9 big stars who turned down hit TV shows… and the reasons why

Signing your life away to a TV show is always a gamble for actors, and hindsight’s a wonderful thing. So it’s perhaps no surprise that a number of famous faces have, over the years, turned down the chance to be a part of projects that later went stratospheric.

Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy, Kelsey Grammer as Frasier Crane, James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano… none of them were first choice for their famous TV characters.

These are the big names who turned down some of the small-screen’s biggest hits, and the reasons why.

1. Macaulay Culkin – The Big Bang Theory

The former child star recently revealed that he’d turned down a leading role on The Big Bang Theory, losing out on millions of dollars in the process.

He told the Joe Rogan Experience podcast: “The pitch was, ‘Alright, [it’s] these two astrophysicist nerds… and a pretty girl lives with them. Yoinks!’ – I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m cool, thanks’.”

Culkin claims to have been approached three times, though didn’t specify for which part. “I’d have hundreds of millions of dollars right now if I did that gig,” he acknowledged. “[But] at the same time, I’d be bashing my head against the wall.”

2. Ray Liotta – The Sopranos

Goodfellas‘ Liotta was actually the first choice to play Tony Soprano. But he turned the part down, he later told the Today Show, because he wanted to focus on movies and didn’t want to make a two-year commitment to a television series.

James Gandolfini, of course, stepped in, and it’s now impossible to imagine anyone else ever tackling Tony.

3. John Lithgow – Cheers / Frasier

Lithgow turned down the part of Frasier Crane on Cheers in the early 1980s, with Kelsey Grammer landing the part of the pompous-but-loveable psychiatrist, going on to front his own spin-off.

Ever modest, in 2016, Lithgow told The AV Club, “Of course, if I’d been Frasier, it never would have been a hit series.”

4. Katie Holmes – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

A pre-Dawson’s Creek Holmes was offered the part of Buffy ahead of Sarah Michelle Gellar, but rejected the offer in order to finish school. She would go on to be cast in her defining role of Joey Potter a year later.

The Buffster’s not the only major TV role that Holmes has turned down, though: in 2014, Orange is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan revealed that she met with Holmes about playing Piper Chapman on the Netflix series, but she “had other things to do”.

5. Michael Keaton – Lost

In 2017, Keaton told The Hollywood Reporter that he and JJ Abrams “had a conversation” about him playing Jack Shepherd on Lost.

Keaton was intrigued, mostly because Jack – “the guy that you think is the lead” – was set to die in the closing minutes of the pilot episode. But he wasn’t interested in a regular television role, so dropped out after the script was rewritten to have Jack survive.

“[Jack’s death] was what was going to happen, and that I probably would have done,” he said.

Matthew Fox was cast instead, going on to play the character for Lost‘s entire six-year run.

6. Forest Whitaker – Lost

Speaking of Lost, it’s been widely reported that Whitaker was originally attached to play Sawyer(!) but dropped out to direct the 2004 movie First Daughter, starring… Katie Holmes! (And co-written by Jerry O’Connell, trivia fans.)

Whitaker might seem like an odd choice for Sawyer, but in fact, the character was originally devised as an older, suit-wearing New York con artist and was tweaked significantly after the casting team were blown away by Josh Holloway’s audition.

7. Jennifer Love Hewitt – How I Met Your Mother

Cobie Smulders, then a relative unknown, was cast as Robin on How I Met Your Mother only after someone else – referred to by series creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays as “a pretty famous actress” – turned the part down.

In 2014, as part of a Reddit AMA (‘Ask Me Anything’), Thomas revealed that Hewitt was the actress in question, having opted to star in the series Ghost Whisperer instead.

Ghost Whisperer was eventually cancelled after five seasons, without much in the way of a proper ending. Still, it was better than HIMYM‘s finale.

8. Hugh Grant – Doctor Who

Looking for a big-name star to front his upcoming relaunch of Doctor Who in 2004, Russell T Davies enquired about Grant’s availability – the Love, Actually star apparently declined, though later admitted he regretted missing out once he saw what a success the revival series starring Christopher Eccleston became.

