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Courteney Cox almost played Rachel on Friends.

an arrow pointing from Monica to Rachel

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Cox connected more with Monica.


One Tree Hill’s creator originally wanted Chad Michael Murray to play Nathan.

Lucas and Nathan on the river court with an arrow pointing from Lucas to Nathan

Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

However, Murray wanted to play Lucas.


Sarah Michelle Gellar originally auditioned for Cordelia on Buffy the Vampire Slayer — and Charisma Carpenter auditioned for Buffy.

Buffy and Cordelia with arrows pointing between them

20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

Of course, Gellar ended up being cast as Buffy, while Carpenter was cast as mean girl Cordelia.


Iwan Rheon, Joe Dempsie, and Alfie Allen all auditioned for Jon Snow on Game of Thrones before being cast as Ramsay, Gendry, and Theon, respectively.

Iwan Rheon, Joe Dempsie, and Alfie Allen as Ramsay, Gendry, and Theon



Paul Wesley (who went on to play Stefan) and Michael Trevino (who went on to play Tyler) both auditioned for Damon on The Vampire Diaries.

Stefan and Tyler on The Vampire Diaries labeled "auditioned for Damon" and Ian Somerhalder as Damon labeled "cast as Damon"

Bob Mahoney / CW / Courtesy Everett Collection

Candice Accola (who played Caroline) stated that all the girls also read for Elena, and she believes that something similar was done with the boys.


And Zach Roerig read for Stefan, Damon, and Tyler before being cast as Matt.

Zach's audition for Stefan and the actual scene with Paul Wesley, where Elena asks if Stefan is following her after he sees her fall, and he asks if she's ok

Desaur Studios / YouTube / Via youtube.com


Alisha Boe originally auditioned for Hannah in 13 Reasons Why before being cast as Jessica.

an arrow pointing from Jessica to Hannah

David Moir, Beth Dubber / Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection


Chris Colfer originally auditioned for Artie on Glee.

in Chris Colfer's audition for Artie, he says "I think Mr. Shue's using irony to enhance the performance," and in the actual episode, Kevin McHale as Artie says the same thing

Fox / Via youtube.com

Producers liked him so much, they wrote the role of Kurt just for him.


Annie Murphy at one point auditioned for Stevie on Schitt’s Creek.

an arrow pointing from Alexis to Stevie

Steve Wilkie, Ken Woroner / CBC / Courtesy Everett Collection

After auditioning for Alexis, Murphy was called back in to read for Stevie. However, after meeting Emily, Murphy said she thought, Why on earth would these people entertain the idea of anyone else playing this part?


Noah Schnapp, who went on to play Will, originally auditioned for Mike in Stranger Things.

an arrow pointing from Will to Mike

Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection


Lisa Weil originally auditioned for Rory before being cast as Paris on Gilmore Girls.

an arrow pointing from Paris to Rory

The CW / Courtesy Everett Collection


Shay Mitchell (who went on to play Emily) and Janel Parrish (who ended up playing Mona) both auditioned for Spencer on Pretty Little Liars.

Emily and Mona labeled "auditioned for Spencer" and Troian as Spencer labeled "cast as Spencer"

Danny Feld, Eric McCandless / ABC Family / Courtesy Everett Collection

Mitchell sent in an audition tape for Spencer, but when she was brought in, she was asked to read for Emily. Parrish actually got a few callbacks for Spencer before ultimately being cast as Mona.


Dominic Monaghan and Jorge Garcia both auditioned for Sawyer before being cast as Hurley and Charlie, respectively, on Lost.

Dominic and Jorge reading for Sawyer in their audition tapes

restlessxx86, lostperdu3 / YouTube / Via io9.gizmodo.com

You can watch their audition tapes here.


And Yunjin Kim, who played Sun in Lost, also read for Kate, who ended up being played by Evangeline Lilly.

Yunjin and Evangeline reading variations of "it's been 36 hours, 17 minutes" in their audition tapes

restlessxx86, NewLeaX1 / YouTube / Via io9.gizmodo.com


Cole Sprouse was invited to audition for Archie on Riverdale.

an arrow pointing from Jughead to Archie

Cate Cameron / The CW / Courtesy Everett Collection

However, he asked to read for Jughead, feeling that the character was more his style.


Peter Mullan was originally meant to play Peter Abernathy or the Man in Black in the Westworld pilot. He had a scheduling conflict and was later cast as James Delos, the owner of the park, in Season 2.

Peter Abernathy and the man in black with the label "almost played": and Peter Mullan as James Delos with the label "actually played"



Holland Roden originally auditioned for Allison before being cast as Lydia on Teen Wolf.

an arrow pointing from Lydia to Allison



Adam Scott auditioned for Mark Brendanawicz on Parks and Recreation. He was later cast as Ben.

an arrow pointing from Ben to Mark

Danny Feld, Mitchell Haaseth / NBC / courtesy Everett Collection


Grant Gustin originally auditioned for Roy on Arrow before being cast as the Flash and starring in the spinoff.

Barry and Oliver on Arrow with an arrow pointing to a photo of Roy and Oliver on Arrow

Katie Yu, Jack Rowand / The CW / Courtesy Everett Collection


Before playing Wally West on The Flash, actor Keiynan Lonsdale originally auditioned for Firestorm on Legends of Tomorrow.

an arrow pointing from Wally to Firestorm

Jack Rowand, Brendan Meadows / The CW / Courtesy Everett Collection


Ed Helms auditioned for Jim before later being cast as Andy on The Office.

an arrow from Andy to Jim

Ron Tom / NBC / Courtesy Everett Collection, Chris Haston / © NBC / Courtesy Everett Collection

Adam Scott also read for the role.


Laura Prepon originally auditioned for Piper before being cast as Alex on Orange Is the New Black.

an arrow from Alex to Piper

JoJo Whilden / Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

They tailored the role of Alex for Prepon after they felt that her audition for Piper didn’t match the character’s girl-next-door energy: “Laura Prepon in prison? I don’t worry about her,” showrunner Jenji Kohan said.


And finally, Yael Stone, who ended up playing Lorna, originally auditioned for Nicky.

Jojo Whilden / Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Were any of these surprising? What other almost-castings can you not believe? Let us know in the comments!


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