While speaking with Angie Martinez this week, forever heartthrob Idris Elba said that while there wasn’t a role he seriously wanted that he lost out on since starting his career, he was super “salty” to have lost out on a role in one of our favorite black rom-coms.
“When I first started, I auditioned for Brown Sugar,” Elba shared. “Boris Kodjoe got that role. I’m telling you, and this is a true story, right? This is an absolute true story.”
When Martinez pointed out the fact that she actually appeared in the project, playing herself (she made a brief appearance at the very end), he said he wouldn’t know because he didn’t support the film.
“I didn’t watch it I was so salty!”
But Elba isn’t the first actor or actress to reveal (or have revealed) that they auditioned for a movie or TV role that they thought would have been the perfect fit only to lose it to another big star. However, that loss opened the door for greater things, as you will see in this gallery.
Halle Berry – Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It?
Other actresses who auditioned or were considered for the role of Tina Turner included Robin Givens, Pam Grier, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, and Vanessa L. Williams. However, the role would go to Angela Bassett, who would earn an Academy Award nomination for her work.
Kim Fields – Iesha in Poetic Justice
The Living Single star was said to have not only auditioned for Iesha in Poetic Justice, which went to a very memorable Regina King, but she also allegedly tried to audition for Janet Jackson’s lead role as Justice.
Lauryn Hill – Dionne in Clueless
As my boss put it, Hill would have gone from the plaid skirts of Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit to Dionne’s signature plaid skirts. Still, we couldn’t really see it. The role would go to Stacey Dash.
Mahershala Ali – Xaro Xhoan Daxos in Game of Thrones
Ali said his own terrible audition is what cost him the opportunity to play one of the few Black characters on the hit HBO series. Instead, Brit actor Nonso Anozie would snag the role.
Taraji P. Henson – Daka in St. Vincent
In her recent book, Around the Way Girl, the star said the role of a pregnant stripper in the 2014 comedy St. Vincent (starring Bill Murray) was written for her but wasn’t given to her “because someone with the ability to green-light a film couldn’t see black women beyond a very limited purview he or she thought ‘fit’ audience expectations.” The role would go to Aussie actress Naomi Watts.
Jennifer Lopez – Nomi in Showgirls
Lopez is lucky she didn’t get the lead role of Nomi in the cult hit Showgirls, which was panned by critics when it was released in 1995. After a bad audition, the role would instead go to former Saved By the Bell star Elizabeth Berkley.
Treach – Bishop in Juice
Tupac Shakur went along with rapper Treach from Naughty by Nature for his audition for the role of Bishop in Juice. Director Ernest Dickerson would ask ‘Pac to read for the character of Q, but after seeing what he was capable of, asked him to try for Bishop. In the end, ‘Pac nabbed the role, made the character memorable and was even able to get good friend Treach a cameo, at the least, in the film.
Sheryl Lee Ralph – Clair Huxtable in The Cosby Show
Could you see Moesha’s mom playing the matriarch of the Huxtable clan? Casting couldn’t see it either, so the role went to Phylicia Rashad.
Jamie Foxx – Rodney “Rod” Tidwell in Jerry Maguire
The role of Rod in Jerry Maguire earned Cuba Gooding, Jr. an Oscar, but way before Jamie Foxx would get his own statuette for Ray, he auditioned to play the iconic character.