The Big Bang Theory cast could have looked a whole lot different.
In the new book The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series, creator Chuck Lorre and other producers revealed a handful of stars who nearly appeared on the show, including Selena Gomez, Sandra Bullock, Macaulay Culkin and Ringo Starr.
But who, exactly, would these A-listers have played? According to executive producer Steve Molaro, producers reached out to Gomez "a couple of times" after she shared that she was a fan of the sitcom on Instagram in 2016, and the team thought she could maybe play Amy (Mayim Bialik)—with a twist, per TVLine, that she is actually "beautiful and great and everyone loves her." But unfortunately, the guest appearance never worked out due to scheduling conflicts.
Bullock, on the other hand, was producers' first choice for Raj (Kunal Nayyar)'s date to Sheldon and Amy's Nobel Prize ceremony (he ultimately took Sarah Michelle Gellar).
"Sandra Bullock was actually our first go-to because of Koothrappali's long love of her," executive producer Steve Holland said. "We were really excited about it, but we got a polite decline because she was shooting a movie and wasn't available. But we were very excited Sarah was available to come on."
Another dream casting call was legendary Beatles' drummer Ringo Starr, who Lorre himself noted bares a striking resemblance to Howard (Simon Helberg). Because of this, producers wanted him to play Howard's absentee father.
"It was a fun conversation based on Simon's haircut and physical appearance," Lorre said. "You could buy the genetic link to Richard Starkey…. We pursued it to the point where we got a solid no."
While all these stars were courted for minor roles, there were a few big names tossed around for the leads. Marisa Tomei and Tara Reid nearly starred as the female lead, which ultimately went to Kaley Cuoco. On the other hand, Home Alone's Macaulay Culkin was pursued for the lead role of Leonard, which ultimately went to Johnny Galecki after Culkin decided he "wasn't interested" following a meeting with the series' creators.
Lorre noted, "There's a special ethereal quality to that actor that I thought might be great."
Keep scrolling to see more stars that were nearly cast in your favorite television shows.