10 Iconic Film Performances That Almost Never Happened

“Always listen to your mother,” is a saying that has been ingrained in most people, and in the case of Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence, the adage proved to be crucial for her career. The actress recently chatted with press at the Toronto International Film Festival, where she admitted that she almost turned down the part of the fearless film heroine Katniss Everdeen — a role that has since skyrocketed her career. Up until this year’s Hunger Games, Lawrence was puting her focus on independent films, such as Like Crazy and Winter’s Bone. The prospect of a Hollywood blockbuster was a bit intimidating for the young star.

“Just saying yes to this one thing could completely change my life, and I don’t know if it’s going to be for the better,” she told USA Today. Lawrence’s mother stepped in to support her daughter and give her the patented mom wake-up call. “She was like, ‘You’re being a hypocrite, because you always say you don’t care about the size of the movies.’ Because when I was doing indies, everybody was always like, ‘Why don’t you ever do a studio?’ I’d say, ‘Because I don’t care about the size of the movie. I care about the story,'” Lawrence said. “And my mom was like, ‘Now you have a story you like, and you’re not going to do it because of the size.'” So, thanks mama Lawrence for convincing the soon-to-be Catching Fire star to lead the kick-ass role with gusto.

Lawrence’s story reminded us of the many major movie roles that actors almost said no to. It’s hard to imagine film classics like The Godfather or Back to the Future without the cast members that captivated audiences with their memorable performances. Find out what stars almost turned down iconic film roles past the break, and feel free to partake in a collective sigh of relief in the comments below.

Daniel Radcliffe almost passed on Harry Potter

Being a kid actor must be a tough gig. Your bank account grows substantially before you’re old enough to truly enjoy spending it, and in many cases stars have little to no control over what parts they accept. That was almost the case with young English hopeful Daniel Radcliffe whose parents were reluctant to sign on the dotted line with director Chris Columbus for the first J. K. Rowling adaptation. The actor was about 11 years old at the time, and the future boy wizard wasn’t even aware that his mum and dad were declining an offer from the anxious filmmaker. Columbus had fallen in love with Radcliffe on BBC’s David Copperfield, and pursued him relentlessly. “They went to my parents, and, at the time, the deal was to sign on for — I think — six films, all to be done in L.A., and my mum and dad simply said, ‘That’s too much disruption to his life. That’s not gonna happen,'” Radcliffe told the Telegraph last year. “I didn’t know any of that had gone on. And then, maybe three, four months down the line, the deal had changed, and it was gonna be to shoot two films, and they’d both be done in England, and so they said, ‘Okay, we’ll let him audition,'” he revealed. “And then it all went from there, really.” Thankfully they said yes, otherwise we wouldn’t have this adorable screen test to coo over.