Sarah Michelle Gellar
- Alicia Silverstone, Clueless, 1995. Due to her All My Children commitments, SMG lost a role she had really craved.
- Claire Danes, Romeo + Juliet, 1996. The future Buffy The Vampire Slayer was still stuck in the All My Children soap.
- Melissa Joan Hart, Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, TV, 1996-2003. Up for what became 163 episodes about Sabrina discovering she’s a witch at age 16 (MJH was 20!) One year later, SMG hit back as as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, which also ended its run in 2003.
- Charisma Carpenter, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, TV, 1997-2003. SMG auditioned for Cordelia andCharisma for Buffy - and Joss Whedon (wisely) swopped ’em. For his “high school as a horror movie” series.
- Jennifer Love Hewitt, I Know What You Did Last Summer, 1997. After they both lost Juliet, SMG auditioned for Julie - and was given Helen. And vice-versa for JLH. A triumph for two girls with three names.
- Tara Reid, Urban Legend, 1997. Keen on playing Sasha. Her Buffy bosses were not. Soon enough, vampire slaying interrupted more important projects between 1997-2003.
- Jordana Brewster, The Faculty, 1998. Buffy co-star Charisma Carpenter also refused to be Delilah. Too close to Buffydom.
- Claire Danes, The Mod Squad, 1998. The terrible cinema version of a lamebrain series, might actually have worked better withBuffy as Julie Barnes.
- Mena Suvari, American Beauty, 1998. Welcome to Hollywood…! For his first LA movie - for a producer called Spielberg! - UK stage director Sam Mendes saw all the current young Hollywood babes for Kevin Spacey’s Lolita-esque infatuation (she was even called… not Haze, but Hayes). And he was turned down by SMG, Kirsten Dunst, Alyson Hannigan, Katie Holmes, Kate Hudson, Brittany Murphy, Leelee Soboeskii - and Tiffani Thiessen lost her audition. That’s not Mena on the poster, though; the hand and stomach belong to actress-model Chloe Hunter.
- Helena Bonham Carter, Fight Club, 1999. Her Buffy scheduleprevented SMGplaying Marla Singer, hanging out atsupport groups because "it's cheaper than a movie, and there's free coffee.” Of her rivals - Anna Friel, Courtney Love,Winona Ryder,Reese Witherspoon - the studio voted Reese. Reese vetoed that idea. Director David Fincher got his way, Fox Daddy Rupert Murdoch hated the movie and his studio chief Bill Mechanic was rapidly dumped.
Anna Paquin, X-Men trilogy, 1999-2005.
- Jordana Brewster, The Fast and The Furious, 2000. Mia Toretto was written for Eliza but she passed. Jessica Biel auditioned, as did SMG, Kirsten Dunst, Bijou Phillips and Natalie Portman. Jordana returned for chapters 4, 5, 6 and was filming #7 when co-star Paul Walker as killed in an off-duty car crash on November 30, 2013, at age 40. (He was not the driver).
- Susan Ward, The In Crowd, 2000. Turned down the role of Brittany Foster. Good thinking.
- Portia de Rossi, Who Is Cletis Tout? 2001. The Ally McBeal discovery wasperfect for the mistaken identities comedy.
- Milla Jovovich, Resident Evil, 2001. Among his Tarantinoesque cast - Mr Grey, Mr Red Ms Black, Dr Green etc - director Paul WS Anderson’s hope of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer couple, SMG and David Boreanaz turned into Jovovich and (the Hollywood wasted) Eric Mabius. Turned out fine for Anderson. He wed Jovovich in 2009. They have two children.
- Jennifer Lopez, The Wedding Planner, 2001. All change!Due to theirBuffy and Bedazzled skeds, SMG and Brendan Fraser churned into Lopez and Matthew McConnaughey - at $9m for her and $5m for him.
- Anne Hathaway, The Princess Diaries, 2001. Among 22 youngstars (Jessica Albato Reese Witherspoon) rejecting the awkward San Francisco teenager being groomed (by Julie Andrews!) to inherit the Genovia throne - after director Garry Marshall’s (rather surprising) first choiceof Juliette Lewis quit.
- Cameron Diaz, Gangs of New York, 2001. Buffy to the rescue! Saving herfrom the nothing role of Jenny Everdeane. They just needed a girl on the poster... Such a zero no oneremembers Jenny’simpact (come again!) on the1863 drama ofDaniel Day Lewis v Leonardo DiCaprio. Maybe ifdirector Martin Scorsese hadn’t been forced to cut oneentire hour...
- Toni Collette,In Her Shoes, 2005. First idea of director Curtis Hanson was Toni as Maggie Feller and SMG as her sister Rose.When Gellar quit the project, Toni became Rose and Cameron Diaz became Maggie.
- Claire Danes, Stardust, 2007. “I’d have loved to have done it - are you kidding? But it was Freddie's turn.” Husband Freddie Prinze Jr, that is. He was filming in New York, so she wasn’t free for Scotland.. and Robert De Niro, Sienna Miller, Michelle Pfeiffer. That was their other vow when marrying in 2002 - no conflicting work schedules so they could always be together. Anne Hathway and Scarlett Johansson also passed.
- Amanda Peet, Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey, 2009. SMG had been intalks to voice Ranger inthe science fiction toon... featuring both Hayden Christiensen and Chris Pine, aka the younger versions of Anakin Skywaker and James T Kirk.
- Emily Blunt, Gulliver’s Travels, 2009. Change of Princess Mary in theupdated reboot of Jonathan Swift (ie Jack Black was Gulliver!). “I was very burnt out after Buffy,” recalled SMG about her 1997-2003 series.“It was exhausting. I was essentially 18 on the pilot and 24 and married by the time we finished, and I’d never had any time (to myself). I did the show and movies during weekends and hiatus time.”
- Adrianne Palicki. Wonder Woman, TV, 2011. The DC comicbook heroine had not been seen on screens since Lynda Carter ended her four year reign on ABC in 1979.Timethen, said Warner, for a new movie.DC’s testosterone duo, Batman and Superman, had cleaned up,now it up to the beautiful superhuman Amazon warrior Princess Diana of Themysacira, her Lasso of Truth, her indestructible bracelets and (honest) her invisible plane.With who…? Across a decade of plans by producers as diverse as Joel Silver (so wrong) and Joss Whedon (so right), 24 beauties were in the frame: from Whedon’s Bufy to his new favourite, Cobie Smulders. Then, the film morphedinto an updated TV series by David E Kelley - that, too, was dead after the rushed pilot. Palicki was the sole actress considered for TV - she was previously seen by George Miller for WW in his aborted Justice League, in 2008.
- Gal Gadot, Wonder Woman, 2015. On Warner shelves for a full decade (not helped by David Kelley’s disastrous 2011 TVersion), spinning through numerous wonder women directors, the demi-goddess daughter of Zeus, eventually became the Israeli Gadot. “Very different,” she said, “from the experienced, super-confident, grown-up woman” that she introduced in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, 2015. Rivals for the DC Extended Universe included SMG, Mischa Barton, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Rachel Bilson, Sandra Bullock in 2001 (and for the 2011 tele-film), Bollywood’s Priyanka Chopra in 2006, US wrestling star Chyna, Eva Green, Mad Men’s busty Christina Hendricks (Nicolas Winding Refn’s choice, 2011), Angelina Jolie in 2001 (ten years later she was asked to direct), Cobie Smulders (WW’s voice in The Lego Movie, 2013), Kristen Stewart. The final trio, auditioning in November 2013, were Olga Kurylenko, Elodie Yung and… Gadot.