— by Amanda Bell
The road to stardom is a winding one for sure, and no one knows that more than these Hollywoodites who’ve had to swallow their pride as their work disappeared down the Tinseltown drain, maybe making it onto the DVD’s deleted scenes, but often not.
You might be surprised at the caliber of celebs whose roles have been tossed somewhere between the shooting and screen processes because a lot of them are pretty top-tier talents.
Ruth Negga — 12 Years a SlaveGetty/FOX Searchlight
The now Oscar-nominee was still on the brink of stardom when she played a small role in Steve McQueen 12 Years a Slave but sadly her part ended up on the cutting room floor. Negga said that McQueen broke the news to her before the film was released but to say it was a disappointment was a grave understatement. “I got a call from Steve and I knew as soon as the phone started ringing, I just knew. He let me down gently.” The bright side? The casting director who got her the 12 Years a Slave job then recommended her for her role in Loving.
Jena Malone — Batman Vs. SupermanNiki Nikolova/GC Images and Warner Bros.
It’s still not 100 percent clear why Jena Malone became a full-on redhead for Dawn of Justice (the speculative consensus was that she’d be Robin or Batgirl, but Zack Snyder has officially put that rumor to rest). And we won’t be finding out when this pic hits the big screen at the end of the month, either.
The Hunger Games actress’s scenes were left on the edit room floor, the director explained, to narrow the movie’s running time to two and a half hours, rather than three. She will be featured in he “Ultimate Edition” DVD release as a consolation prize for her playing, alongside Ahman Green and C.T. Fletcher.
Robert Pattinson — Vanity Fair
Robert Pattinson was on the cusp of becoming RPattz (???) when he nabbed the small role of Reese Witherspoon’s grown-up son in Vanity Fair, but his brief scenes were ultimately cut for time. Rob’s career didn’t suffer as a result of the loss, of course, but the edit did make for some interesting talking points when he and Witherspoon re-teamed, this time as on-screen lovers, for Water for Elephants.
La Toya Jackson — Bruno
In a hilarious outtake, La Toya Jackson (playing her giggly self in the bonkers mockumentary) was shown trying to go along with Bruno’s WTF interview style that’d sent Paula Abdul literally running for the door. And even though she was cool with the nude dude sushi bar set-up fit with people seats, she was not having it when he started snooping through her speed dial for Michael Jackson’s number.
Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler – Anchorman
The Saturday Night Live gals filmed a bank robbery-gone-hilariously-wrong that was cut from the feature, but strong enough to make it into a companion piece called Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie. Amy, for one, was not terribly surprised to see the scene go, telling Vulture, “Even back then, I was like, ’This movie is so long, I’m never going to make it in this.'” And her feelings obviously weren’t too hurt, either, because she returned for a cameo role in the sequel, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.
Paul Rudd — BridesmaidsUniversal Pictures
You might be used to seeing Paul Rudd as the even-keeled (albeit sometimes a little pervy) good guy, but for Bridesmaids, he transformed into a hot-tempered A-hole who was decidedly not the perfect guy for Kristin Wiig’s Annie. Wiig said the decision to snip out the scene for time was “incredibly painful” because of how surprising his ire was to test audiences.
Ghostface Killah — Iron Man
The Wu-Tang Clan rapper nabbed a cameo role as a Dubai-based arms dealer in Iron Man thanks to his unbridled obsession with the character (see also: his entire Iron Man album), but it was ultimately dropped from the theatrical version and left to live on the internet instead.
Shailene Woodley — The Amazing Spider-Man 2Bobby Bank/WireImage
The Divergent star shot several scenes as Mary Jane Watson for the Amazing Spider-Man sequel, but they were trimmed out of the theatrical cut because, in her words, “it really didn’t make sense to introduce such a vital character to the comic books in a movie that had so much else going on.” She kept her cool about the cuts, but still … bummer.
Harrison Ford — E.T. the Extra Terrestrial
The Raiders of the Lost Ark star shot a cameo for Steven Spielberg’s E.T. (the script for which was written by his then-GF Melissa Mathison) as the principal who scolds Elliott for all his frog-freeing antics, but the director feared that his involvement might be too much of a distraction and nixed the scene.
Sienna Miller — Black MassGetty Images/Warner Bros.
