Any actor in Hollywood who has been around for any length of time has been offered a role that they decided not to take in a movie that went on to become a massive hit. We've heard the stories about how Will Smith could have played Neo in The Matrix or how Eddie Murphy could have been in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. James Marsden, currently shining in the new adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand, admits there are roles that he sometimes wishes he hadn't turned down. Including a spot on the stage in Steven Soderbergh's Magic Mike.
The revelation that the former Cyclops could have been in Magic Mike came in an appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden. Marsden talked about how he was offered a role in Days of our Lives very early in his career, but decided not to do it. He seems to feel now that was still the right choice, but he's less sure about the decision to turn down Magic Mike because he gave up the chance to work with a great director. According to Marsden...
I was offered a role in Magic Mike. I had the fear that I would be edited out of the movie. All my lines would be cut out, and I’d be an extra just rushing around in a G-string. So I think it was a lack of courage on my part. But then I was like, ‘What am I doing? This is Soderbergh.’ I should have just done it.
While James Marsden doesn't talk more about the role he would have had in Magic Mike, it certainly doesn't sound like it was a very important one, as the reason he decided against the role was that he thought he would eventually be cut out of the movie. If all his lines could have been cut without impacting the movie, that's certainly not a huge role. Part of him, however, still wishes he'd done it anyway, and that ending up as an extra in a G-string would have been worth it just to work with Steven Soderbergh. Marsden does say that some of his family is still very glad he did not take the role.
Magic Mike does appear to be a rare exception in James Marsden's career. Overall, he says that when he looks back at the various roles he's turned down, he's still very glad that he did so. He doesn't go into any detail on those roles. It wouldn't exactly be nice to bad mouth movies that apparently all turned out just as bad as he feared, but it Magic Mike is really the only one he got "wrong" that's a pretty solid track record. I mean, who actually thought Sonic the Hedgehog would turn out as good as it did?