11 Actors who nearly quit iconic movie roles in the middle of filming

11 Actors who nearly quit iconic movie roles in the middle of filming

At some point, we have all been in a situation where we felt overwhelmed. Whether it's a project you have undertaken or a new job, you can feel like you're not capable of going through with it at all at some points. Of course, this can happen even with Hollywood's finest - especially when they're under the pressure of taking on a major role.

In fact, there are plenty of actors who almost quit halfway through filming their most iconic roles - and we're betting they're glad they went through with it now.

1. Daisy Ridley - Star Wars: The Force Awakens

During her very first day on set, director JJ Abrams told the actress that her performance "was wooden" in front of the entire crew (imagine how big a Star Wars film crew would be). "I honestly wanted to die," she later said. "I thought I was gonna cry, I couldn't breathe". At the time, she felt like quitting, with the weight of the franchise on her shoulders - but thankfully she didn't.

2. Jim Carrey - The Grinch

After the eight and a half hours spent applying makeup on the first day of filming, the actor didn't think he could make it through the production. Describing it as being "buried alive," it was suggested to him to speak to a man who trains CIA operatives to endure torture - which helped Carrey deal with the 100 times he had to don the outfit.

3. Emma Watson - Harry Potter franchise

During The Order of the Phoenix, Watson's contract was up for renegotiation. However, there was just one thing in the way of filming - the actress was determined to continue her education. Once it became apparent she was willing to walk away from the series entirely, the studio shifted the shooting schedule to make sure she could attend her exam dates.

4. Mike Myers - Wayne's World

During the production of Wayne's World, it was suggested that the now-iconic Bohemian Rhapsody sequence be replaced with a Guns n' Roses song, since Queen was declining in popularity at the time. However, in an interview with Rolling Stone, Myers said, "At one point I said to everybody, 'I'm out. I don't want to make this movie if it's not Bohemian Rhapsody'".

5. John Cena - 12 Rounds

This film required the wrestler-cum-actor to rappel off a building. Given that Cena has a fear of heights, he almost didn't film the sequence, and even considered quitting because of it.

6. Michelle Rodriquez - The Fast and the Furious

Rodriguez' character was initially supposed to be a part of a love triangle with Vin Diesel and Paul Walker's characters, but the actress fought back.  "Is it realistic for a Latin girl who’s with the alpha-est of the alpha males to cheat on him with the cute boy? I had to put my foot down," she told The Daily Beast. "I basically cried and said I'm going to quit." She soon got Vin Diesel on her side, and the script was changed.

7. Tippi Hedren - The Birds

Mechanical birds were to be used on set during a scene in which the actress was attacked by the flying creatures, but the day of the shoot the technology failed and live ones were used instead. For four days, live birds were thrown at Hedren, until the fifth day - when birds were tied to her clothing. The actress told director Alfred Hitchcock that she was done. Her doctor insisted she have a one-week break, but she returned to finish the film afterwards.

8. Brad Pitt - Interview with the Vampire

When he was told he looked miserable in the 1994 film, Pitt told Entertainment Weekly he came very close to calling it a day:

"I am miserable. Six months in the f***ing dark. Contact lenses, makeup, I’m playing the bitch role. One day, it broke me. I called David Geffen - who was a producer - I said, ‘David, I can’t do this anymore. I can’t do it. How much will it take to get me out?’ And he goes, very calmly, ‘Forty million dollars.’”

He stayed on for the rest of the production.

9. Jessica Alba - Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

At one point, Alba was apparently told to "cry prettier" by director Tim Story. He later told her to "Just make it flat, we can CGI the tears in". The actress later told SyFy Wire:

"There's no connection to a human being. And then it got me thinking: Am I not good enough? Are my instincts and my emotions not good enough? Do people hate them so much that they don't want me to be a person? Am I not allowed to be a person in my work? And so I just said, 'F**k it. I don't care about this business anymore.'"

10. Ian McKellen - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Due to the massive height difference between Gandalf and the hobbits/dwarves, McKellen spent much of the filming in front of a green screen. He told The Guardian:

"It was so distressing and off-putting and difficult that I thought 'I don't want to make this film if this is what I'm going to have to do ... It's not what I do for a living. I act with other people, I don't act on my own.'"

11. Al Pacino - The Godfather

Al Pacino was an unknown actor when he was cast in the lead role of the mafia epic, which didn't make the studio execs happy. "If it wasn’t for Francis [the director], I would’ve just not showed up one day and said, 'Hey, look man, I don’t want to be where I’m not wanted,'" Pacino told ABC News.

It's incredible to think about how different these iconic movies would have been if the actors in question decided to call it quits and leave the production looking for a substitute.