Many years later, Davies told Digital Spy that he suspected the offer never made it past Grant’s agent, who he believes rejected it on the actor’s behalf: “With that level of star, you approach the agent and they just kick it out the window. ‘Would Hugh like to come to Cardiff for a year?’ ‘No!'”

9. John Cusack – Breaking Bad

Bryan Cranston, previously best known as the bumbling sitcom dad from Malcolm in the Middle, transformed his career with his electrifying lead performance in Breaking Bad.

Though series creator Vince Gilligan always had his eye on Cranston, having seen him play a dramatic role when the two worked together on an episode of The X-Files, AMC and Sony were unconvinced and made an offer to John Cusack.

Cusack turned down the chance to don Heisenberg’s trilby hat, as did Matthew Broderick, so Gilligan got his way and the rest is TV history.

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Explosive CBB row erupts as ‘Human Ken Doll’ has a tantrum over swapping clothes

They’ve only just entered the Celebrity Big Brother , but the housemates have already had their first spat.

Unsurprisingly, Rodrigo Alves , aka the Human Ken Doll, is at the centre of the row as he fumes that US reality TV star Natalie Nunn will stretch his clothes because he’s skinnier than her. Erm, bit awkward.

In scenes airing tonight, Cheers actress Kirstie Alley makes her first appearance as ‘president’ of the CBB house.

But Rodrigo is NOT happy when he discovers that it means that he has to swap suitcases.

After revealing that she has signed a "trade deal" with Brazil, she says: "In an act of goodwill, one housemate must swap their suitcase with another Brazilian citizen. They must wear the contents of this foreign suitcase until further notice."

She then reveals that the housemate that they have chosen is Rodrigo, who is fuming.

As he almost jumps off the sofa, Natalie tells him to "chill out", but he isn’t having any of it.

"You’ve got the game f***ing wrong because my dad is Brazilian but all my documents are f***ing British," he rants. "So I was only born in Brazil."

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"You’d better own that you’re Brazilian, baby," Natalie interrupts. "Don’t start playing it that you ain’t Brazilian. You’re Brazilian, honey."

She adds that she’s got some "good s***" in her suitcase.

But he gestures to his body and says: "Babe, my s***’s very skinny and tight, it’s going to stretch!"

Their fellow housemates, particularly Married At First Sight’s Ben Jardine , found this particularly hilarious and burst into laughter.


Never miss the latest news from the CBB house – sign up to receive daily updates straight to your inbox.

*Celebrity Big Brother airs tonight at 9pm on Channel 5

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Peter Andre fans think son Junior looks JUST like him in cute new photo

Peter Andre has shared a sweet new photo of son Junior with fans – and many think the teenager is now the absolute image of his dad!

The singer took a picture of Junior, 13, yesterday as he modelled a black jumpsuit and gave a smile for the camera.


‘Ninja J,’ Pete, 45, cutely captioned the post.

Ninja J

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Whilst Junior seemed to be loving his outfit, fans were distracted by just how much he’s resembling Pete.

‘Wow he is your double!’ one follower commented, whilst another wrote: ‘He looks more and more like you the older he gets!’

And one added: ‘He’s the absolute spit of you! So grown up now.’

Meanwhile some think that Junior could turn out to be like his dad when it comes to his career as well as looks.

‘He is so much like you I think he will follow in your footsteps,’ one fan predicted. We’ll have to wait and see on that one!

They might just be right though as Pete’s previously suggested that Junior and 11-year-old Princess – who he shares with ex-wife Katie Price – have caught the performing bug from him.

Earlier this month the star spoke of his pride after both of his eldest children achieved impressive marks in their music and drama exams.

‘They only just went and got a flippin DISTINCTION in their LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art )exam. So proud of you both. #lamda #proudpoppa,’ Pete captioned a video on Instagram.

Well done, guys!

Meanwhile it was recently reported that Junior and Princess will continue to live with Pete for the rest of the summer holidays whilst Katie, 40, deals with the various dramas in her life right now.

The glamour model – who split from third husband Kieran Hayler earlier this year – narrowly avoided being declared bankrupt last week during a court hearing about her financial woes and now has three months to come up with a plan to repay her vast debts.

