- Lily Cole, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, 2007. Never good at picking actresses, director Terry Gilliam voted in the flame-haired model (promised to the Devil at 16) over Mia, Gemma Arterton, Abbie Cornish, Romola Garai, Jena Malone and Mia - a TV stand-out in In Treatment and Tim Burton’s future and memorable Alice In Wonderland.
- Emily Browning, Sucker Punch, 2009. When first choice Amanda Seyfried fell out, US director Zack Snyder saw Mia and Olivia Thirlby for Baby Doll. Before settling upon Emily for the erotic actioner: “Alice in Wonderland with machine guns.”
- Rooney Mara,The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, 2010.
- Emma Stone, The Amazing Spider-Man, 2010.
- Emily Browning, Sleeping Beauty, 2010. Mia split for Jane Eyre and the Australian redhead took over the fairy tale reboot influenced, said debuting Australian director Julia Leigh, by Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist. Despite all of Emily's nudity, paint dried quicker than this film moved. Even the ellipsis were slow. "The main things I got offered were, 'She's pale, and she's got dark circles under her eyes!' It was so infuriating and also really funny."
- Jena Malone, The Hunger Games, 2011.
- Elizabeth Olsen, Oldboy, 2012. During the chequered history of re-making Chan-Woo Park’s 2003 South Korean international breakthrough, Oldeuboi - as directors switched from the Fast and Furious ace Justin Lee to Steven Spielberg and, finally, Spike Lee - Collins passed on being the young social worker concerned with James Brolin’s titular kidnap victim. Lily Collins and Rooney Mara also declined Marie.
- Natalie Portman, Knights of Cups, 2013. Terrence Malick strikes again… Wasikowska and Clémence Poséy topped the short-list for two long “untitled Terrence Malick 2013” projects - shot back-to-back, improvised and two years in post-production. This one…
- Natalie Portman, Weightless, 2013. … and this one, featuring a brace of Batmen: Christian Bale and Val Kilmer. Both films were as meaningless as their titles.
- Kristen Stewart, Sils Maria, France-US, 2013. First choice Stewart had to quit, Mia took over, then she also had diary problems, by which time Stewart was available again.
- Elizabeth Olsen, Old Boy, 2013. N Wasikowska and Rooney Mara passed Marie to Olsen in the re-tread of Park Chan-wook’s 2003 Korean classic. The 140 minute movie was slashed by Sony to 105 which explains why this is A Spike Lee Film for the first time and not, as per usual, A Spike Lee Joint.
- Alicia Vikander, The Man From UNCLE, 2013. For Gaby Teller, the rose betwixt the thorns of the two heroes (the mismatched Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer), Warner suits looked over Wasikowska, Gemma Arterton, Emilia Clarke, Alice Eve, Sarah Gadon, Felicity Jones and Teresa Palmer. Mia comment: "I don't feel like I've ever done anything I don't want to do."
- Rooney Mara, Carol, 2014. In May 2012, it was Wasikowska and Cate Blanchett as Patricia Highsmith’s lovers (from her second novel, pseudonymously signed Clare Morgan). Mia quit for Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak in 2013 and Mara became Therese. Eventually. “I read it and loved it and obviously wanted to work with Cate but felt I couldn’t be any good in that. I felt like I gave so much in (Dragon Tattoo) that I didn’t have any more to give. Luckily, a year later when Todd [Haynes] came on board, the script came back to me and I was in a much different head space and it was a no-brainer at that point.” Result: Standing ovation at the 2015 Cannes festival.
- Lily James, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, 2014. Natalie Portman was set for the revisionist Elizabeth Bennet until delays clashed with her schedule. Portman remained aboard as one of the seven producers while Wasikowska, Lily Collins, Hathaway, Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis, Blake Lively, Rooney Mara and Emma Stone were rung up Jane Austen flagpoles.
- Brie Larson, Room, 2015. When her best-seller came out, author Emma Donoghue said every young actress in town wanted to the resilient Ma, protecting her young son when locked-up kidnap victims. From Mia and Rooney Mara to Emma Watson and Larson’s good friend, Shailene Woodley. Director Lenny Abrahamson fell for her home-made tape, talking with an off-screen son. “She conjured up that child. I really felt the child was there.” She then lost 15 lbs and avoided sunlight for for a pale, gaunt look. “She doesn’t do that showy intensity thing that we overpraise in film actors. There's just this truthfulness about her and a delicacy to what she does.” And so, after 20 years of often nearly quitting, Larson broke through and how - Best Actress Oscar, February 28, 2016.