Rachael Leigh Cook Calls Turning Down ‘X-Men’ Role “Huge Misstep”

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Rachael Leigh Cook revealed recently that she could have been a member of the X-Men — and turning down that opportunity is a regret she carries.

It turns out that the actress was offered the role of the Rouge in the 2000’s X-Men, the groundbreaking film that jumpstarted the big screen superhero craze, Cook said in a recent profile in the New York Times.

Noting that turning down the role because she did not want to work with a green screen was a “huge misstep,” the actress told the Times, “As soon as I saw the posters for it, I knew that I’d made a mistake.”

Commenting on her career at the time, Cook admitted, “I really thought what everyone told me was correct when they said, ‘What we need to do now is make sure you’re taken seriously,’ I definitely did things for the wrong reasons.”

The Rouge role would instead go to Cook’s She’s All That co-star, the Oscar-winning Anna Paquin, who would play the iconic Marvel character in a total of four X-Men films.

In an interview over the summer, Paquin said she and Hugh Jackman became fast friends during their work on the first X-Men film, the actress even helping pick cigar out of his teeth because his fists were full of, well, claws.

“Hugh was the person I was always closest with because I had all my scenes with him,” Paquin said on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Show. “He is still a lovely, gracious human being.”

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