Kit Steinkellner
October 04, 2015 8:00 am

We love finding out which movie stars ALMOST played iconic roles. It’s such a trip trying to image that alternate-reality casting. Recently, we learned that one famous actor in particular has been up for a crazy amount of legendary roles. Roles like Neo in The Matrix (which was, of course, eventually played by Keanu Reeves) and Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings (which ended up going to Viggo Mortensen).

And that actor is (drumroll please) ba-dum ba-dum ba-dum ba-dum….

Nicolas Cage!

Yes, in a recent interview with Newsweek, Cage reveals that he was up for these two huge-times parts, but ended up turning both down. The question becomes, of course, does he have any regrets?

“I don’t really have any regrets,” Cage explained. “I think regret is a waste of time. I try to always move forward as opposed to dwelling on the past or the movies that might have happened.”

However, Cage did acknowledge that “There certainly were movies that I probably would have benefited from if circumstances in my life allowed me to make them,” citing The Matrix and LOTR as examples.

That said, he has a great attitude about those missed opportunities and an awesome way putting these situations in perspective.

“But the thing is about those movies, I can watch them. I can enjoy them as an audience member. I don’t really watch my own movies. And so I genuinely do have the joy of watching these—especially with Lord of the Rings.”

Though Cage doesn’t go into it in the interview, there are other big-time roles that he was in talks for that didn’t end up working out, which, according to Ranker, includes Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (eventually played by Johnny Depp), Harry Dunne in Dumb and Dumber (Jeff Daniels), John Bender in The Breakfast Club (Judd Nelson),  and Joel Barish in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Jim Carrey).

Of course, we can’t feel TOO sorry for Cage, especially when we think of all the amazing projects he has had the chance to participate in (Raising Arizona! Moonstruck Adaptation! Freaking Face/Off!) And we think Cage has an A+ attitude about letting missed opportunities go, and, rather than being super sour grapes about the whole thing, relishing the opportunity to be an audience member for these awesome movies. Yay Cage!

Related:

If Nic Cage were ALL the Game of Thrones characters

This hotel truly understands how important Nicolas Cage is

Image via New Line Cinema

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