Every time an actor is cast in a TV show, an infinite amount of other actors are not. Did you ever think about it that way? Crazy, right? Also, a much smaller number of actors probably actually came very close to playing that part. Here are nine actors who just barely missed out on playing iconic TV characters, but instead suffered the fate of being famous for other work.
1. Adrian Grenier as Dawson in Dawson's Creek
It's comforting to think that if Adrian Grenier had ended up getting cast as Dawson Leary, a role he tested for, then James Van Der Beek would have gotten cast as Vince on Entourage. Actually no, that's not that comforting. It's deeply unsettling, in fact.
2. Katie Holmes as Piper in Orange Is the New Black
Holmes met with Orange Is The New Black creator Jenji Kohan about playing Piper, but ultimately "had other things to do." Does this mean Piper might not have been blonde, and her jail friends/enemies would have had to come up with different types of mean nicknames?
3. Courtney Cox as Rachel in Friends
Courtney Cox was initially offered the role of Rachel on Friends, but she wanted to be Monica, who the show creators had been envisioning for Janeane Garofalo. If any of that had happened, just think about who would or wouldn't have been invited to Jennifer Aniston's wedding.
4. Rachel Dratch as Jenna in 30 Rock
In the original 30 Rock pilot, Rachel Dratch played Jenna Maroney, and a lot more sketches were featured. Of course, we're all thankful for the Jane Krakowski version of Jenna we know and love, but Rachel Dratch should be the star of most sitcoms.
5. Taraji P. Henson as Olivia in Scandal
Henson says that even when she auditioned for the role of Olivia Pope in Scandal, she thought, "This is Kerry Washington." And it is. And Henson is Empire's Cookie. And we get them both in our televisions. Congratulations to us on these two actresses booking those roles.
6. Lily Allen as Yara in Game of Thrones
Pop singer Lily Allen is the real life sister of Alfie Allen, aka Theon Greyjoy on Game Of Thrones. Lily says she was offered the role of his fictional sister, Yara Greyjoy, but she turned it down because it required an awkwardly sexual moment with her brother. Fair point.
7. Alicia Silverstone as Angela in My So-Called Life
Apparently the creators of My So-Called Life found Alicia Silverstone quot;too pretty" to play Angela Chase, while Claire Danes was "chilling, astounding, and silent." Um, not to tell you how to do your job, guys, but Claire Danes is hot!
8. Adam Scott as Jim in The Office
Rainn Wilson shared a Facebook photo of the sign-in sheet at auditions for The Office, and it showed that Adam Scott tried out for the role of Jim Halpert. Maybe he didn't smirk with enough frequency or fervor.
9. Ashley Olsen as Blair in Gossip Girl
And fresh off the almost-cast presses comes the "news" that Ashley Olsen, America's anti-Mary-Kate, was who the CW had in mind for the role of Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl. This is a greater and less-nonsensical twist than when they finally revealed the identity of GG in the series finale.