One of the most talented performers and directors in the business, George Clooney gained notoriety as the star of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s series from 2001 to 2007. The actor-filmmaker is one of just four individuals who have received nominations for six different Academy Awards thanks to his unique career trajectory.

Clooney regrets a certain role he repeatedly tried out but couldn’t get, because Brad Pitt eventually won the part, and that role changed his life. Let’s find out which role Clooney lost to Pitt.

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George Clooney and Brad Pitt
George Clooney and Brad Pitt

George Clooney auditioned five times for Thelma & Louise 

1991’s adventure road drama movie, Thelma & Louise, starring Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis, was directed by Ridley Scott and written by Callie Khouri. The movie is described as a combination of multiple genres, adding that it has the elements of romantic comedy as well.

The movie after its release became a critical and commercial success which influenced other movies and artistic works that came later and is often regarded as a landmark of a feminist movie.

George Clooney auditioned five times for movie starring Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon
Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon in Thelma and Louise

Brad Pitt played the character of young drifter J.D. in the movie, which was significantly a very small part in the movie, but actor George Clooney also had his eyes set on playing the part. The actor, according to IMDB, said, “It was down to three actors, including Brad and me, at one time. I read about five times with Geena Davis. I thought I was going to get it, but Brad did.” 

Clooney auditioned five times for the part of J.D., which he lost to Brad Pitt, who became his co-star in Ocean’s movies.

Also read: “I was just embarrassed for taking up space”: Geena Davis Felt Her Whole Life Unraveling After Working With Oscar-Winning DC Star on Brad Pitt Film

George Clooney said he realized Brad Pitt was the right choice for the part

After losing the part he had auditioned for five times, Clooney couldn’t bring him to watch the movie. During an appearance at Telluride Film Festival in 2011 via THR, the actor revealed that he is still not happy about losing that part to Brad Pitt. He said,

“The funniest thing is, I didn’t watch that movie for a long time. I was really stuck doing a lot of bad TV at that time. And I had auditioned and auditioned, and it got right down to Brad and I, and he got it. And I just couldn’t watch that movie for a couple of years.”

George Clooney said Brad Pitt was the right choice
George Clooney said Brad Pitt was the right choice

Further in the conversation, he admitted that after he finally watched the movie he realized that maybe the part went to the right person.

“When I saw it, I thought actually that was the right choice. He was really good at it, and I would have f—ed it up somehow.”

He continued to express that this made him learn an important lesson, explaining that eventually, people find the movies they are supposed to be in and should not really panic over the other ones.

Also read: “It was complicated”: Harrison Ford Had a Difficult Time Filming 1997 Thriller With Brad Pitt After Actors Clashed Over a Difference in Opinion

Geena Davis on forgetting George Clooney auditioned for the movie

Back in 2015, Geena Davis spoke to Access Hollywood via The Things and revealed that she was sitting on a plane next to George Clooney a couple of years ago, who said to her,

“’I’m still mad at Brad Pitt.’ I said, ‘Why, I thought he was like your great friend.’ He says, ‘He got the part in Thelma & Louise.’ I said, ‘Did you want to be that part?’… He was one of the other guys that read with me! I should never have just admitted I forgot George Clooney.”

George Clooney and Brad Pitt starred in Ocean's Eleven
George Clooney and Brad Pitt starred in Ocean’s Eleven

Geena Davis read with all the five finalists for the role and admitted to being so awestruck by Brad Pitt’s good looks and charisma that she forgot her lines. In her appearance on The Graham Norton Show in 2022 she said,

“Each of them were very handsome. They all had brown hair and were very talented. I didn’t care who it was going to be. Then the fourth one comes in, and it’s Brad Pitt. He’s so charismatic and so incredibly talented that I was screwing up his audition.”

Brad Pitt’s appearance in the movie changed his life as it established him as a skilled actor with good looks.

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