Somewhere in the multiverse, John Krasinski ended up as Captain America.
Dylan Minnette — who you’ve seen in 13 Reasons Why, Scream, and The Dropout — auditioned for the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man.
Dylan said in an interview with BuzzFeed: “I did go on an audition for Spider-Man, the new one. But to be honest, it was at a time where I wasn’t necessarily, like, seeking it out — really. I feel like I wasn’t at a point in my career, in my life, where I would feel like I was fully ready to commit to something like that anyway. So I don’t think I gave it my all or my best.”
Dylan said that he’s ultimately glad Tom was the one who got the role in the end, explaining, “I think that Tom Holland always would have gotten the part. He was meant to be that part. He’s the best Spider-Man, I think. His [performance] was incredible. So I’m not saying that I could have gotten that part.”
Asa Butterfield — who’s best known for his role in Sex Education, along with Ender’s Game, Hugo, and other films — also auditioned for Peter Parker/Spider-Man.
Asa said in an interview with Collider: “Every so often there’s a part [that you really want] and it’s a script you love, and you kind of put your heart and soul into it, and you don’t get it. And it is tough and it is shit, but I often find that something even better comes out of it at the end. And so in the case of Spider-Man, I did Sex Ed, because I wouldn’t have been able to do both of those at the same time.”
Similarly to Dylan, Asa said he thinks Tom was right for the part in the end: “You might just not be the right person, and that’s out of your hands. And that’s something I’ve learned, something that I think is great to help me kind of get over it. Because Tom did amazing things with Peter and he had an entirely different portrayal of him and I think it’s worked so well in the universe and in that part, and I don’t think I could do it. So I think all things work out in the end.”
Chance Perdomo, best known for playing Ambrose on The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, auditioned for the role of Jughead Jones on Riverdale.
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the creator of both Riverdale and Sabrina, said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter that he was “so impressed” by Chance’s Riverdale audition. Roberto revealed that he actually later wrote the role of Ambrose with Chance in mind.
Speaking of Riverdale, Katherine Langford, known for 13 Reasons Why, Cursed, and Love, Simon, auditioned for the role of Betty Cooper.
Camila Mendes (who plays Veronica) revealed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that she and Katherine became friends during auditions: “I remember we went out and we got falafel with a guy who was auditioning for Archie.”
Speaking of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Joshua Bassett, known for his role on High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, auditioned for the part of Harvey Kinkle.
Joshua revealed in an interview with BuzzFeed that he was “really close” to landing the part, which ultimately went to Ross Lynch.
Joshua explained, “It was down to me and Ross Lynch, and he got it, and I’m super happy for him. But yeah, I was definitely like really hoping for that one.”
Sara talked about her auditions for Sabrina and other roles in an interview with BuzzFeed: “Honestly, the women they cast for those roles were perfect, so I can’t even be upset. Sometimes, you gotta just take the L.”
The part ultimately went to Kiernan Shipka.
Gabrielle Union, who you’ve seen in Bring It On and Cheaper by the Dozen, auditioned for the part of Valerie in Josie and the Pussycats.
The part ultimately went to Rosario Dawson.
Taylor Momsen, who’s best known for her music and playing Jenny Humphrey on Gossip Girl, auditioned for the titular character on Hannah Montana.
Ultimately, however, Taylor is grateful she didn’t land the part. She explained in an interview with Express: “Honestly, if I’d have ended up as Hannah Montana, I don’t know if the show would have gone as well. I probably would have told them all to go f*ck themselves by the time I hit 11. And I don’t know how that would have gone down. … I really like where I am right now and I feel really fortunate to be able to really be myself.”
On a related note, Lily Collins, who you’ve most recently seen on Emily in Paris, actually auditioned for the role of Jenny on Gossip Girl.
Lily said in an interview with Glamour: “I remember the screen test for Gossip Girl was on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank. I was about 17 or 18 years old at the time. I remember driving onto the lot and going, ‘Oh my God. This is surreal.’ I wanted it so badly.”
One last Gossip Girl note: Jennifer Lawrence, best known for starring as Katniss in The Hunger Games movies, apparently auditioned for the role of Serena van der Woodsen.
