We’ve heard plenty of stories about famous celebrities having been rejected in the past for film roles, but did you know that the King of Pop, Micheal Jackson, also tried to audition for a movie role, but was brutally turned down?
Lauren Schuler Donner, the producer of the X-Men franchise spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about her encounter with Jackson, in which he expressed his desire to play the role of Xavier in the movie.
The pop star even offered to audition for the role to show the producers his acting, but there was a different problem with this casting altogether that Michael simply couldn’t grasp.
Xavier’s character was that of a white, older male, and Michael didn’t check any of the boxes. But the singer still tried to convince Donner that he could successfully play the part if he put on makeup to make him look much older than he was.
The Hollywood Reporter said that he also met with the film’s director, Bryan Singer, to campaign for the role. The two talked about his potential casting in 1999 at the then-Fox head office in Los Angeles.
Jackson came prepared with an hour-long presentation to convince Singer that he was the right fit for the role. During the 60-minute argument, he even showed the producer a short film called Ghosts, in which the singer played various roles including a 60-year-old mayor. Unfortunately, Jackson failed to convince the casting directors and was turned down for the role.
Patrick Stewart was eventually picked in his stead, and he played the role of Xavier for seven years. The actor had previously worked in other successful franchises like Star Trek, where he gained recognition for the role of Captain Picard.
According to a source, one of the reasons why Jackson was possibly turned down was because he was already in the thick of controversies regarding his alleged involvement in child molestation cases. The singer faced charges of abuse after a 13-year-old child filed a case against him, opening up a can of worms that eventually ruined his career and reputation.
Michael was obviously crushed to find out that the coveted role had gone to Stewart instead of him, but the singer had a long list of lawsuits lining up, and he soon forgot about the rejection amidst the court battles.