Who made a mistake turning down a great movie part? Check out this week's Ask the Critic question, then post your own

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Updated January 21, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST
Sean Connery, The Rock

Who made a mistake turning down a great movie role?

Who made a mistake in turning down a great movie role? And who are you glad said no? — Jeff Colson

”I am a shervant of the Shecret Fire!” When I heard that Sean Connery had turned down the gig as Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings, I could instantly imagine what a grand wizard he might have made, assuming he had understood the material — which he has said he didn’t, so never mind. (Hooray for us: Ian McKellen did.) And Johnny Depp would have been a divine Lestat in Interview With the Vampire, although he was probably smart not to bite; Tom Cruise, of course, got the fangs. (Can you imagine Cruise instead of Depp in Donnie Brasco — an early possibility? Me neither.)

Anyhow, as Forrest Gump said — in the great perf by Tom Hanks, a casting choice that can’t be topped — life is like a box of chocolates. It’s only because Titanic didn’t float Gwyneth Paltrow’s boat that we were treated to a blooming English Rose in Kate Winslet rather than a twiggier, brittler bud.

(Got a question for Owen or Lisa? Post it here.)