Jodie Foster reveals why she turned down Princess Leia Star Wars role

Actor Jodie Foster, who was once offered to play Princess Leia in Star Wars, smiles as she wears a black jacket with sparkly designs on it and a shiny silver necklace

Jodie Foster revealed she almost played Princess Leia in Star Wars, but she let the opportunity pass into a galaxy far, far away. 

The actor and filmmaker reminisced about the roles she has turned down in the past during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday (17 January).

Apparently, this included Foster passing up the opportunity to play one of the Rebel Alliance’s greatest leaders in the 1970s. 

“You’ve been in so many iconic roles, obviously, we love what you do,” Fallon said. “But I saw this on the internet: You were offered the role of Princess Leia in Star Wars, is that true?”

“I was, yeah,” Foster replied. “They were going for a younger Princess Leia, but I had a conflict. I was doing a Disney movie, and I just didn’t want to pull out because I was already under contract.”

The Silence of the Lambs star gushed that the original actors already “did an amazing job”, and she didn’t “know how good [she] would have been”. 

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“I might have had different hair, you know. I might have gone with a pineapple,” Jodie Foster joked, referring to Princess Leia’s iconic double side buns. 

Casting Jodie Foster as Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise could have significantly altered the character’s storyline as fans know it today. Foster would have only been 13 or 14 years old when Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope began filming, and she was still a young teenager when the movie was released in 1977.

The iconic role, of course, went to the late, great Carrie Fisher, who was 19 years old during the landmark movie. 

Fisher, who was an unwavering ally to the LGBTQ+ community, played Leia throughout the beloved sci-fi series with her final appearance in the role coming in 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. It was posthumously released following her death in 2016

Fisher confirmed to The Daily Beast in 2015 that she knew Jodie Foster was “up for” the role of Princess Leia, but she ultimately beat out the other actor and got the part. 

Foster didn’t say what Disney film caused her to overlook appearing in Star Wars. But it could have been the hit Freaky Friday, which was released in 1976, or potentially 1977’s Candleshoe

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