Harley Quinn is perhaps one of the most interesting characters in the entire DC Universe. Any actress would be hyped to play the super-villain who is taken in by the Joker after being called to be his therapist whilst he’s in prison. Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzell is definitely intrigued by the Joker which leads her into his trap.

Quinn is a character that has a number of dimensions and was played very well by Margot Robbie in Suicide Squad, which was released back in 2016. Robbie had a lot of experience in the acting world at that point and had already proven herself alongside some of the biggest and best-known actors in the world, but it was still a lengthy process for the Australian actress before she was given the part.

As with many sought-after roles, there are a number of women that the director and producers have in mind when they first begin casting and they then look at these women before they open out the casting to other potential candidates. Even though Robbie was given the part, there are a number of women who auditioned for the role and were almost given it before the part was finalized.

The following list looks at 20 women who almost beat Robbie for the role of Harley Quinn, but it’s safe to say that the studio definitely chose the perfect actress for the role, since Robbie’s version of the popular super-villain went on to become an icon and one of the most popular Halloween costumes in the world that year.

20 Lily Collins

Lily Collins has been the face of a number of huge movies over the past few years including Abduction and The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones, which could be why executives who were charged with creating the movie named the star on the shortlist for the movie when it was in its infancy.

Even though the actress wasn’t actually given the part and didn’t audition for the role she was someone that the director and producers wanted for the role and probably would have cast if she was available. The 29-year-old has been one of the busiest actresses in Hollywood over the past few years and not being cast as Harley Quinn definitely hasn’t impacted her career.

19 Zooey Deschanel

Zooey Deschanel is most recognizable for her role as Jess on New Girl over the past few years and her quirky sense of humor is something that obviously got her noticed, but even though she was considered for the role when casting was in its early stages, she is another actress that didn’t make it through to the later stages of the process when it was decided that she wasn’t the right fit.

Deschanel has become a star in her own right over the past few years so she doesn’t seem to have been affected by the fact that she wasn’t the right fit for the role.

18 Melissa Rauch

Melissa Rauch has become best known for her role as Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz on popular sitcom The Big Bang Theory over the past few years, but when it comes to the role of Harley Quinn, Raunch is someone who knows it well, since she was once cast in the role for Batman and Harley Quinn which was released back in 2017.

Rauch had always talked openly about wanting to play the role as Harley Quinn but after missing out on the opportunity with Suicide Squad, she went on to become the voice of the villain for the 2017 animated movie instead.

17 Emma Watson

Emma Watson has been making headlines ever since she was cast in Harry Potter when she was just 11 years old, and she has become a major name all over the world ever since.

This was nearly a very different movie that garnered attention for Watson since she was another name who was considered for the role of Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad. However, she wasn’t the right fit for the character when the casting process began and Emma instead went on to make headlines for her role in the popular Disney movie Beauty and the Beast instead.

16 Emma Roberts

Interestingly, the niece of Julia Roberts was actually offered the role of Harley Quinn before it was given the Margot Robbie, but she decided to turn this down in order to work on Scream Queens. The series has since become a FOX TV hit but if Roberts had decided to follow through on the role that she had been offered then Robbie would have never been given the chance to bring Harley Quinn to life, which doesn’t bear thinking about.

Roberts has never played a role this complex, but it would have been interesting to see how she portrayed such an iconic character.

15 Mila Kunis

Mila Kunis played the role of the witch Theodora in Oz The Great And Powerful a few years ago where she proved that she could easily adapt to the role of Harley Quinn if needed. The one stumbling block for Kunis would be the fact that her olive skin tone may not work with bleached blonde hair.

Like a handful of the women on this list, Kunis didn’t attempt to step into the role for the 2016 movie but she was one of the women that many fans hoped would attempt to play the villain in order to raise the profile of the movie.

14 Rooney Mara

Rooney Mara was someone who was considered for the role of Harley Quinn . She has shown a number of times before that she has the skills to play someone like Harley Quinn on the silver screen and it would be easy to see her in that role but she was just another star who was part on the shortlist and was never given the chance to even have a screen test.

Margot Robbie was instead seen as the favorite but if she never auditioned then it could be argued that Mara would have been given the role instead.

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13 Rachel McAdams

Rachel McAdams is seen as one of the greatest actresses in the world but one role that she hasn’t played in her lengthy career is Harley Quinn. McAdams has proved that she has the attitude and the appeal to be seen as one of the best villains in the world but this isn’t a role that she has ever had the chance to bring to life.

McAdams could be considered too old for the role at this moment in time, but if she had auditioned for the role back in 2016 then it’s likely that she could have take the role from Margot Robbie.

12 Evan Rachel Wood

Evan Rachel Wood would have been a fantastic addition to the cast that also included Jared Leto and Will Smith. She was openly considered for the part of Harley Quinn when the casting process began but executives then decided to go in another direction with the casting since Wood’s name wasn’t mentioned again.

Wood would definitely have brought something different to the cast of Suicide Squad but it appears that she isn’t someone who the directors pictured as one of the best known DC characters of all time, which could be why she lost out to Robbie in the end.

