Brad Pitt trivia: 10 Iconic movie roles Brad Pitt turned down

Actor Brad Pitt attends the 92nd Oscars Governors Ball (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)
Actor Brad Pitt attends the 92nd Oscars Governors Ball (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt attends the 92nd Annual Academy Awards (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images) /

The Shawshank Redemption

It’s ironic to think fans have Thelma & Louise to blame for Brad Pitt passing on a role in one of cinema’s greatest pieces of work: The Shawshank Redemption. 

When casting the film, Frank Darabont approached and hoped to cast Pitt in the role of Tommy Williams, a small role in the grand scheme of the film. He nearly had his way too, until Thelma & Louise opened in theaters and took the baby-faced Pitt’s career to the next level. High on success, Pitt opted to pass on the small role in The Shawshank Redemption to instead co-star in Interview With a Vampire. 

While Pitt does not regret passing on the role, he has gone on the record in admitting it would have been cool to be part of the cinematic masterpiece:

"“It would have been kind of cool to be in, but I’m not a regret guy in that way,” Pitt told USA TODAY back in the day when addressing the role. “I just believe in the way things work out, and that was someone else’s role. Even the feeling of, ‘Ooh, that would’ve been nice’ would redirect a choice later down the road. So it all works in tandem in that way.”"

Sleepy Hollow

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before, Brad Pitt was once the favored choice for a Tim Burton which would eventually go to Johnny Depp. Years before passing on Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Brad Pitt was a favorite to land the lead role in Burton’s 1999 film Sleepy Hollow. 

Although it’s uncertain why Pitt ultimately passed on the role of Ichabod Crane, it seems likely he passed on the film due to another role which could very well have been the fellow 1999-released film, Fight Club. 


Jack Dawson remains one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s most recognizable roles of all-time; however, it’s a role that could very well have gone to Brad Pitt.  Although it’s uncertain how serious conversations between Pitt and the casting team might have been, the role ultimately would go to DiCaprio with many speculating it was because Pitt wasn’t baby-face enough for the role.

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Which iconic movie role would you have loved to see Brad Pitt take on and which roles are you glad he passed leading it to go to the actor who ultimately is responsible for bringing the character to life?