Actors Who Declined Iconic Movie Roles in Favor of Terrible Ones

Michelle Pfeiffer — Coolio Music Video instead of Silence of the Lambs

Silence of the Lambs is an all-time classic. The 1991 psychological horror is one of the most influential films in the genre and spawned a series of sequels. It’s the only film considered to be in the horror genre to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. What sets the film apart are the legendary performances from Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins. Foster plays Clarice Sterling, an FBI rookie who is chasing down a serial killer. She enlists the help of Hopkins’ character Hannibal Lector, an incarcerated serial murderer who is also a cannibal.

The uneasy interrogation scenes set the mood for this tense film. The movie’s dynamic duo nearly never got a chance to star alongside each other. The role of Clarice was originally offered to Michelle Pfeiffer. Pfeiffer claimed the film was too dark in tone, but says she regrets her decision. In 1995, Pfeiffer starred in Coolio’s music video for Gangsta’s Paradise — bearing a striking resemblance to Foster’s Clarice.

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