PHOTO GALLERY

Actors Who Almost Got the Part

James Van Der Beek

Dawson's Creek star James Van Der Beek admitted that he lost out to Edward Norton for the role of Aaron in the 1996 film Primal Fear.

"I remember I auditioned for this movie way back when I was doing theater in New York and the Albee play that I had done. I met this guy after one performance who said, 'You know, I really wanted to play this role, but they told me I was too old,'" Van Der Beek recalled to Entertainment Weekly. "This guy had actually read the play when nobody had seen it and wrote Edward [Albee] all these letters saying, 'Why aren't you doing this in New York?' And Edward actually wrote him back and said, 'I did, you should come audition,' and so this guy did -- but he was too old and didn't get it. Turns out that was the guy who got Primal Fear, and it was Edward Norton! He was phenomenal. I remember really thinking, 'Wow, this is a career-maker,' and I was really happy for Edward. It's so funny: For years it was the big joke in Hollywood that every young actor claims they were second choice for Primal Fear. I know so many guys for whom that was a conversation, like, 'Yeah, I was second choice for Primal Fear.' I was definitely not second choice. I must have been way down the list because I remember thinking I botched that audition."

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