TV roles almost played by another actor (from the same show!)

We’ve all got a favorite character from a TV show (or several ones). What if they’d been played by a different actor… from the same series? Yes, this has happened and more than once.


Desperate Housewives – Bree & Edie

Nicollette Sheridan had originally auditioned for the role of Bree but was cast as Edie Britt instead.

Also, Dana Delany turned down the role three times even though she would later join the series in its fourth season as Katherine Mayfair, a character very similar to that of Bree.

Bree Hodge/Van de Kamp was finally played by Marcia Cross.


Saved by the bell – Kelly & Jessie

Elizabeth Berkley unsuccessfully auditioned for the role of Kelly Kapowski (which went to Tiffani-Amber Thiessen), but the producers liked her so much that they created a role for her: Jessie Spano.


One Tree Hill – Nathan & Lucas

Chad Michael Murray ended up playing Lucas even though he was the first person cast for the series -as Nathan.

However, James Lafferty took over the role later because he excelled at basketball.


Friends – Rachel & Monica

Courteney Cox was originally cast as Rachel but apparently she insisted on being cast as Monica, so Jennifer Aniston ended up playing Ross’s eternal love.

Fun fact: Monica and Joey were going to be the main romance story in the show. Aniston would “end up” with Joey anyway as Rachel, at least for a short while.


Buffy, the Vampire Slayer – Buffy & Cordelia

Other actresses such as Selma Blair and Katie Holmes almost got to play Buffy but Sarah Michelle Gellar finally won the part.

However, Gellar had originally auditioned to play Cordelia; it was the producers who thought she would be better as the leading character.

At that time, she was also up for the part of Sabrina in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, which ended up being played by Melissa Joan Hart.


True Detective – Marty & Cohle

Matthew McConaughey was originally offered the role of Marty in True Detective, finally played by Woody Harrelson. McConaughey asked to play detective Cohle after reading the script and wanting “a challenge”. And he did a great job!


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Longest-standing TV shows with the same host