she hated it. The actress tried to get out of the part at all costs, she even offered to give her salary back. But as time went on and she saw more footage, she felt she was actually doing a good job and decided to stay. Without her the office-lady trio just wouldn’t have been the same! Next one will shock you!

#3. Jessica Alba

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One of the reasons why Alba went from being  primarily an A-List actress to entrepreneur was her part as Sue Storm in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Director Tim Story kept ignoring her acting skills and complaining about her appearance in the more emotional scenes of the film. Alba was shocked when during a crying scene the director told her that it wasn’t necessary for her to really cry, tears could be CGI’d later, he needed her to cry pretty. That moment made the actress snap and consider quit acting altogether. Luckily, she was able to complete the film and went on to become an entrepreneur, founding the Honest Company. Slide to read a horror story from a horror film actress!

#2. Shelley Duval

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Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is widely considered to be among the best big-screen adaptations of a Stephen King story, although King himself wasn’t such a fan of the undisputed horror classic. Shelley Duvall, who played the part of Wendy Torrance, also disliked the movie but for very different reasons. She was forced to film a particularly grueling scene 127 times, was dehydrated from crying so much, and clumps of hair kept falling out of her head. The exhausting job took a toll on her and she even considered quitting because of her health.

In the book The Complete Kubrick, the actress stated  “I was really in and out of ill health because the stress of the role was so great. Stanley pushed me and prodded me further than I’ve ever been pushed before. It’s the most difficult role I’ve ever had to play.”

Slide to find out #1!

#1. Salma Hayek

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Salma Hayek was cast in Frida to portray Frida Kahlo, the Mexican muralist, and her native country without stereotypes. But what seemed a dream come true turned out to be a nightmare. Director Harvey Weinstein, the now-disgraced movie mogul who has been accused by 87 women of sexual harassment, made her life miserable. The inappropriate requests and harassing behavior throughout the movie gave the actress a nervous breakdown.