- Lindsay Lohan,Mean Girls, 2003. Musical chairs...She McAuditioned for Cady, before taking Regina from Amanda Seyfried, who was given Karden, instead.And later beat McAdams to Mamma Mia. (They both failed to win in The Great Gatsby’s Daisy in 2011).
- Jessica Alba, Fantastic Four, 2004. The stunning Canadian was seen for Susan Storm, aka Invisible Girl. As were Elizabeth Banks, Kate Bosworth, Scarlett Johansson, Ali Larter, Denise Richards, Meg Ryan, Julia Stiles, KaDee Strickland, Renee Zellweger. This mess was the second of four flop versions of the comic. One day, Marvel will doubtless regain all rights and fit the Four into its triumphant Cinematic Universe.
- Kate Hudson, You, Me and Dupree, 2005. First idea from the directing brothers, Anthony and Joe Russo, for Molly and Carl were two Macs: Rachel and Ewan McGregor.
- Michelle Monaghan, Mission: Impossible III, 2005. Production delays meant McAdams had to leave and so Monaghan joined Keri Russell as Tom Cruise’s co-stars - both were born March 23, 1976.
- Jacinda Barrett, The Last Kiss, 2006. Rache was in, then out. Lucky her. The US version of Rome auteur Gabriele Muccino’s Italian hit never caught fire.
- Eva Green, Casino Royale, 2006.
- Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Dark Knight, 2007.
- Anne Hathaway, Get Smart, 2007. Jessica Alba and Jennifer Love Hewitt also tested for the first cinema appearance of Maxwell Smart or Agent 86’s espionage partner, Agent 99.... made memorable on TV in 1995by Barbara Feldon.
- Amanda Seyfried, Mamma Mia, 2008. Also seen for Meryl Streep’s fatherless, about-to-wed love child: Amanda Bynes, Mandy Moore and Emmy Rossum. Seyfried had lost out to McAdams previously for the role of Regina when they both co-starred in Mean Girls, 2003.
- Gwyneth Paltrow, Iron Man, 2007. Rachel passed on director Jon Favreau’s kind invite. After all, who wanted to play… Pepper Potts?! For his rôle, Robert Downey Jr did weeks of weight training and martial arts while Gwyneth read the comics and brushed up on 40s. McAdams later became Irene Adler in Downey’s Sherlock Holmes franchise.
- Jessica Alba, Valentine’s Day, 2008. Elizabeth Banks and Fernanda Romero also read for Morley Clarkson - in the 21-star-jammedLA take on Love Actually. Director Garry Marshall struck gold - then re-made it (badly) as New Year’s Eve in New York.
- Ellen Page, Inception, 2009. After Evan Rachel Woods turned him down, UK director Christopher Nolan also considered Emily Blunt, Carey Mulligan, Emma Roberts, Jessy Schram and Taylor Swift before settling settling on a fifth Oscar nominee for his thriller in... the architecture of the mind.
- Isla Fisher, Confessions of a Shopaholic, 2009. 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 Lindsay Lohan (!) and Reese Witherspoon.
- Scarlett Johansson, We Bought A Zoo, 2010. Amy Adams and Mary Elizabeth Winstead were also in the Cameron Crowe mix for the wife of Matt Damon... running a UK zoo. Then, Scarlett won a top role - finally! - after losing out in a hectic casting season... The Great Gatsby, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Gravity,Pride, Prejudice and Zombies. A lot of good it did her!
- Elizabeth Banks, People Like Us, 2011. Amy Adams and double Oscar-winner Hilary Swank were also up for the sister that Chris Pine never knew he had. LA auteur Alex Kurtzman rejected them and Amy rejected him. To stay home with her baby daughter. So the LAuteur banked on Banks.
- Amy Adams, Man of Steel, 2011.
- Jennifer Lawrence, The Silver Linings Playbook, 2012. “If you really want to go back and do an archeological dig,” laughed director David O Russell, “I wrote it for Vince Vaughn. And Zooey Deschanel.” Then, Jennifer did a reading on Skype with “an enormous amount of confidence that was beyond her years… toughness and a sweetness and charisma… I hadn’t seen anything like that.” JLaw won the Oscar for the film meaning her rivals Elizabeth Banks, Kirsten Dunst, Rachel McAdams, Rooney Mara, Andrea Riseborough, Olivia Wilde had been well and truly Skyped!
- Carey Mulligan, The Great Gatsby, 2011. Australian director Baz Luhrmann said he was privileged to explore the manipulative Daisy Buchanan “with some of the world's most talented actresses, each one bringing their own particular interpretation, all of which were legitimate and exciting” - Rachel, Abbie Cornish, Rebecca Hall, Keira Knightley, Blake Lively, Natalie Portman, Amanda Seyfried, Michelle Williams and the girl up for six films that autumn, Scarlett Johansson. Yet it was Carey he called - “Hello, Daisy!” - when she was on the red carpet at the The Fashion Council Awards in New York. She immediately burst into tears... in front of Karl Lagerfeld and Anna Wintour.