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Actors Replaced Because Of An Idiot Mistake

Most working people — which is most people — will probably, at some point during their years of plugging away to earn a living, get fired. There are a lot of reasons why an employer may suddenly terminate a worker. Sometimes it's nothing personal — budget cuts, job redundancies with a co-worker, or the whole place went out of business, for example. Other times, getting the boot comes swiftly and appropriately, say, as a punishment for an employee caught stealing, screaming at co-workers, or majorly bungling a big deal with a major client.

Acting is technically work, and so movie and TV performers can get fired, too. It's just as aggravating for them as it for the average working stiff, although when they get fired it's for things like "creative differences" or "a more bankable star suddenly became available." And then there are these stars of screens both big and little, who lost out on acting gigs they'd already landed because they (or somebody else on the production) messed up big time.

A 'Mad' decision by Katie Holmes

Up until the release of Batman Begins, actress Katie Holmes was well known for exactly two things: her starring role on the teen soap Dawson's Creek, and for her romance with Tom Cruise, which led to a daughter named Suri (and Cruise being so in love he jumped up and down on a couch on The Oprah Winfrey Show). Holmes gained some real acting credibility when she won the role of Rachel Dawes in Batman Begins, the first entry in Christopher Nolan's dark and groundbreaking re-imagination of Batman cinema.

The film was a success, and Nolan proceeded with the next movie in his ambitious trilogy, The Dark Knight. Cast members Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Caine returned, and Heath Ledger signed on to portray the Joker. Absent from the call sheet: Katie Holmes. When giving the choice between spending her time filming The Dark Knight or the Diane Keaton/Queen Latifah heist comedy Mad Money, she chose the latter. "I had a great experience working with Chris Nolan," Holmes told MTV News. "I chose to do this movie, and I'm really proud of it." Maggie Gyllenhaal ably took over for Holmes in The Dark Knight.

The Dark Knight currently ranks fourth on IMDb's Top 250 movies of all time, and raked in a stunning $1 billion at the box office... many, many times what Mad Money earned.

For Ryan Gosling, the weighting was the hardest part

Between shooting mega-blockbusters like King Kong and the first Hobbit movie, director Peter Jackson opted for a project a bit smaller in scope: a film adaptation of Alice Sebold's bestselling novel The Lovely Bones. It's the story of a teenage girl named Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) who, after being murdered, watches the lives of her family (and assailant) play out over several years. It's an extremely sad movie about broken, grieving people, and Ryan Gosling probably would have given a fine performance as Susie's father, Jack Salmon. But he didn't wind up playing the part — Mark Wahlberg did. 

In 2010, Gosling told The Hollywood Reporter that Jackson fired him from the movie because the actor took it upon himself to gain 60 pounds for the role before shooting started. "We had a different idea of how the character should look," Gosling said. "I really believed he should be 210 pounds." Jackson didn't agree, and a few days before shooting was scheduled to start, he let Gosling go. "Then I was fat and unemployed," Gosling quipped.

A True Blood actor couldn't handle some acting

HBO's True Blood mixed fantasy, horror, and dark comedy to become one of the most original cult favorites in recent TV history. Depicting the continuing adventures of a small Louisiana town beset with vampires, werewolves, fairies, and other creatures, the show was also frank and open about human sexuality, with many same-sex relationships and non-heterosexual characters throughout its run. (Some might argue that the vampirism — and the mistreatment vampires on True Blood suffered — was a metaphor for the history of homosexuality in America.)

Luke Grimes was lucky enough to land a recurring role on the show in 2013 as an imprisoned vampire named James Kent. But later that year, Grimes left True Blood before filming started on the series' seventh and final season. At the time, HBO said that it would recast the role "due to the creative direction of the character." According to a report by Buzzfeed, Grimes was indeed uncomfortable with his character's "creative direction" — writers planned to place James Kent in a relationship with a man named Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis). "We're all sitting there going, 'You quit your job because... really?'" Ellis later told Vulture. "You quit your job because you don't want to play a gay part?" Actor Nathan Parsons readily joined True Blood in Grimes' stead.

Goodbye, Clarice

The Silence of the Lambs is the rare horror movie to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and it's also one of the few Best Picture recipients to spawn a sequel. Based on one of Thomas Harris' series of novels about cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter, Lambs earned so much money at the box office (in addition to its critical success and an Oscar haul that also included statuettes for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay) that Hollywood eagerly put an adaptation of another Harris book, Hannibal, into production. 

Producers of course approached Jodie Foster to reprise her role as FBI investigator Clarice Starling, but Foster wasn't into it and politely declined, ceding the role to Julianne Moore. Foster told Total Film that the "official reason" she turned down Hannibal was that she'd already committed to making another movie, Flora Plum. "So I get to say, in a nice, dignified way, that I wasn't available when that movie was being shot," Foster said. She remained happy with her choice after Hannibal was released: "I saw Hannibal. I won't comment." 

But while Foster skipped Hannibal to make another movie, she wound up making no movies at all during that timeframe. Flora Plum, a drama about a "circus freak" (to be portrayed by Russell Crowe) who adopts a girl (Claire Danes) ultimately never went before the cameras.

Fill in the blanks

Character actor Michael Biehn has portrayed cops, military personnel, and tough guys in dozens of movies and TV shows, but he'll always be closely linked to director James Cameron. The Oscar-winning filmmaker loves to cast Biehn, entrusting him with the roles of Kyle Reese in The Terminator, Lt. Coffey in The Abyss, and Corporal Hicks in Aliens. That last one wasn't supposed to happen — Biehn replaced James Remar at the last minute.