‘Katie’s life is a bit of a mess at the moment and she needs to focus on getting back on top of her finances to create a stable home life for the children,’ an insider revealed to The Sun. ‘Katie has been informed that Princess and Junior will be staying with Pete and his family for the rest of the holidays while she sorts everything out.’

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Who else could come back to Hollyoaks? 9 characters we'd LOVE to see return

Returns have been all the rage in Hollyoaks over the last year, with comebacks from Mandy, Luke, Finn, Carl and Dennis (and Liberty and Liam too – albeit with slightly different faces).

With Stephanie Davis also reprising her role as Sinead O’Connor in the coming weeks, it’s had us thinking again about who else we’d love to see head back to Britain’s most dangerous village. Here are the nine characters on our wish list:

1. Jacqui McQueen

They keep teasing us with this one, seeing as many long-lost McQueens have crawled out of the woodwork over the last few years. Jacqui was undoubtedly the mouthiest of Myra’s girls, appearing in the show from from 2006 to 2013, and the village just hasn’t been the same without her.

Jacqui was last seen fleeing to Spain after double-crossing Trevor Royle, but with him now six feet under, there is no reason why she can’t pop back and see her family.

Given that she didn’t even attend Mercedes’ memorable hen-do in Magaluf (despite it being in her neck of the woods) we probably shouldn’t be getting our hopes up too much here. But we can dream, can’t we?

2. Brendan Brady

Starry fans, look away now. But come on, who doesn’t want to see the one and only Brendan Brady back? Brendan made up one half of popular pairing Stendan back in the day, before Emmett J Scanlan quit the role to head over to the States. But given that the door was left wide open for him to return (well, as much a prison door can be), we’ve never stopped hoping that we’ll see him again. And with Ste’s relationship with Harry about to hit the rocks (again!), the timing couldn’t be better.

If you didn’t already know, Emmett is actually married to Claire Cooper – who plays Jacqui – in real life, so maybe they could head back together in double whammy return?

3. Mitzeee Minniver

Mitzeee bowed out of Chester with Carl Costello in 2013, but given that he’s recently been murdered, surely she’s wondering where he is? Well, apparently not seeing as nothing has been said about Maxine’s sister in the wake of recent events. But we can’t think of a better time for her to return than now.

Not only was she Carl’s partner, but Mitzeee also built up a strong relationship with Mercedes’s young son Bobby – and even considered adopting him last year. So, if Mercedes does end up facing charges for Carl’s death, could Mitzeee return to take Bobby back to America? We can dream, but after Rachel Shenton’s recent Oscar success, we could be waiting a while.

4. Dodger Savage

He might have been too busy to attend Dirk’s funeral, but we’re never going to stop wanting Dodger to find his way back home. With all the drama surrounding the Savages and Blakes recently, the Dodger-shaped hole has never been more sorely felt.

With their daughter Nico now dead, we reckon that Sienna could be needing her twin’s support more than ever when she gets home. But then again, he wasn’t all that bothered the first time the killer teen was seemingly bumped off, so why should he be now?

5. Justin Burton

Believe it or not, bad boy Justin actually has one of the strongest links to the village than most on this list. That’s because he is the biological father of little Charlie Osborne – the youngster currently being brought up by Nancy and Darren.

Justin is probably best remembered for his scandalous affair with Becca Dean, which resulted in her getting pregnant with Charlie – and for all trouble it caused as a result.

Justin left Chester in 2009 and so we’re naturally fascinated to see what he’s like nearly a decade later. And as it happens, Becca’s fate has come up in conversation recently, given that Nancy has just decided to take in her murderer’s daughter, Brooke.

Could this bring Justin back to the village? Or perhaps he will decide that he is finally up to the parenting malarky after all and come back for his son? The possibilities are endless…

6. Lee Hunter

He’s left and come back once before, so we reckon this one is more likely than some of the others here. During his last stint, funnyman Lee became engaged to Amy Barnes, meaning he’s likely to still be remembered by Ste’s kids Lucas and Leah.

Lee has always been King of the Comedy and with so many grisly goings on in Chester at the moment, we reckon the show could so with some light relief.

