Actors Who Almost Landed Iconic Television Roles That We Know and Love


When a new show is spinning up in Hollywood, a bevy of actors come in to audition for roles. This all takes place behind the scenes and usually you don’t hear about the actors who didn’t get the part.

Occasionally though, we get reports of actors who have tried out for iconic television roles and didn’t get the part. Can you imagine these actors playing these beloved parts?


Tiffani Thiessen as Rachel (Friends)

You may remember Tiffani Thiessen from her time on Saved by the Bell and 90210, but back in 1994 she auditioned for the iconic role of Rachel from Friends. According to Thiessen, she was determined to be too young compared to the rest of the cast to be considered.

Still, it makes us daydream a little about a Zack Morris crossover episode of Friends!


Katherine Heigl as Jen (Dawson’s Creek)

According to Dawson’s Creek creator Kevin Williamson, the role of Jen almost went to Katherine Heigl when pilot director Steve Miner (who also directed Friday the 13th) brought in Katherine to audition (she starred in his 1994 film, My Father the Hero).

Williamson said that she gave a great audition, but apparently she came across as too mature to play a high schooler despite the fact that she was younger than Michelle Williams.


Lisa Edelstein as Carrie (Sex and the City)

It’s really hard to imagine anyone other than Sarah Jessica Parker playing Carrie Bradshaw on HBO’s iconic television series. But Lisa Edelstein was so close to getting the role that she had a contract in hand. She later found out that she was the first runner-up to SJP and if Parker had turned the role down, Edelstein would have tapped.


Iwan Rheon as Jon Snow (Game of Thrones)

Game of Thrones fans know of Iwan Rheon who plays the maniacal Ramsay Snow in Season 5 of the show. But what fans may not know is that Rheon initially auditioned for the role of Jon Snow and made it to the final two.

After seeing Rheon’s performance as Ramsay, it’s hard to imagine pulling for him in the role of Jon, who ended up being portrayed by Kit Harington. We’re not sure if Rheon found any comfort in playing another “Snow” bastard in the series, but we can’t imagine the casting any other way.


Chris Pratt as Chuck (Chuck)

Fans of Chuck may love Zachary Levi, but I have to admit that seeing Chris Pratt in the role could have been even better. Josh Schwartz, the show’s creator, has admitted that Pratt was his first choice for the role, but it didn’t work out.

“But as fate would have it, he was destined to guard the galaxy, not the Buy More,” Schwartz joked.


Katie Holmes as Buffy (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

We’re talking the television show here, not the movie where Buffy was portrayed by Kristy Swanson. It’s truly hard to imagine anyone other than Sarah Michelle Gellar playing the titular role, but Katie Holmes had Buffy in the bag before she turned it down to go to high school.