From the annals of Hollywood near-misses, here's Jake Gyllenhaal telling The Hollywood Reporter about his failed audition to play Frodo in Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" franchise. (Elijah Wood was eventually cast in the role.)
I remember auditioning for The Lord of the Rings [the role of Frodo] and going in and not being told that I needed a British accent. I really do remember Peter Jackson saying to me, "You know that you have to do this in a British accent?" We heard back it was literally one of the worst auditions.
Gyllenhaal isn't the only major actor who was discussed as a possibility for Jackson's blockbuster trilogy. Daniel Day-Lewis was one of the first actors that Jackson sought to play Aragorn, but Day-Lewis passed on the opportunity.
"[This is] not meant to belittle those films or the people [who work on them], because there are people that need to do those films and love to do those films -- they can be fantastically entertaining for the people who love to see them — but it's not for me," Day-Lewis said in a 2009 interview with MTV when asked about performing in franchise films in general. Russell Crowe was also offered the role of Aragorn, but he passed as well.
In perhaps the most famous bit of "Lord of the Rings" almost-casting, Sean Connery was chosen for the part of Gandalf. "I never understood it. I read the book. I read the script. I saw the movie. I still don't understand it," Connery said about why he decided against starring in "Lord of the Rings."
Gandalf eventually went to Ian McKellen. "Ian McKellen, I believe, is marvelous in it," Connery said.
As for Gyllenhaal, no truth to the rumor his Frodo audition sounded like this:
For more from Gyllenhaal, head to THR.