In 1986, Remar (probably best known to audiences today for playing the father of/voice of reason to serial killer Dexter Morgan on Dexter) told Starlog that he dropped out of Aliens because "urgent matters at home required" that he leave the film's "four-month commitment" of a shoot in another country. Decades later, he admitted that he "was fired after a couple weeks of filming because I got busted for possession of drugs." 

But that's not the only reason. Cameron had asked actor Al Matthews (Apone) to train his co-stars in weapons handling. "The main thing I had to teach those guys was never point a weapon at somebody, and never walk around with your finger on the trigger. We use blanks, but they can do some damage," Matthews said. Remar apparently didn't heed that advice, because with his blanks-loaded shotgun, he "blew a hole" into the Little Shop of Horrors set next door.

Why Aunt Viv looked so different all of a sudden

Halfway through its run in 1993, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air pulled a casting switcheroo not seen since the likes of Bewitched's "two Darrins" debacle of 1969, in which Dick Sargent replaced Dick York and absolutely everybody noticed. From the show's inception, Janet Hubert (known at the time as Janet Hubert-Whitten) had portrayed Aunt Vivian, surrogate mother to her West Philadelphia born and raised nephew Will (Will Smith). When the show's fourth season premiered, however, Aunt Viv was still around, but the person playing her was Daphne Maxwell-Reid.

In 1993, Smith told an Atlanta radio station that Hubert's ego was to blame for her departure. "I can say straight up that Janet Hubert wanted the show to be The Aunt Viv of Bel-Air Show," Smith said. "She has basically gone from a quarter of a million dollars a year to nothing. She's mad now but she's been mad all along," he added, also mentioning that Hubert resented him because while she had toiled as an actress for a decade, "this snotty-nosed punk comes along and gets a show." Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Carlton Banks on the show, backed up Smith in a late 2000s stand-up set, saying that Hubert "went nuts" and that "she would literally go off on people" which made "it very difficult for us to work." That, in turn, led to her dismissal.

Apparently vampires don't have all the time in the world

In the world of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight novels and their film adaptations, there are "good" vampires — like hunky Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and his his family — and "bad" vampires, such as the death-minded cabal of Laurent, James, and Victoria. Rachelle Lefevre portrayed Victoria in the first two Twilight movies, Twilight and New Moon (which won her a prestigious Teen Choice Award). But in Eclipse, the third movie in the Twilight "saga," another, more famous redhead, Bryce Dallas Howard, was suddenly portraying the character. 

What happened? Lefevre took on a role in the indie Paul Giamatti comedy Barney's Version, and she didn't clear any potential scheduling conflicts with Summit Entertainment, the production company behind the Twilight films. Lefevre explained in a statement to Access Hollywood that there was a mere 10-day overlap between the two films. But that was was not okay with Summit — her presence on set during that particular window was crucial — and she also hadn't told them until the last minute. So they cast her away.

Criminal Mind your foot, Thomas Gibson

Thomas Gibson was an original cast member of Criminal Minds, which debuted on CBS in 2005. He portrayed Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner, head of the crime-fighting Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI. His long tenure with the series came to a sudden end in 2016. While filming a twelfth-season episode of the procedural in July 2016, Gibson approached staff writer Virgil Williams during a late-night shoot because he had a line of dialogue that he felt "contradicted an earlier line," as the actor told People. Gibson wanted it changed, but Williams refused. Then, Gibson said, as he was sharing his indignation with his castmates, Williams came into the room, "and started coming towards me. As he brushed past me, my foot came up and tapped him on the leg" (which doesn't really sound like something a foot just does on its own). "If I hadn't moved, he would have run into me," Gibson said. "We had some choice words, for which I apologized the next day, and that was it." 

But that wasn't it. Criminal Minds bosses suspended Gibson for two weeks, and then decided to fire him outright. The show brought in actor Damon Gupton as Special Agent Stephen Walker to round out the cast after the exit of Gibson (and Hotch).

Hair's the reason why Shannen Doherty lost her prestigious ZIP code

Back in the early '90s, when the hottest thing on the teen scene was Beverly Hills, 90210, rumors flew around Hollywood and gossip magazines about the on-set behavior of star Shannen Doherty. She eventually got herself fired from the show in 1994 after several incidents, many of which were confirmed by co-star Tori Spelling on the 2015 Lifetime special Tori Spelling: Celebrity Lie Detector.

While Doherty was known as a difficult co-worker, Spelling recalled a time when the male cast members had to break up "like a fistfight" between Doherty and co-star Jennie Garth. Another strike against Doherty: "in the middle of a show," writer-producer Larry Mollin later said, "she cut her hair and totally screwed us up for continuity." Things got so out of hand that Spelling called up the show's executive producer — her father, Aaron Spelling — and asked him to fire Doherty.

The vacancy at the top of the 90210 cast list was soon filled by Saved by the Bell's Tiffani Thiessen, playing a marijuana-smoking wild child named Valerie Malone.

If he only had some hypoallergenic paint

It's dated and hokey today, but for a spell in the 1960s, The Beverly Hillbillies was the most popular show on TV. Leading the cast as Jed Clampett, the poor mountaineer who barely kept his family fed until he discovered bubbling crude (oil, that is), was veteran actor Buddy Ebsen, who earned himself household name status for his fish-out-of-water performance. That capped a long career as an actor and dancer in the Golden Age of Hollywood, but he could've been a film superstar had things worked out better for him on the set of The Wizard of Oz

Ebsen landed the role of the heart-seeking Tin Woodsman in what went on to become of the most popular movies ever made. Film makeup was relatively primitive in the late 1930s, and to portray the metallic man, Ebsen had to have aluminum-based silver-colored makeup slathered all over any skin not covered by his costume. After 10 days of that, Ebsen developed a reaction to the makeup that was so severe, he required hospitalization. The production hired Jack Haley to replace him.