7. OB

Much like Lee, we reckon the show could do with an OB sprinkling at the moment, given all the tragedy of late. OB is probably best known for being one half of Hollyoaks‘ memorable double act, thanks to his ‘bromance’ with Max Cunningham (RIP!). But given that his buddy can never return, it’s criminal that OB isn’t back in Chester, carrying on the comedy accolade in his honour.

OB did make a fleeting return to Hollyoaks last year when he joined forces with Cindy to track down the Cunningham clan, but we reckon it’s time for a full-time comeback now.

8. Warren Fox

He might not have been gone that long, but we couldn’t not include the infamous Foxy on this list, could we? Hollyoaks‘ resident bad boy made a sensational return in 2016 and we’re patiently waiting for him to make another one.

After his first comeback, Warren quickly lurched from one drama to another, before bowing out again last November. But we all know that he has a habit of popping up when we least expect it and therefore nothing would surprise us where Warren is concerned.

Let’s also not forget that there are still several loose ends in his story due to the fact he is currently on the run with Sienna’s twins. And with Nico now brown bread, could Sienna be about to rise with a new-found determination to get her kids back? It’s likely!

9. Lisa Hunter

Before the likes of Cleo, Lily and Peri, Lisa Hunter was the Hollyoaks youngster to watch – taking centre stage in several of the show’s biggest plots back in the day. During her five-year stint, fans saw Lisa struggle with love triangles, stalker scandals, and a sad self-harm secret – and it would be fascinating to find out how she’s getting on 12 years later.

These days, actress Gemma Atkinson is better known for playing Carly Hope on Emmerdale, and appearing in last year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing. She’s said previously though that she hasn’t ruled out a return to Hollyoaks, so you never know…

Hollyoaks airs weeknights at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first look screenings at 7pm on E4.

Digital Spy Soap Scoop video – hit play below for all the latest Hollyoaksspoilers, as Glenn makes a shocking decision over Courtney, while Darren and Mandy’s affair continues.

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Katie Price leaves Kris Boyson fuming after ultimate relationship faux pas

Katie Price left new boyfriend Kris Boyson fuming when she accidentally called him by her ex-husband Kieran Hayler ‘s name.

The glamour model, 40, made the embarrassing slip-up during a seance at her West Sussex mansion in the latest episode of her reality show My Crazy Life.

While sat round a candlelit table, she reached over to Kris and said "Kieran", prompting the 29-year-old to react: "F**king Kieran!"

Speaking direct to camera, she later recalled: "When I called Kris, ‘Kieran’, that was such a big mistake.

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"I didn’t mean to. I actually wanted to dig a hole and bury myself!"

Katie’s estranged husband Kieran finally moved out of her £2 million mansion in May after the model accused him of cheating on her yet again.

The pair had a turbulent five-year marriage after Kieran was alleged to have had affairs with two of her best friends and their nanny.

In June, the mother-of-five claimed it was the last straw after finding out the former stripper had slept with a 19-year-old woman.

She told OK!: "He’ll never change and I just can’t stand him. I should have split up with him when he first cheated on me, but I was so determined to make it work."

Katie and fitness trainer Kris – who share a 11 year age gap, started dating in May, to the chagrin of her mother Amy.

Also in the episode, Amy admitted she was disappointed that Katie had started dating so soon after her latest marriage breakdown and had gone for another younger man.

Amy lamented: "I thought, ‘Here we go, another young one, yet again.’ I hoped Kate would go for an older man this time and not so soon."

Prior to Kris, Katie has married or dated a string of younger men – Kieran was nine years younger, while ex-fiancé Leandro Penna was eight years younger.

However, she did manage some smaller age gaps with ex-husbands, cagefighter Alex Reid , now 43, and Peter Andre , now 45.

Meanwhile, Katie is desperately fighting to get her finances back on track after narrowly avoiding bankruptcy.

Earlier this month, the High Court gave the reality star three months to come up with a way to pay off her debts after blowing her multi-million pound fortune.

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Is ‘Code Black’ Coming Back? Mystery TV Show Will Get A New Lease On Life

Fans are hopeful that the canceled CBS medical drama is the secret series that’s quickly getting revived.

