- Michelle Trachtenberg, Inspector Gadget, 1999. Refused. Made her name in three Disney movies: The Parent Trap, 1998, Freaky Friday, 2003, Herbie Fully Loaded, 2005. “ I want to act and direct like Jodie Foster” said the also gay Lohan.
- Jena Malone, Life As A House, 2000. Director Irwin Winkler like Lohan but finally felt she was too young - at 14 - for Alyssa Beck.
- Rachel McAdams, Mean Girls, 2004. Passed on the “alpha Plastic” role - as her fans would perceive her as arrogant. Became Cady Heron instead, invited into the A-list girl clique at her school - The Plastics. (Well, they’re so close to Barbie). Producers were happier with McAdams: “only nice girls can play mean girls.” (Lindsay adored that comment).
- Bijou Phillips, Havoc, 2004. “I got this one script where this girl wants to join a Latino gang and she gets raped,” recalled LL. “I can't be doing that right now. I don’t think that's appropriate.”
- Emmy Rossum, Poseidon, 2005. Somehow LL was first choice for Jennifer. The distinction did not impress her.
- Keri Russell, Mission: Impossible III, 2005. When Tom Cruise postponed everything to make Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, Scarlett jumped into two successive Woody Allen films, among other movies. The role of Lindsay Farris was then aimed at Lohan, Jessica Alba, Elisha Cuthbert… and Katie Holmes who won Cruise instead. (They wed in 2006). Finally, Russell was selected. Easily. She headlined the new M:I auteur JJ Abram’s TV series, Felicity, 1998-2002.
- Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Live Free or Die Hard, 2006. The two tabloid stars, Lindsay and Britney Spears, were discussed for John McClane’s daughter, Lucy. Too much baggage - and it got worse.
- Sienna Miller, Factory Girl, 2005. Lohan was, perhaps inevitably, an early choice for the biopic about Edie Sedwick, drug addict, kleptomaniac, celebutante, mental patient and Andy Warhol “supertstar.” LL tested but the producers felt she was wrong for the role.
- Adrianne Palicki, Friday Night Lights, TV, 2006-2011. Another bright move… LL passed on Tyra Collette in 2005, because she was more keen on movies. That was before she discovered movies weren’t keen on her. And her baggage.
- Leighton Meester, Gossip Girl, TV, 2007-2008. Josh Schwartz wrote it as a movie - for Lindsay as Blair Waldorf, queen of her Upper East Side private school. Worked better as a CBS series.
- Sienna Miller, The Edge of Love, 2007. First (bad) choice for Welsh poet Dylan Thomas’ wife, Caitlin - scripted by Sharman Macdonald for her daughter, Keira Knightley. (She preferred Dylan’s other lover, Vera Phillips - grandmother of her producer, Rebekah Gilbertson.
- Kelly Reilly, Me and Orson Welles, 2007. LL was about to sign on as Muriel Brassler when no insurance company would covcer her due to her legal hassles. Lohan remains the one and only actress to have her breasts reduced rather than enlarged on a poster - and partially hidden by the title, Herbie Unloaded, in 2005. By Disney, of course.
- Jessica Alba, Bill, 2007. Working on director Robert Altman’s final film, A Prairie Home Companion, went to the troubled teen’s head. She quit this assignment because the 19-year-old felt her first-time directors (Bernie Goldmann, Melisa Wallack) were unknown and from here on, she would besticking to big name film-makers, only - OK? Yeah, like the disaster callled I Know Who Killed Me, 2007 - winner of the most Razzie awards (eight), including Worst Picture.
- Zooey Deschanel, Gospel According To Janis, 2008. Best out of the Janis Joplin biopic as Lohan seemed hellbent on achieving the same booze andheroin climax for herself.
- Bryce Dallas Howard, The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, 2008. The eternal First Reserve...Ron Howard’s daughter made a whole career of replacing others... Kirsten Dunst in The Village, 2004. Nicole Kidman, Manderlay, 2005; Clare Danes,Terminator Salvation, 2009; Rachelle Lefevre in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, 2009.
- Sarah Michelle Gellar, Veronika Decides To Die, 2008. Lohan agreed to play the suicidal Veronika in 2006 - until preferring smaller, independent movies to bolster attempts to be seen as a serious actress… as opposed to tabloid fodder.
- Isla Fisher, Confessions of a Shopaholic, 2008. For once, the prerequisite outsider won as Disney chose an unknown (cheaper, sure, but hilarious) after seeing everyone from the Jessicas (Alba and Biel) to Lohan (!) and Reese Witherspoon.
- Heather Graham, The Hangover, 2008. Convinced that the film would die at the box-office, Lohan refused to play the stripper called Jade. She soon regretted missing exactly what her failing career required - a triumph.
- Melissa George, Triangle, 2008. Wisely avoided the oddly titled Australian thriller, a supernatural Groundhog Day… at sea.
