Johnny Depp and may be two of the most well-known actors in Hollywood, but their long lists of credits couldn't be more different from each other.
After being brutally killed in "A Nightmare on Elm Street" by Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) in his debut feature film, Depp became the industry's go-to guy for portraying outlandish characters. Whether he's playing sinister candy factory owner Willy Wonka in 2005's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" or the eccentric, Futterwacken-performing Mad Hatter in 2010's "Alice in Wonderland" (via ), Depp has a knack for versatility and fully immersing himself in whatever fantastical role he's tasked with.
As for Cruise, this heartthrob's resume is chock-full of action. Since 1996, Cruise has been widely hailed for his work in the "Mission: Impossible" series, in which he plays Ethan Hunt, a senior field agent for a secret spy agency. Over the years, Cruise has also battled numerous hordes of alien invaders as divorced father Ray Ferrier in 2005's "War of the Worlds" and William Cage in 2014's "Edge of Tomorrow" (via ).
Despite their very different careers, both men were considered for a part in a 1990 movie. However, what was a major deal-breaker for Cruise allowed Depp to shine.
Tim Burton's was Johnny Depp's introduction to personifying such unique fictitious individuals. When housewife Peg (Dianne Wiest) visits a deserted mansion on the edge of town in an attempt to sell Avon, she discovers a scared, timid Edward, who has scissors for hands. Peg takes the man-made creation of the Inventor (Vincent Price) home, where he adapts to suburban life and finds love with Peg's daughter, Kim (Winona Ryder).
It's hard to imagine anyone but Depp taking on the spooky-but-sweet Edward. But when casting was underway, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr., Tom Hanks, and others expressed their interest in the role (via ). Unfortunately for Cruise, he took himself out of consideration for the part after inquiring a little too much about Edward.
Screenwriter Caroline Thompson said, "[Cruise] wanted to know how Edward went to the bathroom. He was asking the kind of questions about the character that can't be asked for this character! Part of the delicacy of the story was not answering questions like, 'How does he go to the bathroom?' 'How did he live without eating all those years?'"
According to Thompson, Cruise refused to join the "Edward Scissorhands" cast unless he was given specific details regarding his questions about Edward. While this apparently wasn't something that Thompson and the crew were willing to share, it paved the way for Depp to win the part — and "Edward Scissorhands" wouldn't be the same without him.