Angelina Jolie and Scarlett Johansson Turned Down One of the Most Lucrative Roles Done by a Female Actress in Hollywood

Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson, Blake Lively, and Natalie Portman were almost in Gravity before Sandra Bullock was finalized.

Angelina Jolie and Scarlett Johansson have played some very culturally significant characters in their respective areas of specialty. Both of these actresses have proved time and time again that they are capable of playing more than just the ‘bombshell’ role, playing deep, psychologically complex characters that have become iconic in popular culture. Jolie has starred in roles like Lisa Rowe in Girl, Interrupted, the titular character in Maleficent, and portrayed Gia Carangi in her 1998 biopic.

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie

Johansson is not any less versatile in her roles. Though best known for her work in the MCU, she has worn many different types of faces, like starring in Lost in Translation, Marriage Story, and Her. Considering just how talented both these actresses are, it is no surprise that they were once in the running for well-known characters that they did not end up getting. Surprisingly enough, they were both almost cast in a film with one of the most significant and memorable female protagonists—the 2013 film, Gravity, in the role of Ryan Stone.

Angelina Jolie Almost Starred in Gravity

Just any actress cannot play the character of Ryan Stone in Gravity. She showcased deep sadness and depression after the passing of her daughter, something that is prominent and haunts her throughout this film. On top of this, being in life-threatening situations in the middle of space multiple times in the duration of this film is not something that can be easily translated to audiences, especially when the only medium is converted into special effects. This is why Alfonso Cuaron, the director of the movie, was very specific about who he would cast in this role.

Angelina Jolie was almost a part of Gravity

Angelina Jolie was almost a part of Gravity

 “I had conversations with Angelina, but then she went to do one film, and then she was going to direct. Something happens, you part ways.”
During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the director spoke on how, when he initially started working on the film, he had Angelina Jolie in mind to play the role of Stone. He believed her to be perfected suited, revealing that he had conversations with her about the role. Unfortunately, the actress was doing another project at the time and soon after, started to work on her directorial debut, Unbroken. While this hindered Cuaron’s original plan, he accepted that these types of things happen in the film industry.

Angelina Jolie Wasn’t the Only Star Who Was Almost in Gravity

After Angelina Jolie was out of the picture, there were several actresses who were considered to be potential candidates for the role of Ryan Stone. These included the adored, Scarlett Johansson, the Gossip Girl actress, Blake Lively, and the critically acclaimed, Natalie Portman. There were a lot of other names that were thrown around at the time, including Rebecca Hall, Naomi Watts, Olivia Wilde, and Rachel Weisz. The role ultimately went to Sandra Bullock, who gave an excellent performance as this character, so much so, that she was nominated for an Academy Award for it.

Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in a scene from Gravity

Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in a scene from Gravity

Stone wasn’t the only character that had many actors try out for it, as the male protagonist of the film, Matt Kowalski was almost played by Robert Downey Jr. He had gotten the role for quite some time. However, Alfonso Cuaron did not believe that he was correctly using the actor’s talents, so he let him go. The role was finally played by George Clooney, who is known for having excellent chemistry with Bullock. It can be safe to say that all worked out in the end for Gravity, with it getting immense critical acclaim.

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