11 Olivia Wilde

Olivia Wilde was another woman that was considered for the role of Harley Quinn when the executives were thinking about casting one of the best-known characters in the DC Universe. Funnily enough, Suicide Squad isn’t actually the only role that Margot Robbie has beaten Olivia too, since the actress auditioned for The Wolf of Wall Street as well but was told that she was too old to be Leonardo DiCaprio’s love interest, before Robbie was cast instead.

It’s unknown if age was a factor in the decision process when it comes to why Wilde wasn’t handed the role in Suicide Squad, but it was the second movie that Robbie was chosen for over her.

10 Emily Browning

Emily Browning’s role in Sucker Punch allowed her to open herself up to an entirely new audience where she was seen as the only actress who could ever play the character of Harley Quinn. Browning was thought to have been perfect for the role but interestingly she was another star that never even made it to the later stages of the audition process, so she couldn’t have been handed the role.

Browning’s role in Sucker Punch reminded a number of fans of the character that Quinn once had in the DC Universe, and it was a shock that she wasn’t even considered for the part.

9 Alison Brie

The Mad Men star one of the earlier women that were considered for the role of Harley Quinn in the earliest stages of the process. When the executives were asked to make up a shortlist for the women that they wanted to play the girlfriend of the Joker, Alison Brie’s name was on that list, according to IMDB. She ultimately lost out to Margot Robbie, who must have had a fantastic audition considering she managed to steal the role from under the noses of some of Hollywood’s best actresses.

8 Cara Delevingne

Cara Delevingne is the only woman on this list that was actually cast in Suicide Squad but she was actually cast in the role of the Enchantress rather than Harley Quinn. When it was revealed that Delevingne was being considered for a part in the blockbuster movie, many fans hoped that it was as the Joker’s girlfriend, but it was later revealed that she would be seen as the Enchantress instead.

Many fans still believe that Delevingne and Robbie should have switched roles because that would have made the film a much bigger hit than it was, but the director didn’t agree.

7 Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Mary Elizabeth Winstead has shown her versatility throughout her career and has proved that she can go from dancer to action film star at the drop of a hat. The actress could have easily adapted to the role of Harley Quinn if she was given the opportunity but Robbie was cast instead.

It is interesting that Winstead’s name was thrown into the hat during this process but it does open up the question of how the experienced actress didn’t get further in the audition process.

6 Olivia Thirlby

Olivia Thirlby isn’t one of the most high profile names on this list but she is still someone who was first considered to be part of Suicide Squad. For fans who don’t know a lot about Thirlby, her list of credits include coming-of-age drama Juno, Winston Churchill biopic  The Darkest Hour and Dredd.

Olivia would definitely have been a strange star to be cast in such a high profile role and the fact that she wasn’t considered in the later casting stages could have had something to do with the fact that she wasn’t a well-known name at the time.

5 Amanda Seyfried

Amanda Seyfried has become well-known as an actress who has portrayed many relatable characters, which means that seeing her in the role of Harley Quinn would definitely be a stark contrast to her other roles. Seyfried was another actress who auditioned for the role of the 2016 movie, but the executives decided that she wasn’t the right fit for the movie following her audition.

Seyfried has since become a recognizable face thanks to the Mamma Mia movies in recent years, so failing to secure the role in Suicide Squad hasn’t hindered her prospects.

4 Sara Paxton

Sara Paxton was perhaps only considered for the role because her blonde locks have become a huge part of the reason why she has become one of the most popular actresses in the world. Despite being a fantastic fit for the role and even being in the right age range to play the villain, Paxton was another star who was unable to get past the consideration stage which means that the actress was never even able to audition.

How different would Suicide Squad have been if it was Sara Paxton who was cast in the role of Harley Quinn?

3 Imogen Poots

Imogen Poots is best known for her role alongside Zac Efron in The Awkward Moment back in 2014. It is believed that this was the role that drew the attention of executives when they were looking into women who could be cast as Harley Quinn. Imogen was interestingly one of the front-runners for the main role when the cast was shortlisted but when the process of auditions began, she wasn’t seen as a perfect fit for the role.

It’s worth considering that if Robbie never auditioned for the movie then could Poots have landed the role instead?

2 Katee Sackhoff

After playing Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica, Katee Sackhoff though that she would make a fantastic Harley Quinn for the upcoming Suicide Squad movie.

She told Esquire: “I love Harley Quinn. I do. I just love it… It’s not been done before. It’s this fantastic mix. I mean, it’s like the female Joker. Who wouldn’t want to do that? Quite potentially — it’s not around so I wouldn’t feel the weight of it — I’d probably sell my firstborn at this point to do that.” The actress started to campaign to be cast in one of the most iconic roles in the DC Universe, but her campaign wasn’t taken seriously by the directors of the 2016 movie.

1 Tara Strong

Tara Strong was the voice of Harley Quinn in Arkham video games and Batman: The Killing Joke but whilst Tara’s voice has become recognizable for the role and she obviously looks the part, she wasn’t really seen as a strong contender for the role when it came to casting Suicide Squad a few years ago.

Strong is now 45 years old and even though she still has the looks that scream “Harley Quinn” her age could have been a factor in the casting process and one of the reasons why she didn’t land the iconic role in the DC Universe.

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