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Natalie Portman was fired from starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio as 'it wasn't appropriate'

Natalie Portman was fired from starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio as 'it wasn't appropriate'

The Thor actress was just 13 when she was cast alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Romeo + Juliet

Having built a reputation as one of the hardest working actresses in Hollywood, you’d never believe that Natalie Portman was once fired from a starring role.

At just 13-years-old, however, she was ousted from Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet.

Despite being the favourite to play the lead role, alongside Leonard DiCaprio, fate had a different idea for the on-screen version of the star-crossed lovers.

Natalie Portman was just 13 when she was cast.
Barry King / Alamy Stock Photo

Whilst the role would eventually go to Stardust actress Claire Danes, it had actually been Portman who was the first choice for the 1996 adaptation of the Shakespeare classic.

Portman had caught director Luhrmann’s eye with her debut role in Leon: the Professional, proving herself as a talented actress from a very early age.

In the original tale, Juliet is 13 years old and Luhrmann had hoped to remain true to the story when he cast Portman, who was the same age.

However, the director soon had a change of heart shortly after casting DiCaprio.

The actress had been cast to play Juliet in Bar Luhrmann's adaptation.
Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

The actor was 21 at the time and age gap between him and Portman caused a lot of controversy – as DiCaprio was considered an adult whilst Portman was still a child.

Despite his initial decision, Luhrman and the production team soon felt it was not appropriate to keep Portman as the lead.

With the Titanic actor being the bigger star, Portman was let go from the film.

"It was a complicated situation and…at the time I was 13 and Leonardo was 21." The Other Boleyn Girl actress explained.

However, Portman doesn’t feel bitter about the film and revealed that it was a joint decision for her to leave the production.

“It was kind of a mutual decision too that it just wasn't going to be right at the time.”: she told HelloGiggles.

Claire Danes in My So Called Life.
Maximum Film / Alamy Stock Photo

Instead, Luhrmann cast then 17-year-old Claire Danes as Juliet and though there was still age gap, it was much smaller.

She was delighted and recent revealed to W Magazine, that she had a crush on her co-star.

“That was problematic. I couldn’t really have a crush on the guy I was professionally having a crush on,”: she joked, adding: “It was all about Leo! And I completely understand.”

Juliet became a breakout role for Danes, who had only previously appeared in teen drama My So-Called Life with Jason Segel.

Portman wasn’t too disheartened by decision thankfully, with the actress going on to win three Oscars – including Best Actress for Black Swan.

Featured Image Credit: Featured Image Credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Allstar Picture Library Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Celebrity, TV And Film