Code Black might not be dead on arrival after all. Fans of the recently canceled CBS medical drama are hoping the show gets a new lease on life after recent comments by CBS Entertainment boss Kelly Kahl and a blind item posted by TVLine.

TVLine recently confirmed that a program that had its plug “prematurely pulled in the past six months” is very close to getting renewed after all. An insider told the television news site that a few minor wrinkles “need to be ironed out before an announcement can be made” about the revived show, but that producers have already begun trying to get the cast reassembled. TVLine‘s Michael Ausiello added that “the show in question is already securing returning and new cast and crew members for the would-be season, with production slated to resume as early as this fall.”

The comments section for the post is loaded with predictions, with many fans hoping that either the Freeform fantasy drama Shadowhunters or CBS’ Code Black is the series in question.

Rumors of a Code Black revival have been rampant ever since the Marcia Gay Harden-fronted medical drama was suddenly axed in May. And at the Television Critics Association panel earlier this month, CBS’ Kahl didn’t deny that the show could reappear in the TV stratosphere.

“It’s a well-done show,” Kahl said at TCA, per Deadline. “We’d like to figure out a way [to bring it back.]”

Kahl said that while Code Black’s third season performed “well” with viewers, “economics challenged it.”

The doctor has ordered a double dose of of #CodeBlack tonight!

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In addition to Marcia Gay Harden, Code Black starred Rob Lowe, Boris Kodjoe, and Luis Guzman. Lowe took to Twitter in response to the CBS executive’s comments about Code Black, warning fans not to get too excited about the possibility of a revival.

“Unfortunately, this should be taken with a mound of salt,” Lowe tweeted in response to Kahl’s statements bringing the show back. “There [has] been no official outreach to the showrunner. Easier for them to give this non-specific, fuzzy quote than explain why they canceled a well respected and well-rated show.”

Code Black creatorMiSeitzman told Deadline that producers have reached out to streaming services in an attempt to give Code Black a new home and that they are “hopeful” it will happen. Seitzman also revealed he had an idea for the fourth season of the series.

If Code Black does come back, it will join shows like Timeless and Brooklyn Nine-Nine that came back from the dead after being prematurely canceled. And if Code Black doesn’t isn’t getting a new life, then it sounds like another beloved show is.

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Cardi B & Nicki Minaj Seated Across From Each Other At MTV VMAs: Will They Have Awkward Run-In?

HollywoodLife has the seating arrangements for the MTV Video Music Awards and Cardi B is sitting quite close to Nicki Minaj! See where they’ll be planted throughout the show!

MTV has locked in a seating chart for the Video Music Awards! HollywoodLife was able to stop by Radio City Music Hall where all the fun will go down, and see where all of your favorite celebs will be sitting throughout the show. The most interesting arrangement was that Cardi B will be perched just across the aisle from her rumored foe Nicki Minaj.

We did know these two were going to be there – Cardi is opening the show and has 12 nominations and Nicki’s also scheduled to perform and is up for the Best Hip-Hop video award. But what we didn’t know is just how closely the pair of rappers would be in the audience. However, it’s unlikely any sort of drama will occur since their reported feud really isn’t much of one.

In an interview with Beats 1 host Ebro Darden on Aug. 16, Nicki explained that she doesn’t have a problem with the “Bodak Yellow” hitmaker. “Now, I didn’t know Cardi and I had an issue, but I guess we do since you’re saying it and other people are saying it,” she explained, according to Complex. “To me, she may have taken an issue with things that I’ve said, but I’m not going to bite my tongue […] You gotta have thick skin. People talk shit about me all the time […] You can’t be expect to be liked and loved and praised all the fuckin’ time. Give me a break.”

Cardi also told the same interviewer that she feel like the beef between her and the “Barbie Tingz” artist was concocted by fan speculation. “I just feel like it’s really internet made-up,” she said in April. “I really feel like fans and people really want to see that happen because it’s really entertaining. To see people beef is entertaining.” Yeah, so don’t count on a “Cardi, what’s good?” moment this time around.

