Gwyneth Paltrow Turned Down Roles in Blockbuster Movies Titanic, Boogie Nights: Does She Have Any Regrets?

Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow turned down roles in several big blockbuster films during her illustrious Hollywood career -- but does she regret it now? Get the scoop! Michael Buckner/Getty Images

What's passed is past! Gwyneth Paltrow gave an open interview to Howard Stern this week, revealing details about her ex-boyfriends, past and present pals, and roles she's turned down in her acting career.

"Does it haunt you?" Stern asked Paltrow, 42, about passing up roles in several successful films. "You've turned down some great ones." The SiriusXM host noted that Paltrow said no to a key role in 1997's celebrated dramedy Boogie Nights, being replaced by Heather Graham in the now-iconic role of drug-addicted porn star Rollergirl.

"It was my dad," Paltrow said of late director Bruce Paltrow. "I really wanted to do it." Her famous dad — who was also "devastated" about Paltrow's split from Pitt — wasn't the only one who opposed the casting decision.

"My grandfather — I was very close to him and he was pretty conservative," Paltrow continued. "I just thought, 'I can't be totally naked and like, giving a BJ on screen. I'll kill my grandfather! So, I didn't do it. And by the way, Heather Graham was perfect, so it worked out perfectly."

As for whether she watched the film? "I definitely saw that movie," the Oscar winner said, adding that she hardly flinched over missing out on the role. "You're seeing this awesome girl be so good in it," she said of Graham.

Mark Wahlberg and Heather Graham in Boogie Nights
Mark Wahlberg and Heather Graham in a scene from Boogie Nights in 1997 New Line Cinema/Everett Collection

Meanwhile, Paltrow turned down an even bigger role — the female lead in James Cameron's 1997 epic Titanic. As fans know, the honor ultimately went to Kate Winslet, who was nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award for her portrayal of Leonardo DiCaprio's love interest Rose DeWitt Bukater. The global phenom held the distinction of highest grossing film of all time for 12 years until Cameron released Avatar in 2009.

"My mother [Blythe Danner] will kill me that I'm talking about turning down movie roles," Paltrow said, attempting to evade Titanic talk. "She says it's not ladylike."

Stern, however, was insistent that Paltrow address the scenario. "You only get to pick certain movies," the America's Got Talent judge noted. "When you're offered Titanic — James Cameron — one of the biggest movies of all time, I don't know psychologically… I would throw a fit that I turned that down!"

Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic
Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in a scene from Titanic in 1997 20th Century Fox/Getty Images

A levelheaded Paltrow retorted that she couldn't change the past and her choices were orchestrated as part of something greater. "Then you do other stuff," she said of selecting films like Sliding Doors (1998), A Perfect Murder (1998), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), and Shakespeare in Love, for which she won a Best Actress Oscar in 1999.

"I know that the story is that I turned it down," Paltrow mused of Titanic. "I think I was really in contention for it — I was one of the last two."

She continued: "I look back at the choices I've made and think, 'Why the hell did I say yes to that? And no to that?' And you know, you look at the big picture and think: There's a universal lesson here. What good is it to hold onto roles?"

Stern prodded Paltrow about one final film choice that she allegedly turned down. "The Cameron Diaz role in Gangs of New York," Stern said of Paltrow's best friend.

"I didn't turn that down!" she claimed. "I don't think that's even true, is it?"

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!