6 Actors Who Failed To Land Iconic Roles In Tarantino Movies
Once upon a time in Hollywood.
Quentin Tarantino, known for his unique and gritty style, has worked with some of Hollywood's top names throughout his memorable career. His films like Pulp Fiction and Inglourious Basterds are cinematic gems with unforgettable characters. But what if other actors had taken on these iconic roles?
Here are six actors who almost starred in Tarantino's films and changed the course of their careers, but failed.
6. Jennifer Lawrence — Daisy Domergue in The Hateful Eight/ Squeaky Fromm in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Tarantino, who admires Jennifer Lawrence's talent, personally asked her to play Daisy Domergue, a fugitive wanted dead or alive. However, Lawrence had prior commitments to other projects and had to decline, opening the door for Jennifer Jason Leigh, who later received critical acclaim for her performance.
Tarantino also tried again to cast Lawrence in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but another scheduling conflict resulted in Dakota Fanning getting cast as Squeaky Fromm.
5. Matt Dillon — Butch in Pulp Fiction
Tarantino initially offered the role of the retired boxer who crosses Marsellus Wallace to Matt Dillon, believing that the actor's rugged charm and attitude made him a good fit for the character.
However, Dillon reportedly expressed concern after reading the script, and instead of trying to convince him, Tarantino decided to cast Bruce Willis, who perfectly nailed the role of Butch, solidifying the character as the icon of Tarantino movies.
4. Adam Sandler — Donny Donowitz in Inglourious Basterds
While Tarantino secured key actors like Brad Pitt for his cult classic satirical war film, he also faced other casting challenges. The role of Sergeant Donny Donowitz, aka The Bear Jew, originally intended for Adam Sandler, went to Eli Roth due to Sandler's prior commitment to 2010's black comedy-drama Funny People.
To see the king of comedy in the role of a member of the titular group of Nazi hunters would have been a memorable performance for Sandler and would have significantly shifted the actor's career to a new horizon.
3. Michelle Yeoh — O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill: Vol. 1
Michelle Yeoh was originally approached for the role of O-Ren Ishii, the deadly assassin and one of the Bride's main enemies, but nothing came of it. Tarantino is said to have asked the actress if Uma Thurman could convincingly play a character who could kick her ass. The answer must not have been positive because the role eventually went to Lucy Liu.
2. Michelle Pfeiffer — Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction
Tarantino's second feature film starred Uma Thurman's as Mia Wallace, with the performance earning her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. However, before Thurman landed the role of the spoiled former actress and wife of a Los Angeles crime lord, several actresses were considered for the part, including Michelle Pfeiffer, who auditioned for it.
Interestingly, Michelle Pfeiffer was a strong contender for the role but ultimately lost out to Uma Thurman, whose portrayal of the character is now considered one of the most iconic in the cinematic universe.
1. Jack Nicholson — Bill in Kill Bill: Vol. 2
First considered for the title role in Kill Bill was the legendary Jack Nicholson, known for his versatility in iconic performances. Ultimately, the actor wasn't chosen, and the role of the former leader of the Deadly Vipers, the Bride's former lover, and the father of her daughter went to David Carradine.
While Nicholson's charismatic presence and incredible performance skills could have made Bill a more mysterious and unforgettable character, Carradine's contribution to the role was nothing less than brilliant.