- Elizabeth Berkley, Showgirls, 1995. Spending one-sixth of the film naked would probably not helped win her future Oscar-winning work, Monster, 2003. "I must have had some kind of guardian angel," said the South African beauty. Instead of lap-dancing upon Kyle McLachan, she was soon co-starring with Al Pacino and being directed by first-timer Tom Hanks. And Berkeley was nowhere close.
- Kate Winslet, Titanic, 1996.
- Tara Reid, The Big Lebowski, 1998. Considered for The Dude's old lady, Mrs Big Lebowski
- Kate Beckinsale, Pearl Harbor, 2001. Charlize quit for the 2001 re-make of Sweet November - repeating her no-chemistry partnership withKeanu Reeves from The Devil's Advocate.
- Reese Witherspoon, Sweet Home Alabama, 2002. Due to the actor's strike, she jumped to a ready-to-go movie Trapped. The plot (white trasher reinvents herself as a New York socialite) was something of a reverse take on Reese's Legally Blonde that opened hugely the weekend she was signed,.
- Renée Zellweger, Chicago, 2002.
- Jennifer Garner, Daredevil, 2002. Also considered for Elektra: Jessica Alba, Jolene Blalock, Neve Campbell, Penelope Cruz,, Portia de Rossi, Claire Forlani, Angie Harmon, Salma Hayek, Katie Holmes, Milla Jovovich, Nicole Kidman, Lucy Liu, Mia Maestro, Rhona Mitra, Bridget Moynahan, Natalie Portman, Kyra Sedgwick, Reese Witherspoon. Plus Norwegian ballet dancer Natassia Malthe, who became Typhoid in Garner’s Elektra spin-off.
- Nicole Kidman, Bewitched, 2004. Who wants to play wriggly-nosed Samantha? Me, me, chorused... Jennifer Aniston, Kim Basinger, Cameron Diaz, Heather Graham (who would have been quirkily great), Angelina Jolie, Lisa Kudrow (perfect!), Tatum O’Neal, Gwyneth Paltrow, Michelle Pfeiffer, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Alicia Silverstone, Hilary Swank, Naomi Watts. Among 35 possibles. Over the years.
- Keira Knightley, Domino, 2005.UK action director Tony Scott first had the idea of filming the life of Laurence Harvey’s daughter, Domino (model turned bounty-hunter) while shooting True Romance in 1993. He kick-started the project on hearing Charlize was pushing Sony to make a similar biopic.
- Uma Thurman, Be Cool, 2005. Charlize, Halle Berry, Jennifer Connolly and Naomi Watts were all in the mix for Edie Athens, but but John Travolta (as Elmore Leonard’s Chilli Palmer, himself) wanted more magic with his Pulp Fiction co-star.
- Eva Green, Casino Royale, 2006.
- Evangeline Lilly, The Hurt Locker, 2007. Lost out on Iraq War II duty for what James Cameron called, after persuading his ex-wife Kathyryn Bigelow, to direct it, “the Platoon of the Iraq War.” It beat Cameron’s Avatar for Best Film and Director on March 7, 2010 - the first woman to win either or both. “Well, the time has come, ” proclaimed Barbra Streisand presenting the directing award. Only taken 81 years!
- Cate Blanchett, Robin Hood, 2008. When Sienna Miller quit as as the maid, er widow Marion (sic), Charlize was among several Sherwood candidates: Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, Annabelle Wallis, Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet.
- Angelina Jolie, The Tourist, 2010. Catherine Zeta-Jones was first to sign - a 45 page contract! -for the Hollywood re-make (aka ruination) of the neat little French thriller, Anthony Zimmer, 2004. By 2008, the idea was Charlize and her 2001 Vanilla Sky co-star, Tom Cruise. They didn’t gell. Nor did Angelina and Johnny Depp on-screen. in this half-baked Bond. Not helped by an ex-007 in the cast: Timothy Dalton.
- Taylor Schilling, Atlas Shrugged: Part 1, 2010.
- Naomi Watts, J Edgar, 2010. The director, a certain Clint Eastwood, asked her to play Helen Gandy. Charlize preferred to be Snow White’s step-mother, the sorceress Ravenna in Snow White and the Huntsman. What Clint would call a real mal paso. (Bad step). Amy Adams was chosen and also quit, allowing Naomi to become Helen Gandy, J Edgar Hoover’s loyal secretary for 54 years. a major influence on his FBI and keeper of his secrets. Clint called Amy back for his 66th and last acting gig, Touble With The Curve, 2011.
- Noomi Rapace, Prometheus, 2011. Theron switched roles to Meredith Vickers when Sir Ridley Scott beat all Hollywood to signing The Girl of the Hour - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo in Sweden’s Millennium trilogy. Noomi also beat Gemma Arterton, Abbie Cornish, Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman, Olivia Wilde to the Alien prequel.
- Nicole Kidman, Grace of Monaco, 2012. Also in the mix to play Grace Kelly were: Amy Adams, Elizabeth Banks, Emily Blunt, Jessica Chastain, Kate Hudson, January Jones, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rosamund Pike, Reese Witherspoon. But not Christina Applegate, the young Grace on TV in 1983 when Cheryl Ladd was the older. None of them resembled Her Serene Highness, but then nor did Tim Roth look like Prince Rainier. Theron shared kisses that year in a Dior J’adore perfume commercial with a computerised Kelly.
- Elizabeth Debicki, The Man From UNCLE, 2013. Theron (already resuscitating Mad Max) and Rose Byrne were in the frame but the Australian scene stealer in the 2012 Great Gatsby) became the femme fatale Victoria Vinciguerra on July 31, 2013.
- Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl, 2013. Emily Blunt, Abbie Cornish, Julianne Hough, Rooney Mara, Natalie Portman, Olivia Wilde, Reese Witherspoon were also discussed for Amy, who goes missing on her wedding anniversary. A great Briton won…
- Katherine Waterston, Inherent Vice, 2014. In the mix with Amy Adams for Shasta Fay Hepworth before auteur Paul Thomas Anderson selected Sam Waterston’s delicious daughter for the first film of a Thomas Pynchon novel.