Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the world’s best-known actors, winner of an Oscar for «The Revenant» and nominated six other times. However, his career was not always so successful, and he had to face some rejections and disappointments. One of them was his participation in the movie «Poison Ivy», released in 1992 and starring Drew Barrymore, Sara Gilbert and Tom Skerritt. DiCaprio had a small role as Guy, a friend of the leading lady, but his scene was removed from the final cut of the film. His name appears in the credits, but he is not seen on screen. Fortunately, this setback did not prevent him from going on and getting more important roles in films such as «What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?», «Romeo + Juliet» or «Titanic».
Amber Heard played Mera, the queen of Atlantis, in the movie «Aquaman» (2018). However, after the premiere, controversies arose related to her personal life. Heard and her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, were involved in a tumultuous divorce and later accusations of mutual domestic violence. The allegations and legal disputes generated intense media attention, leading to an online petition for Amber Heard to be removed from the «Aquaman» sequel, titled «Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom» (2022). However, the actress retained her role in the film, although there was considerable division of opinion among fans. The situation with Amber Heard in «Aquaman» became a controversial and polarizing issue, generating debates about the separation of an actor’s personal life from his work on the big screen.
The responsibility for this lies solely with the studio, as Andy Garcia made it clear from the beginning that his role in the story was completely unnecessary. Although his character, the love interest of the teacher played by Michelle Pfeiffer in «Dangerous Minds,» was not present in the original script, the producers decided to add a romantic storyline as a precautionary measure. Although Garcia felt that this character was not essential, she agreed to participate in order to have the opportunity to work with Pfeiffer. She shot all her scenes and enjoyed the filming process, only to confirm her initial suspicions: her character was eliminated because it distracted from the main plot. In spite of everything, she has no regrets about taking part, as she was able to collect her agreed salary in the end.
Ashley Judd is known worldwide for her roles in films such as Double Treason, The Lover’s Collector and Kiss of Death. However, one of her works was never seen on the big screen. It is the film «Natural Born Killers», directed by Oliver Stone and starring Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis. Ashley Judd played Grace Mulberry, a college sorority girl who survives a massacre perpetrated by the killers of the title. Her character was the only witness who could identify them, and she had a courtroom scene where she confronted them. But this scene was removed from the final cut of the film, and with it, Ashley Judd’s participation. Apparently, the producers felt that her role was not very relevant or necessary to the plot.
After the runaway success of «Raiders of the Lost Ark» in 1981, directed by Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford was at the peak of his career. At that time, Ford agreed to make a cameo in «E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial» as Elliott’s school principal, played by Henry Thomas. Elliott is the boy who forms an unforgettable friendship with the endearing alien E.T. and does everything he can to help him return home. In the film’s deleted scenes, Ford appears in the principal’s office, reprimanding Elliott for releasing frogs in class. Although his face is never shown on screen, his voice and figure are present, conveying the character’s authority. Spielberg shared details about this special cameo in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, revealing that we never get to see Harrison Ford’s face, but his voice and physical presence contributed to the deleted scene, adding an extra touch of realism to the school setting.
Kevin Costner won two Oscars for «Dances with Wolves». However, his first film appearance was thwarted by an editing cut. Costner had been hired to play Alex, the deceased friend whose suicide reunites a group of former college classmates in the 1983 Lawrence Kasdan-directed film Reunion. Costner shot several scenes, including one at his character’s funeral and another in a flashback where he was seen preparing a turkey. But Kasdan decided to eliminate all the scenes where Costner’s face was shown, leaving only a shot of his wrists slashed in the opening scene. Thus, Costner went unnoticed by the public until his next film, «Silverado», also by Kasdan.
Kevin Spacey received sexual assault allegations that had a profound impact on his career. In the case of the film «All the Money in the World» (2017), directed by Ridley Scott, Spacey was originally cast to play tycoon J. Paul Getty. However, following the allegations against him, the studio decided to take a drastic measure: completely remove Spacey from the film and replace him with Christopher Plummer. This decision involved reshooting all scenes involving Spacey, which proved to be a considerable logistical and financial challenge. The change was successful and Plummer received praise for his performance, although it also generated discussion about the power of the #MeToo movement in the film industry.
Robert Pattinson was unlucky in his film debut. The actor, who would later become famous for the Twilight saga, had been cast to play Reese Witherspoon’s son in the 2004 film «Vanity Fair», based on the novel by William Makepeace Thackeray. However, his role was never seen on the big screen. For unknown reasons, Pattinson’s scenes were eliminated in the film’s editing phase, leaving the actor out of the final cast.
Tim Roth is a renowned British actor, who has collaborated on several occasions with director Quentin Tarantino, such as in «Reservoir Dogs», «Pulp Fiction» or «The Hateful Eight». However, his last collaboration with the filmmaker was never seen on screen. Roth had shot some scenes as the butler of Jay Sebring, Sharon Tate’s hairdresser and friend, in the film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, set in 1969 Hollywood. But his performance was cut from the final version, Tarantino himself explained, because his character was not very relevant to the story. Roth took the cut with humor and said it was a typical Tarantino joke.
Tobey Maguire became famous worldwide for his role as Spider-Man in the trilogy directed by Sam Raimi. However, there was one movie in which we could not see his face, although he did participate in it. It was «The Life of Pi», the film by Ang Lee based on the novel by Yann Martel, which tells the incredible story of a young Indian boy who survives a shipwreck with a Bengal tiger. Maguire had been cast to play the writer who interviews the adult protagonist, played by Irrfan Khan. But Lee decided to replace him with Rafe Spall, arguing that Maguire was too famous and distracted the viewer’s attention. Maguire accepted the decision and supported the director, with whom he had previously worked on Ice Storm.
Uma Thurman, who became tremendously famous for her roles in films like «Pulp Fiction», «Kill Bill» or «The Producers». However, there was one film in which we could not see her, even though she had participated in it. It was «Savages», a thriller directed by Oliver Stone in 2012 and based on the novel by Don Winslow. Thurman played Paqu, the mother of O (Blake Lively), a young woman who is kidnapped by a Mexican drug cartel. But her role was cut from the final cut of the film, Stone himself explained, for timing and pacing reasons. Thurman was not the only actress to suffer this fate, as the scenes of other actors such as Emile Hirsch and Demián Bichir were also cut.
Viggo Mortensen is today a very famous actor for his roles in films such as «The Lord of the Rings», «A History of Violence» or «Eastern Promises». However, his film debut was not as successful as expected. Mortensen had been chosen by Woody Allen for a small role in the film The Purple Rose of Cairo, a fantasy comedy set in the 1930s. But his role was eliminated from the final cut of the film, and Mortensen did not find out about it until he attended the premiere in 1985.