Gossip Girl creator Josh Schwartz said in an interview with Vulture: “We did not realize this at the time, but Jennifer Lawrence really wanted to play Serena and auditioned. This story came to us secondhand, but we were told she definitely auditioned and was bummed to not get it.”
Jennifer also auditioned for the role of Bella Swan in Twilight.
She explained in an interview with US Weekly: “I didn’t really know what [Twilight] was. You just get like five pages [at the audition] and they’re like, ‘Act monkey.’ And when it came out I was like, ‘Hot damn. Whoa.'”
Keke Palmer, known for True Jackson, VP, Hustlers, and her stellar memes, auditioned for the part of Iris West on The Flash.
The part, which ultimately went to Candice Patton, was reportedly a close call.
Casting director David Rapaport explained in an interview with BuzzFeed: “That was a really hard role to cast. We had seen Candice initially, but I think we were too early on in the process to cast her so we ended up testing Keke Palmer and this other girl, but they felt a little too young next to Grant [Gustin, who plays Barry]. When building an ensemble, you have to do those chemistry reads to find out who works best together.”
Olivia Wilde, best known for playing Remy “Thirteen” Hadley on House and directing Booksmart, auditioned for the part of Marissa Cooper on The O.C.
Creator Josh Schwartz said on a panel at the ATX Festival that the role was down to her and Mischa Barton (the latter of whom ultimately landed the part).
The creator explained his reasoning for the casting decision: “Marissa was obviously a character who Ryan needs to save, and Olivia Wilde needs no saving. She’s pretty tough.”
However, Olivia later went on to appear on The O.C. as a recurring character in Season 2. She played Marissa’s girlfriend, Alex Kelly!
In an interview on The Ellen Degeneres Show, John explained: “The truth is, they hadn’t offered it to [Chris] yet, so they were like, ‘Let’s see who else is out there before we offer it to Chris Evans.’ And um, I went in and I tested for Captain America. This is a true story. I was putting the suit on, and the [costume] guy was like, ‘This is really momentous.’ And I said, ‘Yes.'”
He continued, “And I was putting the suit on, and I was halfway up — not wearing any clothes other than this — and [the suit] was halfway up. And right at that moment, Chris Hemsworth walked by, and he was like, ‘Ya look good, mate.’ And I was like, ‘Nope. You know what, it’s fine. We don’t have to do this.'”
Casting director Matthew Barry revealed in an interview with E! News that Britney was actually really close to landing the part. “At the height of her career she was like, ‘I want to be really prepared for this,'” he said. “So I said, ‘OK, come work with me and my partner.’ And she came in eight hours, two days in a row and worked with us. She was fantastic. They loved Britney. It was probably between Rachel [McAdams] and Britney at the time.”
The role ultimately went to Rachel McAdams.
Evan Peters, known for his roles in American Horror Story, Pose, Mare of Easttown, and the X-Men movies, auditioned for the part of Stiles on Teen Wolf.
Teen Wolf creator Jeff Davis revealed in an interview with E! News that Evan read for the part. However, the role ultimately went to Dylan O’Brien.
Jeff explained his reasoning behind the casting decision: “[Dylan] came in and I remember very clearly seeing his headshot, flipping it around and most resumes have this long list of who they were trained by, what films they’ve been in and guest star roles, what their special skills are. His was two YouTube links and that was it. I thought, ‘OK.’ He had this quality about him. He just seemed elastic. He reminded me of a young Jim Carrey.”
In fact, Millie said she almost gave up on acting entirely after not landing that role. She explained in an interview with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show: “I think I was just very disheartened by the rejection. I guess I really wanted that role.”
The role ultimately went to Bella Ramsey.
And finally, Cassie Steele, aka THE Manny Santos from Degrassi: The Next Generation, almost played Gabriella Montez in High School Musical.
It’s not quite clear if she was officially offered the part, but it was reportedly the actor’s scheduling conflicts with Degrassi that took her out of the running in the end.
Which of these surprised you the most? Would you have actually preferred any of these castings?! Tell us in the comments!