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You Literally Could Not Miss Kim Kardashian in This Neon Pink Catsuit If You Tried

Kim Kardashian is into neon, guys. She’s been wearing bright yellow and hot pink mini dresses to and fro, and last night she literally matched her hair to a lime green Ferrari—brights are just her thing rn. But, IDK, can you spot her in this skintight pink Chanel catsuit from her Thursday boat outing?

JKJKJK, of course you can! You could probably see this thing from space.

Chill @kimkardashian #kimkardashian

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Chill @kimkardashian #kimkardashian

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Bawdy 💗 @kimkardashian #kimkardashian

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Bawdy 💗 @kimkardashian #kimkardashian

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Boat Life 🚣‍♀️ @kimkardashian #kimkardashian

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Boat Life 🚣‍♀️ @kimkardashian #kimkardashian

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The paparazzi certainly noted it, as evidenced by videos Kim shot from her boat of well-placed camera-toting people on bridges.

Paparazzi @kimkardashian #kimkardashian

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Paparazzi @kimkardashian #kimkardashian

A post shared by Kim Kardashian Snapchats 🍑 (@kimksnapchats) on

Hey guys!

Sainty The Sailor Man 😍 @kimkardashian #kimkardashian

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Sainty The Sailor Man 😍 @kimkardashian #kimkardashian

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Anyway, Kim’s neon aesthetic isn’t just for her. Her whole fam is in on this look. On this same boat trip, Saint wore a lime green shirt and North sported a cute yellow suit with hot pink shorts. So fun!

💗🔥💗 @kimkardashian #kimkardashian

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💗🔥💗 @kimkardashian #kimkardashian

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Want to live a neon life too? Get your shop on below.

Follow Rachel on Twitter and Instagram.

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Scarlett Johansson Surpasses Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Stone As Highest Paid Actress in Hollywood

The actress brought in $40.5 million between June 1, 2017 and June 1, 2018.

Scarlett Johansson is officially the highest-paid actress in Hollywood.

It was announced Thursday that the "Avengers: Infinity War" star has surmounted the Forbes annual ranking of top-earning actresses making a whopping $40.5 million between June 1, 2017 and June 1, 2018.

Johansson surpassed last year’s number 1 spot holder "La La Land" star Emma Stone, who failed to make the cut this year, earning less than $10 million. Meanwhile the number 2 and number 3 spots went to Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston who earned $28 million and $19.5 million respectively. Number 4 on the list is Jennifer Lawrence just ahead of Reese Witherspoon, who earned $16.5 million last year.

Top 10 Highest Paid Actresses of 2018

Much of Johansson’s earnings come from her work as Black Widow from last May’s "Avengers: Infinity War." The actress has played the character six times in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and will reprise her role in 2019’s "Avengers 4."

Johansson was featured in two movies in 2017 in addition to the superhero flick, comedy "Rough Night" and sci-fi flick "Ghost in the Shell," the latter resulting in the white actress receiving major backlash for playing a Japanese character. In addition, Johansson faced more criticism when she was cast as a transgender man in the film "Rub & Tug." Johansson subsequently decided to quit the project.

"In light of recent ethical questions raised surrounding my casting as Dante Tex Gill, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my participation in the project," she said to Out.com last month. "Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I’ve learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive."

"I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues."

This Week in Celebrity Pictures
Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost are Red Carpet Official

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Janet Jackson shares childhood memories of Aretha Franklin

Pop royalty Janet Jackson remembered living down the street from the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.

Her voice breaking, Jackson, 52, described how Franklin, who passed away Thursday at 76, lived near the family during part of her childhood. The Jacksons resided in Detroit when her brothers recorded for Motown Records as the Jackson 5.

“Her kids used to come over to our house and play and we’d go over to hers,” Jackson, a Gary, Indiana, native, told iHeart Radio Thursday night. “I remember her with the red hair, shoulder-length hair … she had this white midriff [top], this white skirt, and there she was, Miss Aretha Franklin.”

“‘Respect,’ ‘You Better Think,’” Jackson sighed. “It’s sad, you know? But she’s still here with us. Her music will live on forever. What a voice. What a great body of work that inspired so many people.”

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