Sienna Miller may have nailed the Bostonian accent for her portrayal of Whitey Bulger’s girlfriend in the Johnny Depp pic, but it was all for naught once her role was eliminated altogether from the film. Director Scott Cooper cited “narrative choices” as the reason for the Sienna slice.
Tobey Maguire — Empire Records and Life of PiWarner Bros./Getty Images/Fox 2000
In a case of history repeating, Tobey Maguire has seen his cinematic contributions cut out not once but twice. The first time, it was reportedly his own decision, when he asked to be released from Empire Records after filming his part as Andre. In Life of Pi, though, it was director Ang Lee who opted for Maguire’s scenes as the interviewer-writer who listens to Pi’s incredible story to be re-filmed with the lesser-known Rafe Spall. Maguire didn’t flip, though, and said in a statement that he “fully support[ed]” the choice.
Angela Bassett — Mr. and Mrs. SmithPaul Archuleta/FilmMagic and 20th Century Fox
Angela Bassett was cast as Mr. Smith aka Brad Pitt’s boss in the secret assassin rom-com-ish pic Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but by the time the pic reached theaters, all that remained of her involvement with the movie was a small voice-over portion, giving him his next assignment.
Matthew Fox — World War ZMatt Keeble / Splash News
All the production woes of World War Z could probably fill a full book, so suffice it to say, the entire script had to be over-hauled after most of the movie had been filmed, with a new third act which eliminated Matthew Fox’s character altogether. You might say his part was lost (had to). He does have a teensy weensy little flash-by moment in the full film, but if you even blinked, you’d have missed it.
Jamie Dornan — BurntSamir Hussein/WireImage and The Weinstein Company
The “ya burnt” joke’s just too easy with this one. The Fifty Shades of Grey star’s small role in the pic, a part of Sienna Miller’s character’s backstory, was cut so that the movie would focus more on Bradley Cooper’s resurrection as a kitchen sensation. Mr. Grey would’ve taken that director right to the red room for some punishment, but Dornan kept it classy.
Ellen Pompeo — Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Before she hit the prime time with Grey’s Anatomy, Ellen Pompeo was edited out of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the romantic dramedy which featured Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet. She originally portrayed Carrey’s ex-girlfriend in the pic but didn’t take the loss of screen time to heart since it still gave her “so much affirmation” to have been hired for it in the first place.
Chris Cooper — The RingPaul Archuleta/FilmMagic and DreamWorks SKG
The Oscar winner filmed two scenes for the 2002 horror favorite that would’ve made it even more disturbing if they made it into the movie. His cut counterpart, a child rapist and murderer who wants Naomi Watts’s character to help clear his name, was supposed to be a “bookend” for the pic (ultimately receiving the ill-fated tape that causes so much chaos).
Mickey Rourke (and mannnny others) — The Thin Red Line
Now here’s a guy who did not take the news so well when director Terrence Malick decided to chop him (and a slew of other actors, including Billy Bob Thornton, Lukas Haas, Viggo Mortensesn, Martin Sheen, and Gary Oldman) out of the pic. Several years after the critically acclaimed flick hit theaters, Rourke was still upset about what happened, telling journos that he believes it was a political move on Malick’s part and that we were all deprived of “some of the best work” he ever did as a consequence. Thankfully, the lost footage is still haunting the net so we don’t have to miss out on it after all.
Michelle Monaghan — Constantine (and Syriana and Unfaithful)
Three sighs for Michelle Monaghan, who’s been repeatedly excised from her projects, including Constantine (director Francis Lawrence wanted the titular character to seem lonely, so he took her part out), Syriana (ditched to streamline the story), and Unfaithful (dropped subplot as Richard Gere’s secretary). Michelle kept her wits about the back-to-back-to-back set-backs, even joking that she could deal with it since she still earned her paychecks for each project.
Skeet Ulrich — CursedFrazer Harrison/Getty Images and Dimension Films
Skeet Ulrich was expected to go for round two with his Scream writer-director duo of Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven in 2005’s “Cursed,” but his character was taken out of the script after re-writes, leaving what editor Patrick Lussier dubbed “the Skeet Ulrich version” unseen. It wasn’t anything personal against him, however, as several other stars (including Mandy Moore, Omar Epps, Scott Foley, and Corey Feldman) were removed as well, but “he was of course the most absent person from the final version.”