Who Auditioned for 'Fifty Shades of Grey'? These 15 Actresses Could Have Played Anastasia Steele

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 08: Actress Dakota Johnson arrives at the FOX All-Star Party at the Langham Huntington Hotel on January 8, 2013 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
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Unless you've been living under a rock without any access to the internet, you already know that the upcoming 50 Shades of Grey film is a pretty big deal. The film — which is based on the first novel in the erotic romance trilogy by E.L. James — hits theaters on Valentine's Day, 2015, and people already have a lot of opinions about the casting. Jamie Dornan will play BDSM-enthusiast Christian Grey, and Dakota Johnson will play Anastasia Steele, the virginal college student who falls for him. But while Johnson was the final choice to play Steele, a ton of other actresses in Hollywood coveted the role — and a few had a real shot at getting it. So who could have been Grey's love interest? Check out the 15 actresses who could have played the part instead. 

Shailene Woodley

Woodley allegedly had a fan in author James, who wanted the Divergent star for the part. She turned down the audition because she knew that she couldn’t do two major franchises at a time. 

Lucy Hale

Hale opened up about her audition for the role in the racy film, stating that it was “very uncomfortable” to read for the part of college student Steele. Ultimately, Hale decided to just “go for it” — but didn’t snag the part. Pretty Little Liars everywhere breathed a sigh of relief. 

Elizabeth Olsen

The indie starlet was allegedly considered for the role, according to Business Insider. Olsen denied her involvement with the movie, but was a fan favorite to star prior to Johnson’s casting. 

Emma Watson

Rumor had it that Watson was set to star in 50 Shades of Grey. It sort of made sense — after all, the former Harry Potter star has taken on more adult roles and she was the right age and type for Steele. One person who really didn’t think she would be a good fit for the role? Watson herself. She took to Twitter to ask fans,Who here actually thinks I would do 50 Shades of Grey as a movie? Like really. For real. In real life.” Sooooo… that’s a no? 

Felicity Jones

The 30-year-old Like Crazy actress was allegedly up for the part of college student Steele, but eventually was passed on due to her age. 

Imogen Poots

Poots, who recently starred alongside Zac Efron in That Awkward Moment, was one of the actresses name checked by the Fifty Shades of Grey director. 

Ashley Benson

It was Benson herself who was dying for the part of Steele. When interviewed by Celebuzz about the fan campaign to get her the role of Steele’s friend Kate, Benson admitted that while she loved all the characters, she wanted the lead role in the film. 

Alexis Bledel

Bledel was a serious fan favorite for the part of the BDSM newbie — so much so that fans even had petition drawn up to have her and White Collar star Matt Bomer as the leads in the film. Not how Hollywood works, but it was nice that they cared. 

Chloe Bridges

Bridges auditioned for the lead role in the film, but was totally uncomfortable with the material. The actress told Cosmopolitan that she read three pages of a character talking to her friends about a sexcapade — and that “if you read it, you would die.” Now just imagine what the rest of the movie is like. 

Kristen Stewart

Fifty Shades of Grey originally started off as Twilight fan fiction, so it’s not a surprise that Twilight star Stewart was briefly considered for the role of the Bella Swan’s sexier alter ego. 

Lily Collins

The Mortal Instruments star was a fan favorite for the role of Steele, so much so that fans made fake Fifty Shades of Grey trailers featuring the star in the leading role. It’s unclear whether she auditioned for the part, but at 25, she’s close to the age of the fictional Steele. 

Emilia Clarke

Game of Thrones star Clarke was allegedly a front runner for the role, according to Metro. 

Cara Delevinge

Delevinge will star in the adaptation of John Green’s Paper Towns, but she allegedly auditioned for a role in Fifty Shades of Grey as well.  Though director Sam Taylor-Johnson allegedly wanted Delevinge for the lead role, they ultimately passed on the model-turned-actress. 

Nina Dobrev

Celebrity Dirty Laundry claims that Dobrev was once considered for the role of Steele because her then-boyfriend, Somerhalder, was on the short list for Steele’s lover, Grey. However, the gossip site reports that once Dobrev and Somerhalder split, Dobrev was pushed off the casting list. It’s for the best — and Somerhalder didn’t get the role of Grey, either. 

Alicia Vikander

According to Variety, Vikander — whose credits include Anna Karenina and A Royal Affair — was one of the actresses strongly considered by the studio for the role of Steele. She didn’t get the part, but will star alongside “Christian Grey” (a.k.a. Dornan) in a yet-untitled film by director John Wells.