Ashley Judd as Alicia Florrick? If the powers that be had their way, The Good Wife would look very different.
During a roundtable interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Julianna Margulies, the Emmy-winning star of The Good Wife, said she was told who was offered the role before she stepped into the shoes of Alicia Florrick, the scorned wife of a disgraced politician who begins a new life after scandal.
"When The Good Wife came to me, it came in such a backhanded compliment," she said. "'Ashley Judd was offered this script, but she's turning it down. Now, I'm going to give it to you, but first, we're going to Helen Hunt. And if Helen Hunt passes, it's all yours.'"
Can you picture Helen Hunt as Alicia Florrick? It's almost impossible to see anybody in the role but Margulies after five years of standout work.
In fact, Margulies said she almost passed it up because of that.
"I wanted to hate it, because you know, ‘F--k you! You didn't want me to begin with.' The [Good Wife] writers always say: ‘No, we always wanted you. It's just the studio wanted Helen Hunt!' But my agent said a great thing: ‘No one will know when they watch this show that Helen Hunt was offered it before you,'" she said.
Well, now they do.
The Good Wife is far from the first major show to have had several "what if" castings. Take a look at the gallery below for more famous roles that went to other people.