- Jessica Biel, Accidental Love, 2008. Change of waitress geting a nail in her head, leading her to Washington and to everything that was far better in HealtH, 1980. But then director Stephen Greene isn’t Altman. He is, in fact, David O Russell, changing his credit after the financial mess of Capitol Films ruined everything. By the time what started as Nailed opened in 2015, the 44th US President’s Obamacare had begun, making the focus of the “satire” meaningless.
- Kelly Reilly, Me and Orson Welles, 2008. She had tested and won the rôle of Muriel Brassler when insurances hassles prevented the awful linking of Lohan’s name with that of the mighty Welles.
- Mia Wasikowska, Alice In Wonderland, 2009. Her campaign for the role of Alice was not helped by headlines about her relationship with Samantha Ronson. “If people would just leave my personal life alone - because it's really not that interesting - then I could land a great role. But all the sicko fans and the noise is so distracting.” Director Tim Burton chose the three-years-younger Australian and her gravity - so brilliantly revealed in the psychological In Treatment TV series, 2009.
- Olivia Thirlby, The Other Side, 2009. Dumped! The money men were convinced she was no longer bankable.Katie Holmes was called up but couldn’t play her due to her Broadway date with All My Sons.
- Gemma Arterton, Wuthering Heights, 2009. When Natalie Portman pulled out, Lindsay tried hard to persuade any and everyone but no one was buying her as the 15th screen version of Catherine Earnshaw.
- Kristen Bell, Burlesque, 2009. Considered for Nikki. in Cher's first - and last - musical. So was Jessica Biel.
- Amanda Crew, Charlie St Cloud, 2009. Imposisble to insure, said the suits, due to her legal problems – not to mention her bad reputation for making more tabloid headlines than movies.
- Anna Paquin, Scream 4, 2010. Kevin Williamson created Chloe and Rachel for Paris Hilton and Lohan.
- Emma Stone, The Amazing Spider-Man, 2010
- Blake Lively, Savages, 2011. Lohan and her agent expressed interest in the girl mixed up with two pot-growing brothers... and kidnapped by a Mexican drug cartel. Director Oliver Stone was not so interested in Lohan.
- Charlene Tilton, Dallas, TV, 2011. Efforts were made since 2002 to reboot the iconic series (and tele-films) for the cinema.Result? This pilot for a 2012 series... about JR and Bobby’s rival sons. Directors, stars, genres changed: Robert Luketic, Gurinder Chadha quit, Betty Thomas was to shoot a Southfork comedy; Drew Barrymore, Minka Kelly, Catherine Zeta-Jones were named for Pam, James Brolin as Jock and Jane Fonda, Diane Ladd or Shirley MacLaine as Miss Ellie. And Lindsay, Katie Cassidy, Kristin Cavallari, and Jessica Simpson were seen for Lucy Ewing. But Charlene joined the old-timers returning to their 1978-1992 roles.
- Eva Green, Dark Shadows, 2011. Anne Hathaway and the fast rising Jennifer Lawrence also auditioned for Angelique, which Green called a mix of Bette Davis and Janis Joplin. Some cocktail!
- 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. Time then, 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 Madonna to Whedon’s favourite, Cobie Smulders. Then, the film morphed into 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.
- Kristen Stewart, On The Road, 2011. During the 90s’ production plans, Lohan accepted a $200,000 salary - or even lower, according to some reports - because she was such a lover of Jack Kerouac’s seminal Beat Generation novel and of Marylou, lover of his pal Neal Cassidy, alias Dean Moriarty in book and film.
- Cobie Smulders, The Avengers, 2011. In the loop with Morena Baccarin, Cloverfield’s Jessica Lucas, Amanda Peet and the ubiquitous Mary Elizabeth Winstead for SHIELD Agent Hill for Disney’s first summit meeting of the Marvel superheroes.
- Rooney Mara, Side Effects, 2012. “My last film,” said Steven Soderbergh.. Hardly surprising when he could’t select his own leading lady. He tested Lohan three times – and the producers balked. They weren’t keen either on Blake Lively. He searched on through Emily Blunt, Alice Eve, Imogen Poots, Amanda Seyfried, Olivia Wilde and Michelle Williams before the suits agreed on Rooney.
- Tenille Houston, The Canyons, 2013.
“Hi, how are you? I won’t play Cynthia. I wanna be Tara, the lead.” Lohan’s greeting to director Paul Schrader at their first meet about the script that his actress wife, Mary Beth Hurt, never finished reading as she felt it was porno. (Certainly had a porno star in the lead: James Deen). Producer Braxton Pope said Lophan “is like an agitated electron, constantly in motion, moving from one place to the next.” But wasn’t she also infamously erratic, “a walking time bomb, capable of suicide-vest moves?” Not this time. Schrader had a French reserve actress standing by, but Lohan played nice. Until refusing the promo trail.
Jena Malone, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, 2013.
- Elizabeth Olsen, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, 2014. In the Marvel mix – again! With Sasha Pieterse and Saoirse Ronan for Wanda Maximoff, aka Scarlet Witch, in the avenging sequel. Auteur Joss Whedon thought her power was cool and visually interesting... Maximoff, that is, not Lohan.