Actresses That Nearly Played Princess Leia

Of the thousands of young stars who threw their hat in the ring for the role of Princess Leia, legendary actress Jodie Foster is perhaps the only one who was actually offered the role and rejected it. Foster made headlines in January 2024 when she explained on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” that she declined the role of Princess Leia due to a scheduling conflict. “I was [offered the role], yeah,” Foster said. “And they were going for a younger, you know, Princess Leia. But I had a conflict. I was doing a Disney movie, and I just didn’t want to pull out of the Disney movie because I had already — I was already under contract.”

Foster added that she didn’t know if she could have done a better job than Carrie Fisher, joking that she might have chosen a different hairstyle than the famous “cinnamon bun” hair that Fisher wore. “I might’ve gone with a pineapple,” the actress quipped. Foster did not clarify which Disney film she was referring to, though she actually starred in two Disney films during this time: “Freaky Friday” in 1976, and “Candleshoe” in 1977. 

In any case, Foster’s incredible career — which includes acclaimed roles in films like “Taxi Driver,” “The Accused,” “The Silence of the Lambs,” and “Contact,” among many others — can stand on its own with or without “Star Wars,” and the actress herself doesn’t seem to regret passing on this iconic character.

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