Any time a story comes out about an actor who lost out on a big role we associate completely with another actor, I become slightly obsessed with playing out the ways both of their careers would be different. Britney Spears reportedly almost played Allie in The Notebook. I don’t think Britney Spears would’ve gone on to be the Academy Award-nominated actress instead of Rachel McAdams in that scenario. I think The Notebook would have gone straight to DVD. No disrespect to Britney. Sandra Bullock almost played JLO’s role in Out of Sight. That movie legitimized Jennifer Lopez as an actor. We probably wouldn’t have The Wedding Planner without it! Can you imagine? I can’t imagine my life without JLO in The Wedding Planner. 

To this day, Will Smith’s dumbest career move was turning down Django Unchained. Maybe he wouldn’t be the current poster child of the Death of the Movie Star if he had. See? This stuff is fascinating. Jennifer Lawrence just opened up about her roles that got away and one in particular is the most fascinating. 

JLaw almost played Bella in Twilight. She first talked about losing Twilight to Kristen Stewart years ago to The Guardian but brought it up again yesterday on The Howard Stern Show. She says she had no idea what she was auditioning for

“I didn’t really know what it was… You just get like five pages and they’re like, ‘Act monkey.’ And when it came out I was like, ‘Hot damn. Whoa.’”

So, if we do the What If? swap and imagine Kristen Stewart’s and Jennifer Lawrence’s careers had JLaw played Bella, what does that look like? Would Kristen be Katniss Everdeen? I just shuddered at the thought of that. I don’t think she could have pulled it off. And I don’t think Jennifer Lawrence could play meek and docile Bella, one of the worst characters ever created. Can you tell I preferred Hunger Games? Did I just invite all the Twihards into my inbox/DMs? Should I run and hide? 

I like the conversation about which actors lost which roles mainly because it’s about failure. Jennifer Lawrence is an Oscar winner and multiple nominee (the youngest with four nominations) who isn’t afraid to talk about losing her dream role in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. She and Emma Stone sit around talking about the roles that got away. They talk about the times they failed just like I do with my girlfriends. Just like you probably do with yours. Even though we’re talking about auditions and multi-million-dollar movie roles here, it feels really normal and oddly relatable. 

Jennifer Lawrence says she has no regrets about losing out on Twilight. I’m sure she doesn’t regret never marrying Robert Pattinson in secret and living on a jam farm in Montana with their two kids while pretending to date other people. Jennifer Lawrence got the better draw in the audition roulette because she doesn’t have to deal with delusional Twihards. Are there Hunger Games fans out there who believe that Jennifer and Liam Hemsworth secretly run an Airbnb in Costa Rica? Katniss and Gale cooking brunch on the beach for ever and ever? Now that’s some delusional fan fic I can get down with. 

(Lainey: OK but now that Jennifer and Robert are both single – and both with Dior – can this and should this happen?)